Comment: Sedibelo Platinum Mine

Written by  Sunday, 19 July 2015 05:25
Rate this item
(0 votes)

The Applicant is Itereleng Bakgatla Mineral Resources (Pty) Ltd (Ibmr), now Pilanesberg Platinum Mine (PPM). On the 13th of February 2014, ministerial consent was granted in terms of Section 11 of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 28 of 2002, ceding the IBMR Mining Right to PPM.

We object for the following reasons:
The EIA/EMP for Sedibelo was approved in 2008 and the EIA/EMP included:
• An open pit and underground mine
• Decline and ventilation shafts,
• A tailings storage facility
• A waste rock dump
• Topsoil stockpiles
• Run-of mine pads
• Explosives magazine,
• Concentrator plant
• Contractors laydown area
• Solid and hazardous waste skips and transfer areas,
• Workshops
• Fuel bays, etc.
The above-mentioned application includes:
• The enlarging of the open pit
• The repositioning/redesigning of the approved surface infrastructure to cater for additional mineralised waste
• Additional infrastructure
• Increase in the capacity of the approved sewage treatment plant
The Executive Summary in terms of the EIA/EMP Report lists the following potential impacts associated with the project:
1. Loss of soil resources and land capability
2. Physical destruction of biodiversity
3. Loss of water resources as an ecological driver
Impacts associated with the loss of water resources as an ecological driver as a result of the mine relates to changes in hydrology, including the potential ecological impact on the groundwater that contributes to sources/systems as well as the endorheic pans – springs and pannetjies within the north western boundary of the Pilanesberg National Park, 7 km south west from the centre of the Sedibelo pit)
4. Contamination of surface water resources
5. Alteration of natural drainage lines
6. Dewatering
7. Contamination of groundwater
Many communities surrounding the study area rely on groundwater alone for their basic water requirements. There is no surface water storage in the area. Although the villages located on the northern rim of the Pilanesberg National Park are connected to Magalies Water infrastructure they are often without potable water . Villages located further to the north and north west of the study area rely solely on groundwater.

We here interpose: If left unmanaged, the current struggle by the above-mentioned communities to have access to sufficient water – a constitutional right – represents a real potential for conflict. If communities remain without access to potable water and the Applicant continues to divert river systems and modify the water table without consequence, social unrest and protests will escalate.

8. Air pollution
9. Visual impacts
10. Loss of conservation and eco-tourism land use
The significance of the above-mentioned impacts is listed as high. Due to the extensive regional impacts of mining within this area of highest and high biodiversity importance and on the water resources, they may not have the resilience to withstand any further impacts. This means that the proposed mitigation and management measures must be implemented rigorously with no compromise. We express little or no confidence, based on historical evidence, that mitigation measures will be implemented or adequately implemented.

Read the full objection (18 pages) by downloading the document.


Ransacked Gold Mine Venture Reboots

South African mining veteran Peter Skeat is pressing ahead with plans to squeeze more gold out of an 80-year-old ransacked gold mine west of Johannesburg after settling a dispute with three former partners.

Coal Mines leave a legacy of ruin

Oxpeckers publishes never-before-seen data exposing the lack of mine closures, d...

Tours of West Rand gold fields

The FSE conducts regular tours with interested and affected parties, of the West...


LLM/MPhil in Environmental Law Programme launched

  The Department of Public Law at the University of Pretoria hosted a launch of its LLM and MPhil programmes in Environmental Law, coordinated by Ms Melanie Murcott, Senior Lecturer, Environmental and Administrative Law, in February 2017.

Water Show

The FSE will be presenting at a keynote panel discussion at "The Water Show Africa" on the 29th of March.

Lauded for research on SA acid mine drainage

The launch of Acid mine drainage in South Africa: Development actors, policy impacts and broader implications, by Suvania Naidoo, took place on 10 February 2017. The book has proven to be a timely publication because of the incipient water crisis in South Africa. The event was hosted by Unisa’s Department of Development Studies in the College of Human Sciences. The guests were welcomed by the chair of the department, Prof Gretchen du Plessis, who expressed that “development studies is an ever-changing discipline and is a space where different issues converge”. She further stated that the book fills a void in our knowledge about acid mine drainage (AMD) and that the publication is “an example of hard work which results in big achievements”.

Truth of the dust that brings death

  A new hard-hitting report from Harvard Law School details how South Africa has failed to meet its human rights obligations concerning gold mining in and around Joburg. Bonnie Docherty, who led the research, spoke to Sheree Bega


Eastern Basin acid water plant is "sledgehammer"

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has used a "sledgehammer" for its R1bn treatment plant for acid mine drainage (AMD) on the Eastern mining basin that could ultimately create more toxic water.  This is the view of water strategy and consulting mining hydrologist Kym Morton, who believes government is "wasting money" by pumping large volumes of water and adding lime that makes it alkaline but still toxic and hazardous. 

SABC Health Talk, Environmental Health: 25 February 2017

Focus on preventing illness rather than incurring the expense of treatment....

Rand Water tightens the taps in Gauteng

In the Midvaal suburb where Sipho Mosai lives, the gardens are lush and green be...