Thirty-three alleged illegal miners arrested at the rehabilitated Ellerton mine in Nhlaniki village are expected to appear in the Giyani Magistrate's Court on Monday.
The large group was arrested last Friday following an outcry by the local community about the alleged illegal mining of gold at Ellerton mine, Hawks spokesperson Captain Matimba Maluleke said in a statement.
The multi-disciplinary operation included the Hawks' Serious Organised Crime Investigation Unit, the Department of Mineral Resources, the provincial Organised Crime Unit, Public Order Police, the Air Wing, and the local Criminal Records Centre.
"The team swooped on the abandoned mine and seized gold bearing material, five vehicles and several mining equipment (sic), including two generators, mining drill machines, camping tents, industrial hammers and a sieve valued at about R500 000," Maluleke said.
The 33 suspects were expected to appear in the Giyani Magistrate's Court on Monday for contravening the Mineral Resources Development Act, read with sections of the Criminal Procedure Act, as well as the possession of gold bearing material.
"Meanwhile, the Hawks have promised to continue with the operations to prevent the looting of mineral resources from Giyani and from other districts in the province," said Maluleke.