Tag Archives: mining industry

Japan: selling sewage to Australia

Japan has an unlikely new export product:  the sewage it normally dumps into rivers or the sea. The first buyer is the Australian mining industry. Could this also become a new money earner for developing countries? Well, no. The “export quality” sewage in question is effluent from high-tech Japanese wastewater treatment plants.

An innovative trade experiment will take place in the autumn of 2010. Australian ships with iron ore for Japan, will return, not with seawater in their ballast tanks, but with highly treated sewage water.

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South Africa: Paying the price for mining

WONDERFONTEINSPRUIT , 15 February 2008 (IRIN) – One legacy of South Africa’s extensive mineral deposits is the infrastructure and wealth of the country. But another more troubling legacy is emerging as an increasingly urgent problem: environmental contamination – heavy metals and radioactive elements – from over 100 years of mining that could severely pollute the country’s water, affecting the food chain and citizens’ health.

The epicentre of the problem lies southwest of Johannesburg in a valley ringed by mines – both active and closed – where a small river called the Wonderfonteinspruit runs southwest from the mining town of Randfontein to Carletonville and Khutsong, and into the Mooi River, which provides water for Potchefstroom, a large university town.

Read more: IRIN, 15 Feb 2008