Amplats loses court bid to stop neighbour developing on Modikwa platinum mine

ANGLO American Platinum (Amplats) is examining a ruling handed down in the Polokwane High court last week that dismissed an application to have Nkwe Platinum desist from mine development on the Maandagshoek farm.

Nkwe Platinum had started work on the Maandagshoek lease which is mined by Modikwa mine jointly owned by Amplats and African Rainbow Minerals (ARM). Modikwa launched an application to stop land development by Nkwe on Maandagshoek claiming the land belonged to it.

“Modikwa has noted the judgment handed down last week,” said Jana Marais, spokeswoman for Amplats. “We will examine the written reasons for the decision, once received, and make a decision on how to proceed.”

Amplats wanted Nkwe Platinum to conduct its mining operations at Ga Ratau and Leolo village where it has rights, according to a report by the SABC. Nkwe Platinum mine started fencing an area at Mandagshoek where it will keep its mining equipment, it added.

“We are pleased with the judgement,” said Zhiyu Fan, CEO and MD of Nkwe Platinum in a statement last week. “It will allow us to continue our commitment in infrastructure development as well as economic and social upliftment of the surrounding local communities.” The matter was heard before the High Court on June 30 with the judgement handed down on July 7.

Nkwe Platinum said it had invested R32.5m in development infrastructure and other education-related benefits to the surrounding mine communities in the Polokwane region. It promised more benefits in terms of a ‘second generation’ social and labour plan.

Nkwe Platinum is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Zijin Mining Group, a multinational mining company headquartered in China.


  1. Did not read judgement and not familiar with matter. But how can a resource be sterilised? Did Nkwe get S54 approval from DMRE for infrastructure development? One if the requirements is that a geological report must accompany the S54 application to ensure resources are not sterilised. This sound like the court may have erred here.

    • Hoping to get more clarity when Amplats reports numbers July 26. For now, that’s all Amplats will say.

      • It seemed to me that Nkwe may have been using a portion of the surface for a lay down/parking area. The area is after all populated and space is in short supply. This probably met the definition of “mining activity” in some litigious lawyer’s fetid imagination. Although there is probably no impact on actual mineral resources or AA Platinum’s activities at all. By the same token AA Platinum probably had to protect its rights anyway – can’t be too careful with shareholders money to throw at lawyers. Either way, they should both learn to be better neighbours – they are both members of the Minerals Council South Africa anyway.

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