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AmaranthCX's work-in-progress Mining Map

Updated: Aug 8, 2023

By Paul Miller


There is a real need for greater disclosure and transparency in the South African mining industry, from mining companies and, especially, from government.


Here at AmaranthCX we have been working, as a part-time and after-hours endeavour, to prove that it is not hard to provide a cost effective, comprehensive data platform to the mining and exploration industry, investors and the public. The tech exists, it is the underlying information that is hard to come by.


Both the industry and the government have had the means to make mining and prospecting right information public in an online accessible way, for decades. It is definitely not that they can't - the data exists in GIS systems as easily downloadable files - it is that they won't.


Mining area and major projects in the northern areas of SA.


We have had to glean the data from public sources: the diminishing pool of mining companies that have stock exchange disclosure requirements; deep googling for EIA documents; lots of court cases; those few unlisted mining companies that publish their Social & Labour Plans online; and from the commendably transparent South African Heritage Resource Agency, which publishes the archaeological and paleontological specialist studies related to new mining developments. We almost certainly don't have all the possible data.


We will overlay the gathered data on satellite images; the information rich open source OpenStreetMap; and have included related data like protected and conservation areas and farm and farm portion boundaries.


Mining area and major projects in the Northern Cape and Free State



We hope to also include some basic geology, like the coal fields, the bushveld, greenstone belts, manganese and iron ore fields etc. This part of the project is still in its infancy.


At this stage we are not mapping the boundaries of most alluvial diamond mining and prospecting rights, sand and clay mines, and aggregate and dimension stone quarries, although we will indicate their locations on the map. We do, however, include the boundaries of limestone quarries and silica mines.


Collieries and known coal projects immediately east of Delmas


This kind of online geospatial information is routinely available from official government sources in all countries that have a genuine objective of attracting and fostering mining investment. In our view the absence of such geospatial data is an incontrovertible indicator of a fundamentally investor unfriendly mining regulator.


If there is ever a case of "more honoured in the breach than the observance" then it is the South African Department of Mineral Resources and Energy's approach to South Africa's constitutional requirement for transparency. Perhaps there is a public interest lawyer out there with some pro bono budget who might consider designing a strategy to litigate the DMRE into effective online transparency and thus the 21st century?


If you have any ESRI Shape files or Google Earth .kmz files that you may be prepared to part with to support our efforts (copyright permitting) please reach out.


Our tech partners, without whom this project would not be possible, are 1Map, a South African tech company based in the Western Cape. Check them out at www.1map.co.za.


We hope to launch the map in the next few weeks - bearing in mind that the project team all have day jobs. It will be available for a modest annual subscription, much like our existing Southern Africa Power Map.


So the race is on ... however we have absolutely no doubt that we will publish the data years before either the DMRE or the MCSA.



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