Words by Miles Masterson.
Fresh on the heels of our news of the ,prospecting application by Nekwana Trading Enterprise (Pty) Ltd to mine for heavy minerals on the coastline near the Soutrivier Mouth and Karoetjies Kop, just north of the Olifants River Estuary, Protect The West Coast has been notified of yet another prospecting application in the same area.
A group of wild campers enjoying the tranquility of the area, which may not be so peaceful soon. Image by Nick Muzik.
A company called SRK Mining (Pty) Ltd has applied to prospect to mine diamonds in this fragile region, which is rich with locations of significance to the indigenous community, traditional fishing zones, biodiverse ecosystems, unique flora and flora, stunning vistas, untouched beaches and good surf.
Prospecting for small-scale diamond mining in coastal areas involves a systematic approach to identify potential diamond-bearing deposits. A geological survey is conducted to find indicator minerals associated with diamonds. Sediment samples are then collected and processed to identify the possible presence of diamonds.
While not quite as disruptive as full scale mining operations, the prospecting activities, such as collecting sediment samples and conducting heavy mineral separation, may involve the digging up and disturbance of coastal ecosystems and habitats.
Layout plan provided by SRK showing the area they wish to prospect. Map by SRK Mining.
Landscape showing proposed prospecting area (Red polygon) and historic exploration (Yellow polygon). Map provided by SRK Mining.
Moreover, given the mineral-rich quality of the area, the likelihood of these prospecting activities leading to actual mining is extremely high.
If this latest application is approved, it will mean that even more potentially destructive mining operations will become active in this pristine, untouched coastal zone.
The area that the two prospecting applications are for. Images by Nick Muzik.
Join us in the fight by objecting to these applications by registering as an I&AP and voice your concern. The more noise we make about every single one of these applications, the better.
SRK Mining’s Basic Assessment Report and Environmental Management Plan (DBAR & EMP) will be made available to all registered Interested and Affected Parties (I&AP) on the 15th of June 2023, and the deadline for the 30-day comment period on the DBAR is the 15th of July 2023.
Download the Background Information Document below this article (there is an English and Afrikaans version provided), fill in the form at the back of the document and sign up as an I&AP by sending it to ,email@example.com. From there you will be sent all relevant documentation such as the Draft Basic Assessment Report and the Environmental Management Plan from which you can lodge appeals.
We are currently working on a portal to streamline this process and will keep you updated on this as news comes but in the meantime, please help us in our work by donating ,HERE.