Wed, 28 April 2010

Wavescape users have been urgently requested to fight a mining company's application to prospect for minerals inland from Elands Bay, a move expected to bring catastrophic environmental damage to the area.

The proposal by Bongani Minerals is believed to be a precursor to destructive open cast tungston mining in a water catchment area that feeds into Verlorenvlei, one of few freshwater coastal lakes in South Africa. The rivermouth of the vlei is located at the base of the surfing point at Elands.

Members of the Verlorensvlei Coalition, who oppose the move, say that Bongani Minerals had tried to get mining rights on a farm in the Moutonshoek Valley. However, the application was withdrawn after an assessment indicated that the toxicity of the processed tungsten would have a negative impact on the vlei, the point and in turn the tourism industry.

However, according to the Verlorensvlei Coalition who oppose the mining bid, Bongani Minerals has instead lodged a Prospecting Right application with the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR). According to the coalition, this would take five years, cost R23 million, and be a precursor to devastating mining operations.

The coalition says that mining on farmland is madness given possible food and water safety issues, not least the potentially devastating effect it could have on the eco-system of the vlei. Minning for tungsten is a destructive process and could effect up to 4,000 sq kms of the area.

"For the people who live in the district the true issue is about the threat to their way of life, food security, provision of water, air quality and the potential for massive environmental degradation throughout the Verloren Valley from Piketberg to the Atlantic Ocean.

"The rains which fall on the Piketberg feed the Krom Antonies River which has sustained farming in the fertile Moutonshoek Valley for 300 years. The Piket-bo-berg and the valley produce export fruit, nuts, olives, potatoes, proteas and world class horses and provide work and a livelihood for hundreds of local people. The Krom Antonies River feeds the Verloren River which runs past Redelinghuys on its way to the sea. This water constitutes 60% by volume of that received by the Verlorenvlei which forms an estuary at Elands Bay and functions as a nursery for the local fishing and crayfishing industries.

"The quality and flow of water reaching the Verlorenvlei and thus the sea is at high risk of contamination by tungsten which becomes unstable during the mining process and has a strong affiliation for water. The fledgling tourist industry in the district, based on burgeoning guest houses, nature reserves and the famous left hand break at Elands Bay, may cease to exist."

The coalition has urged Wavescape users to object. Visit their website or go straight to this page on their website to voice your urgent objection.

The deadline is the end of the month, so time is tight. Do it now!


0 #8 Justin 2011-01-14 16:26
what was the outcome here - has this gone away?
0 #7 Mahola 2010-05-03 14:21
Read the Background Info Doc for more on the env consultants
0 #6 Beasty 2010-05-03 14:05
It would be good to keep on an eye out the Environmental Impact Assessment process, in particular, who is going it. Most of these mining groups choose an dubious EIA firm that basic write what the mining firm requires.
If need be, put out a notice for surfers who are willing to contribute to part of an independent EIA for free. Many of the countries top biologists are surfers.
The key is to nip this in the bud, don't even let them get into the prospecting phase.
Also argue in terms of jobs, not just birds and bees. You will find the mining groups proposed employment figures are generally inflated to say the least. Add up all the fishing, farming, tourism related jobs that would be lost because of the mine.
0 #5 Mahola 2010-05-03 12:20
Their application will have to go through the usual environmental procedure and legislation... including an environmental impact assessment which will require specialist investigations a lot of public participation meetings. A lot easier said than done. The petition will help a great deal but its NB to be involved throughout the procedure which will include registering as an interested/affected party when the time comes... they will be dealt with!!
Lee Jones
0 #4 Lee Jones 2010-05-02 22:27
There is an online petition about this issue - which I signed... Go to
If you are interested in joining the growing numbers of people who want to stop this from going ahead! Thanks!
Craig Moss
+1 #3 Craig Moss 2010-04-29 19:23
First the issue with J-Bay, now Elands, are Surfers the only people that actually see what is happening and what will happen to our planet if this does not stop. Let our voices be heard over the madness...
carl warburg
+1 #2 carl warburg 2010-04-29 16:02
I just downloaded letter and faxed it off. Took all of about one minute.

Get on with it boys and girls!
Vaughan Wood
+2 #1 Vaughan Wood 2010-04-29 14:09
Hi, Tried yesterday to add my comment but was rejected.Well, here goes again.I object strongly to the rape of our natural habitat and say to hell with the Fat-Cats who wanna make a fast buck$$!!!!
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