Diamond miner halted after digging on ancient archaeological site

A DIAMOND mining company has until April 8 to challenge an interdict against it for mining in an archaeological site that goes back 3.2-million years.

The mining at Canteen Kopje outside Barkly West in the Northern Cape — stopped by interdict the day after it began on March 18 — caused unknown damage to a large area of the archaeological site, some of which may be as old as the Cradle of Humankind sites.

"A whole 80m x 80m, and about 6m deep, was damaged," said David Morris, head of archaeology at the McGregor Museum and professor in heritage studies at the Sol Plaatjie University in Kimberley. "We don’t know what was disturbed, but artefacts are strewn about and now they are out of (scientific) context."

The mining company, Jacky M Wesi Mining, is listed on PropIQ, a website offering reports on properties with the aim of assisting consumers. There are, however, no contact details. A registration number is given, and PropIQ indicates that Jacky M Wesi Mining is "in business".

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