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July 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- VIASPACE Inc. (OTCQB: VSPC) today announced that VIASPACE partner Selectra CC and the Harmony Gold Mining Company Limited of
South Africa made a formal announcement of Harmony's implementation of the first bioenergy project on mining property in
South Africa. The goal of the project is to grow energy crops---sugar beets and Giant King Grass--on contaminated mine affected lands in order to restore and rehabilitate the land. Gold-mining is a very large industry in
South Africa and there are thousands of acres of mine tailings and mine affected land that need to be restored. The announcement was made by Mr.
Leonard Rootman of Harmony Gold Mining Company Limited and Mr. Dwight Rosslee of Selectra at the Renewables and Mining Summit held in
Johannesburg, South Africa.
Harmony is the third largest gold mining company in
South Africa, and the 5th largest gold producer in the world. Harmony is a publicly listed company on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, the Berlin Stock Exchange, and the New York Stock Exchange.
The project is described in detail in an editorial by
Meghan Sapp published on
July 14, 2014 on
sugaronline.com. The two energy crops included in the project are sugar beets and VIASPACE Giant King Grass. Excerpts from the editorial are reproduced below.
"The world over is full of open mines, retired mines, former mines, illegal mines and tailings. They are an eyesore. Society needed the metal, the diamonds, and the coal, but then what?... It's just dead land. But it doesn't have to be. Not now.
"A small biogas company in
South Africa has teamed up with one of the largest mining companies in the country to seriously tackle the issue of land rehabilitation and energy security all in one go.
"What began as an idea and then an enormously successful trial to grow sugarbeet—the temperate kind, not the tropical variety—has now been extended to include Giant King Grass too. The crops are grown on the super-fine mine tailings that nothing grows on, let alone food crops, bringing value back to the land and allowing Mother Nature to do her work cleaning up the land and returning it to an agricultural state just by growing beet and Giant King Grass… Full of toxins, residues, and heavy metals doesn't sound like the most hospitable environment…