Western Cape, South Africa

Prospecting license 

Cienth has submitted a prospecting license to search for gold, silver and tin with the Western Cape Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE). On 12 April 2024, the DMRE accepted the prospecting application.

Cienth has repeatedly applied and withdrawn the same application. This is the fourth application in 10 months.

The process

Here’s the process that must be followed by the mining company and by YOU, as an Interested & Affected Party.


The mining company approaches the DMRE with an application to prospect.


The DMRE approves or does not approve the application.


If the application is approved to prospect, the mining company must appoint an Environmental Assessment Practitioner (EAP).


  1. Once an EAP is appointed, it’s essential that you register as an Interested and Affected Party (I&AP) with the EAP. Registering as an I&AP is essential. If you are NOT registered, your voice cannot be heard in any prospecting or mining application.

If you register your opposition via the Save the Overberg Coalition website, we will register you as an I&AP for the current prospecting license, and for future prospecting licenses submitted by Cienth.


The EAP must then appoint specialists to address all the different potential impacts. Specialists are employed to assess the impact on fauna and flora, traffic, noise, aesthetic, heritage, paleontology and more.


The EAP then compiles a Basic Assessment Report (BAR), consisting of all the specialist studies and their findings.


The BAR, including all the specialist studies, is circulated to I&APs for comment within 30 days. If you are NOT registered as an I&AP, you will not receive the BAR, and therefore not be able to comment on it. Read the full BAR here.

If you feel overwhelmed by the BAR and the impact studies, know that the Save the Overberg Coalition is here to support you. Our group of experts and specialists will help you make sense of the impact studies. In order for us to support you, you MUST register your opposition via our website. 


Your comments are then submitted to the EAP.


The EAP responds to your comments, and thereafter your comments, as well as the EAPs responses, are submitted to the DMRE.


The DMRE then makes the decision.


Should the application be successful, I&APs are given an opportunity to appeal the decision.


If this is not successful, then further steps are considered by the I&APs.

Why we aim to stop this prospecting license BEFORE it becomes a mining application:

Around 90% of prospecting licenses result in mining licenses. So it is our aim to halt this prospecting application BEFORE it becomes a mining application.


Why should you register NOW?

Mining companies have adopted a tactic to withdraw their applications, and then reapply a few months later. This tactic – often successfully – wears down potential I&APs, leading to disinterest. Cienth has already done this on FOUR separate occasions. But by registering your opposition through this process, you can help to ensure this doesn’t happen. Your voice will be heard until this entire process concludes.


In the News

Save the Overberg fighting to prevent mining in the area


Mystery still surrounds plan to find gold in the Overberg


The value of guarding Cape Agulhas’ precious natural resources