Uranium mining update - a letter from Dr Stefan Cramer

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Dear friends of the Karoo,

Here is another update on the status of the application for uranium mining rights in the Karoo.

  1. We have until the end of this month, less than 10 days are left, to register our opposition to the granting of prospecting rights for PENINSULA/Tasman in the Western Cape. Meanwhile, two new companies (Wealthage House of Capital and SARMCO) have applied for prospecting rights in the Northern Cape between Fraserburg and Sutherland. Here, too, our objections can go a long way to stop destructive uranium mining in its tracks. So, please register as Interested and Affected Parties (IAPs) with so-called Environmental Assessment Practitioners (EAPs) for the Western Cape applications with Ferret Mining at tim@ferretmining.co.za and for the Northern Cape application with Mukhadakhomu Environmental Services at sedzanirosslyn@gmail.com

Last time we counted more than 1,000 IAPs across the Karoo with over 300 submissions. This forced the applicants to withdraw from 88 % of the requested mining rights. We can do it again. With exactly the same arguments we can still finish the remaining applications. Fortunately more and more farming communities are getting organised and are prepared to mount a credible legal threat to these applications.

  1. The new applications are not better than the previous ones that had to be withdrawn. As we may get confused by too many different applications, here is an overview:



Currently, only three Northern Cape prospecting licenses are operational. They are called Loxton, Davidskolk and Fraserburg and are operated by TASMAN etc. All other applications are pending or have not been submitted yet. Ferret Mining has promised to recognize all earlier submissions to its mining and prospecting license applications also in the new round of applications. Currently, the Scoping Phase for TASMAN’s prospecting license applications is still open for comments. The same also applies to the applications by Wealthage House of Capital and SARMCO. If you have not done so, please register as IAP with tim@ferretmining.co.za and sedzanirosslyn@gmail.com respectively and submit objections.

You may use our generic objections and you can also use the specific objections against the new Northern Cape prospecting license applications by Wealthage House of Capital and SARMCO. The two companies appear to be the same; they are only operating under different names for whatever reasons. Deadlines are not announced yet. So, please hurry up. Copy us in at stefancramer@gmail.com so that we can follow on your submissions.


  1. It is obvious that uranium mining is part and parcel of the nuclear plans of South Africa. PENINSULA ENERGY has received another 5 million US-$ loan from Pala Investments, strengthening the Russian interests in this company. The OUTA-SAFCEI-ELA video receives a lot of attention, more than 25,000 views at YouTube since it was launched a month ago.

On invitation we have presented the scientific findings on animal health and product safety from grazing animals in the vicinity of uranium mines. This event took place at MOHAIR SA in Port Elizabeth, which had mobilised the buyers and brokers of Karoo mohair and wool.  The meeting was well attended by key industry players. They committed their respective organisations, like South African Mohair Growers' Association (SAMGA, the NWGA - The National Wool Growers Association or Cape Wools to object against uranium mining as a threat to their livelihood. The meeting resolved to push organised agriculture to be more vocal. The glossy trade magazine MOHAIR NEWS, published by MOHAIR SA, presents a sustainability report in its Summer 2016 Review. It rates uranium mining as one of the big threats to the industry in the Karoo.

The latest media overview on uranium mining can be found here. Beaufort West’s Die Courier was full of pro and contra articles and letters to the editor. Finally, the debate talks shape, and it does not look too good for the proponents.

While the nation’s attention is focussed on the question, whether nuclear power will strangle the economic recovery if Russia gets the ESKOM deal, let us not forget that Uranium is the dirty underbelly of the nuclear industry. It is in uranium mines that workers get exposed to radioactivity. Around uranium mines, people, grazing animals and the environment get contaminated. Its huge water consumption will leave large tracts of the Karoo dry.

If you want to have a look at the latest argumentation on uranium mining and why it is important to LEAVE IT IN THE GROUND, download our latest presentation from here.

Dr Stefan Cramer, SAFCEI Science Advisor, Graaff-Reinet, October 2016