Final report on the archaeological investigation of a late iron age stone walled site and
possible burials impacted on by the Fairview Tailings Facility reworking program at the Fairview Mine near Barberton, Mpumalanga


During March 2012 Archaetnos cc was requested by Synergistics Environmental Services, on behalf of Pan African Resources (Pty) Ltd, to provide a 2nd opinion on archaeological sites and features recorded by Dr. J.van Schalkwyk in November 2011 at the Fairview Mine in Barberton. The sites were to be impacted on by the Fairview Mine Tailings Facility Reworking Project, and the main aim of this 2nd field session was to investigate the possibility of a number of unknown stone cairns being the location of burials.

 The resultant report (AE01219P – April 2012) indicated that it was possibly graves, but that it was not possible to conclude this beyond any doubt. The recommendations were therefore that the stone walled site be archaeologically investigated (mapping and excavation), while the stone cairns be tested to see if these are indeed burials. SAHRA (July 2012) concurred with these findings and recommendations and indicated that two permits should be issued. These permits (one for the archaeological excavations and one for the Test Excavation of the cairns) were duly issued in August 2012 (Permits ID90 & 91; Reference 9/2/203/0005). Fieldwork was conducted during September 2012, and this report is the result of the investigations carried out.

We believe that the work conducted, and the data retrieved through this work, was sufficient enough to enable us to make the necessary deductions. It is in line with the recommendations made during the initial HIA in 2011 and the 2nd Opinion Report in 2012, as well as the requirements of the permits issued by SAHRA. Therefore it is recommended that the development can continue, taking cognizance of the final conclusions and recommendations at the end of this report. Finally, it is our recommendation that a Destruction Permit for the site that will be developed be issued so that the development can continue

Report by

A.J. Pelser