South32-Integration of the Environmental Management Programme for The Mamatwan Mine and Middleplaats Mine, Northern Cape

09 November 2023 | Client: Hotazel Manganese Mines (Pty) Ltd

Hotazel Manganese Mines (Pty) Ltd (HMM) holds a Mining Right and Environmental Management Programme (EMPr) for the opencast manganese mine known as Mamatwan Mine (MMT), which is operated by South32 (Pty) Limited (South32), and the mothballed underground mine known as the Middelplaats Mine (Middelplaats). The MMT and Middelplaats Mines are located approximately 25 km to the south of the town Hotazel, in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District Municipality and Joe Morolong Local Municipality of the Northern Cape Province of South Africa.

The MMT Mine is an opencast mining operation which targets the shallower manganese deposits of the Hotazel Formation and has been operational since 1964. The Middelplaats Mine is a mothballed underground manganese mine which was closed in the 1980s and is at present flooded. The mine is currently not operational but limited mining-related activities take place in terms of the recently granted and executed Mining Right to HMM in November 2021. As part of its on-going mine planning, HMM plans to operate MMT and Middelplaats as one entity where the ore mined at Middelplaats will be processed at the MMT sinter plant. The similarities in the ore allow both mines' ore to be processed into the same product and dispatched from the Mamatwan rail load-out station.

HMM is planning to integrate the Middelplaats Mining Right (30/5/1/2/2/10017 MR) and associated Environmental Management Programme (EMPr) which was executed on 24 November 2021, with the Mamatwan Mining Right and associated EMPr, which is a converted mining right (NC5/3/2/629) which was executed on 21 November 2005 (hereafter referred to as the Proposed Project). In this regard, HMM is proposing that the host mining right is the Mamatwan Mining Right where the Middelplaats Mining Right will be integrated into the Mamatwan Mining Right, and the Middelplaats Mining Right, as a stand-alone mining right, be abandoned.

In terms of Section 102 of the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002 (No. 28 of 2002) (MPRDA), a Mining Right and EMPr may not be amended or varied without the written consent of the Minister of Mineral Resources (Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE)). The Proposed Project also requires environmental authorisation and an amendment to the mine’s current EMPr as the project includes activities listed under the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, 2014 (GN R 982 of 2014) (EIA Regulations, 2014), specifically for infrastructure and activities linked to the Middelplaats Mine. Under the National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (No. 107 of 1998) (NEMA) listed activities are prohibited from commencing until written authorisation is obtained from the Competent Authority, which in this case is the DMRE.

A Scoping and Environmental Impact Assessment (S&EIA) Process is required to integrate the MMT and Middelplaats EMPrs in terms of the EIA Regulations, 2014. In this regard, SLR Consulting (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd (SLR) has been appointed by HMM to manage the S&EIA process.

The Scoping Report was made available for 30 days and submitted to the DMRE for decision making purposes. The DMRE accepted the Scoping Report on 2 August 2023.


Public Review

Notice is hereby given, in terms of the EIA Regulations, 2014 promulgated under NEMA, that the EIA and EMPr prepared for the above-mentioned project has been made available for a 30-day public review and comment period from 16 November 2023 to 8 January2024.

Should you and/or your organisation wish to comment on any aspect of the EIA and EMPr, comments should be forwarded to SLR at the email address and telephone number shown above. For comments to be included in the EIA and EMPr prepared for the decision-making purposes, they should reach SLR by no later than 8 January 2024.

By providing your personal information to submit a comment, you will be included in the SLR an Interested and Affected Party (I&AP) database, and you consent to SLR managing your information in accordance with the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013. It is assumed that as an I&AP for this Project you authorise SLR to retain and use your Personal Information as part of a contact database for this and/or other Social and Environmental Impact Assessments (ESIA) and that you confirm your acceptance for SLR to contact you regarding this and/or other ESIA processes. SLR will not process your Personal Information, other than as permitted or required by ESIA processes, or as required by law or public policy. SLR will use reasonable, appropriate security safeguards to protect Personal Information, and to reasonably prevent any damage to, loss of, or unauthorised access or disclosure of Personal Information, other than as required for ESIA processes or as required by any Law or public policy. You may request for your Personal Information to be deleted from the I&AP database at any time by contacting SLR.

Environmental Impact Assessment Report

Appendix A - Existing Authorisations

Appendix B - EAP Experience

Appendix C - Geochemistry Assessment

Appendix D - Detailed Impact Assessment

Appendic E - Public Consultation

Appendix F - Soil, Land Use and Land Capability Assessment

Appendix G - Biodiversity Assessment

Appendix H - Groundwater Assessment

Appendix I - Air Quality Assessment

Appendix J - Noise Assessment

Appendix K - Heritage Assessment

Appendix L - Palaeontological Desktop Assessment

Appendix M - Closure Report

Appendix N - Sustainability Policy