The exhumation and relocation of graves on the farms Blesbokfontein 487 JS and Bosmanspruit 459 JS, Middelburg district, Mpumalanga Province, for Optimum Colliery, an operating division of Anglo Operations Ltd., July 2004


Archaetnos CC was contracted by DPR Projects, on behalf of Optimum Collieries to exhume and relocate 20 graves, 4 older than 60 years of age and 16 unknown, situated on the farms Blesbokfontein 487 JS and Bosmanspruit 459 JS in the Middelburg District, Mpumalanga Province. The extension of the existing Optimum Collieries is being undertaken in this area, and these graves will be directly impacted upon by the mining operations. The graves were located in two cemeteries (Sites A and D). All the graves were relocated to the Bethal Municipal Cemetery. The unknown graves were documented as if they were older than 60 years of age, as no information on them could be obtained, or any descendants found.

Detailed photographic documentation of each grave and burial was conducted, while the remains were also measured and examined by the archaeologists before removal. The location of the sites are indicated on a 1:50 000 scale map of the area.

Report by

"A. van Vollenhoven – Principal Investigator (Permit Holder)
A.Pelser, Field Supervisor and Project Leader
F.Teichert, Co-Project Leader