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Cancel approval of Jagersfontein open-pit backfilling – geologist

23 september 2022
South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA)’s decision to allow the backfilling of the Jagersfontein diamond mining pit with waste from a second compartment of the tailings dam to avoid another dam wall collapse has been opposed.
Mining Weekly quoted Youssef Diamonds Liberia chief geologist and Florida International University earth and environmental sciences research professor Stephen Haggarty as saying that the backfilling will destroy the heritage site.
“I find it incredulous that a heritage site will be destroyed by a foreign-supported mining company,” he was quoted as saying. 
“That is an absolute disgrace.”
Stargems bought the mine and the surrounding dry tailings dumps last April and remain the owner and operator through its South African subsidiary Jagersfontein Developments.
Jagersfontein Developments made five applications over the past decade with the SAHRA seeking consent to store liquid mine waste in the pit rather than the dam.
Its most recent application was lodged last month.
The Department of Water and Sanitation authorised the immediate pumping of slime from the second compartment of the tailings dam into the pit on September 12, which saw SAHRA giving a green light to the backfilling on September 15.
Jagersfontein Developments’ previous approval to backfill the historical pit in June 2013 was withdrawn after the Jagersfontein Community Trust appealed the decision in 2014. 

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished