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14 Mar 2023

Adam Hartman, The Namibian

Namibia: Daures community protests Chinese lithium mining and demand proper environmental impact assessment

"Daures community claim Chinese mine illegal" 14 March 2023

THE Daures constituency community, farmers, and small miners are up in arms regarding what they claim are the illegal lithium mining activities of Tangshan XingFeng Spodumene Mining.

The group also petitioned the Ministry of Mines and Energy, and the Tsiseb conservancy, among others, to stop the mining with immediate effect.

The company has been accused of not following the proper channels and procedures and contravening the Environmental Management Act 7 of 2007.

The company allegedly did not conduct an environmental impact assessment (EIA) and has ignored the community's needs for investments in infrastructure, sponsorships and donations to farmers and small miners, bursaries to local best-performing science students, and shares to the conservancy for environmental destruction and negative effects caused by mining.

Hundreds of protesting community members last Friday (3 March) handed over a petition to the mine, demanding that XingFeng stop their operations with immediate effect and carry out its EIA with the consent of the Daures Traditional Authority and the Tsiseb Conservancy.

“We further demand that XingFeng compensate the Tsiseb Conservancy with a fee of N$5 million for neglecting [sic] its presence and operating in its sensitive area without proper consultation and agreements,” said Uis community activist Jimmy Areseb. [...]

Several attempts to reach out to the mine failed, although the mine's assistant site manager, Frans Tjazamo, who received the petition, said he will ensure it reaches his employer. [...]