Johannesburg - The deadline for comment on a provisional environmental impact assessment for a coal mine next to the Hluhluwe iMfolozi nature reserve is Monday, according to Rapport newspaper.

This was according to Karl Wiggishoff, who was employed by the mine's owners, iButho Coal, to manage the consultation process.

Environmental activists are opposing the proposed 14,615ha Fuleni coal and anthracite mine, on the western boundary of the country's oldest nature reserve.

“A coal mine here would have devastating consequences for the reserve,” conservationist Ian Player was quoted as saying.

“Our children will never forgive us,” he said.

The proposed open-cast and underground mine would have a 32-year lifespan and create 200 jobs.

Some of the coal and anthracite was expected to be exported to India, China, the Middle East, and Europe.

It would also supply Eskom.

The nature reserve was proclaimed in 1895. - Sapa