Battle looms over mining application in Marico Biosphere Reserve


Battle looms over mining application in Marico Biosphere Reserve
Battle looms over mining application in Marico Biosphere Reserve. Photo: Pixabay

AfriForum submitted commentary on 8 June 2021, to oppose the development of mining activities in the Marico Biosphere Reserve. Members of the Groot Marico community informed the organisation of possible shortcomings in the application process for environmental approval that was brought by Singo Consulting on behalf of Legare Mining Services (Pty) Ltd.

AfriForum investigated and registered as interested and affected party. The organisation has also appointed a specialist to scrutinise the assessment report and environmental impact study.

The application is aimed at ascertaining whether there are sufficient minerals in the area to open an economically viable mine. Legare Mining Services plans on mining among others chromium, cobalt, gold, nickel and platinum group metals. The total area comprises 1 989 ha, in which Legare Mining Services plans on sinking 15 boreholes for prospecting purposes.

“I was contacted by members of the community and landowners who expressed their displeasure with the mining application. We investigated and established that the public participation process was flawed, as well as the application for environmental approval in its entirety. One of the most significant problems that we identified is that Singo Consulting compiled their report through desk-based research, previous applications and general knowledge of the area. This is preposterous. Moreover, the application was published in the Brits Pos – a newspaper that is not even sold in the Groot Marico area. The community was therefore not informed of the application.

Questions by AfriForum as well as other interested and affected parties were not answered satisfactorily by Singo,” says Petrus Coetzee, AfriForum se distrikskoördineerder vir Marico.

Lambert de Klerk, Manager of Environmental Affairs at AfriForum, says that it is not the first time that AfriForum and Singo Consulting’s paths cross. “The company was also involved in an application for mining activities south of the Kruger National Park and was accused of alleged fraud. AfriForum will monitor the process closely and take necessary steps as advised by our specialist. It seems that there are once again irregularities.”

Read the original article in Afrikaans on AfriForum