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Makhado timetable slips

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World Coal,

Construction at Coal of Africa’s (CoAL) Makhado metallurgical coal production in South Africa’s Soutpansberg Coalfield is to be delayed until 2017, the company said in its 2Q16 activities report, and will begin as soon as all regulatory approvals are in place. Construction had been expected to being in 2H16.

The delayed start up “reflects the complex environment in which mining operates,’ CoAL said. “But as a company we commit to ensuring that the requisite processes are completed as efficiently and as quickly as possible.”

The Makhado project has been hit by a number of regulatory and legal issues, including the suspension of its Integrated Water Use Licence (IWUL) after an appeal to the Department of Water and Sanitation by the Vhembe Mineral Resources Forum.

Despite submitting urgent representation to the Minister of Water and Sanitation requesting that the IWUL remain in full force pending the final conclusion of the appeal by the Water Tribunal, discussions remain ongoing, the company said.

An interim interdict against the project’s environmental authorisation (EA) also remains in place, pending a court-ordered review of the authorisation.

“CoAL remains committed to the sustainable development of the Makhado project,” the company said. It “continues to engage with all stakeholders to ensure the ongoing implementation of a co-existent model, seeking co-operating between mining, agriculture and heritage land uses.”

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