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In celebration of National Environment Month, the Chamber is showcasing some of its gold members’ environmental initiatives.

AngloGold Ashanti

Phytoremediation project at Varkenslaagte catchment

A phytoremediation research project, supported by AngloGold Ashanti, has been underway at Wits University for two decades. Phytoremediation refers to the use of plants and their associated micro-organisms to stabilise or reduce contamination in soils. Using the knowledge accumulated in the research process, phytoremediation was implemented in the Varkenslaagte catchment area.

The effective remediation of the Varkenslaagte drainage area included removing historic tailings spills which presented a major source of pollution and re-establishing the wetland in collaboration with the phyto-remediation research partners at the Wits University. It is expected that the seepage and downstream water quality would significantly improve over the next few years as a result of this project.  The successful removal of the tailings spillage from the Varkenslaagte area continues to be undertaken and tens of hectares of indigenous woodland species have been planted to kick-start rehabilitation.


  • Water recycled – 73%
  • Water efficiency improvements – 6.5%
  • Energy consumption reduced – 9.3%

Anglo Gold Ashanti Intergrated Annual Report 2015


Case study: Water everywhere, for everyone


Harmony Gold

Free State biogas project

Harmony Gold has taken a novel approach to rehabilitating mining land while promoting alternative energy solutions. The company has a bio-energy project that involves the propagation of biocrops on mining impacted land in the Free State. The biocrops generate natural gas as a substitute for fossil fuels used in the company’s elution plants and carbon regeneration circuits. Through these initiatives, Harmony has contributed to the creation of economic, social and ecological benefits for mining communities.


  • Water efficiency improved – 6.5%
  • Energy efficiency improved – 5%
  • Carbon emission decreased – 2%

Harmony Gold Intergrated Annual Report 2015


Harmony and the environment: reducing our emissions



Restoring mining-affected land

DRDGOLD takes a responsible and proactive approach in managing its impact on the environment by restoring land affected by mining while endeavouring to minimise the impact of its operations on the environment. The company systematically reclaims and treats mine dumps and then deposits the waste on a world-class tailings deposition facility, located in a less-densely populated area. The facility is also managed in terms of an approved environmental management programme which requires environmental rehabilitation at closure. By removing the mine dumps which are a potential source of dust pollution and often situated in environmentally sensitive areas, the company frees up valuable land for reuse.

  • Water recycled – 65%
  • Vegetated land – 34ha

DRDGOLD Limited Annual Integrated Report 2015