Mining Companies have a plan for the West Coast of South Africa that will destroy hundreds of kilometres of pristine coastal environments, disrupting local communities, fisheries, tourism and the rugged natural beauty of this globally recognised biodiversity hotspot.
Mineral Sand Resources (Pty) Ltd (MSR) is an Australian Mining company that owns and operates the Tormin Mineral Sands Mine on the West Coast of South Africa, about 19km north of the Olifants River Estuary and 25km west of the town of Lutzville.
The mining company currently holds mining rights to mine valuable heavy minerals (VHM) on beaches adjacent to Farm Geelwal Karoo 262.
MSR has recently been given environmental authorisation to extend their mining operations.
The expansion involves extending mining activities along an additional ten beaches north of the existing Tormin Mine and to an inland “strand line” mining area on the farm Geelwal Karoo 262.
In addition, 2 farms adjacent to the Olifants estuary, the third most important estuary in South Africa in terms of wildlife and biodiversity, are also part of this long-term mining plan.
Authorisation for prospecting on these farms has been approved but is delayed under appeal, filed by the Centre for Environmental Rights.
UNESCO deemed the Cape Floristic Region Protected Areas World Heritage Sites including the Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve and the Namaqua National Park.
The whole area is a biodiversity hotspot with the largest concentration of succulent plants in the world.
Cold, nutrient rich waters upwelling along the West Coast fuel high rates of phytoplankton growth that sustain the highly productive Benguela ecosystem.
These interconnected ecosystems are a haven for marine life such as whales, dolphins, seals, fish, birds, land-mammals, reptiles, plant and unique insect and invertebrate habitats.
Despite the creation of short term jobs, mining adversely affects ecosystems and has a detrimental knock-on effect to the broader West Coast environment, economy and society. Some of the risks associated with the projected mining activities are as follows:
-Disturbance and destruction of marine life on mined beaches
-Destabilisation of fisheries and fishing communities
-Impacts on already scarce water resources
-Air pollution from mining activities
-Increased roads and traffic footprint
-Visual impacts on local population and tourism
-Loss of access to beaches and coastline for recreational activities such as surfing and fishing
-Damage to the fragile dune system, which has evolved over millions of years as part of the natural interface between land and sea
-Alteration of the natural beach profile, and its dynamic equilibrium with the wave energy
-Knock-on impacts on land-based ecosystems
-Loss of archaeological resources and fossils
-Loss of indigenous heritage sites
Please stand with them to protect the West Coast!
View more info on their website - www.protectthewestcoast.org
Please share their petition far and wide. They need all the signatures they can get.