In 2010, Cabinet appointed an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) to address the serious challenges posed by AMD in the Witwatersrand Goldfields area. The IMC tasked a Technical Committee, to investigate the AMD issues. The Technical Committee subsequently appointed a team of experts, who developed and presented a draft report on AMD to Cabinet on 9 February 2011.
The report identified three interventions for the treatment of AMD. An immediate intervention to neutralise acid water already decanting from the Western Basin, a short term intervention, pumping water from the Western, Central and Eastern Basins to prevent surface decant and to neutralise this water before release into the environment and a long term intervention which includes the neutralisation of acid and removal of salts from AMD water this intervention is currently being investigated by the Department of Water Affairs (DWA) and does not form part of the scope of this project. The immediate and short term interventions are to be the first phases of the long term intervention for AMD. The immediate and short term interventions are the subject of this BID and the required EIA for the proposed project.
The IMC experts report indicated that interventions are urgently required as prevention of AMD decant from the mining basins is considered of national importance. As part of a national mitigation strategy, DWA subsequently issued TCTA with a directive to act as the agent to plan, design and implement immediate and short term measures to manage and control AMD in the Western, Central and Eastern Basins of the Witwatersrand Goldfields.