A company called Nisarox Pty. Ltd. has been granted permission by the Department of Minerals and Energy (DMRE) to prospect including bulk sampling for diamond (alluvial), diamond and diamond (general) on Sea Concession 12B, over an area of 10,000ha with an inshore boundary 1km off the coast between Strandfontein in the South and Namakwa Sand Wet Separation Plant in the north and the offshore boundary located 4km off the Cape West Coast.
This area, which falls within the Magisterial District of Vanrhynsdorp, is adjacent to the stretch of coast between the Olifants Estuary and Doringbaai. This is the same region where several land-based mining applications have been recently submitted – or in the case of Transhex (Moonstone), mining rights have been previously approved by the DMRE but are being opposed in the courts by Protect The West Coast (PTWC) later this month.
A prospecting application foreshadows a mining application. Once approved, and implemented, it stands a good chance of becoming an application for mining rights in due course. If the latter is approved, with the abovementioned land-based mining already taking place, it will mean that this critically vulnerable, incredibly biodiverse stretch of coast will become one giant mine, both offshore and onshore.
The potential threat to the environment, and the livelihoods of fishers and future tourism potential in the area, is massive. We understand that there have been several administrative irregularities in the application process for the EIA, including a lack of consultation with the local fishing community.
Anyone can appeal against this application before Thursday 10 August.
Download the DMRE Environmental Authorisation and Appeal Template below.
Add your appeal to the Appeal Template and email it to both email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Environmental Authorisation Template: