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The Hawks arrested 33 alleged illegal miners in Limpopo on Friday.

The suspects were arrested at the rehabilitated Ellerton mine outside Giyani during a joint operation between the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation Unit‚ the Department for Mineral Resources (DMR)‚ the Provincial Organised Crime Unit‚ Public Order Police‚ the Air Wing and the Local Criminal Record Centre.

“The multi-disciplinary operation ensued following an outcry by the local community about the alleged illegal mining of gold at Ellerton mine that was closed by DMR in 2016‚” the Hawks said in a statement.

The team swooped on the abandoned mine and seized gold-bearing material‚ five vehicles and several pieces of mining equipment‚ including two generators‚ mining drill machines‚ camping tents‚ industrial hammers and a sieve valued at about R500‚000.

“All suspects will be processed to ascertain their correct identity.”

The suspects are expected to appear in the Giyani Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

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