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Mintails Mining and several related companies have announced their liquidation, throwing into question the environmental rehabilitation of highly polluting operations near Johannesburg.
Mintails mines and processes gold from a sprawling 1,715ha complex of waste piles and open pits in Krugersdorp and has for years been flagged for noncompliance. Its operations are bordered by informal settlements and suburbs housing thousands of residents, many of whom have complained of health effects, which they blame on radioactive dust and water pollution from Mintails’ mines.
Records show that the cost to clean up the environment would be about R330m, but there is only R25.6m available.
Observers fear that the situation could deteriorate further, as happened at the Blyvooruitzicht Gold Mine, an abandoned large-scale operation on the West Rand.
A case study in the country’s deeply flawed mine closure system, Mintails teetered on the verge of collapse for years and entered business rescue in Octob...
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