Thousands of people face evacuation from greater Johannesburg in the Gauteng province – the economic heartland of South Africa – due to toxic sludge from abandoned gold mines laced with high radiation levels.
Acid mine water, the result of groundwater flowing through underground shafts, is decanting from an old uranium mine and rising by half a metre a day beneath the city of 7 million people. Mass evacuation of informal settlements is one of several recommendations in a government-commissioned plan drafted in June to deal with 380 acid mine dumps – many of them radioactive.
Uranium is often mined as a byproduct of gold in South Africa and it is estimated that some 800 kilometres of tunnels exist underneath Gauteng left over from more than century of underground mining.
Business Times reported on Saturday a peer-reviewed report by Anthony Turton, a prominent South African water scientist, reveals that radiation levels at Tudor Shaft suggest that the country faces a
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