January 20, 2018

Rehabilitation of 660 abandoned asbestos mines underway in South Africa

The South African government has appointed Turner & Townsend to provide quantity surveying services as part of a major programme to close and rehabilitate some 660 abandoned asbestos mines and shafts in various regions around the country, according to Gordon Bulmer, senior quantity surveyor at Turner & Townsend.

Says Bulmer: “It is a privilege to work on projects of this nature and scale, which will make a difference to the health and safety of communities and the environments surrounding the mines. Apart from the well-researched health issues of asbestosis, a chronic lung disease, some of the mines are located next to water courses which pose further environmental and health risks,” says Bulmer.

While each mine site is different, the quantity surveyor in this particular government rehabilitation programme plays a key role – both in terms of advance planning as well as control or containment of costs throughout the projects, Bulmer explains.

“We are involved in these projects from the very outset when the engineer draws up the preliminary design, from the point of preparing the tender document and putting a price to it for budgeting purposes, and again to financially manage the project. This includes making monthly payment assessments, evaluating any changes in design or unexpected site conditions, through to final project completion,” says Bulmer.

The rehabilitation programme falls under the Department of Mineral Resources, which appointed Mintek – a global leader in minerals processing and metallurgical engineering products and services – to provide the professional project management.

SRK Consulting has taken the engineering design lead on these projects over the past three years, as a sub-contractor to Mintek, delivering the conceptual design, final design, quality control and project management. Chosen for its international track record and world-leading expertise, Turner & Townsend has been selected by SRK as one of the teams supporting the ongoing government programme.




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