A report on a heritage impact assessment for a opencast box cut mining operation at Kendal Colliery, Kendal, Mpumalanga Province
Archaetnos cc was requested by Kendal Colliery to conduct a heritage impact assessment (HIA) a small area of 750m2 which forms part of their opencast mining operations. One of the operators who used to work at the mine indicated that there are graves in the area and therefore it was excluded from current mining operations.
The mine however now needs to be expanded to this area and therefore an archaeologist was contracted to do an HIA and to specifically verify whether any graves do exist there. The client indicated the study area and the survey was confined to this area. A survey of the available literature was also undertaken in order to obtain background information regarding the greater geographical area.
As the name indicates the site is located close to Kendal in the Mpumalanga Province.
During the survey no sites of heritage significance was located in the area to be developed. Also no physical evidence of graves could be found. The proposed development may therefore continue, but due to the alleged existence of graves, suitable mitigation measures are proposed. This entails a watching brief when the topsoil is removed in order to be able to monitor whether any human skeletal material are unearthed.
It should be noted that the subterranean presence of archaeological and/or historical sites, features or artifacts is always a distinct possibility. Care should therefore be taken when construction commences that if any other archaeological material are discovered, a qualified archaeologist be called in to investigate.
Dr. A.C. van Vollenhoven (L.AKAD.SA.) Jaco van der Walt