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The implication of the applications to prospect for and mine tungsten in the Moutonshoek Valley

Bongani Mineral’s recently withdrawn application for mining rights and newly submitted application for prospecting rights in the Moutonshoek Valley are about low grade tungsten ore and short term profits.

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.

Whilst the applicant is keen to limit the focus of the issue to the valuable Moutonshoek Valley; the area of effect is in fact about 4000 square kilometers.

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 rich and unique flora and fauna in the area, many species of which are vulnerable or endangered, could be lost.

This ancient riverine system and wetland, the livelihoods of thousands of people on the Piket-bo-berg, in the Moutonshoek Valley, Redelinghuys and Elands Bay, all the farms which lie on either side of the Verloren River and around the vlei look set to be sacrificed on the altar of greed.

What you can do to help stop this inappropriate development

Add your voice to the growing wave of dissent. Please join the Verlorenvlei Coalition by emailing Kerry Kruger at kerry@devs.co.za or you may post your name and address and phone number to Verlorenvlei Coalition, P O Box 75, REDELINGHUYS, 8105 or fax the information to 0865244536. You can also join and find more information via our website at www.verlorenvlei.co.za.

We urge members to raise their objections to the new application to prospect for tungsten ore, molybdenum ore and now also rare earths, copper ore, zinc ore, gold ore and silver ore.

A public meeting will be held on 22 April 2010 in Cape Town, and a Public Open Day in Piketberg on 28 April. REGISTER as interested and affected parties (I&APs) directly with Withers Environmental Consultants (WEC) by 26 April 2010 and submit your objections on the same day.
But please don’t forget also to FLOOD the Department of Mineral Resources directly with objections by the thousands.

Objections must be directed to:
The Regional Manager
Department of Mineral Resources
Private Bag X9
Rogge Bay
8012

OR
Ms Sibongile Kunene

email:  duduzile.kunene@dme.gov.za

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

AND/OR

Fax: 021 427 1046

The reference is

WC30/5/1/1/2/434PR
A/2010/03/26/001

To voice your objection to the new PROSPECTING RIGHT application, click here

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