So. Africa: Environmental affairs minister overturns plans for giant coal mine citing agricultural concerns
Author: Elise Tempelhoff, New 24 (South Africa), Published on: 22 October 2019
‘Minister rejects plan for giant coal mine in Gauteng’ 23 October 2019
Barbara Creecy, minister of forestry, fisheries and environmental affairs, dealt a major blow to mining groups Anglo Operations and Canyon Coal, as well as the department of mineral resources, after rejecting plans for a giant new open-pit mine outside Springs because it is an important agricultural area. Community and environmental groups appealed against the decision of the department of mineral resources to approve the environmental plan of the new Palmietkuilen coal mine.
…The department of mineral resources granted environmental approval for the mine on March 5. But then the Grootvallei Blesbokspruit Trust, the Asthon Lake community, the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa and the farming company Rossouw Pluimvee appealed the decision with Creecy. In her decision, Creecy said she took into account their concerns as well as that of the department of agriculture, which contended that the area is considered important for farming. Creecy concurred that the area was agriculturally sensitive, adding that it had been farmed for generations. She said that while mining brings social benefits, those are not more important and larger than agriculture.