JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa has dismissed an appeal against the environmental authorisation (EA) amendment for Coal of Africa Limited’s (CoAL’s) flagship hard coking and thermal coal asset, Vele colliery, in Limpopo.
The coal miner noted that the EA amendment was granted in January in terms of the National Environmental Management Act and appeals were lodged in April by the Vhembe Mineral Resources Forum.
In evaluating the grounds of the appeal, the Minister considered the fact that the EA amendment would not pose any additional impacts to those considered in the original issued EA.
“We welcome this decision by the Minister and remain firmly committed to the coexistence model implemented at Vele, which seeks cooperation between mining, agriculture and heritage land uses. The Minister’s decision represents another step towards getting the Vele Mine back into production,” CoAL CEO David Brown said in a statement.
CoAL would continue to progress the renewal and amendment applications in respect of Vele’s integrated water-use licence (IWUL) application under the South African National Water Act.
The colliery was placed on care and maintenance in preparation for the approval and construction of the plant modification project, as well as an assessment of forecast global coal prices.
The company previously submitted applications to amend and renew Vele's IWUL and expected these to be granted during the second half of the current financial year.
The existing IWUL was valid until March 2016.
Subsequently, the company also decided to obtain approval relating to a nonperennial stream diversion. This decision was only anticipated in the second half of the 2016 financial year. The company would await all regulatory approvals before the final decision to proceed was placed before the board.