Min­ing ap­pli­ca­tion placed on hold

Zululand Observer - Monday - - ZO NEWS - Tam­lyn Jolly

THE prospect­ing right ap­pli­ca­tion by min­ing com­pany Imvukuzane Resources has been de­layed as the Ba­sic As­sess­ment (BA) process has been put on hold. The ap­pli­ca­tion is for coal, pseuducoal, tor­ban­ite, clay and ag­gre­gate in the Fu­leni area within Em­pan­geni Mag­is­te­rial Dis­trict. En­vi­ron­men­tal con­sul­tants Green­mined En­vi­ron­men­tal said, be­cause of the BA be­ing on hold, the Draft Ba­sic As­sess­ment Re­port (DBAR) would not be dis­trib­uted dur­ing Au­gust as pre­vi­ously in­di­cated. Reg­is­tered in­ter­ested and af­fected par­ties would be in­formed once the BA process con­tin­ues, af­ter which the DBAR will be dis­trib­uted for a 30-day com­ment­ing pe­riod. Imvukuzane Resources’ ap­pli­ca­tion is for the same area at which Ibutho Coal ap­plied for a prospect­ing li­cense prior to 2016. In 2016, the Fu­leni com­mu­ni­ties, liv­ing be­tween KwaMbonambi and Hluh­luweiM­folozi Park (HiP), suc­cess­fully thwarted Ibutho Coal’s ad­vances to mine af­ter turn­ing out in protest ev­ery time the com­pany at­tempted to en­ter their land. The land in ques­tion is ad­ja­cent to HIP’s wilder­ness area and those in op­po­si­tion to min­ing in the area say it would detri­men­tally af­fect the old­est pro­claimed wilder­ness area in the coun­try. Ear­lier this month, Depart­ment of Min­eral Resources (DMR) Di­rec­tor Gen­eral, Ad­vo­cate Thabo Mokoena, is­sued a no­tice of re­fusal to Ibutho Coal, putting an of­fi­cial end to the com­pany’s prospect­ing ap­pli­ca­tion. His find­ings were based on Ibutho Coal’s fail­ure to com­ply with sec­tions of the Min­eral Resources and Pe­tro­leum De­vel­op­ment Act (MRPDA). He said the En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment Plan sub­mit­ted failed to out­line en­vi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment to con­trol and rem­edy the im­pacts that would arise, and im­pacts on the bio­phys­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment. Pro­posed mea­sures to rem­edy en­vi­ron­men­tal dam­age did not provide suf­fi­cient de­tail for the man­age­ment of po­ten­tial en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pacts in ac­cor­dance with sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment prin­ci­ples. Mokoena said Ibutho Coal also failed to make sub­mis­sions at RMDEC (Re­gional Min­ing De­vel­op­ment and En­vi­ron­men­tal Com­mit­tee) ad­dress­ing the so­cial and sci­en­tific im­pacts of min­ing ac­tiv­i­ties to HiP. At the time, Sheila Berry, spokesper­son for Global En­vi­ron­men­tal Trust (GET) said the DMR’s sound de­ci­sion mak­ing must be praised be­cause its Ibutho Coal re­fusal has set a prece­dent.

Rob Sy­mons / file photo 2016

The Fu­leni com­mu­ni­ties who came out in protest ev­ery time Ibutho Coal at­tempted to en­ter their land are up against Imvukuzane Resources

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