Shannah Maree

MA Student

Project title: An Ethnographic Study on the Recent Resurgence of Copper Mining in Concordia

This project aims to investigate the perceptions and opinions regarding the current resurgence of copper mining in Concordia, a small town in Namaqualand, Northern Cape. This region has a rich mining history, with the oldest copper mine in Southern Africa situated 10 kilometers from the town. However, due to political and economic challenges, mining in this area has experienced cycles of “boom and bust,” each of which has had particularly devastating effects on the communities surrounding these mines.

The theoretical framework for this research revolves around the contestation between viewing mining as a wasteful process that treats mineworkers and the local environment as disposable and considering mining as a crucial component for local development in these small, historically marginalized towns. To achieve this, this research aims to investigate the residents understanding of the contribution of mining to the town over time, while also examining the mining arguments articulated by various interest groups. Additionally, this research seeks to explore opportunities for the community to benefit from mining activities.

Keywords: copper mining, waste, local development.