Municipality answers questions regarding Bathurst Commonage sand mine proposal

ROUGH RIDING: The annual 4×4 Challenge is hed at the Bathurst Quarry each year Picture: RAILTIME PHOTOGRAPHY

Following up on our front-page story in this week’s Talk of the Town regarding the Bathurst Commonage, the municipality replied to our questions but too late for inclusion in the article.

As background, a meeting was held between a mining applicant, Bathurst residents, consultant Sicelo Botha along with other interested and affected parties on August 5 to discuss a proposed sand mine as well as a stone quarry on the Bathurst Commonage.

The intention of the meeting was to hear arguments for and against the proposed mine and Botha undertook to compile the comments made during the meeting and include these in a report to be issued to all interested and affected parties.

[Read the full story in this week’s Talk of the Town]

TotT then asked the municipality, through municipal spokesperson Cecil Mbolekwa, for clarity on a number of issues.

TotT: What is the proposed duration of this [sand mine] project?

Mbolekwa: The duration of the project is 5 years.

TotT: How many jobs will be created?

Mbolekwa: 15 direct jobs will be created and 20 indirect jobs will also be created.

TotT: Who will hold the money for the rehabilitation of the mine when mining is complete?

Mbolekwa: According to regulation 53 of mineral and resources development act 28 of 2002, the money is kept in an account specified by the Director-General of the Department of mineral resources in an account for the Department of Mineral Resources.

TotT: Can residents have sight of this procedure to ensure transparency?

Mbolekwa: Yes, the residents will always be shown the proof of payment of the rehabilitation fees paid to the Department of Mineral Resources.

TotT: Why a sand mine on the commonage? What about infrastructure? Why not mine closer to the R67? [This question was unanswered]

TotT: Reopening of the quarry. Apparently, the reopening of the Bathurst Quarry was also discussed. Has an EIA been performed?

Mbolekwa: Yes, an EIA being performed currently and relevant EIA steps are being followed and it will be finished by next month.

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