Johannesburg - Coal of Africa [JSE:CZA]
advised Friday that the Integrated Water Use Licence (IWUL) for its Vele Colliery has been suspended.
The suspension is in terms of section 148(2) (b) of the South Africa National Water Act due to an appeal to the Water Tribunal submitted by an NGO coalition on July 28.
"The appeal automatically suspends the IWUL unless the Minister of Environmental and Water Affairs directs otherwise. CoAL has the right to and is in the process of preparing an urgent appeal to the Minister requesting that the IWUL remains in full force and effect in this interim period and until the final conclusion of the appeal. If the company is successful in its representation to the Minister the Company will be able to continue all activities, including the water uses per the IWUL," it said.
In the interim, the company is therefore unable to continue with activities at the Vele Colliery that require water use, however in anticipation of recommencing operations, the planning in relation to other construction and mining activities that do not require the use of water are ongoing.
CoAL CEO John Wallington
said: "Whilst we acknowledge the coalition's right to appeal against the granting of the IWUL, we are equally aware of our right to make representations to the Minister to lift the suspension. The NGO coalition has publicly indicated their intention to file an appeal.
"The Company is actively engaging with the Minister to resolve this appeal process as soon as possible. Although the appeal limits our use of water at Vele, mobilisation continues towards bringing the mine into production. We are pursuing our right with the firm conviction that the responsible development of the Vele Colliery is in the interests of the broadest cross-section of our stakeholders and of South Africa as a whole," he said.