On 3 March 2015, the amended Final Scoping Report for the Fuleni Anthracite Project was made available to us.
The Scoping Report is, once again, lacking in many respects. These aspects will be dealt with in a letter sent to the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, KZN in due course. We plan to ask the Department, once again, to reject the Scoping Report.
One of the major aspects of concern in the amended Scoping Report is the issue of available water. The Report states that the Mfolozi River is a water stressed river and that it is unlikely that abstraction from the river will be approved. Further to this it states that, from the various geotechnical investigations undertaken, there is little likelihood of finding sufficient underground water for the mine. The Report therefore recommends that a Supply Dam be constructed on the Mvamanzi River even though the Mvamanzi River feeds the highly stressed Mfolozi River and will substantially impact the flow of the Mfolozi. It is quite obvious that there is no available water for this mine and yet the EIA process continues.
In the amended Scoping Report it also came to our attention that Ibutho Coal applied for an extension of their mining rights application. This was denied by the Department of Mineral Resources. A new mining rights application was submitted to the Department of Mineral Resources in November 2014. None of the conditions set out in the Department’s acceptance letter thereof have been complied with to date.