The South African Police Service’s illicit mining task team unit has successfully closed down an illegal coal mine operating in Carolina, Mpumalanga.
This significant operation resulted in the seizure of mining equipment worth R60 million and coal worth R12 million. These actions demonstrate the government’s commitment to combating illegal mining activities and ensuring compliance with regulations.
The confiscated equipment included excavators, bulldozers, and dump trucks, all used in the illegal mining operation. In addition to the equipment seizure, a 53-year-old mine manager was arrested for failing to produce a valid mining permit.
This arrest sends a strong message that operating without the necessary authorization will not be tolerated.
National police spokesperson Athlenda Mathe confirmed that the mine was not licensed, making its operations illegal. She emphasized the ongoing efforts of the South African Police Service to enforce compliance in the mining sector.
In the past twelve months alone, 748 coal yards across the country have been visited to ensure adherence to regulations. Out of these, 63 unregulated coal yards were shut down for operating without proper authorization from the Department of Minerals Resources and Energy and the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment.
Mathe further highlighted the success of high-density operations in apprehending illegal miners. Since May 8, 2023, a total of 335 illegal miners have been arrested across various hotspots in the country. These operations demonstrate the government’s determination to crack down on illegal mining activities and safeguard the mining industry.
Currently, a manhunt is underway for the owner of the illegal mine in Carolina. Authorities are actively pursuing the individual responsible for operating without the required licenses and permits. This pursuit reflects the government’s commitment to holding those involved in illegal mining accountable for their actions.