South African Activists Win Key Court Battle To Stop Proposed Mine

South Africa’s High Court has ruled that government officials must first obtain consent from affected communities before they can grant mineral rights — a landmark legal victory for environmental activists who have fought a years-long battle to stop a proposed titanium mine in South Africa’s Pondoland region.

Before the ruling last week, South Africa’s mining laws required companies to consult affected communities, but did not require explicit permission from them to dig. Now, these communities “may not be deprived of their land without their consent,” High Court Judge Annali Basson told local newspapers.

The sand dunes that run along the eastern coast of Pondoland, South Africa’s least economically developed region, hold one of the world’s richest reserves of ilmenite, the…

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