Press Statement (10 January, 2014)
Following a meeting today with the community at which she listened to grievances, the Minister of Mineral Resources met with Mintails Ltd management to discuss measures to be put in place to address the complaints.
Mintails and the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) have agreed to the following steps to be implemented with immediate effect:
- · Dust and noise control:
o No blasting will be undertaken during overcast weather as this creates a greater dust and noise problem for nearby residents
o Percussion drilling will not be undertaken on a 24-hour basis, but will cease between 20:00 and 07h00
o Load-bearing trucks will be diverted to use alternative routes where stockpiles will be located away from the community
- · Safety:
o A siren will be installed and it will sound prior to each blast. The siren will be similar to sirens used in other mining communities, allowing all residents to be aware of any blasting that will be undertaken.
o The safety berm around the mining operations will be increased in height supporting the safety of community members entering inadvertently into the mining area as well as supporting the reduction of noise travelling due to the mining operations.
Inspectors from the DMR regularly inspect Mintails’ operations and compliance and as part of their regulatory monitoring will ensure that the above measures are undertaken.
The mine has not been asked by the DMR to cease any of its operations.
Regarding the existing damage to property, the DMR will appoint independent technical experts to ascertain the cause of the damage and to what extent this is a result of mining activities. Mintails would like to reiterate its commitment to make good any impairment which is found to have been caused by the mining operations. We are pleased that a scientific route will be used to make an objective determination in this regard.
In addition to the measures listed above, the mine will video and capture seismic data for each blast to ensure that it is complying with the law as well as to ascertain the potential for the blasting to cause damage to permanent structures such as houses.
It has been alleged that Ward Councillors and/or members of the Mogale City municipality and district have been given shares in Mintails. We wish to place on record that none of these allegations are correct. Our share register is open for inspection at any time.
Mintails continues to be compliant with all regulatory requirements including consultation and engagements with communities in presenting their mining operations and potential impacts to the communities. Representation on the engagements with communities has been with Mogale City councilors in attendance.
We would like to thank the Minister and DMR Officials for the constructive role that they are playing in helping to resolve these issues and we will continue to giveall parties our full cooperation as we monitor the situation.