A report on a cultural heritage baseline study for the proposed Canyon Springs Coal Project, Siyabuswa District, Mpumalanga Province
Archaetnos cc was requested by Prime Resources (Pty) Ltd to conduct a cultural heritage baseline study for the proposed Canyon Springs Coal Project. This is in the Siyabuswa district in the Mpumalanga Province.
A survey of the available literature was undertaken in order to obtain background information regarding the 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 footprint area of the 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 were located in the area to be developed. The one is remains of farm buildings and infrastructure and the other two areas containing prehistoric artifacts. No other cultural resources were identified.
Since this is a baseline study the impact is not yet known and the information obtained during the survey will be used for planning purposes. It would therefore be possible to minimize impact on these resources. Based on this information and that from other specialists the planning will be adapted and a detailed phase 1 impact assessment will follow.
It should be noted that the density of vegetation is a determining factor making it sometimes impossible to locate all archaeological and historical sites, including graves. Also the subterranean presence of archaeological and/or historical sites, features or artifacts is always a distinct possibility. Care should therefore be taken when mining commences that if any of these are discovered, a qualified archaeologist be called in to investigate.
Dr. A.C. van Vollenhoven (L.AKAD.SA.)