An environmental NGO has laid criminal charges against mining group Platmin for operating an open cast mine on the doorstep of the Pilanesberg Nature Reserve, Beeld reported on Monday.
The mine is situated in a proposed heritage park that would link the Pilanesberg and the Madikwe nature reserves with each other and create a 90km long migration route for the Big Five.
Federation for a Sustainable Environment director Mariette Liefferink said they had brought charges because the mine did not have a water licence.
According to Platmin spokeswoman Charmane Russell, the mine had a “draft water licence”.
Liefferink said the idea of a “draft water licence” was absurd.
According to the newspaper, Russell refused to provide copies of the draft licence or the environmental impact report that Platmin was legally obliged to undertake, according to the National Environmental Management Act, before they could mine, even though both were public documents.
Moremi Lesejane, the manager of park extensions at the North West Tourism and Parks Agency (NTPA), said the mining, and especially the amount of water Platmin used in the arid region, was a source of great concern.
According to Lesejane mining was inconsistent with the NTPA’s ecotourism plans for the region. He said the agency was powerless against Platmin because the mineral resources department had granted the company mining rights.