A treasured World Heritage Site is under severe threat. An Australian company, Coal of Africa Limited (CoAL) has recently been given the go ahead to begin construction of an opencast and underground coal mine within less than 6 km from the borders of the Mapungubwe National Park and adjacent to the World Heritage Site, with the approval of the Environmental Management Plan for the proposed Vele Colliery. This will compromise the environmental integrity of the area in and around Mapungubwe for current and future generations as it relates to the natural habitat, ecosytems, cultural heritage and related aspects of the environment.
You may be aware that there is currently a legal battle on to prevent any further development of the mine at Mapungubwe. There has been a flagrant disregard for our country's natural and cultural heritage, and we must do all we can to defend what is ours. The legal team has built their case on a series of objections that carry weight - weight that will surely tip the balance in Mapungubwe's favour.
We must put pressure on the South African and Australian governments to ensure that they don't let the mine become a grim reality. Sign the petition now! Visit the Save Mapungubwe website for more information.
Don't stand by while a legacy is lost. Click here for a selection of aerial photographs of Vele Colliery taken on 15 June 2010. (Caution: this is a large PDF containing many images and may take a while to load on slower connections)
Youtube - Mining will Offend our Ancestors
Vimeo - Mining will Offend our Ancestors
Vele project - Environmental Management Plan. 50/50 Transcript from 10 August 2010. Read more.
Mining in the Mapungubwe area ceases - for now. 11 August 2010. Read more.
Save Mapungubwe appeal. Read more.
It is not just Australians mining in South Africa! Check out the website below. Shocking.
Tusk Mining, a South African mining company, has applied for mining rights in Pumululu, western Australia. While Pumululu National Park is a World Heritage Site, the site of the proposed opencast mine is set at a distance of approximately six kilometres from the Park's boundary on the south-western boundary. Operational offices will be established in the nearby town of Kununurra. The company will develop Pumululu in two phases, with one phase commencing in the first quarter of 2011. Initial yield is estimated to be 1 million saleable tons of coking coal per annum. A second phase will follow in 2013.
Yolan Friedman, Executive Director, Endangered Wildlife Trust, 011 486 1102, firstname.lastname@example.org
Carolyn Ah Shene-Verdoorn, Policy and Advocacy Manager, BirdLife South Africa, 082 776 8333, email@example.com
Mark Anderson, Chief Executive Officer, BirdLife South Africa, 011 789 1122, firstname.lastname@example.org