Primary Functions:

  • Shows the critical interplay between mining and water resources in South Africa

Purpose: Understand water stress (Context)
Scope: Facility / River Basin
Type: Tools
Sectors: Metals & mining

Resource Overview:

The South African Mine Water Atlas is a comprehensive reference on the vulnerability of water resources to mining activity in South Africa. It shows the critical interplay between mining and water resources and is the most extensive set of documents of its kind.

The multi-layered set of maps spans all mineral provinces in South Africa with a greater level of detail in areas where mining frequently takes place. The maps chart ground and surface water resources in the provinces. This in turn is overlaid with maps of mining and mineral-refining activities, in order to understand the interactions between potential mining activities, surface and groundwater interact.

The Atlas is intended to help mining companies, investors, government departments, civil society, and students get a better understanding of the general impact of mining on water resources in different parts of the country.

The Mine Water Atlas helps people see information about the areas in which they’re active. They’ll be able to use it to see what their liabilities may be and what the focus of mitigation measures may need to be to protect water resources in their area of operation, for example, water treatment plants to ensure water discharges from the mines are of good quality and won’t damage the environment or pose a risk to public health.

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Developed by: South African Water Research Commission