Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 02 September 2010 – Coal of Africa (CoAL) says it may resume production at its Vele colliery in South Africa in the fourth quarter of 2010, after making progress towards rectifying environmental issues.
Listed in London and Sydney, the company said last month that it had halted some construction activities at Vele after a government order which accused the company of contravening environmental laws.
Several environmental groups had appealed to the South African mining ministry against granting a new mining right for the Vele Colliery due to concerns that it might increase pollution at Mapungubwe, a World Heritage Site located near the Kruger National Park.
Now the company says it has made some progress in rectifying the issues which had led to the halting of some operations, including the fulfilment of technical requirements raised by the Department of Environmental Affairs and the Department of Water Affairs.
A Department of Environmental Affairs spokesman said he couldn’t comment immediately.
“The timelines required to complete these processes have unfortunately left the company with no choice but to reduce the workforce at the Vele Colliery by 596 people to date,” CoAL said in a statement.
The company added that it remained confident of resolving all issues raised by the authorities, and that an independent environmental assessment expert would be appointed to assess the risks posed by its operations to nearby water resources.