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When local governments fail mining companies

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Prieska is a small town of 20 000 people on the banks of the Orange River in the Northern Cape province. Iscor, the former steelmaker, used to operate there, but mining was last seriously seen in the place more than a generation ago.

Today, it is agriculture that helps sustain the local economy. Lately, however, Prieska has become a hotspot – literally, it would seem – for several privately-backed solar energy projects and some high profile ones by French energy firm, Total, as well as Australian firm, Orion Minerals as part of its plans to breathe new life into the old Iscor copper-and- zinc mine, which is exciting investors again.

The fresh interest, however, has brought frustration to people in Prieska.

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