Authors: Ellis, JJ

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DOI https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/852_12

Cite As:
Ellis, JJ 2008, 'Establishing a Framework for Intervention and Remediation of Radioactive Contamination from Gold Mining — Learning from the Past', in AB Fourie, M Tibbett, I Weiersbye & P Dye (eds), Mine Closure 2008: Proceedings of the Third International Seminar on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 125-134, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/852_12

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Abstract:
Over the past number of years, reports by scientific and research institutions, industry specialists, regulators and non-government organizations have raised concerns about radioactive and metal contamination in areas such as the Wonderfonteinspruit Catchment Area (WCA), resulting mainly from diffuse and direct pollution from gold and uranium mining over the last one hundred years. The individual and collective initiatives by the relevant stakeholders to address the mining legacy in areas such as the Wonderfonteinspruit highlighted the importance of:  High confidence scientific assessments on the extent and significance of environmental impacts.  The optimization of remediation methodologies and programmes to ensure that all actions are justifiable in terms of as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) principles.  The importance of a management framework to ensure the effective engagement of all stakeholders. The aim of this paper is to outline the principles of a framework for intervention and remediation in the WCA using the precedent set, and lessons learnt, from a previous co-operative exercise by the mining industry, the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) and the public, to clean up thirty-eight off-mine sites. It further incorporates the principles of intervention and a source/pathway/receptor assessment approach.

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