Climate change serious challenge for mining industry

A SCARCE RESOURCE Water shortages create an increased level of competition for this resource among mines, government and local communities.

Climate change and population growth have significant potential to be destabilising factors in Africa and can affect water sources, agricultural land and subsistence farming adversely, resulting in population displacement.

Moreover, the water-intensive African mining industry could be greatly affected, independent consultancy SRK Consulting tells Mining Weekly.

SRK principal consultant and social scientist Lisl Fair states that, according to the 2018 Climate Change Vulnerability Index by research firm Verisk Maplecroft, nine of the ten countries that are most vulnerable toextreme weather are in sub-Saharan Africa.

“The Minerals Council South Africa has warned that the local mining sector is fast approaching a deficit in terms of the demand for water and the available supply,” says SRK partner and principal mining engineer Marcin Wertz.

Water shortages are accompanied by an increased level of competition for this resource among mines, government and local communities. “Merely holding the necessary permits related to water use will no longer be sufficient,” SRK partner and principal consultant Andrew van Zyl tells Mining Weekly.

Authors: Lisl Fair | Principal Consultant and Social Scientist  / Marcin Wertz | Partner and Principal Mining Engineer | Andrew van Zyl | Partner and Principal Consultant | Jessica Edwards | Senior Social Scientist | Ashleigh Maritz | Senior Environmental Scientist

SRK Africa