The closure of the Jagersfontein historic diamond mining pit, in the Free State, will disregard its rich history for future generations. This is according to Kopanong Municipality Mayor Xolani Tseletsele, after the mining pit was filled with sludge.
The South African Heritage Resources Agency permitted the backfilling of the pit with waste from the mine’s tailings.
Last month, the mine’s dam collapsed causing a mudslide that left at least one person dead.
Several people were also reported missing.
Jagersfontein residents are attempting to boost their town’s economy, after the mudslide on September 11th. Residents believe one of the biggest man-made diamond mining pits in the world could be the answer if it is turned into a tourist attraction.
The Kopanong Municipality says there were discussions between residents and the mine about the pit since last year. The municipality said the residents were told that the mine was busy trying to turn it into a museum. However, Mayor Xolani Tseletsele says they haven’t been told how far the process is.
Spokesperson for the South African Heritage Resources Agency Ben Mwasinga disclosed that the decision to fill the pit was an emergency. The agency believes filling the pit with sludge won’t have a negative impact on potential tourists.
Video | Another mine dam wall collapses in Jagersfontein