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Magaliesberg watchdog 'slapped' by miner [So. Africa]

A nickel-mining company is threatening to sue an environmental watchdog for R50-million in damages after the latter raised concern about water use and public participation at a prospecting site near the Cradle of Humankind. African Nickel this week launched a...Court application to stop what it called a "smear campaign" by Marthinus van As, a member of the Landowners Association of Magaliesberg, which it said could harm its R500-million...mining project...[O]ther environmental groups said the application was a classic case of strategic litigation against public participation, or Slapp. Koos Pretorius, a director of the national non-profit Federation for a Sustainable Environment, said: "...They are trying to intimidate the Magaliesberg landowners by scaring them off."...The company said it had been forced to take legal action because the reports could prejudice its investors. "The application...is...not an attempt to shut the bona fide complaints of environmentalists," said chief executive Timothy Keating. [also refers to Wraypex, Boynton Investments]