Closure of Ergo
The East Rand Gold and Uranium Company (Ergo) was commissioned in 1977 to recover residual gold and uranium, as well as pyrite for the production of sulphuric acid, from slimes dams attached to old mine workings on the East Rand. Ergo was originally planned to operate for 15 years but its life was extended to 25 years in 1985 with the introduction of new technology in the form of a carbon-in-leach (CIL) process. The CIL plant at Ergo allowed for improved recovery and grade of tailings. In its heyday Ergo enjoyed a healthy financial performance, but over the last few years, the slimes dams available for treatment have had a much reduced grade and the plant?s profitability has been gradually diminishing. Losses have now reached the stage where mine closure is scheduled for the end of March 2005.
In line with national legislation a comprehensive closure plan was drawn up about four years ago which has focused on the social, economic and environmental impacts of mine closure. Consultation has been on-going with a range of stakeholders (unions and employees; suppliers and customers; local communities; interested and affected parties; local, provincial and national government and non-governmental organisations) who have been kept fully informed of closure developments. Every effort has been made to mitigate the effects of closure on stakeholders most affected by closure ? namely employees and local communities.
|Report to Society 2004|