New Fu­leni min­ing threat looms

Northern Eyethu - - FRONT PAGE - Tam­lyn Jolly

JUST as the dust had set­tled on the Fu­leni com­mu­ni­ties’ suc­cess­ful fight against an open­cast mine on their doorstep, an­other min­ing com­pany has ap­plied for a prospect­ing li­cence in the same area.

After much protest­ing and hos­til­ity from the Fu­leni com­mu­ni­ties, Ibutho Coal in 2016 gave up its at­tempts to mine the Fu­leni re­serve.

Imvukuzane Re­sources is now at­tempt­ing to mine the same area, and the bat­tle is back on.

To­gether with Global Environmental Trust and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, the Fu­leni com­mu­ni­ties strongly op­pose this prospect­ing ap­pli­ca­tion and will, once again, not back down with­out a fight.

The mine would be on the bound­ary of Hluh­luwe-iM­folozi Park’s wilder­ness area, the old­est pro­claimed wilder­ness area in the world.

Apart from po­ten­tial poach­ing threats, the con­tin­u­ous lights, noise, blast­ing and pol­lu­tion would neg­a­tively im­pact the game re­serve and wilder­ness area, as well as sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties.

In other min­ing news, Global Environmental Trust’s ap­peal against Ten­dele Min­ing’s 222 square kilo­me­tre ex­pan­sion was turned down by Min­is­ter of Min­eral Re­sources, Gwede Man­tashe.

He found that Ten­dele’s ap­pli­ca­tion was right­fully ad­ju­di­cated in terms of the now re­pealed Sec­tion 39 of the Min­eral and Pe­tro­leum Re­sources Devel­op­ment Act (MPRDA).

He fur­ther said the amend­ments in both MPRDA and the Na­tional Environmental Man­age­ment Act (NEMA) do not ap­ply ret­ro­spec­tively and that the Act­ing Di­rec­tor Gen­eral right­fully con­sid­ered the pro­vi­sions in the un­a­mended MPRDA.

Rob Sy­mons

Scenes from the Fu­leni com­mu­ni­ties’ 2016 fight against Ibutho Coal’s Fu­leni mine

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