August 16 2009 at 06:51PM
The dispute over community consent for Xolobeni Mineral Sands Project is hotting up as Minerals and Energy Minister Susan Shabangu considers granting the final go-ahead.
The plans are to excavate 346 million tons of titanium and other heavy minerals along a 22m stretch of the Wild Coast below Port Edward.
Mining it will generate R560-million yearly, with R42m to be spent on local salaries each year and R2,9-billion going to the government.
But conservationists are protesting because the mineral area lies in a vast, unspoilt wilderness region that offers considerable ecotourism potential.
This article was originally published on page 6 of Cape Argus on August 16, 2009
Important to note that not just environmentalists, but hundreds of members of the community attended the protest march last year, including many elders, the headman, and other prominent community leaders. As if more proof was needed, even King Mpondomise and the Royal House are against the proposed strip mining.
See also: Minister admits consultation process ‘flawed’
and Questions hover over Wild Coast mining deal amongst other updates and info at www.wildcoast.com/xolobeni.