Published On: 25 May, 2023Categories: News

Pretoria – At least four Limpopo communities are breathing a sigh of relief after the Nkwe Platinum Mine, operated by global mining giant, Zijin Mining Group, handed over clean water projects to serve communities of Garatouw, Maandagshoek, De Kom, and Hoepakrantz under the Makhuduthamaga and the Fetakgomo-Tubatse Local Municipalities.

During a ceremony hosted by Nkwe Platinum Limited on Thursday, over R12m in clean water project investments which form part of the mine’s social and labour plan to the Sekhukhune District Municipality.

Zhiyu Fan, chief executive officer of Nkwe Platinum Limited said over R50m so far had been spent on its social and labour plans within the communities.

“Whilst the mine is still in construction phase, we have honoured our SLP commitments to our stakeholders including government and our mine communities. Our mission is – mining for a better society, and we stand by the values of harmony brings about wealth and balanced development of the company, its employees and the wider society,” said Zhiyu.

“We are extremely delighted to have contributed to providing our mine communities with access to clean drinking water, which is vital for survival.

“To date, Nkwe Platinum Limited has spent over R50 million on its social and labour plans. The investment included the upgrading of the Garatau community access road, as well as adult training and education, bursaries, learnerships, internships, traditional leadership training and excavator operations, which have benefited the surrounding mine communities of the Zijin Garatau Platinum Mine.”

Zijin operates in the People’s Republic of China and 13 other countries across the globe, with four mines on the African continent. In terms of its market capitalisation, it ranks in the top 10 of the world’s largest mining companies.

Zhiyu said the Zijin Garatau Platinum Mine in Limpopo is Zijin Mining Group’s flagship mine in South Africa.

“The mine is currently in construction phase, and has gone from strength to strength, over the last couple of years. Construction will take approximately five years to complete, thereafter Phase 1 production from MR reef will reach 3.4 metric tonnes/year within two years. Phase 2 production, which will take a further two years to achieve, and will increase production by another 1.8 metric tonne per year from the UG2 reef,” he said.

It will take four years after completion of the mine construction to reach peak and steady output of 5.4 metric tonnes per year.

“We look forward to the continued support from all our stakeholders including our local communities, government, and suppliers, with your support we will all achieve the success,” he said.

The water projects were initiated to provide the communities and livestock around the mine with access to clean and safe drinking water.

A total of 31 boreholes were drilled and equipped for the water supply projects across the four mining communities of Garatouw, Maandagshoek, De Kom and Hoepakrantz. The project is supported by the installation of 52 Jojo water tanks.

The clean water supply is then distributed to the communities through 92 water taps which are stationed at various strategic points to cater for both the community and the livestock.

According to Nkwe Platinum Limited, the projects support 1 742 households within the communities by providing 320 000 litres of water resources per day. Additionally, the project has also created at least 72 job opportunities for members of these communities.

The water supply projects include the mine’s first solar-powered water supply system for the Ga Mpuru Village in the Garatau community. The pumps of the solar-powered water supply system are powered by a complete solar system.

Executive mayor of the Sekhukhune District Municipality, Maleke Mokganyetji said the event was significantly taking place on Africa Day, and in other instances, governments have had to fight with private entities to roll out the mandatory social labour plans to help communities around them.

“We are really humbled because we have gathered today to celebrate, not deal with our daily challenges of water shortage in our communities. The project is indeed a silver lining that will propel other mines to implement social labour plans for the benefit of our communities,” she said.

The Sekhukhune District Municipality will host the 8th Presidential District Development Model oversight visit on July 14.

Publication: Iol

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