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:: New South African Project to Provide Sustainable Enviro Remediation
This week saw the official opening of Chemwes, the wholly-owned subsidiary of the environmental remediation company, Mine Waste Solutions (MWS). The R104-million Chemwes project in Stilfontein, in the North West Province of South Africa, is the maiden project of MWS, which was established in 1999 to effect sustainable environmental remediation while, at the same time, reclaiming and reprocessing mine tailings and other waste materials.
The Chemwes plant, which was commissioned in April this year after a construction and modification period of about seven months, is processing materials produced by the now-defunct Stilfontein gold mine, but as MWS CEO Dick Plaistowe explains, the purpose-built high-tonnage, low-cost gold-tailings retreatment plant also lends itself to treating other materials in the area. "We are in discussions with third-party tailings owners to possibly put their material through the plant in the future as well," he says.
A total of 28,5-million tons of gold tailings from the Stilfontein gold-mine are to be treated through the plant at a monthly reclamation tonnage rate of 570 000 tons, giving the project a 50-month life until 2007.
However, possible rock-dump reprocessing and the reclamation and reprocessing of various other slimes dams in the areas could extend the project life even further. Ultimate closure is planned for 2010.
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