The De Beers group announced that it has begun its investigations into the possible cause of ground movement on the eastern side of the Big Hole in Kimberley, Northern Cape.
The Sol Plaatje Municipality closed the Bultfontein Road due to safety concerns after engagements with the local taxi association and the mining group.
De Beers spokesperson, Jackie Mapiloko, says that the company welcomes the closure of the road. “Following the engagement with Sol Plaatje Municipality and the taxi associations, we welcome the closure of the Bultfontein Road by the municipality and the relocation of the taxis due to safety concerns.”
“This is giving us an opportunity to continue our research work on the ground movement observed on the eastern part of the bog hole pit next to the Bultfontein road. The investigation is still in progress and we will provide feedback to the municipality and the provincial government in due course,” he added.
The Big Hole is a 40-hectare open-pit diamond mine in Kimberley, South Africa. It is the largest hand-excavated hole in the world and is one of the most famous tourist attractions in South Africa.
The ground movement on the eastern side of the Big Hole was first noticed in early November 2023. De Beers immediately closed the area to the public and began its investigations into the cause of the movement.
The De Beers group is one of the world’s largest producers of diamonds. The company has been operating in Kimberley since 1887 and is a major employer in the city.
The closure of the Bultfontein Road caused major inconvenience for local residents and businesses. However, the Sol Plaatje Municipality says that it was necessary to close the road to ensure the safety of the public.
VIDEO | De Beers closes road near Kimberley Big Hole indefinitely due to cracks: