Thabo Mothibi, Managing Editor, email@example.com
PRESS RELEASE • PETRA DIAMONDS / KEM-JV • 31 MAY 2018
VIOLENCE AGAINST MINE SECURITY BY ILLEGAL MINERS – GREENPOINT, KIMBERLEY, SOUTH
Over the course of the last week, a number of incidents of violence by a small group of illegal miners in the Greenpoint area in Kimberley (“the Greenpoint illegal miners”) directed at Kimberley Ekapa Mining JV (“KEMJV” or “the Mine”) Mine Security in an attempt to reinvade land from which they were recently evicted. It is particularly concerning and alarming that children are being involved, or tacitly allowed to participate, in these attacks and therefore the Mine engaged with local authorities over the past weeks to highlight concerns and risks surrounding this issue and to request support.
The Greenpoint illegal miners are to be distinguished from those artisanal miners with which KEM JV has successfully reached a landmark settlement in relation to territories and resources in the northern and eastern parts of Kimberley (“the Artisanal Miners”).
The recent confrontations relate to the Greenpoint illegal miners demanding a similar dispensation as the Artisanal Miners. The Greenpoint illegal miners insist on mining on Tailing Mineral Resources (“TMRs”) adjacent to their community, and indicated that they do not wish to become part of the Artisanal Miners grouping.
A multi-stakeholder process is underway to facilitate the letting and transfer of land and the awarding of Mining Permits to a formalised structure of Greenpoint occupants in relation to KEM-JV property. Disappointingly however, this process has been delayed by factors beyond KEM-JV’s control, and the Greenpoint illegal miners have therefore resorted to violence against Mine Security.
The attacks on Mine Security have involved both adults and children throwing stones at security personnel and vehicles, as well as shooting catapults and bow-and-arrow at Mine Security personnel. Caution is specifically being taken not to retaliate against these children; authorities have been consulted and requested to address this problem, which is primarily a social one, but this has thus far not had any positive effect in limiting or preventing their participation.
KEM-JV wishes to confirm that a confrontation involving both adults and children took place between Greenpoint illegal miners and Mine Security yesterday, Wednesday 30 May 2018. It is alleged that an eight year old child was hit by a rubber bullet during this confrontation, however, we await formal confirmation of the cause of injury as this has not yet been received.
This incident is currently being fully investigated internally on a high level. This includes the taking of statements from the Mine Security personnel involved and review of all evidence. In addition, an investigation regarding this incident in collaboration with relevant authorities is also ongoing. We trust that the Greenpoint illegal miners will take the necessary steps to prevent a reoccurrence of incidents of this kind.
KEM-JV wishes to reiterate its support for the creation of a formalised and regulated Artisanal Mining sector in South Africa, as evidenced by the structure which led to the landmark agreement reached with the artisanal miners in the northern areas of Kimberley. The associated illegal behaviour being exhibited by the Greenpoint group with the hope of forcing such an agreement can however not be condoned, and we reserve the right to take necessary action to protect our personnel and property against attacks and illegal re-invasion of land.
Communications Manager: Operations
KEM-JV is an unincorporated Joint Venture between Petra Diamonds Ltd, Ekapa Minerals (Pty) Ltd and Super
Stone Mining (Pty) Ltd.
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