IBUTHO COAL FULENI ANTHRACITE PROJECT

 

  • Ibutho Coal (Pty) Ltd was established in 2006 and is a 44.6% BEE owned company.
  • The project was identified from geological plans as a strike extension of the Somkhele Coalfield.
  • Both the Ingonyama Trust Board and local Tribal Authority were consulted prior to granting of the Prospecting Right and consent to perform prospecting activities was granted in June 2008.
  • Ibutho Coal was granted a valid Prospecting Right by the Department of Minerals (DMR) to explore on the Farm Fuleni Reserve No 14375 on the 14th April 2009.
  • The project is situated within the Empangeni Magisterial District and is located on a portion of the farm Fuleni Reserve No. 14375.
  • The project area is underlain by Karoo-aged strata and the coal bearing units are located within the Emakwezini Formation. The coal seams (named Seams A to D from the base upwards) strike roughly NE-SW and dip at 20⁰ to the Southeast.
  • The project area is sparsely populated rural bushy grasslands. There is limited livestock grazing of the bushy grasslands.
  • Exploration began 08/07/2009 and drilling completed 25/05/2012. This included field mapping, an airborne aeromagnetic survey and exploratory drilling.  
  • A SAMREC compliant total insitu resource of 620Mt was estimated and declared in a Competent Persons Report.
  • The target seam was identified as the composite B Seam which has the potential to produce a low sulphur anthracite product with some thermal coal middlings product.
  • A feasibility study has been completed and current work is focussing on final designs - especially related to water or water related infrastructure.
  • A mineable coal resource in the order of 40-50Mt was identified.
  • The proposed Fuleni Anthracite Mine is a predominantly opencast mine with limited underground development.
  • A total of 6 open cast pits and related infrastructure have been designed as part of the mine plan.
  • The life of mine is expected to be in excess of 35 years, producing primarily 500ktpa of anthracite. 
  • Subsequent to prospecting, Ibutho Coal lodged a New Order Mining Right Application (NOMRA).
  • The NOMRA area is approximately 14 600 ha but the mining footprint covers only approximately 3 550 ha of which the open pits in total comprise approximately 332ha mined over the life of mine.
  • As part of the regulatory Environmental Authorisation application, a Scoping Report and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) are required.
  •  Ibutho Coal submitted the final Scoping Report, along with comments and recommendations by interested and affected parties (IAPs), to the decision-making authorities and is currently in the process of conducting the necessary specialist work and impact assessments.
  • The company appointed Jacana Environmentals as the independent Environmental Assessment Practitioner (EAP) to lead a highly qualified team of specialist scientists and consultants to perform the specialist assessments and the public participation process (PPP). The results of these specialist studies will be contained in the Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) and will cover, amongst others,  studies relating to soils and land use, biodiversity and wetlands, surface water, groundwater, air quality, noise, heritage, visual, community health, tourism, conservation, wilderness protection and subsistence livelihoods.
  • Ibutho Coal is acutely aware that South Africa needs to find a balance between economic growth and development on the one hand and environmental conservation on the other.
  • We understand the concerns regarding the proximity of the proposed Fuleni Anthracite Project to the HiP Wilderness area and in this regard we are committed to adhere to environmental and social best practices and to minimise, as far as possible, any negative impacts on the wilderness area and the park in general.
  • Ibutho Coal is aware of the concern that the mine may result in an increase in rhino poaching activity in the HiP. A Wilderness Risk Assessment will be conducted with specific attention to the aspect of increased poaching risks. Please rest assured that Ibutho Coal is committed to responsible mining practices with due consideration to the environment.
  • The company also acknowledges the potential impact on water resources in the area. Surface and groundwater specialists are investigating the potential impact of mining on the Mfolozi River, surrounding water resources and potential downstream impacts.
  • Ibutho Coal has comprehensively registered its key internal and external stakeholders for the project, including the surrounding communities, all opposition groups, conservationists, academics, local authorities and national regulatory bodies.
  • Community engagement on various levels took place throughout all phases of the project and will continue throughout the EIA Phase.
  • The project will directly influence four communities namely; Ocilwane, Novunula, Nthuthunga 1 and Nthuthunga 2 communities, of which Ocilwane will be mostly affected. Ibutho Coal is conducting detailed, transparent engagements and discussions with these communities and their leadership.
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