The mining industry has started placing increased emphasis on finding waste management solutions that are environmentally sound, safe and cost-effective. The key is to find solutions that overcome technical and environmental challenges, says Linda MacDonald, Interwaste mining business development manager.While South Africa’s mining industry may not be at the forefront of all business and operational aspects, MacDonald is quick to point out that recent legislation has set South Africa at the forefront of complying with progressive international standards in waste management and disposal. “The task makes demands of all stakeholders, from the waste generator to those in local government tasked with overseeing delivery and compliance,” she says. No matter the key driver behind implementing effective waste management procedures, including stringent regulatory requirements and public concerns, MacDonald says that mining companies have begun recognising that long-term, environmentally acceptable approaches are needed and need to be adhered to, particularly when it comes to reducing the liability that environmental contamination from mining activities can cause.
Interwaste is a provider of holistic environmental services to the mining sector, including the design, development and implementation of various waste management strategies, tailor-made to meet specific requirements. These strategies are closely aligned and fully compliant with local legislative requirements and international best practices.The company has a dedicated team of experts who work in the area of research and development relating to the mining sector and specifically focus on addressing industry challenges. “Our objective is to develop sustainable solutions for mine waste management and rehabilitation. Our multi-disciplinary approach and wide range of resources enable us to assist mining companies at all stages of a mining projects, from feasibility and planning through to operation and final decommissioning.” Interwaste also has logistical experience in excess of 23 years, meaning it is well placed to provide sound advice and assistance with the ever-increasing costs of waste transportation, particularly from remote mining locations. “The safe and efficient movement of waste materials is becoming increasingly important. This, combined with our continual investment in handling and waste beneficiation methods, ensures the continued sustainability and financial viability of services offered to our clients.” Over the years, Interwaste has become a holistic waste management service provider, and it is able to offer a range of services covering all aspects of environmental management. This includes the management and separation of wastes on site, as well as the final disposal and/or material beneficiation – both issues remain high on Interwaste’s list of priorities.” This single point of contact ensures accountability and allows for the provision of accurate reporting information in line with reporting requirements.