MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Tolokuma landowners want miner to leave

Published by MAC on 2005-03-09

Tolokuma landowners want miner to leave

Postcourier, 9 March 05

Landowners at the Tolokuma gold mine want Tolokuma Gold Mines Limited, to leave.

Representatives of the Tsiodgai Peoples Association and Oyan Enda Land Group claimed that Tolokuma Gold Mines, a subsidiary of Durban Roodenport Deep (DRD), had been operating without a memorandum of agreement and as such there was no point in it renewing its exploration licence and continue mining in the area.

The landowners claimed communities around the Auga river and mine were directly affected by wastes dumped into the river.

They said the communities have not received any form of compensation for the pollution caused to the air and the river.

Chairman of the Tsiodgai Peoples Association Alex Gusi claimed there were no terms and conditions because there was no agreement between the mine and the landowners.

The landowners argued there was no point to renew the company’s exploration license and continue mining because since it began operations in 1996, there had been no infrastructure development like roads linking the Fane airstrip to Woitape, the sub district headquarters.

But Tolokuma Gold Mines said in a statement that all licences and leases for the operation of the mine are current, registered and legal.

It said the Central Provincial Government had abandoned a review of memorandum of agreement last year. The miner said it was aware of its responsibilities and whether there was an agreement in place or not, it would continue to meet its responsibilities towards the landowners.

It said the mining operation depended on the ML 104 license and should not be confused with the agreement mentioned by the landowners.

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