Mining application placed on hold
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.
The Fuleni communities who came out in protest every time Ibutho Coal attempted to enter their land are up against Imvukuzane Resources