The South African Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) has granted an environmental authorisation – in terms of the National Environmental Management Act (Nema) and the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, to Vele Colliery Coal of Africa (CoAL) for stream diversion and associated infrastructural activities.
CoAL said it now awaits the approval of an Integrated Water Use Licence (IWUL) from the Department of Water and Sanitation, which is the final regulatory approval required for the stream diversion in respect of the Vele Plant Modification Project (PMP).
CEO David Brown welcomed the decision by the DMR. Upon receipt of the IWUL the final decision to proceed with the PMP will be placed before the board, which will include an assessment of forecast global coal prices.
“A new benchmark for co-existence between mining, agriculture and heritage land uses is being set at Vele, with the on-going implementation of the historic biodiversity offset agreement between the Department of Environmental Affairs, the South African National Parks and CoAL.
This is evidenced through the company’s continued engagement with various stakeholders including regulatory authorities, land owners, communities and advocacy groups through the Environmental Management Committee,” said Brown.
“We continue to engage with our stakeholders to optimise this co- operation framework, as we strive to maximise the benefits of mining for all our stakeholders, particularly our beneficiary communities.”