Tongaat Sands proposes extracting river sand from agricultural land on the banks of the Tongaat River (also refered to as the Tongati River) in eThekwini Metropolitan District. The property has been farmed for many decades, specifically under sugar cane.
It is proposed that an excavator be used to extract sand from the banks of the river over an area of approximately 0.66 hectares. A power screen will be located on site to screen the material before being stockpiled. Trucks will access the site via an existing dirt road and screened river sand will be loaded into trucks with earth moving equipment. Sand will be transported from the site to customers.
There is minimal permanent infrastructure (hard structures) involved in the proposed mining operation. The mining operation will be comprised of:
- Earth moving equipment;
- Screening plant;
- Loading and turning area for trucks (three-point-turn design);
- Office space;
- Hardstand surface for waste collection and parking of earth moving machinery;
- A temporary toilet (portaloo) for staff (to be serviced by a third party);
- Access road- Existing road to be overlaid with gravel
The listed activities triggered by the proposed operation are as follows:
Listing Notice 1 (Government Notice R983 of 4 December 2014, as amended by Government Notice R327 of 7 April 2017), Activity Number 21; Any activity including the operation of that activity which requires a mining permit in terms of section 27 of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002 (Act No. 28 of 2002), including —
(a) associated infrastructure, structures and earthworks, directly related to the extraction of a mineral resource; or
(b) the primary processing of a mineral resource including winning, extraction, classifying, concentrating, crushing, screening or washing.
Following the 2-year mining period (unless extension/s are granted), the land will be returned to agricultural use. Rehabilitation of the mining area following decommissioning will involve earth works to return the topography to as close to pre-mining state as possible. The land will then be prepared for agriculture through ingress of top soil and fertilisers. Sugar cane will then be planted or indigenous pioneer grasses on any disturbed part of the property that will not be farmed.