Archaetnos cc was requested by Cabanga  Environmental to conduct an archaeological impact assessment (AIA) for the proposed changes at Tumelo Colliery. The project entails the application for the amendment to include partial pillar extraction. The Tumelo Colliery is an existing coal mine,situated near the town of Pullens Hope within the Mpumalanga Province.


Project description:

The approved Mining Right Area includes various portions of the farm Boschmanskop 154IS. However, mine infrastructure is largely limited to portions 6 and 10 (RE), with the exception of the access road which traverses portions 1 and 14 (RE).


The application for amendment relates to a change in mine plan to include the partial pillar extraction of the No. 2 seam on retreat (checkerboard layout). No additional surface infrastructure is proposed.



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 Global Positioning System (GPS). The information was added to the description in order to facilitate the identification of each locality.


Public consultation:

General public consultation was done by Cabanga Environmental. The various specialist reports will be utilized for this purpose.



The survey of the indicated area was completed successfully. One site was identified.


The following is recommended:


  • The cultural significance of site no. 1 (Farmhouse plot) is Low and a Field rating is Local Grade IIIC. The description in the phase 1 heritage report is seen as sufficient recording (low significance) and it may be granted destruction at the discretion of the relevant heritage authority without a formal permit application, subject to the granting of Environmental Authorisation


  • It should be noted that the subterranean presence of archaeological and/or historical sites, features or artifacts is always a distinct possibility. It is possible that some sites may only become known later on. In such cases a qualified archaeologist should be called in to investigate the occurrence.


In this regard 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. 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 the archaeologist/ SAHRA has agreed to such a matter.


It is also important to take cognizance that it is the client’s responsibility to do the submission of this report via the SAHRIS System on the SAHRA website.  No work on site may commence before receiving the necessary comments from SAHRA.

Report by

Prof. A.C. van Vollenhoven (L.AKAD.SA.) Accredited member of ASAPA Accredited member of SASCH