Tormin heavy mineral sands mine: Setback for giant West Coast mine project

GroundUpnews agencyreports that and application by Mineral Sands Resources (MSR) anAustralian mining company,for a huge expansion of its existing Tormin heavy mineral sands mine near Koekenaap on the West Coast, has been rejected by the South African Government.

Reasons for the refusal by the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) include that the mining company, Mineral Sands Resources (MSR), had already unlawfully started work on certain “listed  ustralia activities” ­– potentially environmentally-damaging activities that require pre-approval in terms of national environmental management regulations – before submitting its application.

Also, MSR had submitted an incomplete application by not identifying all the listed activities triggered by the proposed project.A site inspection by DMR’s staff on 6 November 2017 had revealed that the mining company had contravened theNational Environment Management Act(NEMA) by unlawfully starting work on listed activities. In other words, it was already doing some of the things it was applying for authorisation to do. This had included clearing natural vegetation on “a large portion” of the proposed 75ha mining area on Geelwal, and building a water reservoir and pipeline to the processing plant within the proposed expansion application area.