Mining

Xolobeni Dune mining

"If the mining comes in, even if they come with nice promises of money, it's going to remove us. We'll never get our land back". Mzondeni Denge. Sub-headman. Mtolana village.

"... our environment and culture will be lost if the mining goes ahead" . The late Jabulani Mboyisa, Sangoma.

Since the late 1990's Mineral Commodities Limited (MRC), an Australian mining company with a local subsidiary operating as Transworld Energy and Minerals Resources (TEM), have put in repeated applications to mine coastal dunes between Mtentu and Mzamba river for ilmenite and other minerals.

Affected villagers overwhelmingly reject the idea of dune mining in the area. The Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC), a locally based organisation of elected community leaders, has led vociferous opposition to the mining proposal, with legal advice from the Legal Resources Centre in Grahamstown. Local mining opponents have faced harassment, threats, bribery, and verbal and physical assault.

In 2014 affected communities celebrated a small victory when the Department of Minerals declined to convert MRC's prospecting licence into a mining licence. However, this was short lived as MRC reapplied for prospecting rights in March 2015. The long battle to free North Pondoland from the threat of unwanted mining continues.