Solving mining challenges in Africa & the Middle East

SRK’s geochemists are involved in solving wide-ranging waste management challenges faced by mine operators throughout Africa and the Middle East. Our offices in the region are located in South Africa, Turkey and Zimbabwe. We provide expertise in a number of areas including:

Development of baseline and waste management strategies: For example, the Geita Gold Mine in Tanzania, where SRK established the baseline in 1997 which involved risk based site selection, liaison with relevant regulatory bodies, training of sampling personnel and development of a time-series database. Subsequent monitoring and data interpretation has enabled SRK to demonstrate the impact of artisan workings and the occurrence of naturally elevated metal levels in surface and groundwater. As a result, a site specific baseline was established that reflects these processes that are not related to mining. This approach has allowed the regulators and mining company to understand the processes affecting water quality and the allocation of potential liabilities.

Evaluation of waste re-processing: At the South Deep Mine in South Africa, SRK comprehensively assessed historic and modern waste rock facilities, which resulted in re-evaluation of historic waste rock as potential ore material. We also developed a more efficient waste rock disposal program.

Development and design of mine water management strategies: For example, at Grootvlei in southern Africa, high density sludge settlement was implemented to improve water discharge to an important river catchment north of Johannesburg.

Assessment of closure liabilities: At the Bulyanhulu mine, in Tanzania, SRK geochemists were part of a multidisciplinary team that assessed potential future closure liabilities.

Mineral processing assessment: During the design of the sulphuric acid leach process for the Skorpion project in Namibia, SRK studied process chemistry and mineralogy of the feed and tailings to assist in optimisation of the process. In the DRC, SRK has evaluated process chemistry for copper and cobalt oxide, and sulfide ores.

Regional water studies: In 1999 SRK participated in the review of impacts to the Zambezi River from industrial extraction and discharge of water.

Groundwater remediation:

At the Sukhaybarat mine, Saudi Arabia, SRK identified sources of groundwater contamination, which led to better site waste management and to recommendations for mitigation of present contamination.

Rob Bowell: rbowell@srk.co.uk
James Lake: jlake@srk.co.za


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