Mintails has been told by the South African Department of Mineral Resources to temporarily suspend its open cut operations.
Following notification Mintails has halted mining activities at its open cut hard rock mine “pending assessment of the contents of the notices and addressing the issues contained therein,” it said in a company statement.
While the miner did not elaborate why it has been ordered to halt operations, it did state that it “believes it have been compliant with all relevant regulations”.
It went on to say it “will continue to work with the DMR and officials to ensure full compliance”.
According to SA DMR spokesperson Ayanda Shezi "the holder of the right, West Wits Monarch, and Mintails, were found to have breached sections of both the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act and the Mine Health and Safety Act, and thus was in contravention of its right to mine".
These infringements are believed to include a lack of warning signs around the operation to prevent unauthorised access as well as the proximity of major power lines to its highwall.
Shezi added that Mintails has not implemented its approved social and labour plan.
Mintails will continue to process its stockpiled materials and tailings, as it doesn’t fall within the suspension notification.
There is no word on how it will affect the miner’s push underground.
The miner added that it is also the subject of “a semi-urgent court interdict being applied for by the Premiere of Gauteng,” adding “it is a legal matter and as such will be dealt with by our attorneys who have been instructed to defend the action”.
“The [legal] application has further linked the Minister of Mineral Resources and the Minister of Water Affairs and as such we are unable to add additional comment presently.”
With Marg Clark.