Question NW235 to the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy
10 March 2023 - NW235
Van Dyk, Ms V to ask the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy
(1)Whether, with reference to his reply to question 3945 on 5 January 2023, he will enforce rehabilitation as the dust pollution is affecting the quality of life of the residents; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (a) on what date will the operation start and (b) what are the processes that the residents can expect from his department to address the heavy dust pollution in Koingnaas that has escalated due to drought and wind in the area; (2) (a) what are the details of the (i) date and (ii) outcomes and/or recommendations of the inspection of the slime dams in Koingnaas, (b) who conducted the inspection and (c) on what date is it envisaged that another inspection will take place, since residents are suffering under the dust pollution?
1. (a) Rehabilitation of the old De Beers slime dams had started; however the rehabilitation is currently on hold due to West Coast Resources being placed on provisional liquidation (and now on business rescue). A section/portion of the slime dams is covered with >40mm material, therefore the dust emanating from those slimes is no longer as extreme as it used to be.
(b) It is DMRE’s responsibility to ensure that mining of mineral resources is done in a sustainable and environmentally sound manner and that the health of communities are not compromised. The Department will conduct regular audit inspections at the WCR operation to ensure full compliance with the issued Environmental Authorisation and the approved EMPR.
2. (a) (i) The last site inspections were conducted on 02 August 2022 & 21 September 2021. (ii) DMRE together with the Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform (DAERL) as the regulating authority for Air Emission Licenses (AEL) in the NC conducted an inspection at WCR on 02 August 2022. On the day of the inspection there was little to no activity on site, site visit was undertaken in the windiest month of the year and still little to no dust emissions were observed.
(b) Two officials from the Department were part of the team that conducted the last inspection.
(c) The next inspection will take place during the course of March 2023.