A report on a watching brief associated with possible graves located on portion 21 of the farm Kalbasfontein 284 JS, Exxaro Inyanda Coal Mine near Witbank (Emalahleni), Mpumalanga Province


During March 2011 Archaetnos cc was requested by Exxaro’s Inyanda Coal Mine to assess and document a number of possible graves found on portion 21 the farm Kalbasfontein 284 JS during mining operations. The area where the possible graves are located is situated in a section of the mine where opencast pit operations are being planned. The mine has been in operation since 2008. A Heritage Impact Assessment (as part of the EMPR) was conducted during the early 2000’s, and no sites of any heritage significance were found, including graves.

The aims of the assessment were to determine if the features (stone and soil heaps) are in fact graves, the number of possible graves that will be impacted and also to recommend on the best way forward in terms of mitigation measures. A Watching Brief was recommended in the Assessment Report (AE1129) and this measure was accepted by Exxaro and Archaetnos was duly appointed to undertake the Watching Brief. After consultation with SAHRA’s Burial Grounds and Graves Unit (BGG), who agreed with the recommendation, the fieldwork was conducted during early May 2011. This document represents a report on the findings of this action.

It can be concluded that the features identified on the portion of land at the mine is indeed not graves. Therefore, the proposed mining activities can continue, taking into consideration the recommendations put forward at the end of the report.

Report by

A.J. Pelser