- July 6, 2020
- Posted in LOCAL
The South African Police’s Serious Organised Crime Unit in Rustenburg arrested a man in possession of chrome with an estimated street value of (R1.2million) US$70751.
He is due to appear in the Mogwase Magistrates’ Court in the North West province of South Africa on Monday, 6 July to face charges of contravention of the National Environmental Management Act, and illegal mining of chrome as per the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act.
POLICE AND MINERALS RESOURCES OFFICIALS DISRUPT ILLEGAL MINE
According to South African Police Service statement, a multi-disciplinary team, including officials from the Department of Mineral Resources (DMRE), went to a farm at Witrantjies Village and proceeded to a site on the property where illegal chrome mining allegedly takes place.
“The suspect had previously been warned by DMRE members not to mine without environmental authorisation or a mining permit from the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), but ignored the warning and continued with illegal activities, police said.
IN MAY THE HAWKS SEIZED CHROME VALUED AT R2.6-MILLION
In late May, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), assisted by Rustenburg Flying Squad, the Department of Mineral Resources and the South Africa National Defence Force (SANDF) conducted what they called “disruptive operations” at several locations believed to be involved in illegal mining in Rustenburg.
Upon arrival at one of the locations, the suspects spotted the law-enforcement team and fled the scene. However, a 57-year-old suspect was arrested and police seized a number of trucks that were loaded with chrome worth R2.6 million.
ILLEGAL MINING FLOURISHING DUE TO SOCIO-ECONOMIC CLIMATE
The Minerals Council of South Africa says the growth in illegal mining in the country can be attributed to the combination of a difficult socio-economic climate and limited resources at the disposal of law enforcement agencies.
Approximately 75% of global chrome resources are in South Africa and, accordingly, South Africa is the largest chrome concentrate, producer.
About 85% of all chrome produced is converted into ferrochrome by a smelting process. Ferrochrome is a raw material used in the manufacturing of stainless steel. Chrome is also used in the chemical and foundry industry.
The South African