Latest news: On Wednesday, 2012-08-08 the Amadiba Crisis Committee filed an Objection against the prospecting right application made by Transworld Energy and Mineral Resources SA: http://www.lrc.co.za/images/stories/CaseRelatedDocs/2012%2008%2008%20Objection.pdf The objection was filed jointly by the ACC and Sun International, which operates the Wild Coast Sun resort adjacent to the proposed mining area. * TEM is ineligible for a new grant of prospecting rights because their application is redundant: they have already prospected the site, and are therefore merely attempting to hoard the rights. This transparent ploy creates more uncertainty and directly impedes development of the tourism potential in and through the area; * Prospecting and mining activities cannot take place in the Xolobeni region at all because it is within an already designated Marine Protected Area (MPA). The tiny Pondoland Centre of Endemism (PCE), where the mining is proposed, is the second most florastically abundant region in Southern Africa, and one of only 26 such species rich places on earth;
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Click here to order! HELP PUT A PERMANENT STOP TO: Mining of the Wild Coast dunes The 'Greenfields' section of the N2 Toll road through Pondoland HOW? Funds raised by your purchase of this calendar go to support residents of Pondoland's Wild Coast, in their ongoing battle to protect and conserve their living landscapes and prevent the shredding of their social fabric by the two massive development schemes.
It is well known by now that the minister of minerals & energy revoked the mining license, granted to MRC and their local subsidiary Xolco in 2008, at the beginning of the month. However the door is still ajar and we await the outcome in 3 months time. The applicants have until then to resubmit properly completed environmental impact assessments, a full environmental management plan, and to comply fully with the various requirements of affected government departments. In the interim, MRC's (Mineral Resource Commodities - ASX:MRC) share price seems fairly stable and essentially unchanged, hovering around 8c, Australian. But will they risk the further expenditure?
JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) has released the ‘Holomisa Report’, which advises Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu on the Xolobeni mining right appeal. The mining right was awarded to Transworld Energy and Minerals (TEM) in 2008, for the Kwanyana block of mineral sands on the Wild Coast. Although dated March 2010, the report was only released on January 31. The DMR said that the delay in taking a decision on the report was owing to “administrative processes and pressures within the department”.
From: www.iol.co.za February 8, 2011 By Ingi Salgado For some time, the state has withheld two pieces of information with significance for mining along the Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape. Under much pressure, the government has now released both. Both documents are shocking, but taken together, they paint a cynical picture of a potentially concerted effort to engineer an economically viable dispensation for mining on the Wild Coast with scant regard for communities and environment.
By: Christy van der Merwe 26th January 2011 JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – A second task team would be established to hear oral presentations by parties affected by the proposed heavy minerals mine in Xolobeni, which is located on the South African Wild Coast. The hearings would be held at the Department of Mineral Resources’ (DMR’s) Durban regional office from February 16 to February 18. The task team would then make recommendations to Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu, on whether or not to uphold the granting of the licence to mine the Kwanyana block of mineral-rich sands near Xolobeni, or to rescind the licence – as per the appeal from certain community members. Australia-based Mineral Resource Commodities, through its South African subsidiary Transworld Energy & Minerals, was granted a licence to mine for titanium-bearing minerals on a portion of the dunes, in December 2008. The Kwanyana block contains some 139-million tons of heavy titanium-producing minerals, including ilmenite, zircon, leucoxene, and rutile. Of the four blocks making up the Xolobeni project area, the Kwanyana block had the largest measured resource.
The Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC) and Legal Resource Centre (LRC) demands decision from the department “by no later than 28 September 2010”, failing which the matter will be taken to High Court. Social worker John Clarke has provided the following summary of developments, and opinion. Xolobeni Mining We are still waiting for DG of Mineral Resources, Sandile Nogcina, to announce the outcome of the appeal by the Amadiba Crisis Committee. It has been over two years since the appeal was lodged.
By John GI Clark Stephan Hofstatter’s report on the shenanigans surrounding the Wild Coast mining saga refers (Transkei dead’s nod to dune deal, March 5). So it is at the discretion of the minister whether or not to revoke a mining right, even when there is clear evidence of a fraud having been perpetrated to secure a mining right by the holders thereof. The latest evidence of fraudulently obtained lists of people, many of whom are long deceased, on “certificates” stating their free and informed consent for the Xolobeni Mining venture on the Wild Coast, provides Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu with a more than adequate basis to revoke the mining right immediately.
By Stephan Hofstatter Johannesburg — EVIDENCE of misrepresentation has emerged in papers submitted in an application that led to a decision by the Department of Mineral Resources to allow titanium mining on the environmentally sensitive Wild Coast. If proved, the disclosures could jeopardise plans by Australian company Mineral Commodities (MRC) and its empowerment partner, Xolco, to extract heavy metals worth an estimated R11bn from the coastal dunes of the Transkei.
By: Christy van der Merwe 10th February 2010 The hearings involving interested parties appealing a decision to grant Transworld Energy Minerals (TEM) a licence to mine heavy minerals from the dunes near Xolobeni on the Wild Coast, scheduled to take place this week, were cancelled. The committee of four people, which was appointed by the Mining and Minerals Board to oversee the presentations from all parties involved, could not proceed because it had not received the necessary documentation from the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR). Committee chairperson Pathekile Holomisa told Mining Weekly Online that it had now received the documentation, which it would go through, and would decide in March whether or not hearings into the matter in fact needed to take place. "Ultimately, our piece would be to advise the Minister, either to proceed with granting the license, or cancel or withdraw it, but that depends on our understanding of the issue. And we shall also decide whether there is a need to invite more oral presentations or not," he explained.
The Legal Resources Centre's submission to DME on behalf of the ACC and Xolobeni community is rather long-winded and dry; but also interesting, and thoroughly convincing: THE DEPARTMENT OF MINERALS AND ENERGY INTERNAL APPEAL/REVIEW OF THE AWARD OF A MINING RIGHT TO TRANSWORLD ENERGY AND MINERAL RESOURCES (SA) (PTY) LTD Appeal/review instituted by: THE AMADIBA CRISIS COMMITTEE Directed to: MINISTER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF MINERALS AND ENERGY APPLICANT'S FURTHER GROUNDS OF REVIEW AND REPLY TO SUBMISSIONS FROM TEM AND XOLCO
2 Recent print articles, which only appeared in the Daily Dispatch Online today, have already been published in the Weekend Post and on other environmental sites; proving conclusively that public perception is strongly against the mining: The stories have been published at http://www.weekendpost.co.za/article.aspx?id=527361 http://saweatherobserver.blogspot.com/2010/02/another-environmental-disaster-in.html and http://www.savingwater.co.za/2010/02/04/heavy-minerals-mining-in-environmentally-sensitive-habitat/ and are also reproduced in full below: 2010/02/04 THE granting of a mining licence to Australian mining group Transworld Energy Minerals (TEM) to mine heavy minerals on the pristine dunes at Xolobeni on the Wild Coast was “clearly improper and ought to be withdrawn”. ...
LRC to make oral submissions on behalf of the Amadiba Crisis Committee at Xolobeni. On 8, 9 and 10 February 2010, the Minerals and Mining Development Board will receive oral submissions on behalf of interested parties involved in the appeal against the Minister’s decision to grant a mining right to Transworld Energy Minerals (TEM) at Xolobeni in the Eastern Cape. The Board will then make recommendations to the Minister of Minerals and Energy. The LRC will be representing the Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC) who are appealing the granting of the mining right. One of the grounds for the appeal is that the mining right was granted to TEM without sufficient and reasonable consultation with the Xolobeni community as an interested and affected party. Counsel for the ACC Advocates Gilbert Marcus (SC) and Isabel Goodman will be submitting written heads of argument that will be made available to interested parties.
2 October 2009 LRC submits expert evidence against mining in Xolobeni On 28 September 2009 the Grahamstown office of the Legal Resources Centre (LRC) submitted two expert reports to the Minister of Minerals and Energy on behalf of the AmaDiba Crisis Committee (ACC). The reports were in support of the ACC’s appeal to the Minister to set aside the mining right granted to Transworld Energy Minerals(TEM) at Xolobeni in the Eastern Cape. One of the reports compiled by Jan Meyer, a soil fertility expert, provides that the heavy mineral mining operations planned by TEM have been discontinued in other jurisdictions such as Australia and New Zealand. TEM is a subsidiary of the Australian group Mineral Resources Commodities (MRC). The report states that ‘a significant amount of heavy mineral mining previously took place along the East Coast of Australia, New South Wales. However many of the mining operations in New South Wales have been asked to desist.’
A spectacular glimpse of the Wild Coast. Available from http://www.impactvideo.co.za/prod_det.asp?ID=1520 Shoreline is a South African documentary series commissioned by SABC 2. It is a multidisciplinary showcase of all the unique and diverse features along our coastline – geology, paleontology, history, settlement patterns, marine biology, ecology etc. One of the main features of this series is that it is presented by a team of specialist presenters – archaeologist Gavin Whitelaw, historian Nomalanga Mkhize and marine biologist Eleanor Yeld. Anchor presenter Peter Butler and his dog Nujack guide our experts on the journey around the coast. Shoreline consists of 13 episodes and in each episode we visit a stretch of coastline to get a sense of its character and stories to help build a picture of our unique coastline. We reveal how natural wonders and historic events have shaped the lives of coastal communities.’
The Department of Environmental Affairs & Tourism have issued an Environmental Authorisation (EA) for the establishment of a 132kV substation at Zwelethu (near Bizana) and 2 x 132kV lines to feed the South Coast, Bizana & Xolobeni region. A copy of the EA can be downloaded here: Eros_Port_Edward-Environmental_Authorisation_13Aug09.pdf Anyone wishing to appeal any aspect of this decision must lodge a notice of intention to appeal with the Minister of DEAT by the 28th August 2009. Further details are contained in the EA. It's futile and counter-productive to protest progress and future energy requirements, obviously; but as can be seen from the attached diagrams the approved power line on the Eastern Cape side comes directly to the north perimeter of the proposed Xolobeni mining tenement, and from there runs adjacent to the proposed N2. That's called central planning 1-2-3.
Scientists in South Africa discover 18 new spider, snail and worm species From www.guardian.co.uk By David Smith in Johannesburg Tuesday 18 August 2009 Scientists surveying a nature reserve in South Africa have discovered 18 previously unrecorded species of invertebrates, including spiders, snails, millipedes, earthworms and centipedes. The trove of creatures was uncovered in eight days by researchers and volunteers working for the environmental charity Earthwatch at the Mkhambathi nature reserve on the spectacular Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape. However, scientists warned that planned developments in the area could threaten the ecosystem and deny them the chance to identify further species. Jan Venter, an ecologist working for Eastern Cape Parks, which manages the reserve, said that the 29 square mile area had previously attracted only ad hoc surveys and butterfly collectors. "To get so many species in one survey shows the importance of the reserve. It's a very special area, conservation-wise. If we do another survey, we'll find just as many." The team suspects that another 18 species might be discovered.