Established Quarries in South Africa have over the last years had to compete with borrow pits and crushing operations which have not always been seen in the same light as an established quarry.
Some misconceptions have been bandied around that when a mobile crusher is used then it is not mining and the legislation does not apply.
The issue of borrow pits has been a sore point n the eyes of established operations as the rules have differed substantially.
The borrow pit industry has grown in SA and operators have slowly starting gaining experience in this field and therefore the rules have been followed by those responsible operators.
Historically, rehabilitation was typically limited to the removal of equipment following the cessation of activities. This practice was not only lax, but was unacceptable from a community safety and environmental sustainability perspective. In terms of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, the holder of mining right/permit remains liable for any pollution or ecological degradation, and the management thereof, until a closure certificate has been issued for the subject site.
Closure should ensure that:
- Operations are ended efficiently and cost effectively;
- The site is rehabilitated and returned to a safe and stable state;
- The final land use conforms with the concept of sustainable development; and
THE IMPACTS OF THE ENVIRONMENT
Mining is an inherently destructive process, and there are a number of environmental impacts that remain after a site has been mined, e.g. erosion, siltation or watercourses/water bodies and permanent visual/aesthetic intrusion (otherwise known as “scarring