Protect the West Coast of South Africa

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From the Orange River to Cape Columbine, hundreds of kilometres of the South Africa’s West Coast coastline are being mined, or have been earmarked for mining. These industrial-scale extractions have lasting consequences for local communities, fisheries and the natural environment, for generations to come.

MSR, the Australian mining company who owns the Tormin Mine, 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.

This extension is part of a larger plan by this Australian mining company to mine an extensive area of the West Coast from the northern bank of the Olifants estuary to south of the Namakwa Sands.  An estimate of the total extent of the coastline that would potentially be impacted by mining activities if all MSR’s applications are approved would be approximately 52 kilometres. While mining will not take place on all the coastal land, rocky shores and beaches - mining and associated activities such as haul and access roads, infrastructure development and stockpiling material, will disturb and in places destroy the environment. This will affect access to these pristine beaches and coastal areas that fall within a critical biodiversity area (CBA).

In addition, 2 farms adjacent to the Olifants estuary on the northern bank, the third most important estuary in South Africa in terms of birdlife and biodiversity, and an essential source of food and livelihood to traditional fishing communities from the area,  are also part of this long-term mining plan. Environmental Authorisation for prospecting on these farms has recently been approved by the Department of Mineral Resources. Civil society needs to appeal this decision which could have devastating consequences for this estuary and surrounding environment. 

Please stand with us to Protect the West Coast from reckless mining activities that have limited benefit for the people of South Africa, and especially communities of the West Coast.

We call on Minister Barbara Creecy to do her job and protect the environment and local communities from environmental destruction on the west coast.