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KUMBA IRON ORE BIOMONITORING

The Thabazimbi mine has been operating since 1931 and is situated approximately 250 km north of Johannesburg in the Limpopo province. Current mining activities take place in three pits using conventional opencast methods (including blasting, drilling, loading and hauling), and ore is processed through a single processing facility.

In 2013 JG Afrika was appointed to monitor the aquatic ecosystems associated with the mining operations.

The scope of service relates to the implementation of a bio-monitoring programme for the mine. The monitoring programme includes the monitoring of water and sediment quality at eight study sites along the Crocodile River and two related tributaries. In addition, habitat quality and quantity, fish community integrity, invertebrate community integrity and diatom communities are also monitored bi-annually.

JG Afrika has also assisted with the completion of annual water quality reports that are focussed on the analyses of temporal and spatial trends in water quality at numerous surface and groundwater monitoring points associated with the mining operations.

Some sampling points were accessible only by boat.

A total of 16 fish species occur in the study area.