Rooting out the problem of illegal mining in any particular area is not done by hit-and-run operations by hordes of policemen and troops. Rather, a small, dedicated group involving specialists and qualified operators has an infinitely better chance of success.

“You have to know your enemy and realise that the illegal miners are the kings underground,” said Thys de Beer, security and forensic investigations manager at Harmony Gold mines in the Free State. He was one of the speakers at a recent mine security conference held in Johannesburg...

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