Johannesburg - The tourism industry in a coastal town in KwaZulu-Natal is under threat after a mining licence was awarded to an international company, the Sunday Times reported.
About 2 800ha of forestry and farming land outside Mtunzini would be affected by the mine, according to the newspaper.
Local company Exxaro had entered into a joint venture with Australian company New Tronox to develop the Fairbreeze mine, worth R2.4bn.
Fairbreeze intended to mine 625ha of dunes for heavy metals such as titanium and zircon.
Mtunzini residents intended appealing against the provincial department of environmental affairs' decision to grant a mining licence, The Sunday Times reported.
Barbara Chedzey, who chairs a committee representing the residents, reportedly said she was not surprised by the decision, "given the political pressure for jobs".
The town depends on eco-tourism for much of its revenue.
New Tronox spokesperson Trevor Arran was quoted as saying: "All legal and regulatory processes were followed in authorising the Fairbreeze mine."
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