Johannesburg
January 3, 2017 Untold Stories
Mark Olalde
South Africa has historically failed to properly regulate closure of the mines that helped build its economy. These photos chronicle the country's attempt to play catch up.
Mbolwa Divele fears a mine would endanger his way of life by destroying grazing land. Image by Mark Olalde. South Africa, 2016.
January 2, 2017 Saturday Star - IOL
Mark Olalde
Communal land rights often hamper South Africans' claims to the profits from some regions. In the villages around Xolobeni in the Eastern Cape, this battle continues over a proposed titanium mine.
coal
January 1, 2017 Inter Press Service
Mark Olalde
Abandoned mines, a shrinking minerals extraction workforce and traditional practices combine to produce small-scale miners in South Africa.
An aerial view of one of Mintails Mining South Africa (Pty) Ltd's mining rights shows extensive, unremediated mine waste. Image by Mark Olalde. South Africa, 2016.
December 26, 2016 Oxpeckers
Mark Olalde
This investigation combines print, photo, a mini documentary and a searchable dataset to explain never-before-seen data regarding mine closure certificates and financial provisions for rehabilitation...
An unremediated gold mine waste pile pollutes the area around a Mintails Mining South Africa (Pty) Ltd mining right. Image by Mark Olalde. South Africa, 2016.
December 7, 2016 The Star
Mark Olalde
For the first time, Promotion of Access to Information Act requests expose South Africa's failed mine closure system. One specific company sets an example with its choice to not properly rehabilitate...
Carletonville sinkhole
December 1, 2016 The Star
Mark Olalde
Five decades of mining on the Far West Rand outside Johannesburg contributed to the formation of more than 1,000 sinkholes. As companies abandon mines, many fear this will set off new sinkholes.
President Jacob Zuma speaks to Parliament in October about the marine economy. Courtesy: Republic of South Africa. South Africa, 2016.
November 23, 2016 Inter Press Service
Mark Olalde
Southern Africa finds itself at the center of the offshore bulk sediment mining debate as international companies rush to strip mine phosphate deposits in coastal waters of South Africa and Namibia.
The tide rolls in on the shores of Cape Town, South Africa. Prospecting rights for offshore mining cover 10 percent of the country's exclusive marine economic zone. Image by Mark Olalde. South Africa, 2016.
November 12, 2016 Oxpeckers
Mark Olalde
Offshore mining prospecting rights cover 10 percent of South Africa's marine economic zone. With the country's inability to properly close mines, a large opposition movement fears offshore mining.
David van Wyk tests water quality in streams near piles of mine waste in Riverlea. Image by Mark Olalde. South Africa, 2016.
October 16, 2016 Oxpeckers
Mark Olalde
Activists face uphill battles when they push back against mining companies. Their stories include violence, secret deals, a lack of access to information and unenforced laws.
A stream meanders through a wetland in Wakkerstroom, Mpumalanga. The region is a Strategic Water Source Area, the segments of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland that make up 8 percent of land area but account for 50 percent of water supply. Image by Mark Olalde. South Africa, 2016.
October 12, 2016 Inter Press Service
Mark Olalde
With South Africa in the midst of a historic drought, the government continues to allow ambitious prospecting for coal mines in water-sensitive areas.
High-voltage power lines carry electricity from coal-fired power plants in Mpumalanga toward Gauteng. Image by Mark Olalde. South Africa, 2016.
October 12, 2016 Oxpeckers
Mark Olalde
A controversial underground coal mine in a protected water catchment in Mpumalanga has moved closer to breaking ground after it was granted environmental authorisation and a water use licence.