Impact study for proposed coal mine rejected

2014-10-17 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs has rejected the impact study for the proposed Fuleni coal mine.

The mine is mooted on the border of the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi nature reserves.

Spokesperson for the Save our Imfolozi Wilderness, Sheila Berry, said the department’s decision is a “victory for the environment”, but cautioned this was just the first hurdle.

The proposal to start an open-pit mine on the border of the iMfolozi reserve, which is the oldest reserve in South Africa, was tabled a few months ago by iButho Coal.

Background documents from iButho Coal show the mine could cover 3 550 hectares — or 7 000 soccer fields.

The reserve became well-known in the 1950s, when Dr Ian Player and other conservationists transported black and white rhinos from iMfolozi to reserves in KZN.

The KZN government agreed with environment lawyer Kirsten Youens, for the communities and Save our Imfolozi Wilderness, that the report by Naledi Development was incomplete.

Lizinda Dickson of Naledi said they have already started improving the aspects that contributed to the rejection of their impact report.

The KZN goverment has recommended the consultation process, as well as the scope of the environment studies, must be extended.

Youens insisted consultants must be appointed who can speak Zulu and understand the Zulu culture. Youens said the consultants had misrepresented the planned open-pit mine in the impact study.

The proposed mine will be bordered on the south-west by the iMfolozi nature reserve and on the north-east by the iMfolozi river.

Youens said the public participation process was hopelessly insufficient, especially as the iSimangaliso World Heritage Site, which is downstream, will be affected by the mine.

She said there are many concerns about opening a coal mine in such a sensitive and unique area. She added it also appears that only the directors of iButho will benefit from the mine, because most of the coal will be exported to the Middle East, Europe, India and China.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.