update


Community puts its foot down against new mining project

West Wits Mining areas. Photo:Lungi Ndimande

 

West Wits Mining intends applying for mining rights in the area of Roodepoort alongside Main Reef Road/ Albertina Sisulu Road, and the community is not pleased, because of the negative impact it will have on them.

On the evening of 4 April, West Wits representatives held a community meeting at the NG Kerk in Witpoortjie. During the meeting, they stated that they intend to apply for mining rights from the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR). The mining right will enable them to mine for gold, uranium, silver, sandstone and aggregate. These resources will be accessed through a combination of underground and opencast mining activities.

Community member Mduduzi Jack. Photo: Lungi Ndimande.

Read the initial article here: Mining contract applied for on Albertina Sisulu/ Main Reef Road

According to West Wits Operational Manager, Eddie Milne, prior to the granting of the mining right for the proposed project, a Scoping and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process must be conducted. In addition to the application for the mining right, West Wits is also going to apply for a waste management licence and a water usage licence.

Ward 84 councillor, Gert Niemand,

During the meeting it was also mentioned that the opencast mining activities would include conventional open pit mining operations of load and haul, including the option not to blast but to predominantly engage in rock-breaking, using modern methods and equipment to minimise noise levels.

It is anticipated that up to 360 000 tonnes of ore (an ore is a naturally occurring solid material from which a metal or valuable mineral can be extracted profitably) would be mined per annum from the opencast and underground resources. Ore will be transported off-site for processing. Excess material will be crushed and trucked off site.

West Wits Operational Manager Eddie Milne. Photo: Lungi Ndimande

Apparently after the mining areas have been utilised for the period of five years, they will be rehabilitated and stabilised, and the land will be made available for housing development or for agricultural purposes.

Should DMR approve the mining right, the open cast mine will be constructed on the strip of the land alongside Main Reef Road/ Albertina Sisulu Road, next to the suburbs of Florida Lake, Hamberg, Georginia, Creswell Park, the Roodepoort CBD, Matholesville and Witpoortjie.

Community member Themba Gwabe. Photo: Lungi Ndimande.

The community had the opportunity to raise their concerns and questions after the meeting.

Mathews van Rooyen addressed the matter, saying that the community of Davidsonville is already suffering from the mine dumps around them, so they cannot agree to another mine.

Property owner, Pat Erasmus said, “What impact will this mine have on the walls and underground of my house?”

Mduduzi Jack said, “There is a lot of unemployment in Roodepoort – will this project decrease the high numbers of unemployment?”

Fuad Erentzen said, “I want to warn the community not to be sweet-talked by this mining company, because all they want is to make money, leaving the community with nothing but health hazards. Say NO to mining.”

Ward councillors Gert Niemand, René Benjamin, Caleb Finn and Ingrid Reinten attended the meeting, and shared their concerns about the air quality and the negative impact this new mine will have on the community.

Map showing where the mines will be placed. Photo: Lungi Ndimade.

West Wits representatives noted all concerns and questions from the community and said that they will be addressed at the next meeting, which is still to be announced.

If you are an interested or affected party and you wish to provide your input into this matter, please contact Marline Medallie or Clive Phashe on 011 467 0945 or email them at [email protected].

Do you perhaps have more information pertaining to this story? Email us at [email protected] (remember to include your contact details) or phone us on 011 955 1130.

For free daily local news on the West Rand, also visit our sister newspaper websites 

Randfontein Herald

Krugersdorp News 

Get It Joburg West Magazine

Remember to visit our FacebookTwitter and Instagram pages to let your voice be heard!

  AUTHOR
Lungi Ndimande
Journalist

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