NEW Riviera Prospecting Right application – PLEASE HELP!

The Mining Right application in the Moutonshoek Valley has been withdrawn and Bongani Minerals has instead lodged a Prospecting Right application with the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR). Please see the background information document (BID) below.

We urge members to fill in the forms below to REGISTER directly with Withers Environmental Consultants (WEC) as I&APs by 26 April 2010 and to attend the public meeting on 28 April 2010 in thousands.

We hope that our members and supporters from other interest groups will FLOOD the DMR with objections by the thousands.

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You can also email your objections to:

The Regional Manager | Department of Mineral Resources
Attention: Ms Sibongile Kunene – email:  duduzile.kunene@dme.gov.za
and cc Mr Jan Briers
email:  jan.briers@dme.gov.za

The reference is:

Withers Environmental Consultants – Attention : Mari de Villiers and Elize le Roux
E-mail:  info@withersenviro.co.za

Please remember that a Prospecting Right (PR) application is different from a Mining Right (MR) application, and objections are two-fold:

1.1                   objections to prospecting because prospecting itself (drilling, etc) is bad for agricultural operations, employment, the environment, the community, property prices, etc. An argument can be made for the current sense of place, which is rural, and is very likely to be significantly impaired by prospecting activities.
Geological and mining specialists’ opinion is that likely impacts of invasive methods of prospecting include: noise, air pollution caused by dust, possibly contamination of surface and ground water, the excavation of soil and the generation and storage of solid waste, and the possible degradation of natural vegetation, the cumulative effect of which is likely significantly to impact on the receiving environment. The application proposes a prospecting time frame of 5 years with invasive drilling processes spread over 2 years! They intend to ‘develop 150 drilling sites’, with all the concomitant infrastructure, e.g. drilling rigs, of which as many as 4 will be in place on the affected farms at one time. These invasive processes will render at least two affected farms inoperable, with an immediate loss of 320 jobs, mostly women workers.
Legal opinion is that both the principles of NEMA and, potentially, some of the listed activities under NEMA are relevant to the prospecting application.  In addition there are probably other environmental legal requirements which must be met before prospecting can lawfully commence.  These may include rezoning under LUPO, the granting of a waste management licence under the Waste Act and the undertaking of a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) under the National Heritage Resources Act (NHRA).

1.2       objections to prospecting because the intended outcome, mining, would be bad for agricultural operations, employment, the environment, the community, property prices, etc.

Importantly, a Prospecting Right application does not entail an Environmental Impact Assessment  (EIA) but the application does have to submit an Environmental Management Programme (EMP) for the prospecting.

Opportunities to participate and comment

Public meetings:
22 April – Focus group meeting (CBO and NGO representatives) in the Committee Room of the Centre for the Book, Victoria Rd, Cape Town CBD.
28 April – Public Open Day at Piketberg Public Library

Official closing dates for comment directly to the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR):
30 April 2010 for comment on the Prospecting Right (PR) application
30 May 2010 for comments to the Environmental Management Plan (EMP) submitted with the PR

However, for Withers Environmental Consultants (WEC) to take cognisance of objections and to include these in their primary submission to the DMR, please register with WEC and comment by:

26 April 2010 for comment to the Prospecting Right application
18 May 2010 for comments on the Environmental Management Plan (EMP)

The Draft Prospecting EMP should be available for I&AP comment from Monday, 19 April 2010 to Tuesday, 18 May 2010 at the following publically accessible places:

  • National Library, Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town;
  • Piketberg Public Library;
  • Elandsbaai Hotel; and the
  • Karookop School Office.

The document will also be available on the following website: www.withersenviro.co.za.

Dismissal of the recent Winelands prospecting right application

In response to the recent Winelands prospecting right application by government-owned African Exploration Mining and Finance Corporation, Advocate Sandile Nogxina – director general of the Department of Mineral Resources – went on record saying that an application to mine land under agricultural production would never be granted as the government had to balance the interests of the exploitation of mineral resources with food security. In his words:

“Land use has to cater for both. The land is being used for food security and there is no way we can interfere with that. We are a responsible government after all.”

“Definitely the application is not going anywhere, as, if mining went ahead, we would have to expropriate those farms and the operations. … They did not know that there were vineyards there when they made the application — they just used a geological map.”

We expect that the department will be equally responsible about the current farming activities in the Moutonshoek Valley and the value of the Krom Antonies River water catchment upstream from the sensitive Verlorenvlei wetland.

We thank you for your support!

40 Responses to “NEW Riviera Prospecting Right application”

  1. Manfred Rusch says:

    I object to the proposed application.

    Sadly my experience of these public participation processes are negative, as they are nothing more than get you comment and then publicly denigrate your opinion.

    To propose open cast mining in this area is sheer madness.

  2. pharic crawford says:

    I strongly oppose the mining proposition in this fragile and beautiful area. Apart from the local farming activities which would be negatively affected, the natural environment including flora and fauna would slowly be destroyed. The increased traffic and people would put a burden on this sensitive area. These projects need to be stopped in natural aereas like this. Financial gain for a few cannot overpower the people any longer. The only people the mining will help will be the businessmen and the government involved. We need to stand up and protect what little natural environments we have left, for future generations. I dont fancy bringing my children up in a mad max style landscape, which our earth is going to look like unless we protect our home and slow down and control the greed and destruction.
    your sincerely pharic crawford

  3. Stuart Wallis-Brown says:

    I strongly object to the proposed application for open cast mining. The only long term benefactors will be corrupt government officials! This area needs more sustainable solutions. Please do not allow the destruction of our natural heritage!

  4. Arnim Schon says:

    Bongani Minerals

    Go find your tungsten somewhere else. For the sake of the region, our country , our children and yours , think carefully about what you are trying to do. Is the quick buck worth the long term damage and destruction to a region as beautiful as this, not too mention the health threats to our people.

    Leave it alone


  5. Edward Koch says:

    Since the end of apartheid there have been extensive efforts to limit mining in favour of protecting the environment. Nelson Mandela, the most iconic example, has been in favour of protecting places like IsiMangaliso (The Greater St Lucia Wetland Par) from mining and environmentally unsound forests. I strongly urge that you follow his ideas on this matter. Also we should look at non-mining forms of industry that derive from protecting the environment.

  6. manta says:

    No no no!! Leave Ebay alone….Give the planet a break.

  7. Sebastian Chennells says:

    this is ridiculous. i say no.

  8. Stephan Hambsch says:

    I am strongly opposed to the mining prospecting! The environmental and economic impact on the area is too great, aside from the vlei and sorrounding being damaged, the local community will also suffer. Tourism will go down and, most importantly, the already empoverished local fishing community will be harshly affected by the poluting of the ocean.
    A mining contract like this should not be given for various moral reasons – protect the environment and the local communities!

  9. ellen kris says:

    Stop to destroy the planet!

  10. Pieter Louw says:

    wtf is up with the government lately, trying to mine in all these sensitive ecosystems?

  11. Grant says:

    I am completely opposed to any mining of any kind in this area. The environment will suffer tremendously not to mention the sea life and the tourism aspect. Keep these valuable environments clear of harmful chemical waste and enjoy them as we do.

  12. Kai Linder says:

    I object!
    This is just craziness. to endanger one of the most beautiful environmental zones in South Africa for mining – get real guys!
    The Area is the most popular tourism area on the West Coast.
    Don’t let it happen!

  13. jane van reenen says:

    Sadly the only ones to benefit from this will be those who have no idea of preserving our eco system. Those whose greed surpasses all reasonable thinking.
    No to mining in any form. What could possibly be worth the destruction of such beauty. Surely the environment has to feature over and above all else. The outright slaughter of birds and other forms of wildlife would be no less than criminal.
    Don’t allow this to happen!!

  14. Pia says:

    It’s absolutely shocking what long-term damage people are willing and eager to inflict for a quick and dirty buck.

    I just tried to submit my faxed objection, only to get a ‘mailbox is full’ message. It had better be ready by tomorrow – this is ridiculous!

  15. Conrad says:

    I cant believe that they allow mining in a catchment area of a river in SA, not as if we have lots of rivers anyway!! This is suicide!!

  16. Linds says:

    This is outrageous!!
    I strongly oppose! Leave Elands alone!!!

  17. Gavin says:

    No! Please don’t take Elands Bay from us!!

  18. Malie says:

    Hi folks

    You can also email the objections. Just set your mailbox to indicate mail received/mail read to acknowledge receipt.

    The Regional Manager
    Department of Mineral Resources
    Private Bag X9
    Rogge Bay

    Attention: Ms Sibongile Kunene

    email: duduzile.kunene@dme.gov.za

    and cc Mr Jan Briers
    email: jan.briers@dme.gov.za

    The reference is:


    AND COPY the Environmental Consultants:

    Withers Environmental Consultants
    P O Box 6118

    Attention : Mari de Villiers and Elize le Roux

    E-mail: info@withersenviro.co.za

    Fax: 021 883 2952
    Tel: 021 887 4000 or 886 4973

  19. Simon says:

    Too many feel nothing about getting rich by destroying the wealth of others, a wealth that is theirs as they freely enjoy the beauty of undisturbed creation. We need to stop destroying things before we realize that all the truly valuable things are gone.

  20. Annevan says:

    How short term economic gain for a mining company can possibly be even considered to outweigh the longterm livelihoods, food and water security of an area and all the humans and others who live there, just shows the insanity of our “civilised” culture. A healthy land base is priceless.

  21. Ansune Kroger says:

    I object to the proposed application. enough beauty falls prey to greed.

  22. torsten münch says:

    na klaro !!!!

  23. Sebastian Wegner says:

    The environmental and economic impact on the area is too great.
    Don´t destroy the Elands Bay.

  24. Cobus says:

    Is it too late to object? 3 May 2010…

  25. Dustin Ambrose says:

    I strongly object to any developments especially those of a minining nature. Having been fortuneate enough to travel the world I can safely say that the Velorenvlei area is unique and one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. South African citizens will suffer a tragic loss should any form of mining be allowed in this area! It is not possible for mining operations in any form to be carried out and not destroy the surrounding environment!

  26. Malie says:

    Keep objecting to both the Department of Mineral Resources and Withers Environmental Consultants … they have to keep a record, even if official due date has passed. Also, public has until 30 May to comment to the environmental management plan (EMP), and that is the issue one is especially concerned about. The docs that constitute this ‘plan’ are available on the website of the consultant who drives the public participation on behalf of Bongani: http://www.withersenviro.co.za.

  27. grant says:

    I strongly object to the proposed mining development.

  28. Stephen Bibb says:

    i object, surely it’s time to stop taking and start giving

  29. Francois says:

    This is an area of awesome beauty and a huge natural asset. This proposal does not consider the impact that will marginalize billions of creatures that live their and have lived their for millions of years. Please leave this intact pristine ecosystem alone for our children’s children to enjoy as I have from childhood myself.

  30. Malie says:

    Thanks for keeping the debate alive and the objections coming but you must please also ernsure that your objections reach the relevant authorities at the Department of Mineral Resources. Pleased get involved by joining the Verlorenvlei Coalition. Send your details to Kerry Campbell (kerry@devs.co.ca).

  31. Sue says:

    When will we learn that our world is to fragile to be distroyed by a few greedy folk for just short term gain!!!

  32. TREVOR NOLAN says:


  33. Craig says:




  34. GAVIN says:


  35. pieter wilderness says:

    Go drill somewhere else you greedy bastards!!!!

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  37. Samantha says:

    Thanks will go have a look.


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