Posted on: August 23, 2011 Posted by: Diane Swarts Comments: 0

A conference on Mine Water Management and correction of Acid Mine Drainage (AMD), is hosted on 27 -28 September 2011 at Gallagher Estate.

AMD conference themes emphasise the need for miners to learn from observations and advances in practical long term AMD management. Mine water management should include assessment of AMD risk at pre-feasibility stages of projects, implications of climatic extremes, integration of appropriate emerging technologies and research into AMD plans and management into life-of-mine planning through to closure and relinquishment.

CSIR noted water degradation

Effects of mining on the environment includes the release of many chemical contaminants into water resources, which can cause environmental damage and threaten the health and safety of nearby communities long after mine closure.

This pollution is so persistent that, in the absence of available remedies, in many instances the contaminated sites may never be completely restored”, wrote CSIR Newsletter in August 2009.

This event aims bring together experts on environmental aspects of mining and metals from the scientific community, from government agencies, from the mining and metal industries, and from other stakeholders to share knowledge and experience and to discuss industry practices, challenges and research needs.

Approaches for prediction, prevention, treatment and control and monitoring of acid drainage, will be reviewed to assess their contribution to sustainable solutions.

AMD conference themes

The conference will cover these themes, some being illustrated by case studies;
• AMD treatment
• Laboratory trials on economic uses of AMD
• Converting AMD into products
• Open pit mining water management issues
• Best Practices Guidelines for water resource protection in SA mining
• Mine Water of the West Rand-Leakage into the Cradle Area
• AMD decant affected areas in SA, and recommendations
• Mine water management practice
• Radioactivity management in mine water
• Mine Water Treatment Using Recycled Concrete and Magnetite
• Management and rehabilitation of mine residues
• Groundwater impact management
• Legal issues of mine water management
• Implementing ingress control measures to reduce the rate of flooding and the eventual decanting and pumping volume
• Reducing costs to deal with acid mine drainage (AMD)
• Improving water quality management including neutralisation and metal removal in the short-term
• Removal of salt loads from river systems to be considered in the medium to long-term
• Improving monitoring and undertaking research to inform decision making and managing and monitoring other AMD sources in Witwatersrand basin
• Understanding the Nature of AMD generation causes and impacts
• Economic Pre-Feasibility Work, Linking AMD Hazards and Risks to Operations and Closure
• Prediction and Identification
• Managing AMD from Mine Waste Materials
• Treatment Options
• Case studies
• Mine planning against AMD
• Managing Mine Waste Materials
• Mine legacy
• Trends in AMD and Metalliferous drainage management.

Presenters profiles

Dr Anthony Turton is director at Touchstone Resources, a political scientist working in trans boundary water resource management and negotiation in international basins.

Dr Ingrid Dennis, director of Institute for Groundwater Studies at the University of the Free State, researching mining and industrial water issues.

John Arthur Bewsey of Trailblazer Technologies consults waste management companies internationally with a bias on conversion to be more ecologically acceptable, including agriculture and animal feeds. He operates a new patented process to make Magnesium Nitrate and mixtures for horticulture. He holds 25 patents in chemical processes, nutrient processing and waste conversion to essential adjuvant for agriculture and value recovery. The latest patents cover a profitable means to recovering AMD into valuable fertilisers and potable water.

Prof Baojin Zhao works at the Geology Department, University of Fort Hare. He has a BSc from China and MSc from Wits, is a former mine geologist on Witwatersrand gold mines, and a specialist in geochemistry and geochemical modeler on AMD.

Judith Taylor is branch co-ordinator of Earth Life Africa in Johannesburg.

Prof Jannie Maree works at the Department of Environment,Water and Earth Sciences at Tshwane University of Technology. He specializes in water treatment of processes to with calcium drainage to fertilizers.

Graham Trusler is one of the founding members and CEO of Digby Wells. He has an MSc Engineering and BComm. Graham has 23 years of experience in mining and metallurgical production, research and environmental issues.

Zvi Wagner is MD of WESU, supplier and developer of environmentally friendly water treatment.

Day one, Sep 27 highlights

• Remediation of Mined Land and the Success Story within the West and Far Role of activists in treatment of AMD: West Rand Goldfields SA
• Land degradation: A concise historical scenario of FWaWRGF
• Activism in the west & far west rand: strategy
• Outcomes of active environmental activism
• Cleaner Technologies in Mining
• Government policy for increasing water supply in quality and expanded services in response to market demands, while responding to people with sustainable services. The government policy aims at providing people with clean water as well as contributes to improving the lives and welfare of people.
• Graham Trusler, CEO, Digbywells; How to create jobs in solving mine waste problems
• Judith Taylor: Branch Co-ordinator Earth Life Africa Johannesburg
• Mine Acid Decant Recommendation for Affected Areas in South Africa: A Case Study on pollution of Olifant Dam and Loskop Dam
• Acid Mine Water Drainage: Innovative Treatment Techniques: Local solutions for local challenges
• Three legs towards South African mine drainage: Understanding of the fundamentals of Geology and Mining, AMD and waste water treatment technologies.
• Mineralogy of acid generation, neutralising and heavy metal and Na minerals Geochemistry and AMD generation Water ingress, controls and reduction (minerelated seimicity, fractures and cracks, engineering geology approaches).
• Water treatment technologies towards water treatment, reuse and metal extraction case studies: Wits basin, and coal.
• Prevention and control of acid mine drainage and its effect on ground water.

Day Two 28 Sep highlights

• Groundwater modelling as a tool to assess the impacts of mining
• Experience in Deep Water Production
• Groundwater in Coal Mining
• Mine Water as Waste or Resource
• Completely consumptive and economically compelling solution to AMD: Turning poison into a hero
• Economic value of AMD contaminants by using ion-exchange
• Economic Uses of acid mine water
• Recovery of useful products from AMD treatment
• Laboratory trials.

2011 Sep 27 -28  Mine Water Management for Sustainability in Africa, and correction of Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) conference, at Gallagher Estate; Book on 021 671 0541, 021 671 3559, 086 628 0792, or

PHOTO; Dr Anthony Turton is director at Touchstone Resources, a political scientist working in trans boundary water resource management and negotiation in international basins. He is one of the presenters at the AMD conference.


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