Public Participation and Community Liaison during the ESIA Process – Gamsberg Zinc Project, South Africa

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Gamsberg is a large, low-grade zinc deposit in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa.

A detailed feasibility study demonstrated that a viable operation could be developed to produce 300,000 tons of zinc per year.

During the feasibility study, a detailed EIA was conducted. While the project would provide job opportunities and contribute to wealth creation, there was a potential threat to a group of rare succulent plant species.

Extensive stakeholder consultation characterised the development of the project:

  • Meetings were held with over 300 interested and affected parties
  • The project team hosted three public open days, which included visits to the proposed mine site and detailed presentations of the proposed mining development
  • Regular dialogue was established with all of the main interest groups
  • Newsletters were used to inform of project progress and environmental issues as these emerged during the EIA

This dialogue resulted in alterations to the layout of the proposed surface facilities to preserve the areas that support the greatest density and diversity of plant and animal species.


For a more detailed account of this case study please refer to ICMM’s Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity (p86)