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Newsletter / Blog


2011-07-21
Appeal Against Mining at Mapungubwe based on Science


The Coalition has noted media reports stating that the environmental authorisation granted to Coal of Africa Limited (CoAL) by the Department of Environmental Affairs in the first s.24G application for rectification of illegal activities, was based on “science, not emotion”.

 

It also noted a statement that “the DEA’s Ishaam Abader defended the decision to grant environmental consent for CoAL's Vele colliery, saying any impact could be mitigated and that indigenous vegetation could be moved from where roads would be built, and planted elsewhere”.

 

The Coalition’s opposition to the proposed colliery at Vele is based on detailed scientific studies on the groundwater, biodiversity, heritage, socio-economic, air quality, noise and tourism impacts posed by this mine, which were conducted by a wide range of experts in these fields. It appears that the DEA is attempting to sweep aside serious concerns highlighted in these scientific studies by attempting to mitigate all negative impacts through conditions in the authorisation. This is neither realistic nor based on sound science.

 

Furthermore, the strong sense of connection thousands of people, both locally and abroad, feel to the Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape, its resources and history, is of great significance.

 

The Coalition will be lodging its notice of intention to appeal the authorisation under s.24G within the prescribed time period, i.e. by 25 July 2011. It will also shortly lodge its appeal against the water use licence granted to Limpopo Coal in March 2011, which will suspend the operation of that licence pending a decision by the Water Tribunal.

 

The Coalition is also currently appealing the mining right granted by the Department of Mineral Resources as well as the associated approval of the Environmental Management Programme. The Coalition further launched interdict proceedings to stop CoAL from carrying on any mining or related operations on the Vele site.

 Ends

For more information, please contact:

 

Yolan Friedmann

Chief Executive Officer

Endangered Wildlife Trust

Tel: (011) 372 3600

Email: yolanf@ewt.org.za


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