05 May 2011
eMalahleni Water Reclamation Plant receives global award
The eMalahleni Water Reclamation Plant has been selected as the winner of the 'best community project in Africa' category of the Asia Mining Global Sustainability Awards.
"Preventing pollution in the environment and transforming mine water into a potable product in a water scarce area is the result of a holistic approach that involves intensive stakeholder engagement and an understanding of the needs of our local community. For this project to receive global recognition is an outstanding achievement by a dedicated team," said Thermal Coal CEO Norman Mbazima.
Thermal Coal regional manager for hydrology Peter Günther was also delighted with the news.
"I do not think anyone could have imagined that when we embarked on this project in late 2005, it would have had the impact that it has. The plant is being used as a model for other solutions in the coal and gold mining areas of South Africa where acid mine drainage is a significant problem," said Peter.
The benefits of the plant are set to grow even further with its expansion into a 60ML/day facility in 2013.
The plant's design will ensure that it produces no waste whatsoever – only usable byproducts that will provide further community benefits in the form of job creation. The plant has already started transforming its gypsum byproduct into building products for the affordable housing sector.
This expansion will include three mining houses and nine mines, and stems from the Joint Investigation Agreement Anglo American formed with Eskom, Xstrata, Exxaro and BHP Billiton Energy Coal South Africa to collaborate on finding collective regional solutions for future water reclamation schemes.
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