Dead weight weighs on criminal mining syndicates

Business

Dead weight weighs on criminal mining syndicates

Impossible to say what the gunmen will realise for the stolen gold, but one value can be firmly fixed: one life

Allan Seccombe

The latest death resulting from gold theft was on Monday night at DRDGold’s Ergo tailings retreatment plant. Gunmen stormed it, had a shootout, killed the chief security guard and made off with 17kg of gold in concentrate.

The gold is worth about R12m. But the gunmen are unlikely to fetch that much. The gold has to be extracted from the concentrate, refined as much as possible in unsophisticated backyard facilities, and then sold.

It’s impossible to say what the gunmen will realise for the gold, but one value can be firmly fixed to that gold. One life...

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