Unrelenting efforts by the anti-uranium mining lobbyists in South Africa have finally paid off, as the Australian company, Tasman Pacific Minerals Limited, announced that it is withdrawing all its mining rights applications lodged in the Western and Northern Cape and lodged new Mining Rights applications in the Western Cape limited to areas that are located within the original Eastern and Quaggasfontein Blocks.
Shedding light on the changes, a statement from Tasman said: “Overall, the area covered by Tasman’s new and existing mining right and prospecting right applications in the Western and Eastern Cape will reduce by almost 300 000 ha to approximately 465 000 ha.
Lobby group Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (Safcei) said it was pleased by Tasman’s decision.
“In essence, this announcement indicates that the current mining rights application is cut down to 12% of the original application. For this 12% (or 73 000 ha) a fresh Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process is to start all over again.
“This is a wonderful victory for most people of the Karoo, the region’s environment, and indeed for the South African nation,” explained Safcei CEO, Ani Tsondru.
He added: “While the economics to mine Karoo uranium were questionable from the outset, the current large-scale withdrawal puts a stop to most plans of this disruptive industry, whose impacts would have been felt far beyond the Karoo.”