The mining firm plans to transport coal from the Makhado project to ArcelorMittal South Africa in Vanderbijlpark. Farmers who will be affected by the railway line running through their farms are said to be ready to resist the plans.
CoAL environmental consultant Marietjie Eksteen said that the railway line, with a projected cost of R22.5m, would cross nine farms, including four game farms. Christo Reeders, an attorney representing the farmers, said that they have formed the Makhado Action Group to resist CoAL's plans and that they would do so vehemently. He said the map produced by CoAL showed that the railway line would pass over 22km of farmland but it did not show any boundaries. Reeders pointed out that the majority of new mining projects required an environmental authorisation.
Last year, CoAL met with organised resistance from environmental groups against its plans to develop the Vele coking coal project, based near the Mapungubwe World Heritage Site, where over 400 indigenous trees, several of them protected, would have to be removed. Eksteen said that CoAL would apply for permits for its Vele coking coal project, adding that the company was planning to erect a game fence on both sides of the track. However, according to Business Report
, Reeders said that the Environmental Management Programme (EMP) submitted by CoAL in December last year should have been rejected by Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu "because it was incomplete."
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