A number of applications for prospecting rights on over 3 000 hectares of land in the Hartbeespoort and surrounding areas have suddenly surfaced and residents and conservation groups are lobbying to halt the proposed mining activities.
Residents are urged to urgently lodge objections as interested and affected parties in an attempt to stop the proposed prospecting for chrome and platinum.
The areas earmarked for prospecting are portions of the farms De Rust and Hartbeesfontein, including large areas of the Magaliesberg Biosphere, even a part of the Hartbeespoort Dam, as well as Silkaatsnek and Schietfontein in De Wildt.
According to an application by BIOMED Projects and Supplies (Pty) Ltd Consultants the proposed prospecting activities will be undertaken on Farm De Rust 478 JQ and Farm Hartebeesfontein 445JQ, covering an area of 3308.26 Hectares (ha). The proposed activities will include both invasive and non-invasive phases that will take place within a period of 5 years. Areas affected in this application by are amongst others Kosmos Ridge, Kommandonek up to Leopard Lodge, as well as a large area north of the R513 behind Seasons Leisure Gold Spa up to the N4.
A large part of the activities is to take place in the Magaliesburg Biosphere protected area. There is even an area earmarked in the Hartbeespoort Dam!
In a separate application, Tshime Holdings (Pty) Ltd has submitted an application for prospecting rights on 190 hectares on Silkaatsnek, north of the R513, in order to prospect for chrome and platinum. Yet another company, Strata Innovations, applied for a mining permit on the same property at the same time.
A public participation meeting was held for this application where it was determined that farm owners of some of the affected areas were not informed about the application.
Yet another prospecting application by Rising Aspects (Pty) Ltd was approved in the Schietfontein area in De Wildt. Landowners are appealing the decision. What is concerning is that prospecting has been approved on portions of land that was not included in the original application for prospecting rights.
None of the above applications were published in local newspapers.
Landowners and residents in the affected areas in De Rust and Hartbeesfontein are urged to urgently register and object as interested and affected parties (I&AP) before 28 February. Contact Shonisani Selahle on 011 026 2560 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register as an I&AP.