Modern Quarrying

Gauteng-based phosphate and limestone producer Adelaide Ruiters Mining & Exploration (ARME) is applying for mining rights for its proposed phosphate mine between Vredenburg and Saldanha.

The Zandheuvel Phosphate Mining Project is located on four farms, Zandheuvel 126 and 124, Witteklip 123 Portion 61 (adjacent to Zandheuvel 124 and 126) and Yzervarkensrug, adjacent to Witteklip. The farms are situated near Lafarge’s Saldanha operation, between Vredenburg and Saldanha.

ARME to apply for mining rightsPure phosphorus is used to make chemicals for use in industry. The most important use of phosphate rock, though, is in the production of phosphate fertilisers for agriculture.

ARME plans to mine Zandheuvel first, then rehabilitate it; then Witteklip followed by rehabilitation; and finally, Yzervarkensrug, which will also be rehabilitated. The company is investigating setting up community agriculture projects on the farms once mining has been completed.

ARME CEO Adelaide Ruiters says there will only be one mining rights application, which will follow a public participation process as per legal requirements.

With regard to the water shortages in the area, she says her company has noted the situation with great concern, but has already been in negotiations with the municipality about alternative water sources. A MoU was signed with Saldanha Bay Municipality to use 2-million litres of treated effluent from the Saldanha Waste Water Treatment Works. However, with water restrictions and other industries, such as the steel industry also interested in using purified treated effluent as an alternative source, the mining company is looking at different desalination options as an alternative.

The ARME CEO made history in 2013 as the first coloured woman to receive individual prospecting rights for two farms in the Vredenburg area. She subsequently established ARME, her mining company in which the Anglo American Sefa Mining Fund holds a 13% shareholding.

Image credit: Copyright: jonnysek / 123RF Stock Photo

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