JOHANNESBURG – MC Mining, previously known as Coal of Africa, on Monday said it welcomed a high court decision to lift an interim order against the company's environmental authorisation for the Makhado hard coking and thermal coal project.
The court had in 2014 granted the Vhembe Mineral Stakeholders Forum and other applicants an interim order against the company and the Limpopo department of economic development, environment and tourism, effectively preventing MC Mining from undertaking construction and mining activities at the project.
In 2016, the environmental authorisation was transferred to MC Mining's subsidiary Baobab Mining and Exploration, the owner and developer of the Makhado project.
The latest high court ruling was a significant victory for the mining industry, MC Mining CEO David Brown said.
"The applicants are a narrow interest group and despite numerous interactions to address concerns, they have used unreasonable litigation approaches in an attempt to halt Makhado, together with the associated socioeconomic transformation of local communities," Brown said.
The Makhado project is MC Mining's most advanced feasibility-stage project with 344.8-million mineable tonnes of coal in situ. The resource will initially be mined on an opencast basis over 16 years with the potential for further expansion underground.