A report on a cultural heritage impact assessment for a proposed opencast coal mining operation at Optimum Collieries, on the farm Kromdraai 486 JS, close to Hendrina, Mpumalanga Province


Archaetnos cc was requested by Geovicon conduct a cultural heritage impact assessment for a proposed opencast mining operation at Optimum Colliery. The operation is planned on portions 5 and 8 of the farm Kromdraai 486 JS. This is close to the town of Hendrina in the Mpumalanga Province.

The main aims of the survey was to identify objects, sites, occurrences and structures of an archaeological or historical nature (cultural heritage sites) located on the property and to assess the significance thereof in terms of their archaeological, historical, scientific, social, religious, aesthetic and tourism value. Furthermore the possible impact of the proposed development on these cultural remains had to be assessed.

During the survey four sites of cultural heritage significance were identified. These are discussed in the report and suitable mitigation measures to minimize possible negative impacts thereon are recommended. One of the sites were rewarded a high cultural significance, one medium and the other two low. After implementation of the mitigation measures, the mining may continue.

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 development commences that if any of these are discovered, a qualified archaeologist be called in to investigate the occurrence.

Report by

Dr. A.C. van Vollenhoven (L.AKAD.SA.)