Davies TC, Determination of Potentially Harmful Element (PHE).pdf (3.71 MB)
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Determination of potentially harmful element (PHE) distribution in water bodies in Krugersdorp, a mining city in the West Rand, Gauteng Province, South Africa

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-01-21, 07:34 authored by Michael Shapi, Maryam Amra Jordaan, Andile Truelove Mbambo, Theophilus Clavell Davies, Emmanuel Chirenje, Mpumelelo Dube
The town of Krugersdorp in South Africa is the locus of an important wildlife game reserve, the Krugersdorp Game Reserve (KGR), which is juxtaposed by the (<1000 m) down-gradient of the large-scale gold mining outfits of Mintails Mogale Gold (MMG) and Rand Uranium (RU). The aim of the study was to determine the concentration levels of potentially harmful elements (PHEs) that have accumulated due to post-mining activities in the local water bodies in Krugersdorp and to use these data as a prerequisite and basis for formulation of the most appropriate remediation measures. Thirty water samples were collected and analysed in situ for: water temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen (mgl−1 ), dissolved oxygen (%), total dissolved solids (TDS), oxidation/reduction potential (ORP), and electrical conductivity (EC). This was later followed by laboratory analyses of aliquots of the water samples by ICP-MS for twelve PHEs whose concentration ranges were: As (0.70–32.20), Ag (0.16–105.00), Al (1.00–41.00), Co (0.07–6.16), Cr (1.60–5.00), Cu (0.80–8.00), Fe (23.00–117.00), Mn (0.14–12 255.00), Ni (0.20–7.00), Pb (0.80–6.30), V (1.90–55.20), and Zn (2.20–783.00). Areas of the town where excessive concentration levels of these elements have negatively impacted the health of its wildlife population and surrounding ecosystems are identified, and credible mitigation measures proffered.


This research was funded by the 2013 Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA)/IGCP/UNESCO Project 606 grant. Further support for this work came from the Centre for Geological and Mining Research, Garoua, Cameroon, as well as the Research Directorate and the Faculty of Natural Sciences of Mangosuthu University of Technology, South Africa.