oa Civil Engineer in South Africa - The Bafokeng disaster and its legal implications : the failure of a slimes dam at Bafokeng

Volume 21, Issue 6
  • ISSN : 0009-7845



Bafokeng South Mine, one of Union Corporation's Impala group of platinum mines, lies in Bophuthatswana, about 20 km north of Rustenburg in the western Transvaal. Platinum group metals are extracted from ores of the Merensky reef mined at relatively shallow depths. The hard mined ore is milled to rock flour for extraction of the precious metals and the residue, mixed with water, is pumped to tailings or slimes dams from which any recovered water is recirculated. South African practice for the construction of slimes dams was developed on the Witwatersrand for the disposal of gold mining slimes and, with minor modifications, has been adopted on the platinum mines.

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