?Greener? group set to take over mine Print E-mail
News - Aktueel
Thursday, 28 February 2013 07:45
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Pienaarspoort and Elandshoek residents have long been fighting a losing battle against what they call “the reckless way” in which mining company Delf Sand operates. It is with careful optimism that these residents heard the news that a company with a ‘greener’ reputation is set to take control of Infrasors Holding Limited, the umbrella company under which Delf Sand falls, on 1 March.

Afrimat has made an offer to acquire 50.4% of Infrasors Holdings, which will grant Afrimat control of Infrasors. The offer has been made to a number of retiring Infrasors managers and Hanchurch Asset Management, in a deal which the sellers have accepted.

According to Afrimat, the transaction was unconditionally approved by the Competition Commission on 24 October last year. The finalisation of the acquisition will be subject to approval by Afrimat’s board of directors and the JSE.

Delf Sand’s operations in Pienaarspoort

In an 18 January statement by the JSE SENS Department, an information dissemination service, Infrasors shareholders were told that Infrasors withdrew the cautionary announcements they made about this transaction, the last of which was released on SENS on 8 January.

However, SENS advised Infrasors shareholders to use their discretion when dealing in their Infrasors shares and to continue to be alert to any further Afrimat announcements. Shareholders were told that “the Infrasors board is aware of a conditional offer that has been made to certain Infrasors shareholders, which has been accepted and will result in Afrimat being the controlling shareholder of Infrasors if the proposed transaction becomes unconditional”.

Infrasors’ mining interests include the Lyttelton Centurion dolomite mine, the Marble Hall limestone mine, the Delf alluvial silica sand operation in Pienaarspoort and Delf Cullinan’s alluvial silica-mining project in Brandbach.

Infrasors is the owner of portion 63 of Brandbach 471JR. A prospecting license was granted in December 2010 despite resistance from residents.

The Brandbach Conservancy is up in arms about this kind of mining in a wetland. Members handed in an appeal against a Record of Decision (ROD) which was issued for the mining application last year and had a site visit from the MEC. The appeal documentation was available at the Rayton Library in early October.

The Brandbach project was granted a general water authorisation by the Department of Water Affairs in November. In January Infrasors announced that Delf Sand had received environmental approval from the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to allow mining, beneficiation and infrastructure development at its Delf Cullinan alluvial silica-mining project.

The environmental approval allows the Brandbach project to start with its activities, which not only include mining but also the building of water reticulation dams, access roads, buildings, air emission structures and silica beneficiation plants.

Proposed activities of Delf Cullinan’s alluvial silica-mining project in Brandbach

Afrimat stated that its intention is to take control of the Infrasors board and to implement Afrimat’s management practices and business processes throughout the group, which will include the Delf operations in Pienaarspoort and Brandbach. According to rumours, this has already started happening.
Afrimat is a black empowered open pit mining company providing construction and industrial minerals. Company policy states that Afrimat is committed to sustainable development and protecting the environment in line with regulations of the Department of Minerals and Energy.

Afrimat is aware that its activities may have an inadvertent effect on the environment in the ordinary course of projects, and the group said that it is committed to continually identifying advanced means of limiting this impact. Mine rehabilitation assessments are conducted by external consultants and provisions are raised to meet these future obligations.

Pienaarspoort residents are waiting to see what Afrimat will do about the Delf Sand problems. According to residents Delf has been involved in various illegal activities such as mining in a wetland and river, withdrawing water from a natural fountain without a licence and blasting on a code two ridge without prior geohydrological studies.


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