Down in the dumps

Hans Pearson will be sad to see the disappearance of the Kleinfontein Mine Dump. The dump is set to be erased from the skyline in the next three to five years.

“Benoni’s mountain”, as it is affectionately known, has been a landmark on the corner of Snake Road and Pioneer Drive for over 90 years.

This historic dump will, however, only be a memory in the next three to five years.

David Viljoen, of the Benoni Gold Mining Company, which owns the mining rights to the Kleinfontein Mine Dump, said the gold dust is being sold.

Farrarmere resident Hans Pearson said he noticed impressions at the top of the hill in early June.

Most of the trees which grew at the top of the dump have fallen over and the shape of the dump has changed from some angles.

Pearson said he will be sad to see the dump disappear.

“I think it will be a loss to Benoni because it is a landmark,” he added.

“It is part of heritage; it’s what forms the Benoni skyline.”

Verne Boeré, who resides on Second Avenue, in Northmead, said he would have mixed feelings if the dump disappeared.

He said dust from the dump is particularly bad in winter.

“If it is gone, it’s gone; if it’s not, it’s not,” said Boeré from his veranda, in view of the mine dump.

He said his husband, Peter, uses the mine dump to orientate himself when he is in an aircraft approaching O R Tambo International Airport.

Interesting facts of the Kleinfontein Mine Dump

According to information supplied by Farrarmere resident Glynis Millett-Clay (founder of the Benoni -Now and Then Facebook page), the mine dump is said to be 92m tall and has for many decades been the tallest man-made point in Benoni.

“It contains approximately four-and-a-half-million tons of sand and three-and-a-half tons of gold of which approximately half can be recovered with modern methods of extracting gold,” said a brochure complied by the Benoni Publicity Association (BPA), which closed its doors at the beginning of this year.

Dump or no dump?

The City Times asked its Facebook audience if they would be sad to see the Kleinfontein mine dump disappear.

Here are the replies:

Gert Duvenage: “As a kid this was the place we spent Sundays. I will be sad, but for the health of the town; let it go, let it go.”

Cynthia Parry: “It’s a Benoni landmark. Will be sad to see it gone.”

Jenette White: “No – definitely not! It’s a health hazard that pollutes our Benoni sky!”

Dominique Monteiro: “I always thought that was Table Mountain.”

Anne-Marie Neethling: “For all the years that they’ve been working on it now we’ve had awful respiratory issues – sinus, etc. So we will be glad when that part is over.

Pat Waites: “No – it will be a blessing to get rid of it. At least criminals can’t hide up there.”

Zanele Mokatula: “It’s about time… change is always good!”

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Kevin van der List

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