Makhado
A drill rig on site at the Makhado project in Limpopo
Department of Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa has dismissed an appeal against the environmental authorisation amendment for Coal of Africa's Makhado project.

Coal of Africa (CoAL), the the coal exploration, development and mining company, says it is pleased with Molewa’s decision to dismiss an appeal against the environmental authorisation amendment for its Makhado coal project in Limpopo.

The environmental authorisation amendment was granted in July 2016 in terms of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) and amended the holder of the authorisation from CoAL to Baobab Mining and Exploration, the legal entity for the Makhado project.

The amendment further amends the validity period of the environmental authorisation, extending the commencement period for an additional five years.

Baobab is the legal owner of the mining rights for the Makhado project – a hard coking coal project located in the Soutpansberg coalfield – which is 36 km north of Makhado town.

The environmental authorisation for the project was granted to CoAL in August 2013 by LEDET, requiring that activities within the authorisation commence within a three year period.

Makhado’s 26-month construction phase is expected to start in the first half of 2017, as soon as all regulatory approvals are in place, with a further four month ramp-up phase resulting in the production of 5.5 Mtpa of saleable product.

The optimisation study and front-end engineering and design for the Makhado project colliery was performed by the international engineering and project delivery group DRA Project South Africa.