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

South32 Energy Coal

Middelburg water treatment plant project

To minimise its water footprint, South Africa Energy Coal commissioned a project to reuse water used in processing. Commissioned in 2015, the plant treats mine-affected water and then discharges the clean water into a natural river system. The water is used downstream to support communities and ecosystems. A small volume of treated water is pumped to the existing Middelburg Colliery chlorination plant, eliminating the need for the purchase of external potable water for the operation.


  • Water efficiency improved – 13%
  • Carbon emission reduction – 8%

SOUTH32 Annual Report 2015



Matla water treatment plant project

A R250 million water treatment plant at Matla in Mpumalanga reduces the safety risk of water-filled mined-out cavities while benefiting the environment and local water users. The plant treats 10 mega litres (10 million litres) per day, and is part of the company’s holistic strategy to manage its water stewardship by reducing, reusing and recycling water.

Water that flows into Matla’s underground mining operations from the surface could potentially affect the environment if contaminated water is released to the surface without prior treatment. Innovative filtration processes remove contaminants and purify the water. Of the 10 mega litres treated each day, two thirds is discharged into the Olifants River and the rest is used at Matla operations or for drinking water at the mine. The Matla water treatment plant is a prime example of the company’s approach to water stewardship and forms part of its long-term water management strategy.


  • Water treated per day – 10 million litres

Exxaro Intergrated Annual Report 2015


Coal of Africa Limited

Vele biodiversity and rehabilitation nursery project

In keeping in line with an environmental strategy that ensures that CoAL leaves a footprint after a mine is closed, the company has adopted a “rollover open-cast mine methodology" that ensures that before another pit is opened up, the first one will be rehabilitated.

Plants and trees that have been removed carefully during the ground-clearance phase are being taken care of until such time that regrowth commences. Vele constructed an on-site nursery, the design of which is aligned with that of the Mapungubwe World Heritage Site for this reason. A variety of indigenous flora is being grown and housed in the nursery. The intention is to utilise these flora (grass and vegetation seeds) in the re-vegetation and rehabilitation process.


  • Water recycled at Mooiplaats – 6 093 m³
  • Progress on ground water used at Vele – 708 m³

Coal of Africa Limited Annual Integrated Report 2015