Exxaro, Tronox to mine titanium

2012-07-17 00:00

SOUTH African mining giant Exxaro and American company Tronox have been given the green light to mine titanium from the dune sand at Mtunzini on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast.

The Fairbreeze sand mine will cover about 4 000 hectares — the equivalent of 8 000 rugby fields — south of Mtunzini.

Mtunzini Conservancy chairperson Barbara Chedzy said yesterday that inhabitants of the small town — South Africa’s first urban conservancy — are disappointed at the government’s decision and will not take it lying down.

The conservancy and non-governmental organisation SOS (Save our Sands) have been fighting for five years to keep Tronox and Exxaro from their doorstep.

According to Chedzy, the conservancy and SOS are studying the approval documents.

She said the inhabitants will exhaust all other possibilities before taking legal steps.

Exxaro spokesperson Hilton Atkinson said Tronox, in which Exxaro has a 38,5% share, will develop and manage the Fairbreeze mine.

Tronox is also responsible for the rehabilitation of the Hillendale sand mine north of Mtunzini.

It is believed that the Fairbreeze mine, which will be active for about 15 years, will be worth about R2,5 billion.

Residents of the coastal town are very unhappy about Tronox’s environmental record in the U.S.

Sister newspaper Beeld reported earlier that Tronox was established last year after the Kerr-McGee Corporation liquidated itself in the U.S. when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claimed several million dollars from the company due to serious environmental offences.

Kerr-McGee was convicted of polluting areas in 22 federal states with, among other things, radioactive waste.

Some of this waste was dumped in the Colorado River.

Atkinson said Exxaro and Tronox still have to obtain certain approvals before mining can proceed.

According to a statement on Exxaro’s website, the groups plan to start mining in 2014. The Hillendale mine, also a titanium mine, closes at the end of the year.

SOS and the conservancy said that the Fairbreeze mine will destroy the entire eco-tourism industry and sensitive ecosystems at Mtunzini, and turn it into a ghost town within a few years.

Atkinson said earlier that Fairbreeze will create at least 1 000 jobs. If the project is stopped, R300 million will immediately disappear from the province’s budget, he said.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.