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The Xolobeni Heavy Minerals Sands Project on the Wild Coast, South Africa

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Introduction

The proposed mining of sand dunes on the Wild Coast of South Africa, located within the Mgungundlovu and Amadiba tribal administrative area, was due to take place in the late 2000s. This 22 kilometer (km) stretch of coastline is one of the few remaining pristine environments in South Africa and was recognized for its potential for the mining of titanium based products from coastal sand dunes This project became known as the “Xolobeni Heavy Minerals Sands Project” with major products including titanium, ileminite, zircon, rutile and leuxocene. The idea to mine these sand dunes in particular was proposed by a small Australian mining company known as Mineral Commodities (MRC) and its local subsidiary, Transworld Energy and Mineral Resources (TEM). This proposal generated significant amounts of attention during its inception phase in South Africa particularly owing to narrow interests of the project, lack of local economic development, the unknown consequences to biological and ecological components, and unequal power relations.

Click here for the factsheet (3 pages):FS_027_Xolobeni