Home National Authorities Seize R1.5 Billion in Assets from Illegal Mining Operation

Authorities Seize R1.5 Billion in Assets from Illegal Mining Operation

by Central News Reporter
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South Africa must manage its transition away from coal-fired power generation systematically and not rush a switch to renewable energy sources, Mining and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe said on Thursday.

Illegal Mining

The National Prosecuting Authority’s Asset Forfeiture Unit, in collaboration with a special illegal mining unit in the South African Police Service, has obtained a provisional preservation of property order for the seizure of assets worth over R1.5 billion. The frozen assets include a farm in Carolina, coal, cars, and heavy-duty machinery that were used in an alleged illegal mining operation in Mpumalanga.

According to Monica Nyuswa, the regional spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority, an estimated 270,000 tons of coal were illegally mined on two portions of the farm over a two-year period by GNJ Mining. With a minimum estimated market value of R980 per ton, the total worth of the illegally mined coal amounts to R264 million.

It was revealed that GNJ Mining did not have the necessary permits from the Department of Mineral Resources or the Mpumalanga Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Land, and Environmental Affairs to mine coal on the farm. The coal was then taken to Droogvalley Barrel Plant in the Carolina area, where it was processed and sold to clients.

The seizure of assets follows the arrest of Paul Boshoff, the illegal mine manager, during a raid conducted by the South African Police Service on September 19, 2023.

Most of the assets mentioned, including the farm and the machinery used in the mining operation, were confiscated during the operation. Boshoff appeared in court the following day and is expected to face criminal charges related to the illegal mining operation.

The case is scheduled to be heard on February 16, 2024, at the Carolina Magistrates’ Court.




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