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Mtunzini Conservancy: Appeal against Water use license of TRONOX

This message is about the campaign to address the proposed sand dune mining to the South of the town of Mtunzini, in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The Mtunzini Conservancy (Reg. No. 2007/006455/08) is a Non Profit Company (NPC) with Section 18A tax status and can issue tax certificates for donations made. It is also registered as a Public Benefit Organisation (PBO No 930026221).

The Mtunzini Conservancy has for the past three years been involved in a struggle for fairness and justice in the authorisation process for the Tronox Fairbreeze mine south of the village of Mtunzini. This opencast mine will destroy biodiversity, alter the landscape and destroy the amenity of the area for ever if ever allowed to proceed.

This struggle is about long term sustainability for the many versus short term gain for the few. This struggle is about standing up for the environment: for our ever dwindling natural environment and biodiversity. This struggle is precedent setting for the whole country.

Our struggle continues and we ask that you donate R100, R250, R500, R1000 or whatever you can afford so that we may preserve the east coast of KwaZulu Natal from the ravages of open cast sand mining. We must stop it here at Mtunzini.

Mtunzini-Sand-Dune-Mining  Mtunzini Conservancy: Appeal against Water use license of TRONOX  Mtunzini Sand Dune MiningOn Friday 1st November 2013 we submitted an appeal against the water use licence granted to Tronox KwaZulu-Natal Sands required to build two massive 600 ha, 30 to 37 m high slimes dams and a return water dam. These structures will destroy a number of wetlands that feed the Siyaya Estuary and highly productive agricultural land. There is no proof as yet that Tronox will be ever be able to rehabilitate the slimes dams and they will for ever remain a threat and liability to the community. The conditions of this water use licence are vague, inaccurate and not auditable and will not protect our water resource. Our appeal suspends the water use licence granted to Tronox and the construction that falls within the ambit of the water use licence must stop. We ask that this water use licence be set aside and satisfactorily amended to ensure protection of the national water resource with suitable financial guarantees put in place before any implementation is allowed.

We are also preparing to take the wrong decision to allow Tronox to conduct a Basic Assessment on judicial review. This wrong and unfair decision is precedent setting for South Africa with negative implications for future mine authorisations and the environment and must be set aside. We insist, as is our right, that this high impact project be subjected to the scrutiny of a full environmental assessment with scoping to ensure a sustainable future for the people and the environment.

We have submitted papers to comment on the planning application for the mine for the land immediately next to town. From a planning perspective it is inconceivable to think that tourism centred on picturesque Mtunzini can co-exist with the dust and ruined landscapes that are associated with open cast mineral sand mining (see Tronox Hillendale mine). Tourism is part of the strategic plan for the sustainable development of Mtunzini and the area – open cast mineral sand mining is not. What protection then does an investor in the sustainable long term tourism industry here have from the possibility that a mine will suddenly be allowed right next to his investment? We need to ensure that sound strategic planning takes place and is implemented to preserve our amenity and protect our long term investors in sustainable tourism from the ravages of open cast mining.

To minimise the impact of the mine or even stop the mine we need to proceed on all fronts: Judicial Review of the wrong decision to conduct a Basic Assessment; appeal the defective water use licence granted to Tronox to ensure protection of the water resource; and oppose the placing of a heavy industrial activity like opencast mining on agricultural land next to the tourist destination of Mtunzini.

You can learn more about how mining affected Hillendale by viewing pics on our FB page.

To do all of this we must raise another R500 000 over the next few months and ask that you donate to our mine fund R100, R250, R500, R1000 or any amount that you can afford. The Mtunzini Conservancy is a PBO (Public Benefit Organisation) with 18 (a) tax status and can issue tax certificates for donations made. Please make your donation to the Mtunzini Conservancy and help us stand up for the environment in this precedent setting struggle to preserve biodiversity and amenity for future generations. Our Banking details given below.

For more information contact the Mtunzini Conservancy Chairperson, Barbara Chedzey on +27(0)35 340 2898

For further informationon the Mtunzini Conservancy sand dune mining debacle, read the Tourism Tattler article ‘Ecotourism hub of Mtunzini under threat‘ HERE.