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Proposed Plant Expansion Project for the Pilanesberg Platinum Mine (Pty) Ltd

Written by  Sunday, 19 July 2015 07:31
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In April 2015 we were informed of the EIA/EMP report for the proposed changes to surface infrastructure at Pilanesberg Platinum Mine (DREAD REF: NWP/EIA/88/2011.  DEA REF NO: 12/9/11/L750/7).

In the recent application, we are informed of the Applicant’s proposed expansion of:
1. A mineral processing facilities to incorporate the following within the boundary of the existing processing plant
2. A hydrometallurgical plant for the extraction of PGMs and base metals;
3. An UG2 milling and flotation circuit to process ore from the SPM operation;
4. A modular tailings re-treatment plant for the extraction of PGMs, which will require the re- processing of the existing TSF;
5. A chrome recovery facility to extract chrome resources from ore produced by the Sedibelo Platinum Mines operation.

In addition to the above-mention processing facility expansion, it is planned that the following infrastructure will be established or upgraded:
• the existing sewage treatment plant will be upgraded;
• establishment of a waste storage facility at the mine and plant area;
• construction of a new training centre;
• establishment of a number of community based initiatives such as:
• aggregate crusher and brick making project

We express concern regarding the piece-meal approach by the Applicant. We hereby request that an assessment be conducted of the accumulative impacts of:
1. the current operations
2. the changes to the surface infrastructure at the Pilanesberg Platinum Mine
3. the proposed Plant Expansion

We hereby record our objection to the above-mentioned Application grounded upon the following:
1. An Environmental Management Framework (EMF) for the Pilanesberg area has not been developed.
2. A regional assessment of the impacts upon water quality and quantity has not been conducted.
In terms of the Department of Water Affairs’ Classification of Significant Water Resources in the Crocodile (West) Marico WMA and Matlabas and Mokolo Catchments: Limpopo WMA (WP 10506) Classification Report a dramatic increase in water demands is predicted as a result of:

  • Current mining activities and proposed mining activities
  • Sasol’s proposed Maphuta coal to liquid fuel projects
  • The exploitation of the vast coal reserves in the Waterberg;
  • Exxaro’s Grootegeluk Colliery (largest open cast coal mine of its kind in the world);
  • The expansion of the Grootegeluk mine to supply the new Medupi Power Station with coal; and
  • Matimba and Medupi three new Eskom power stations in the future. (Pages 3 and 4 of the Classification Report.)