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Mtunzini Conservancy

 

EXXARO Fairbreeze Mine | Mtunzini Conservancy Fund Raising


15 August 2011

Dear Supporter,

Exxaro KZN Sands propose to soon begin the construction of an open cast sand dune mine (Fairbreeze) in Zululand next to Mtunzini.  Exxaro intends to mine the sand dunes to within 100 metres of the nearest Mtunzini residential housing.

The proposed Fairbreeze mine is massive; +- 4,000 hectares of open cast mine, +- 600 hectares of slimes dams, dam walls 37 metres high and 160 metres wide.  The slimes dams will be placed in the middle of sensitive wetland areas and across different catchment areas. 

Eskom power lines must be moved, 50km of new dirt roads will be constructed, a new N2 highway entrance/exit will be constructed.  The mine has almost quadrupled in proposed throughput since it was originally initiated – from 600 tons per hour to 2,200 tons per hour.  The slimes dams will be +- 5km long and +- 1.2km wide.  There is no evidence whatsoever that the slimes dams can ever be rehabilitated to the original use of sugar cane and gum trees.

To cap it all Exxaro are not even obliged to carry out a full Scoping and Environmental Impact Assessment (S&EIA).  Exxaro have convinced the Government (the KZN Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs and Rural Development – DAEARD) that they only need to submit a Basic Assessment Report (BAR) – no full scoping will be carried out!

The residents of Mtunzini and surrounds cannot understand how the DAEARD could approve such an application for a BAR, especially when the Interested or Affected Parties (I&AP's) were never consulted, even though Exxaro and its advisors had ample opportunity to keep the I&AP’s informed. 

The SABC TV2 program 50/50 broadcast a report on the situation in Mtunzini on the 9th May 2011 (Exxaro chose not to participate in the program).  For those who did not see the 50:50 program, there are clips on our SOS Facebook site, and on Youtube – check it out there.

SABC TV2 program 50/50 broadcast on the situation in Mtunzini

Exxaro has erected a substantial razor wire fence around their Fairbreeze C Extension property which is adjacent to Xaxaza Caravan Park in Mtunzini.  The Mtunzini Conservancy lodged an objection to the Department of Water Affairs (DWA) about the nature of the fence, and the DAEARD and the DWA have recently inspected the fence.  The DWA has responded that Exxaro is in contravention of the Water Use Licence issued by the DWA in July 2007.  The DWA has instructed Exxaro to address these issues.  We await the outcome.

On or about 14 July 2011 Exxaro submitted their Final Basic Assessment Report (fBAR) to the Government, and about two weeks later the Mtunzini Conservancy received copies of the same documents from Exxaro

We are still waiting for the KZN MEC for the Environment to respond to our appeal against a BAR process instead of a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).  In the meantime, we are preparing our comments to the adequacy of the responses of the Environmental Assessment Practitioner and specialists to our original comments on the draft BAR.

We are pleased with our legal progress to date, and our lawyer has assured us that we have a solid case against Exxaro and a great chance of success.

We now need to raise substantial further funds towards legal and professional fees and Public Relations.  This will enable us to respond to the fBAR, bring an interdict against any premature physical commencement of mining, and to generate substantial public awareness.

If you have previously contributed we would be very grateful if you would contribute again

The Mtunzini Conservancy is a Section 21 Company with s18(a) Tax status which means we can issue tax certificates.  If you have any queries in this regard please contact me, Jim Chedzey on 083 326 0698, or one of the other Committee members.

TO SUMMARISE

Where are we now?

What are we trying to achieve?

Contributions may be made to Mtunzini Conservancy at any branch of FNB or via the internet to.

FNB, branch code 220130.

Cheque Account no. 62093027475

Please use your business name or surname and initials as reference.

Please fax (to 086 512 6476) or E Mail (to bwkewley@telkomsa.net) the following information:-

We look forward to hearing from you.

Stan Whitfield

Mtunzini Conservancy

 

ENDS

For more information, view the Mtunzini Conservancy Autumn 2011 Newsletter

 Read more about Zululand and KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).

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