By Tamlyn Jolly
Just as the dust had settled on the Fuleni communities’ successful fight against an opencast mine on their doorstep, another mining company has applied for a prospecting licence in the same area.
After much protesting and hostility from the Fuleni communities, Ibutho Coal in 2016 gave up its attempts to mine the Fuleni reserve.
Imvukuzane Resources is now attempting to mine the same area, and the battle is back on.
Together with Global Environmental Trust and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, the Fuleni communities strongly oppose this prospecting application and will, once again, not back down without a fight.
The mine would be on the boundary of Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park’s wilderness area, the oldest proclaimed wilderness area in the world.
Apart from potential poaching threats, the continuous lights, noise, blasting and pollution would negatively impact the game reserve and wilderness area, as well as surrounding communities.
In other mining news, Global Environmental Trust’s appeal against Tendele Mining’s 222 square kilometre expansion was turned down by Minister of Mineral Resources, Gwede Mantashe.
He found that Tendele’s application was rightfully adjudicated in terms of the now repealed Section 39 of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA).
He further said the amendments in both MPRDA and the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) do not apply retrospectively and that the Acting Director General rightfully considered the provisions in the unamended MPRDA.
The regional manager has confirmed consultations with interested and affected parties.