Impacts of mine waste on post-mining land use

More from the Minerals to Metals Symposium 2016

Impacts of mine waste on post-mining land use – a case (study) of Luanshya town, Zambia
Mining and mineral extraction in Zambia has had long lasting and transformative effects on the country’s economy and landscape. Since the first commercial copper production in 1928 in Luanshya, a town located 337km north of the capital Lusaka, its landscapes have been drastically altered. To determine the extent of this alteration, spatial land use data will be collected and used to generate maps.

Furthermore, map-based interviews will be held with some local stakeholders in the town to document the diversity of their memories, experiences and perceptions about mining in the town. Analyses of these data will help demonstrate how the physical and socio-economic transformations associated with industrial development have shaped land use in this mining town. Past works on the Copperbelt have concentrated on the types and extent of pollution in the concerned mining towns.

This study employs a livelihoods approach to assess the current situation in Luanshya, as well as examines the effects of land changes that have been caused by mining activities. The study will also determine how these mining activities have affected the environment and land use patterns. This work is important because mine waste is a sustainability challenge that needs to be addressed. The study will conclude by exploring land use opportunities that can help improve the environmental sustainability of this once mining-dependent town.
Sakuwaha Grace Kabang’u
MPhil in Sustainable Mineral Development
“Kabang’u is a geoscientist working for Rio Tinto Zambia in mineral exploration. When she is not camping in the bush searching for the next copper mine, she spends time studying, reading novels, or learning dance. Growing up in a big family taught her that there is no substitute for hard work.”

Rehabilitated Opencast Mines in the Witbank and Highveld Coalfields
Coal is still South Africa’s primary source of energy. South Africa is ranked seventh in global coal production and is the sixth largest coal exporter. The extraction of coal, whether through underground or opencast mining, is often associated with serious environmental implications. Opencast mining is particularly of a destructive nature and compromises highly potential agricultural lands, ecologically sensitive environments and development in surrounding areas.

The Witbank and Highveld coalfields lie within the critically endangered grassland biome. Approximately 46% of South Africa’s total high potential arable soils are found in Mpumalanga. About 12% of these soils have been altered by coal mining activities; with a further 14% subject to coal prospecting applications. Post-mining land rehabilitation and the understanding of the process is therefore vital in order to ensure that land destroyed by mining is put to sustainable use such as agricultural or grazing purposes.

The purpose of the research project is to investigate the prospects of sustainably using previously poorly rehabilitated opencast mined areas in the Emalahleni and Middelburg areas. The aim is to review the level of the initial rehabilitation carried out, particularly looking at the soils. As well as establish the potential and benefits of using the land.
Nontobeko Gule
MPhil in Sustainable Mineral Development
“I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”- Maya Angelou


Minerals To Metals Symposium 2016

Mine waste

Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.

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