AN AMENDED REPORT ON A CULTURAL HERITAGE IMPACT ASSESSMENT FOR THE PROPOSED PROSPECTING OF THE GLOSAM MINE CLOSE TO POSTMASBURG, NORTHERN CAPE PROVINCE
Archaetnos cc was requested by Wapex Trading to conduct a cultural heritage impact assessment (HIA) for the proposed prospecting of the Glosam Mine. The Glosam Mine is situated 30 km to the north of the town of Postmasburg in the Northern Cape Province on the farm Gloucester.
The methodology for the study includes a survey of literature and a field survey. The latter was conducted according to generally accepted HIA practices and was aimed at locating all possible objects, sites and features of cultural significance in the area of proposed development.
If required, the location/position of any site was determined by means of a Global Positioning System (GPS), while photographs were also taken where needed. The survey was undertaken by doing a physical survey via off-road vehicle and on foot and covered as much as possible of the area to be studied. Certain factors, such as accessibility, density of vegetation, etc. may however influence the coverage.
All sites, objects, features and structures identified were documented according to the general minimum standards accepted by the archaeological profession. Co-ordinates of individual localities were determined by means of the GPS. The information was added to the description in order to facilitate the identification of each locality.
Public consultation will be done by the EAP.
During the survey twenty-one sites of cultural heritage significance were identified within the immediate project area.
- Site 12 (farm yard) and 15 and 20 (railway sidings) are all outside of the development boundary. Site 12 has no cultural heritage value and this report is seen as ample mitigation. The structures are younger than 60 years. It needed, may be demolished without a permit from SAHRA.
- The railway sidings receive a field rating of Local Grade IIIC. The description in the phase 1 heritage report is seen as sufficient recording and it may be granted destruction if needed.
- The remains of industrial building (site 6), the base of a water reservoir (site 9), the office complex remains (site 10), various remains of brick buildings (site 11) and the farm yard (site 18) has no cultural heritage value. This report is seen as ample mitigation. The structures are younger than 60 years and in a very poor condition. It may be demolished without a permit from SAHRA.
- The foundation (site 5), concrete building remains (site 16) and metal framework of an industrial building (site 21) has no cultural heritage value and may therefore be demolished. Since it is older than 60 years, a permit would be required from the SAHRA.
- For the three mine houses (site 4) the field rating of the site is Local Grade IIIC. The description in this phase 1 heritage report is seen as sufficient recording and it may be granted destruction at the discretion of the relevant heritage authority without a formal permit application, subjected to the granting of Environmental Authorisation. The mine does not currently have any plans that will impact here. Also, since the buildings are younger than 60 years, no permit is currently required.
- The old hostel area and recreation hall (site 2) is regarding as having a field rating of Local Grade IIIC. The description in this phase 1 heritage report is seen as sufficient recording and it may be granted destruction. As both structures are younger than 60 years, no permit from SAHRA is needed.
- The field rating for the ore loading bays (site 7, 14 and 19) Local Grade IIIC. The description in the phase 1 heritage report is seen as sufficient recording and it may be granted destruction. Since these sites are all younger than 60 years and in a very poor condition, it may be demolished without a permit from SAHRA.
- The field rating of the Glosam Mine Village (site 3) is Local Grade IIIB. The site should be included in the heritage register and may be mitigated. Mitigation is subject to a permit application lodged with the relevant heritage
- The village is older than 60 years and is regarded as being very unique and typical of such a mining village. Therefore at least the first sixteen houses, social area, hall and other structure within the inner circle of the village should be preserved. It may however be utilized for another purpose, being a youth camp, holiday resort or guest house. It would be good to also preserve the outer circle as it is part of the original lay-out plan, although most of the buildings are much younger.
- The mine does not intend to do any work here at present. If needed, for any changes to the buildings older than 60 years, a permit would be required from the SAHRA.
- The Miners boxes (sites 1, 13 and 17) are regarded as having a field rating of Local Grade IIIB. The sites should be included in the heritage register and may be mitigated. Mitigation is subject to a permit application lodged with the relevant heritage
- In this case, site 1 should be kept intact and preserved, meaning that a management plan should be drafted for the site. It should also be fenced in.
- Sites number 13 and 17 may be demolished, but only after complete documentation thereof and only if site number 1 remains intact. This documentation includes doing test excavations and drawing a site map.
- The loading platform (site 8) has a field rating of Local Grade IIIB. The site should be included in the heritage register and may be mitigated. Mitigation is subject to a permit application lodged with the relevant heritage As it is typical of a certain era in the mining industry, it should be preserved, perhaps as part of an interpretive route. It may be utilized in further mining activities, but a management plan would be needed for that.
- Site 22 – the grave yard – receives a field rating of Local Grade IIIB. It should be included in the heritage register and may be mitigated. Mitigation is subject to a permit application lodged with the relevant heritage
- When dealing with graves there are two options:
- Option 1 would be to fence the graves in and have a management plan drafted for the sustainable preservation thereof (“Option 1”). This should be written by a heritage expert. Option 1 is implemented when indirect or secondary impact is foreseen.
- Option 2 is implemented when a direct impact is foreseen. Should any danger be posed to the graves, Option 2 will have to be taken. This option is to exhume the mortal remains and then to have it relocated (“Option 2”). For this a detailed motivation will have to be written and applied for to SAHRA. If approved, the specific procedure should be followed which includes social consultation. For graves younger than 60 years, only an undertaker is needed. For those older than 60 years and unknown graves an undertaker and archaeologist is needed. Permits should be obtained from the Burial Grounds and Graves unit of SAHRA. This procedure is quite lengthy and involves social consultation.
- In this case it seems there will be impact, Thus, Option 2 is recommended. The mine, however, needs to confirm this. They may however decide to rather go for Option 1, which may then be implemented as indicated.
- The proposed development may continue, but only after receiving the necessary approval from SAHRA.
- It should be noted that the subterranean presence of archaeological and/or historical sites, features or artifacts is always a distinct possibility. Due to the density of vegetation it also is possible that some sites may only become known later on. Operating controls and monitoring should therefore be aimed at the possible unearthing of such features. Care should therefore be taken when development commences that if any of these are discovered, a qualified archaeologist be called in to investigate the occurrence.
- In This regards the following ‘Chance find Procedure’ should be followed:
- Upon finding any archaeological or historical material all work at the affected area must cease.
- The area should be demarcated in order to prevent any further work there until an investigation has been completed.
- An archaeologist should be contacted immediately to provide advice on the matter.
- Should it be a minor issue, the archaeologist will decide on future action, which could include adapting the HIA or not. Depending on the nature of the find, it may include a site visit.
- SAHRA’s APM Unit may also be notified.
- If needed, the necessary permit will be applied for with SAHRA. This will be done in conjunction with the appointed archaeologist.
- The removal of such archaeological material will be done by the archaeologist in lieu of the approval given by SAHRA, including any conditions stipulated by the latter.
- Work on site will only continue after removal of the archaeological/ historical material was done.
Prof. A.C. van Vollenhoven (L.AKAD.SA.)
Accredited member of ASAPA (Accreditation number: 166)
Accredited member of SASCH (Accreditation number: CH001)
Johan Smit, BA (Hons)