Transvaal Gold Mining Estates (TGME, under Stonewall Mining) has applied for an amendment to its existing mining right 83MR (originally granted in 2013) in the Pilgrims Rest area of the upper Blyde Catchment from its current form of underground mining to opencast mining (contour haul back mining). In conjunction with this it has also applied for a Water Use Licence. The extent of this proposed project has triggered a new Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process, which has just recently started. Two opencast mines are proposed, one to be located directly adjacent to the Blyde River and the 2nd 170m from the river. The first would measure ca. 3,5 x 1,2 km and the second ca. 2 x 0,7 km, both on very steep mountain slopes in full view of Pilgrim’s Rest town.
We are seriously concerned about the potential water, socio-economic, and biodiversity impacts that this might have for the whole of the Blyde, as well as the Lower Olifants Catchment. Please follow us for updates and progress, we will be sharing details soon on how you can get involved in the EIA process.