File picture: Dean Hutton

Johannesburg - Coal of Africa Limited (CoAL) says the Department of Mineral Resources has given it the environmental go ahead for Vele Colliery.

It says the department has granted an Environmental Authorisation in terms of the National Environmental Management Act and the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations for Vele Colliery for stream diversion and associated infrastructural activities.

The junior miner adds it is still waiting for approval of an Integrated Water Use Licence from the Department of Water and Sanitation which is the final regulatory approval required for the stream diversion in respect of the Vele Plant Modification Project.

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CEO David Brown welcomed the decision and says, once the water user licence is approved, it will look at a final decision for the plant modification project, which will include an assessment of forecast global coal prices.

“A new benchmark for co-existence between mining, agriculture and heritage land uses is being set at Vele, with the on-going implementation of the historic biodiversity offset agreement between the Department of Environmental Affairs, the South African National Parks and CoAL.”