JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa has declared an acid mine drainage (AMD) mitigation project an emergency government waterworks, paving the way for the Trans Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA) to proceed with its immediate and short-term interventions.
The Department of Water Affairs said on Tuesday that the short-term emergency works implied that the TCTA was authorised to finalise the awarding of the contract for the construction of the Central basin plant, a separate contract for the Western and Eastern basins' plants, as well as the immediate intervention in the Western basin.
While the immediate solution in the Western basin had to continue, the department stated the TCTA had to investigate the upgrade of additional treatment compartments of the refurbished Rand Uranium AMD neutralisation plant to ensure that an increased sustainable yield was attained.
The TCTA must also investigate the viability of commissioning clarifiers, new pipelines and pumps for operation in conjunction with the refurbished Rand Uranium AMD neutralisation plant as an alternative to the proposed construction of the short-term solution in the Western basin.
The TCTA has been further authorised to conclude and sign the necessary agreements with the relevant mining houses.
The DWA also stated that it would take the necessary steps to ensure that sufficient budgetary provision was available to meet TCTA’s contractual obligations.
“In the event that alternative solutions are not timeously obtained for the Western and Eastern basins, the department may, under separate cover, approve the award of contracts for the construction of the short-term solution in these basins once sufficient budgetary provision has been secured,” it said.
An additional R153-million had been secured for the implementation of the TCTA’s AMD interventions, which the DWA said would be sufficient for the 2012/13 financial year.