Mines dept to assess effects of blasting as houses crack in Ogies

Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe said on Thursday that his department will undertake a technical assessment to determine the cause of the cracking of houses which are built near three coal mines in Ogies, Mpumalanga.

Mantashe on Thursday visited the Phola area where he, together with officials, conducted inspections in-loco at three mines and engaged with communities on concerns raised about blasting and air pollution caused by mines operating in the area.

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This follows concerns raised by members of the community in a meeting on Sunday about houses cracking as a result of blasting by mines around the community.

But the department said that the two mines about which complaints were raised have not commenced operating, and no blasting has occurred yet.

“Technical assessments will be undertaken to make a determination on whether cracks have been caused by blasting from mines which are already in operation, or from other activities. Furthermore, the department will be engaging with the mines to strengthen measures in place for the minimisation of dust from mining activities, where mining is already taking place.”

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Mantashe also urged the mines in Ogies to look into long-term development of the area beyond mining.

African News Agency (ANA)

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