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Jagersfontein Developments (Pty) Ltd owns and has been operating the diamond tailings reprocessing facility since 2011 situated in the town of Jagersfontein.


The company offers employment opportunities for the local community members, is committed to transforming and enhancing the lives of black South Africans and contributing to the South African economy.

  • Have criminal charges been laid against the Company or any of its directors?
    On 4 November 2022 the DWS has opened a criminal case against the Company. The Company is assisting both the DWS and Department of Forestry, Fisheries & the Environment with their respective investigations into the incident. To date no charges have been laid against the Company or any of its directors.
  • Is the Company back in business and is the treatment facility functioning?
    No, the Company is not operating at this stage. All operations at the tailings reprocessing facility ceased immediately after the incident occurred. The Company will hopefully recommence operations again once it has obtained the necessary approvals from the relevant authorities. However, the Company’s priority remains the restoration of the town and returning the community to their livelihoods.
  • Has Jagersfontein Developments provided assistance to affected communities?
    Since the incident, the Company has provided and continues to provide material support and assistance to all affected residents of Charlesville and Itumeleng. Until the tailings dam is found by the relevant regulatory authorities to pose no further risks, all displaced residents are for the time being not permitted to return to their homes. The Company has appointed external civil engineers to establish the nature and extent of the damaged homes and buildings. It is intended that the affected houses that are structurally unsafe will be re-built, and other houses will be cleaned and renovated where required. It is the Company’s utmost priority to restore the livelihoods of the affected community members of Charlesville and Itumeleng in a manner that is realistic, safe and compliant with all applicable legislation. To this end, the Company has been engaging with the community members individually with the aim of reassuring them that it is committed to the aforesaid undertaking. The following assistance has been provided by the Company: Daily food parcels have been and continue to be distributed to affected community members. Each food box contains three meals, breakfast, lunch and supper. Accommodation (local hotels) was provided for the displaced community members. The community members have since been moved to local housing where they still reside – this accommodation is paid for by the Company. Transport of the community members to the hotels and houses. Drinking water has been and continues to be supplied to affected community members. Clothing was donated to the affected community members. Two diesel generators with diesel were supplied to the town of Charlesville and the local hospital in order to generate electricity for whilst the Eskom substation was inoperative. Eskom’s substation has since been restored. The electrical power at Charlesville was restored by the Company’s engineers a few days after the incident occurred. Fuel has been supplied to the local municipality and the police station to assist with the disaster. The Company has made monetary contributions to the two families that have tragically lost a family member. Grazing areas for the community cattle have been provided by the Company.
  • Does the Company employ members of the local community?
    The Company employs most of its workforce from the surrounding communities. As such, it is committed to restoring the livelihoods of the affected community members. In addition, the Company has employed more than 500 local community members to assist with the clean-up operations.
  • Is the waste-water safe?
    The waste water is safe but not potable (i.e. for human and animal consumption). An independent water analysis by [insert name of consultant] has determined that the waste is not hazardous. The report defines the waste in the alkaline PH range and classifies the Sludge Cake and Liquid as Type 3 (Low Risk). A copy of the report can be downloaded from here.
  • Has the Company complied with the regulations regarding the tailings dam and its structure both prior to and after the incident?
    At all times prior to the incident, the Company has complied with all applicable regulations relating to the tailings dam and its structure. As required by the applicable legislation, the Company routinely appointed independent engineers to inspect the slimes dam and to prepare an engineer’s report. On each occasion, the slimes dam was declared safe and the volumes to be within limits. These reports were submitted to the Department of Water and Sanitation (“DWS”). The DWS approved each report as submitted by the Company. Since the incident, the Company has instructed independent experts to investigate the cause of the incident. Until the investigations have been finalised the Company is not able, at this stage, to provide any information on what may have caused the breach of the slimes dam. The Company has since the incident been issued with six different comprehensive directives by the DWS, the Free State Department of Economic, Small Business, Tourism and Environmental Affairs and the South African Heritage Resources Agency. These directives contain 40 different instructions as to compulsory actions, steps and conduct modes required to be performed by the Company. The Company is currently engaged in a full-time process ensuring compliance with those statutory directives in cooperation with those regulatory authorities.
  • What is the environmental progress that Jagersfontein Developments has made since the incident unfolded?
    Since the incident, the Company has been actively engaged in clean-up operations and putting in place a range of measures to contain and address the various environmental impacts of the slimes dam breach on the surrounding areas and affected watercourses. The Company has appointed a team of specialist engineers that have commenced with surveys along the watercourses to identify and design, amongst others, mechanisms to desilt the downstream watercourses. In addition, the engineering team has assisted the Company with containment activities such as rock pack barriers implemented at various sites as a matter of priority to control flows. These measures taken by the Company are all in compliance with applicable regulatory directives. Detailed investigations into the exact extent of the environmental impacts are still underway and the Company is working with the various regulatory authorities in this regard. A remedial action plan and long-term rehabilitation plan has been developed by external professional experts appointed by the Company and will be commenced with once reviewed and approved by the authorities.
  • To which government entity does the Company report to?
    The Company is mainly regulated, amongst others, by the Department of Water and Sanitation. The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy has no jurisdiction over the Company’s tailings facility, this has already been confirmed by the High Court of the Free State, Bloemfontein in 2007.
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