The South African Mine Water Atlas is a comprehensive reference on the vulnerability of water resources to mining activity in South Africa. It shows the critical interplay between mining and water resources and is the most extensive set of documents of its kind.

The multi-layered set of maps spans all mineral provinces in South Africa with a greater level of detail in areas where mining frequently takes place. The maps chart ground and surface water resources in the provinces. This in turn is overlaid with maps of mining and mineral-refining activities, in order to understand the interactions between potential mining activities, surface and groundwater interact.

The Atlas is intended to help mining companies, investors, government departments, civil society, and students get a better understanding of the general impact of mining on water resources in different parts of the country.

The Mine Water Atlas helps people see information about the areas in which they’re active. They’ll be able to use it to see what their liabilities may be and what the focus of mitigation measures may need to be to protect water resources in their area of operation, for example, water treatment plants to ensure water discharges from the mines are of good quality and won’t damage the environment or pose a risk to public health.

Download The Mine Water Atlas User Guide 


This report has been reviewed by the Water Research Commission (WRC) and approved for publication. Approval does not signify that the contents necessarily reflect the views and policies of the WRC, nor does mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation for use. Mine Water Atlas maps are not guaranteed to be free from error or omission. Consequently, the authors and designers hold no responsibility for any inaccuracies or financial loss. The maps serve as a planning and management tool at a quaternary catchment scale. They provide context for decision making at the local and site scale; however, their application at this scale has limitations.

Web Version

The Online Mine Water Atlas

PRINT Version

The Printable version of the Mine Water Atlas

Ground Water Vulnerability Maps

The downloadable Ground Water Vulnerability Maps

Mining and Mineral Maps

The downloadable Mining and Mineral Maps

Mine Water Threat Maps

The downloadable Mine Water Threat Maps