BASIC ASSESSMENT REPORT IN SUPPORT OF THE PROPOSED PHOTOVOLIAC SOLAR PLANT DEVELOPMENT AT EKAPA MINERALS (PTY)LTD, IN KIMBERLEY (Ref no: NC/BA/10/FB/SOL/KIM1/2023)
This advertisement gives notice to potential Interested and Affected Parties (“I&APs”) about where information can be obtained in respect of the application for environmental authorisation, as well as the opportunity that I&APs have, to comment on the draft Basic Assessment Report (“BAR”).
BACKGROUND AND LOCATION OF THE PROJECT
Ekapa Minerals (Pty) Ltd proposes to construct a 100 MW photovoltaic solar plant on the Remaining Portion of Farm Dorstfontein 77 that falls within Ekapa Minerals Mining Right (NC 30/5/1/2/2/ (142) MR (A). This project is an embedded generation project (grid-tied, behind-the meter), producing electricity solely for consumption by Ekapa Minerals. The proposed project area falls within the Renewable Energy Development Zones (“REDZs”) (Zone 5 – Kimberley), categorised as suitable for large renewable energy generation.
The construction area for the PV plant and the respective infrastructure will be approximately 240 ha that has been historically mined and is currently being disturbed by artisanal miners.
The R64, via the existing haulage road located on the eastern side of the proposed PV area, will be used as the main access route. New internal access roads will be constructed to link the haulage road with the PV plant. The roads will be at least 6 m wide and approximately 15 km in total.
The PV panels will be mounted on tracking structures (hydraulic panels moving with the sun) that will approximately be 90 m in length, 2,6 m wide and 3 m high.
Non generating infrastructure, such as a guard house, operational buildings, water pipelines that tie in with the municipal water, waste storage area and covered parking area is proposed to be constructed as part of the PV plant project.
A water pipeline will be constructed from the Ekapa Minerals tie in points of the existing municipal bulk water pipeline as well as at the Jack Matthews substation to the new proposed office building. This pipeline will be 1.81 km long and constructed within the existing service corridor. It is anticipated that water use will be predominantly limited to infrastructural requirements. The ablution facilities will tie in with the existing Municipal facilities running past the property.
The stormwater design shall integrate with the existing stormwater flow patterns across the site and will be designed such that the water volumes will not be concentrated or significantly increased at the various points of discharge. Any source of potential pollutants (shall be bunded in accordance with the relevant legislation and best practice and designed in such a manner as to not contaminate “clean” water or the surrounding soils.
Legislation associated with the application.
A Basic Assessment Report (“BAR”) will be required in compliance with the National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act No.107 of 1998) (“NEMA”) and the NEMA Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, 2014 (GN 327 of 4 December 2014), as amended, for the authorisation of listed activities contained in the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations Listing Notice 1 of 2014 (GN 325 of 4 December 2014), as amended.
Applications submitted to competent authority.
An application for Environmental Authorisation was submitted to the Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform (“DAEARDLR”) on 21 April 2023 and accepted 10 May 2023.
Listed activities applied to the application.
The proposed project area falls within the Renewable Energy Development Zones (“REDZs”) (Zone 5 – Kimberley), categorised as suitable for large renewable energy generation as identification in terms of Section 24(5)(a) and (b) of the National Environmental Management Act, 1998. Therefore, a BA will be trigger and the following listed activities have been applied for: GN 327 Listing notice 1 Activity 11,24 and 56 and GN 325 Listing notice 2 Activity 1 and 15 (ii).
South Africans have a right to be informed about potential decisions that may affect them and to be afforded an opportunity to influence those decisions. This advertisement forms part of a Public Participation Process as part of the project. It describes the various components of the project to enable I&APs to get a better understanding of the potential environmental and social impacts that could be expected from the proposed project. It also outlines the process and the opportunities for the public to become involved during the study.
Register as an Interested and Affected Party (I&AP).
Ekapa Minerals (Pty) Ltd has appointed Shangoni Management Services (Pty) Ltd. as the independent Environmental Assessment Practitioner to undertake the Environmental Authorisation application and stakeholder engagement process. You may register as an I&AP. To register as an I&AP to this project, or to obtain more information or submit comments, please request a Registration form from Shangoni and return it together with any comments to Shangoni at the details provided below.
Availability of the draft Basic Assessment Report (“BAR”)
The draft BAR will be made available to the public for review for a period of 30 days from 12 May 2023 until 13 June 2023 on the Shangoni’s website (www.shangoni.co.za) and a copy of the BA can be found at Beaconsfield Public Library and the Ekapa Minerals Security Office.
A public meeting will be held at 16h30 on 18 May 2023, at the Rooifontein Wildlife Club. Please RSVP by 12:00 on 17 May 2023 to confirm your attendance by sending an email to the contact details below.
To obtain additional information please contact the consultant at:
Environmental Assessment Practitioner (EAP): Shangoni Management Services (Pty) Ltd.
Contact person: Lesley Keay
Tel: 012 807 7036
Postal Address: P. O. Box 74726, Lynnwood Ridge, 0040