Department of Mineral Resources notice of meeting to substantiate objections to application by Ibutho Coal

We have just received notification (see below) from DMR about a Regional Mining, Development and Environmental Committee meeting to substantiate objections made against a mining right application by Ibutho Coal in the Fuleni Reserve.

This meeting will take place at 10:30am, 7 April, 2016 (postponed to 22 April) at Richards Bay.

Please Note: This meeting has been postponed to 22 April, 2016. Please see this post

All those individuals and organisations who have objected in the EIA process should have received notification. However we have noted that some email addresses on the recipient list were incorrect so those addressees will not receive notification. If you did not receive notification please contact Ms Lizinda Dickson at fuleniproject@gmail.com

Please note the last sentence of the notice: “Failure to attend will lead the committee to make a recommendation without listening to your representation”.

3 Comments

  1. Dr Bob de Laborde

    As I read what you present, it appears that written comments are precluded and decisions reserved solely from input of those able to attend this meeting. If this is so, it clearly could skew representation and possible vital input.

    • No, I think they will still have to take written comments into consideration. However they have given us an unprecedented opportunity to substantiate our submissions and make personal representation. It is an opportunity not to be missed.

  2. Comment by Melissa Fourie of CER

    I’m going to use this opportunity to express our frustrations at the Centre for Environmental Rights with RMDECs. Although RMDECs operate quite inconsistently across the country, in many of these committees objectors are not allowed to listen to the representations made by the mining company. Moreover, discussions amongst RMDEC members (noting that these are all officials from different government departments) take place behind closed doors. Often, neither minutes of the meeting nor recommendations to the Minister are made available to the public, or even the objectors. At one meeting we attended in Mpumalanga, the regional manager refused to hear the CER attorney appointed to represent an emerging farmer who was objecting to a coal mine on his farm. It is also important to note that in KZN and some other provinces, agencies with key environmental expertise like Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife are not allowed to sit on RMDEC by the DMR. These are all issues that were raised with the DMR and the Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources during the MPRDA Amendment consultation process, flawed as it was, but we see little change.

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