Illegal mining: Hawks seize equipment worth over R9 million, Rustenburg

South African Police Service

Illegal mining: Hawks seize equipment worth over R9 million, Rustenburg
Illegal mining: Hawks seize equipment worth over R9 million, Rustenburg. Photo: Pixabay

The Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation unit assisted by Tactical Operations Management Section (TOMS), National Intervention Unit (NIU), Airwing unit, Illegal Mining Task Team, Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) and Tyte Security Services seized mining equipment worth over R9 million during a disruptive operation, which was conducted on Thursday, 27 July 2023, at Tweelaagte mine in Rustenburg.

Information was received about suspects who were allegedly mining chrome without environmental authorisation from DMRE.

The Hawks acted swiftly and conducted an operation aimed at curbing these illegal mining activities.

On arrival at the site, the team pounced on the suspects who were busy operating excavators.

The suspects fled on foot leaving behind excavators and an interlink truck loaded with chrome. As a result, six excavators, one interlink truck containing 36 tons of chrome, one low-bed truck, three dump trucks and 50 tons pile of chrome were seized for further investigation.

Meanwhile, another disruptive operation was conducted on the same day at Skeerpoort farm in Rustenburg, following information received about suspects who were illegally mining gold.

The suspects fled upon seeing the police, abandoning their equipment.

A Firman FPG 4800 Generator, one Bosch jack hammer, three garden spades, two Bosch grinders, fourteen chisels and one panga were seized. Suspected precious metals material found at the scene were seized and sent to the lab for testing.

The Provincial Head for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, Major General Patrick Mbotho, commended the teams’ efforts in clamping down on illegal mining activities in the area.

SAPS Newsroom

SOURCESouth African Police Service