Shabangu intervenes to calm nerves around Mintails mine

The department of mineral resources (DMR) has intervened in the fracas that has risen in and around mining operations of Australian Stock Exchange listed firm Mintails and communities surrounding the opencast mining operation in Kagiso, west of Johannesburg.

This is after a protest movement formed around Mintails operations in Kagiso. Residents neighbouring the Mintails opencast mine have accused the mining company of causing damage to their properties and the general environment. This has disturbed operations of the gold mining firm.

Talk of legal action from community stakeholders and a demand for the DMR to shut down the mine had entered the volatile landscape. Last week saw protesters on a rampage and engaging in running battles with the police.

Mintails released a statement at the weekend saying it has agreed with the minister of mineral resources, Susan Shabangu, to put in place measures to address complaints from the community. This came after the minister held a meeting with the community and separately with the company.

The company said in its meeting with the minister it was agreed that certain steps must be taken to address community concerns.

These steps touched on a number of key themes including dust and noise control. On this theme, the firm said it was agreed that “No blasting will be undertaken during overcast weather as this creates a greater dust and noise problem for nearby residents.”
It was also agreed that “Percussion drilling will not be undertaken on a 24-hour basis, but will cease between 20:00 and 07h00.”

Load-bearing trucks will be diverted to use alternative routes where stockpiles will be located away from the community.”
The firm also said that inspectors from the DMR will regularly inspect Mintails’ operations and compliance and as part of their regulatory monitoring will ensure that the measures agreed upon are undertaken.

The firm said “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.”

The company further noted that “It has been alleged that Ward Councilors 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.”

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