South Africa Dune Mining Whips Up Sandstorm

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Beach and dune sand mining, South Africa. Photo courtesy of: © Denis Delestrac

Excerpts;

For centuries, the massive sand dunes overlooking the warm waters off the South African east coast have created a majestic scenery, acting as a natural wall between the sea and the land environment. Lashed by strong winds, the imposing dunes tower above the acacia-dotted landscape, supporting a vibrant ecosystem that thrives along the scenic coastline near the city of Durban.

In recent years, mining companies have been eager to dig inside these dunes to extract the valuable minerals they contain. At the same time, environmentalists have been campaigning against mining, fighting to keep the dunes pristine and preserve the region’s splendid natural habitat.

A titanic battle has been brewing in northern KwaZulu-Natal involving a predominantly white village, a poor black rural community and a multinational mineral-sands miner with a reportedly “atrocious” environmental record. On the pristine coastline of Zululand, the mining of about 3000 hectares of mineral sands to extract metals such as zircon, ilmenite and rutile is expected to begin in 2014…

Read Full Article, South Africa dune mining whips up sandstorm, CNN (07-09-2012)

Town Fights Back Over Dune Mining, Business Report (Uploaded 07-15-2013)
Still nursing bloody noses from their last encounter in the legal boxing ring, Mtunzini residents, are going back to the high court for another round with multinational mining giant Tronox, hoping to halt an opencast dune mine next to the Zululand resort town, along the coastline approximately 140 km north of Durban, South Africa….

Residents Face Off Over Dune Mining, Mail & Guardian (Uploaded: 08-02-2013)
A titanic battle has been brewing in northern KwaZulu-Natal involving a predominantly white village, a poor black rural community and a multinational mineral-sands miner with a reportedly “atrocious” environmental record. On the pristine coastline of Zululand, adjacent to the ecotourism village of Mtunzini, the mining of about 3000 hectares of mineral sands to extract metals such as zircon, ilmenite and rutile is expected to begin in 2014…

Sand Wars; An Investigative Documentary, By Denis Delestrac
Based on encounters with sand smugglers, barefoot millionaires, corrupt politicians, unscrupulous real estate developers and environmentalists, this investigation takes us around the globe to unveil a new gold rush and a disturbing fact: the “SAND WARS” have begun…