Human, CF & Botha, JC 2008, 'Revenue Generation During Rehabilitation of Contaminated Land on Gold Mines in South Africa', 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. 557-563, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/852_51
The increase in awareness of environmental issues caused mines to place greater emphasis on the
continuous rehabilitation of impacts caused by mining operations. Rehabilitation activities are costly and the
need for a cost effective method to dispose of waste materials originating from mining sites that are being
decommissioned, rehabilitated and for metallurgical plants being demolished, was recognized.
This paper discusses a method for the detection of low level radioactive waste materials, and establishing a
relationship between the radioactivity levels and gold grade. Readily available instruments were used to
identify and quantify areas where land contamination had resulted from historical waste disposal practices.
The potential to recover gold from rehabilitated material and use the revenues generated was recognized
and reduced future financial cleanup costs. Treatment of waste material has shown that gold could be
economically recovered from waste recovery operations. This process led to disposal of the material in a
homogeneous and safe manner onto an operational residue dam, which minimized potential environmental
Anonymous (1995) The correlation between gold grades and radioactivity of waste rock dumps. Internal report to
Anonymous (1999) Feasibility study on the surface rehabilitation mill installation. Internal report to AngloGold.
Botha, J.F. (1998) An analytical model for the transport of radioactive material through earth. The Institute for Ground
Water Studies, University of the Free State, South Africa.
De Jesus, A.S.M., Malan, J.J., Ellerbeck, V.T., Van Der Bank, D.J. and Moolman, E.W. (1987) An assessment of the
radium-226 concentration levels in tailings dams and environmental water in the gold/uranium mining of the
Witwatersrand, Nuclear Techniques Industrial Services Division. Report PER-159.
Gilbert, R.O. (1987) Double Sampling. Statistical methods for environmental pollution monitoring. Van Nostrand
Reinhold (ed), NY, p. 106.
Smit, J. (2002) An investigation of the behaviour of radium-226 in the reprocessing of acid plant scale, Mintek report,