The role of quantity surveying in the rehabilitation of South Africa's asbestos mines

By mahlokoane percy ngwato

Global programme management and construction consultancy Turner & Townsend is providing quantity surveying expertise as part of a government programme to close and rehabilitate 660 abandoned asbestos mines and shafts in South Africa.

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 on-going government programme.

So far, Turner & Townsend has provided quantity surveying services  for nine abandoned asbestos mines across the region with three of them now closed, and is involved with further six sites, and more potential projects are in the pipeline.

Gordon Bulmer, Senior Quantity Surveyor for Turner & Townsend, said: “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.”

“The projects vary in complexity, therefore a key requirement of being awarded the bid for the asbestos mines was our ability to provide the highest standard of quantity surveying expertise in a flexible and agile way.  SRK Consulting’s confidence in our professionalism is testimony of our global reputation in this field.

“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.”

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