Anglo Platinum Mogalakwena mine lawsuit, South Africa


Mogalakwena mine (formally PPL mine) is located 20 km northwest of the town of Mokopane and falls within the Limpopo Province’s Waterberg District (DC36) and Mogalakwena Local Municipalities. The current mine opened in 1991. Although Anglo Platinum holds the mining right over the large area, it does not own the surface rights. The surface rights belong to the Mapela and Langa traditional authorities and are held in Trust by the state on behalf these authorities. Many communities live on the land within, or immediately adjacent to the mining right area. This conflict is about issues with the resettlement, relocation process and about water contamination and blasting affecting communities due to the mining activities.

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Basic Data
NameAnglo Platinum Mogalakwena mine lawsuit, South Africa
CountrySouth Africa
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Land acquisition conflicts
Mineral ore exploration
Uranium extraction
Specific CommoditiesLand
Rare metals
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe current infrastructure consists of four open pits, namely the Sandsloot, Zwartfontein, Mogalakwena Central and Mogalakwena North pits. The mining method is open-pit truck and shovel, and the current pit depths vary from 110 metres (Mogalakwena North) to 245 metres (Sandsloot). The ore is milled at the new fully operational North Concentrator and at the older South Concentrator.

Mogalakwenas life-of-mine (LoM) extends well beyond 2060. The current LoM plan consists of an Ore Reserve of 89.1 4E million ounces and a Mineral Resource of 171.7 4E million ounces (exclusive of Ore Reserves). Refined platinum output was between 310 koz and 315 koz in 2013.
Project Area (in hectares)13700
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date24/07/2007
Company Names or State EnterprisesAnglo American Brasil from United Kingdom
Potgietersrust Platinum Ltd
Anglo American from United Kingdom
Relevant government actorsSouth Africa Human Rights Commission
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersBusiness and Human Rights, Action Aid
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingIndigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Forms of MobilizationInvolvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Potential: Food insecurity (crop damage), Genetic contamination, Noise pollution, Soil erosion, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
OtherMine Blasting
Health ImpactsVisible: Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Potential: Loss of livelihood
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (failure for environmental justice)
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The plaintiffs alleged that: the Section 21 companies were not independent and under the influence of Anglo Platinum; Anglo Platinum forcibly relocated residents; and individual householders signed relocation agreements under duress. The plaintiffs further alleged that Anglo Platinum did not comply with the terms of the relocation agreement. The court denied the plaintiffs the requested injunction, and the case was dismissed.

However, following a 2008 report published by Action Aid on the situation in Limpopo, the South African Human Rights Commission investigated the human rights impact of Anglo Platinum’s mining activity in region and issued a report late 2008 with recommendations for the company. This investigation was the first time the commission examined the human rights impact of a company’s activities.
Sources and Materials

(attached file)

South African Human Rights Commission: [PDF] Mining-related observations and recommendations: Anglo Platinum, affected communities and other stakeholders, in and around the PPL Mine, Limpopo, Nov 2008


All documents are available at:
[click to view]

'SAHRC finding highlights issues of community relocation to make way for mining', Dennis Ndaba, Mining Weekly, 16 Jan 2009

'Platinum miner defends its position on human rights abuse allegations', Darren Parker, Mining Weekly, 5 Dec 2008

'Anglo Plats to meet human rights commission over platinum mine farm relocations', Tessa Kruger, Mineweb, 27 Mar 2008

'South African Tribe Summonses Anglo Platinum, Others', Chantelle Benjamin, Resource Investor, 27 Jul 2007

'Statement and Demands of the Ga-Puka and Ga-Sekhaoleo (Mohlohlo) Development Committees', Mines and Communities, 11 Jun 2007

'Angloplat faces lawsuit threat over removals', Resource Investor, 29 May 2007

Anglo Platinum: Anglo Platinum Responds to Resettlement Allegations, 25 Mar 2008

Action Aid: [PDF] Precious Metal: The impact of Anglo Platinum on poor communities in Limpopo, South Africa, Mar 2008

Richard Spoor [counsel for plaintiffs]: Action instituted against Anglo Platinum over forced removals at Mohlohlo, Plaintiffs' Press Release, 25 Jul 2007

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ContributorElodie Aba
Last update11/02/2019