MSR MINING THREAT
Some background information.
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 (see Map below).
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. Mining activities include:
- Mining on ten beaches adjacent to the farm Remainder of Graauw Duinen 152, and Portions of Farm Klipvley Karoo Kop 153, along a stretch of coastline north of Tormin Mine and comprising about 43.7 ha mining and 6 ha for haul roads.
- Inland “strand line” mining on the Farm Geelwal Karoo 262, inland of the existing processing plant comprising 75 ha for mining
- Expanding the infrastructure area of 64 ha adjacent to the existing processing plant to accommodate additional processing plants, stockpile areas, industrial yards, parking and laydown areas.
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, 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.