A damaged house in Khuma, Orkney after an earth tremor hit the town. Picture: Antoine de Ras.

Orkney - The effects of mining on the environment will be evaluated following the destruction in the North West caused by an earthquake, premier Supra Mahumapelo told reporters on Wednesday.

“Part of economic life of South Africa is mining. However we must ensure that mining activities do not affect way of life,” said Mahumapelo.

“Assessment will let us know the involvement of mining in the earthquake.”

A 5.5 magnitude earthquake rocked the province and was felt in large parts of the country on Tuesday.

The epicentre was in the Stilfontein and Orkney region.

The North West township of Khuma near Stilfontein was the hardest hit.

One person was killed and at least 34 miners were injured during the quake.

At least 600 houses were destroyed.

The region houses mining towns and has in the past experienced earthquakes as a result of the digging underground.

Mahumapelo played down the notion that mining might have to be stopped to avoid further earthquakes.

“Assessment will tell us the way forward and we will cross that bridge when we get there,” he said. - Sapa