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Sustainability in mine rehabilitation

Mine rehabilitation in South Africa is moving to the next level

Every mine has a maximum lifespan – but once its productive life is over, can it play a useful role in the surrounding community?

Mine rehabilitation in South Africa is moving to the next level, with mineral extraction facilities being repurposed to provide essential services and new types of jobs for residents in local communities – here are some of the sustainable practices that are being implemented.

New horizons after mine closure

There was a time when the end of a mine’s lifespan meant bad news for the surrounding community, with the town’s major employer closing shop and leaving hundreds or thousands of workers without jobs.

Today, mining companies are heeding the call for sustainability by transforming former mines into vital engines of economic growth. This is being achieved in several ways:

  • Mines are major users of water, and often have solid water extraction infrastructure that can be adapted to serve the needs of local people
  • Mine workers are being re-trained to do different types of jobs, and the possibility of building manufacturing or other facilities on the mining site is being explored
  • Hydroelectric power generation in former mines is on the horizon – and South Africa certainly has the engineering know-how to make this a reality

Industry leaders at the forefront of mine rehabilitation

Sustainable communities that continue to thrive after their local mine ceases operations will only become a reality with the full support of mining executives – and many of the industry’s best-known figures are taking steps to ensure this.

In a recent interview with the media, Dr Eduard Vorster (Aurecon’s client director for resources) outlined his vision for rehabilitated mines.

Focusing on the areas of water and electricity generation as well as long-term employment for former mineworkers, Dr Vorster’s approach is a great example of the innovative and community-centred thinking that is sweeping through the resources sector in South Africa.

Sustainable opportunities for all stakeholders

As mining looks to the future and finds ways to support community development, contractors and equipment suppliers can look forward to a future filled with ongoing projects and opportunities for all involved.

If you’d like to learn more about our range of rock breakers and other heavy equipment that has been serving the mining industry for decades, contact us today.