So. Africa: Court orders consultation with Xolobeni community prior to granting mining permission to Australian company

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Article
3 December 2018

Australia: High Court orders mining co. to seek consent from Xolobeni community prior to granting mining rights

Author: Alex Mitchley, Mail & Guardian

"High Court rules in favour of Xolobeni community in historic mining rights case", 22 November 2018

The minister of mineral resources will have to obtain full and formal consent from the Xolobeni community prior to granting mining rights, the Pretoria High Court ordered....

...Transworld Energy and Mineral Resources (TEM)...filed an application for rights to mine the titanium-rich sands at the Umgungundlovu area of Xolobeni on the Wild Coast.

In her judgment, Judge Annali Basson declared that the mineral resources minister must obtain consent from the community, as the holder of rights on land, prior to granting any mining right to TEM.

In her conclusion, she stated that while the informal rights of customary communities were previously not protected by law, they now had the right to decide what happens with their land.

“As such they may not be deprived of their land without their consent,” said Basson in her judgment.

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Article
22 November 2018

DMR studying historic High Court ruling in favour of Xolobeni community

Author: David McKay, MiningMx

SOUTH Africa’s Department of Minerals Resources (DMR) was “studying” a landmark judgement by the High Court (Pretoria) today which ruled the DMR must obtain “full and formal” consent from the Xolobeni community before granting mining rights.  “The DME has noted the judgment by Judge Basson handed down in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria in the matter: Duduzile Baleni & Others v DMR and others,” the DMR said in a statement.  “The department is studying the judgment, and will pronounce itself on the matter in due course,” it added.

The court case relates to an application by Australian firm, Transworld Energy and Mineral Resources for mining rights to the Xolobeni’s land in the Eastern Cape province which has resources of mineral sands...

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Article
22 November 2018

High Court rules in favour of Eastern Cape community in historic mining rights case

Author: Alex Mitchley, News 24

The minister of mineral resources will have to obtain full and formal consent from the Xolobeni community prior to granting mining rights, the North Gauteng High Court ordered on Thursday.  The Amadiba Crisis Committee launched a court battle against the Department of Mineral Resources and Australian company Transworld Energy and Mineral Resources (TEM) over mining rights earlier this year.  TEM...had filed an application for rights to mine the titanium-rich sands at the Umgungundlovu area of Xolobeni on the Wild Coast.

In her judgment, Judge Annali Basson declared that the mineral resources minister must obtain consent from the community, as the holder of rights on land, prior to granting any mining right to TEM...[S]he stated that while the informal rights of customary communities were previously not protected by law, they now had the right to decide what happens with their land...

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Article
22 November 2018

Xolobeni community scores huge victory against mining

Author: Zelda Venter, IOL

It was joy and jubilation for the Xolobeni community on Thursday as the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, ruled that consent must be given by communities living on ancestral land before government can give the go-ahead for mining rights.  The Department of Mineral Resources cannot issue a mining right without the consent of the affected people in terms of existing legislation, Judge Anneli Basson ruled.

The Xolobeni community in the Eastern Cape, represented by the Amadiba Crisis Committee, turned to court to prevent the department from issuing a mining licence to Australian mining conglomerate Transworld Energy and Minerals (TEM) to mine the titanium-rich sand along the Wild Coast.  The proposed mining area comprises of about 2 859 hectares along coastal land which is 22 kilometres long and 1.5 km inland from the high water mark.  The majority of the affected community live within close proximity of the proposed mining area.  Most of the affected people in the area...have lived in the area for generations.  They have family graves in the area and it is considered to be essential sites for family and community rituals.

The community of Umgungundlovu do not want the company to mine on their ancestral land for a number of reasons, which also include that their cattle graze on the land...They argued that the granting of the mineral right constituted a deprivation of their land.  Judge Basson fully agreed with this. She said in terms of the law the community had a right to decide what should happen to their land...

This judgment was hailed as groundbreaking for other communities in a similar situation.

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