A report on a cultural heritage impact assessment for the proposed Chrome Mine on the farm Naboom 451 KS near Makurung, Limpopo Province


Archaetnos cc was requested by SRK Consulting to conduct a cultural heritage impact assessment (HIA) for the proposed chrome mine on the farm Naboom 451 KS. This is located close to the Makurung Village near Lebowakhomo, Limpopo Province.

The proposed development includes underground mining as well as a decline shaft with associated infrastructure, a processing plant and tailings facilities. The client indicated the areas where the proposed development is to take place (through the provision of maps), and the survey was confined to this area.

A survey of the available literature was undertaken in order to obtain background information regarding the area. This included looking at previous HIA reports on the wider geographical area. This was followed by the field survey which was conducted according to generally accepted HIA practices, aimed at locating all possible objects, sites and features of cultural significance in the area of proposed development.

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

During the survey three sites of cultural heritage significance was located in the area to be developed. All three sites date to the recent historical past. No other cultural resources including grave yards were identified. It is however known that some Stone and Iron Age occurrences were identified before as well as remains from the recent past. The latter included a number of grave sites.

Consultation with members of the community indicated that there are no graves in the surveyed area. However this may not be the case as individual graves are sometimes found in densely vegetated areas.

All three sites will probably be impacted upon by the development. Number 1 and 3 may be demolished without any further steps, as this report is seen as ample mitigation in this regard. Site number 2, consisting of a workers homestead, should be mitigated by documenting it and doing test excavations. It may however be demolished after mitigation. A destruction permit from the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) will be needed.

It should be noted that the subterranean presence of archaeological and/or historical sites, features or artifacts is always a distinct possibility. Infants and stillborn babies were sometimes buried underneath houses and this may be the case at the homestead identified. Care should therefore be taken when construction commences that if any of these are discovered, a qualified archaeologist be called in to investigate.

Report by

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