Business News 25.7.2016 01:29 pm

CoAL gets 5-year regulatory clearance for Makhado Project

Coal of Africa Limited's Zonnebloem coal mine. PHOTO: Coal of Africa Limited

Coal of Africa Limited's Zonnebloem coal mine. PHOTO: Coal of Africa Limited

The miner was granted an extension of the validity period of the environmental authorisation, extending the commencement period for an additional five years

CoAL on Monday announced it had been granted an environmental regulatory clearance for its Makhado coking and thermal coal project near Musina in Limpopo for five more years.

CoAL had applied to the department of mineral resources (DMR) and the Limpopo department of economic development, environment and tourism (LEDET) to amend the environmental authorisation for the Makhado Project in 2013.

When the departments granted CoAL the environmental authorisation – a regulatory requirement for certain activities that pose environmental risk – they required that activities commence within a three-year period.

But on Monday, the departments granted the miner an extension of the validity period of the environmental authorisation, extending the commencement period for an additional five years.

CoAL adviser, Olwen Auret, told ANA the extension of the validity period meant the environmental authorisation would no longer expire on the August 30 but was now valid for a further five years.

Auret said CoAL had brought the ownership of all its regulatory authorisations into one legal entity, Baobab Mining and Exploration, the operating entity of the Makhado Project in keeping with its corporate alignment strategy.

CoAL chief executive David Brown in a statement said the decision by the DMR and LEDET was a confirmation of the government’s commitment to drive socio-economic development, not only in Makhado, but also in the broader Limpopo province.

“The recent designation of the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) by the South African government in this area is a further demonstration of that commitment,” Brown said.

“We continue to engage the department of water and sanitation in respect of the processing of the appeal against the Water Use Licence for the Makhado Project.”

CoAL had its integrated water use licence for the Makhado Project suspended in April following an appeal to the department of water and sanitation over concerns about the local water supply and food production in the area.

“We have commenced with the implementation of our social and labour plan at the Makhado Project to ensure that our communities develop the necessary skills to access the opportunities offered within the Project,” Brown said.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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