Media releases

DRDGOLD and TCTA agree terms on acid mine drainage

07 December 2012

Johannesburg, South Africa. 7 December 2012. DRDGOLD Limited (DRDGOLD; JSE, NYSE: DRD) announced today that three of its subsidiary companies – collectively the Ergo Group – have entered into heads of agreement with Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA), aimed at laying a foundation for a self-sustainable solution to acid mine drainage (AMD) in the Central Witwatersrand Basin.

TCTA, acting through directives issued by the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs and the Department of Water Affairs, is to construct pumping and treatment facilities to intercept rising AMD, and to prevent it from reaching the so-called ‘environmental critical level’.

In terms of the heads of agreement, the Ergo Group grants TCTA:

  • access to land for the construction of a water treatment plant;
  • access to the South West Vertical Shaft of East Rand Proprietary Mines Limited (ERPM) to construct and operate a pump station to pump AMD to surface;
  • the right to construct a sludge pipeline, using servitudes owned by Ergo Group members;
  • shared use of an Ergo Group residue pipeline; and
  • partial use of the Ergo tailings dams for the deposition of up to 4 167m³ of sludge per day, emanating from the water treatment plant.

Also, in terms of the heads of agreement, Ergo Mining Operations (Pty) Limited (EMO), a member of the Ergo Group, has an option, at its election, to acquire from TCTA, for its operations, up to 30 mega litres of untreated or partially treated AMD per day.

DRDGOLD CEO Niël Pretorius said: “While these heads of agreement should not be seen as an unqualified endorsement of the State’s AMD solution, and do not affect our right to either challenge future directives or to implement our own initiatives should it become necessary, they are an encouraging development. In particular if the spirit of cooperation that led to its conclusion is taken into the implementation and management of the project, this initiative has every chance of success”.


South Africa & North America

James Duncan, Russell and Associates
+27 11 880 3924 (office)
+27 82 892 8052 (mobile)

United Kingdom/Europe
Investor and Media Relations
Phil Dexter, St James's Corporate Services
+44 20 7499 3916 (office)
+44 779 863 4398 (mobile)


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