Afriforum appeals against mining rights

By Drum Digital
07 June 2012

AfriForum on Thursday appealed against the granting of an amendment to Delf Sand's mining rights.

Delf Sand had applied to the department of mineral resources for an amendment to its existing mining rights in order to extend its mine at Donkerhoek near Cullinan.

The department granted this amendment in March this year, although the mine did not have a water licence as required by law, said Reline Badenhorst, spokeswoman for AfriForum's Rayton and Cullinan branch.

AfriForum sent a letter of appeal to the department opposing the amendment.

The local community was perturbed by the "reckless manner" in which Delf Sand was mining, said Badenhorst.

"We are totally opposed to the amendment of the existing mining right," Badenhorst said.

Besides not having a water use licence, the mine was facing criminal charges for allegedly contravening the National Water Act.

The community alleged that Delf Sand had illegally mined in a wetland and perennial river, had taken water from a natural fountain without a licence, and conducted test blasting on a ridge without conducting a geohydrology survey beforehand.

Delf Sand was instructed last year to begin rehabilitating the affected wetland but, to date, had not done so, she charged.

Earlier this year AfriForum said it was not opposed to mining but that it would strongly oppose any illegal activities that harmed the environment.

Delf Sand owner Infrasors Holdings was not immediately available for comment.

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