JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – A strong call has been made for illegal mining in the area of the R2.5-billion Mogale Tailings Retreatment project on Gauteng’s West Rand to be brought to a halt.
“It will not be tolerated on our site,” Pan African Resources CEO Cobus Loots has made clear. (Also watch attached Creamer Media video.)
The London Aim- and Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed gold mining company has acquired the surface area and immovable assets where its Mogale operations are situated, near Krugersdorp and Kagiso, and is reserving its rights to take the necessary legal action against any parties that hinder, obstruct or prevent access to its properties or assets.
Very positively, the creation of jobs and community development programmes will provide local youth with legitimate and sustainable opportunities, including skills development, learnerships and bursary opportunities.
“We cannot allow our people or property to be threatened, and we cannot allow communities and the environment of Mogale to continue to suffer,” he said at the sod-turning ceremony covered by Mining Weekly.
“To our government police officials, we are asking you to take our hand and assist here and together we will succeed.
"When we started looking at the Mintails project, most of our stakeholders were sceptical, as so many parties have tried and failed at this site in the past.
“To get to this point of finally breaking ground, we’ve had to endure quite a lot and it continues.
“It has taken more than three years of incredibly hard work and commitment as well as a very large financial investment by Pan African Resources.
“We’ve negotiated and concluded agreements with creditors, liquidators, lawyers, landowners, non-governmental organisations, contractors, our bankers, more than 20 legal agreements to date.
“We’ve engaged and worked with our regulators, including the Department of Minerals and Energy and the Department of Water and Sanitation, and we’ve convincingly demonstrated how this project will benefit the environment and all legitimate stakeholders.
“This project now enjoys the full support of all our legitimate stakeholders and we will not let them down.
“The site is currently barren, hostile, unable to sustain life, with a host of liabilities and hazards. Independent studies demonstrate that our operation will dramatically improve the environment here over the project’s life to the benefit of all that call this area home.
“We will re-deposit tailings on facilities complying with modern standards. As part of the project, we will also look to the sun for energy and we look forward to cooperating with the Gauteng government in this regard.
"We’ve put together the very best team to execute the project. We recognise that our work is just beginning on this site. We appreciate the construction of this project on time and on budget will not be easy. It will be very hard, and again to our other stakeholders present today, we will require your assistance.
“Many investors, both local and international, have written off South Africa as a mining investment destination.
“The eyes of the people of Krugersdorp, Kagiso, Mogale, our shareholders, potential investors, employees, regulators, contractors, suppliers, and other stakeholders are now also on our R2.5-billion project.
“We need to demonstrate that projects of this scale can be successfully constructed in South Africa. We look forward to welcoming you back to the site in a little bit over a year from now, to celebrate the successful commissioning of this world-class project,” said Loots.