BUCHUBERG MINING THREAT
Some background information.
In March 2021, Buchuberg Resources (Pty) Ltd lodged two applications for onshore prospecting rights and environmental authorisation in two vast areas located on the West Coast with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) for – among others - diamonds, gold ore, heavy minerals, rare earths and mineral sands.
The first area covers nearly 11 500 hectares on two farms located southwest of Lutzville and east of Vredendal (see figure 1). The second is for more than 36 500 hectares of land that extends over seventeen farms located west of Vredendal and north of Lamberts Bay (see figure 2).
According to both applications, the prospecting process will be conducted in five phases, where each phase is dependent on the outcome of the previous one.
Phases are as follows:
Using digital mapping and satellite imagery, data obtained from private sources, and analysing any existing data on prospecting in the area.
Surface mapping and sampling. Surface sampling will entail manually digging 200 holes of 50 cm x 50 cm and 1 m deep for laboratory analysis. This will take up to three months.
Surveying the mapped area by means of a grid consisting of 500 m x 500 m demarcated squares. A total of 100 auger drill holes of 4 m deep are planned initially with the option to follow up with additional drilling. Existing roads will be utilised with “new tracks only permitted in exceptional circumstances”. There is no indication of what would render circumstances as exceptional.
Air Core drilling up to 20 m, with 50 designated holes. In Air Core drilling, steel or tungsten blades are used to drill into soft ground. Drill cuttings are then removed by injecting compressed air into the hole.
All prospecting data will be analysed and compiled in a report to determine the potential of undertaking major mining operations in the area.
The “Basic Assessment Report / Environmental Management Plans and Specialist Reports” have been made available for review until Monday, 10 May. It has been emailed to affected parties, with hard copies being available upon request at selected local public libraries, Municipal offices and schools. Affected parties must submit their concerns to Buchuberg Resources (Pty) Ltd, which will be sent to the DMRE for review.
As part of the DMRE’s conditions, meetings between Buchuberg Resources (Pty) Ltd and affected parties concerning the first application will be held at Doring Bay Community Hall on Thursday, 6 May 2021 at 9:30 AM, and at Ebeneaser on Friday, 7 May 2021 at 10 AM. Another meeting concerning the second application will be held at Don Burrell Hall in Lambert’s Bay at 2.00 PM on Wednesday, 5 May 2021.
Figure 1: The first area covers nearly 11 500 hectares on two farms located southwest of Lutzville and east of Vredendal
Figure 2: The second is for more than 36 500 hectares of land that extends over seventeen farms located west of Vredendal and north of Lamberts Bay