A DECISION by Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu is imminent on an appeal to stop her granting rights to mine titanium from sand dunes along a pristine stretch of the Wild Coast.
In a written reply to a parliamentary question, tabled on Monday, Shabangu declined to make public the findings of an earlier environmental impact assessment (EIA) into the plans of Transworld Energy Mineral Resources to mine the heavy mineral.
“The granting of the mining right is the subject of an internal appeal. All relevant documents, including the EIA and EMP [environmental management plan] forms part of the appeal and will be considered by the minister in adjudicating the appeal.
“The appeal is in an advanced stage of being finalised, and [the] outcome thereof is expected soon. Under these circumstances, the outcome and findings of the EIA cannot be made public at this stage,” she said.
The appeal being considered was lodged by the Legal Resources Centre, a human rights organisation, on behalf of Pondoland’s AmaDiba community, together with resort hotel chain Sun International.
Transworld Energy Mineral Resources is the South African partner of Australian mining company Mineral Resources Commodities.
The granting of rights to mine the dunes at Xolobeni — which has been placed on hold until the outcome of the appeal is known — has drawn strong condemnation from environmentalists, green organisations and opposition political parties, as well as Wild Coast communities.