Mining in the Mapungubwe area

Information and Discussions on Mining Issues
Posts: 4780
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 11:58 am
Country: South Africa
Location: Lowveld, South Africa

Re: Mining in the Mapungubwe area

Post by iNdlovu » Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:57 pm

Now that the Chinese are involved Toko, you'll probably find that we'll never hear of it again, they'll just pay someone off -O-
Man was placed in charge and given the duty of caring for all creation, are we doing it?

Posts: 1988
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 10:53 pm
Location: Daar waar die bobbejane hul borshare kam...

Re: Mining in the Mapungubwe area

Post by Poplap » Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:01 pm

O/ O/ O/ :evil: :evil: :evil:
Toko wrote:O/ Further developments at the Vele Colliery on the cards :evil:

Chinese deal boosts CoAL growth plans

Chinese deal boosts CoAL growth plans
BY MONDE MAOTO, JANUAR 10 2013, 07:48

COAL of Africa’s (CoAL’s) plans to develop metallurgical coal mines in Limpopo came closer to realisation on Wednesday after Chinese authorities granted regulatory approval for a $100m investment by Beijing Haohua Energy Resources.

The deal will see the Chinese company acquire 23.6% of CoAL for £0.25 a share. The announcement sent CoAL’s share price up as much as 10.7% to an intraday high of R3.10 on Wednesday. It closed 3.93% higher at R2.91.

Local steel producers ArcelorMittal and Evraz Highveld Steel and Vanadium have traditionally shipped the metallurgical coal they need from Australia because of a lack of rail infrastructure to the regions where the mineral could be mined domestically.

On Monday, CoAL announced that it has appointed Dutch commodities trader Vitol as the exclusive agent for most of its thermal and coking coal for the next eight years. As part of the agreement, the miner will now have access to the Terminal de Carvao da Matola in Maputo, Mozambique, without having to finance part of its construction.

CoAL plans to use the proceeds from Beijing Haohua’s investment to finance further developments at the Vele Colliery, its thermal and metallurgical coal mine close to the Mapungubwe World Heritage Site.

It aims to produce 7-million tons run-of-mine coal a year, of which 1-million tons is coking coal, after it completes the project’s first phase, which is under way.

In a notice issued to shareholders, the miner announced that in addition to developing Vele, it further intended to fund the capital requirements at its other operations.

CoAL CEO John Wallington said funding for the development of the Makhado coking coal project would be done separately from the Beijing Haohua deal. "We will still have to finalise the funding for Makhado once it is approved, and this capital could be raised through various means," Mr Wallington said.

The approval, received from the office of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Development and Reform, is valid for two years.

CoAL has already received $20m of the investment.

Shareholders will vote on January 25 for the conditional placement of shares for the remaining $80m as part of the second phase of the deal.

According to a company spokesman, the deal needs to obtain at least 50% approval of those present and voting at the extraordinary general meeting.

Last year was difficult for CoAL as lower export thermal coal prices and labour unrest prompted the miner to adopt cost-cutting measures at its Mooiplaats thermal coal operation. The mine is now under review.

Although a sale of the mine has not been ruled out, Mr Wallington said the process of evaluating the operations was still under way. The options being considered included the possibility of forming a partnership with its neighbouring operations.

Mr Wallington said that he expected another tough year for commodity prices.

"Although we were hoping for a correction, we envisage the coming six months to be difficult for commodity prices," he said.
“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.”
― Albert Einstein

User avatar
Posts: 34047
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 12:29 pm
Country: -

Re: Mining in the Mapungubwe area

Post by Toko » Sat May 04, 2013 7:18 pm

User avatar
Posts: 34047
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 12:29 pm
Country: -

Re: Mining in the Mapungubwe area

Post by Toko » Sat Jul 06, 2013 2:48 pm

WORLD HERITAGE COMMITTEE, Thirty-seventh session, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 16 - 27 June 2013

Working document: Item 7B of the Provisional Agenda: State of conservation of World Heritage properties inscribed on the World Heritage List. Link

43. Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape (South Africa) (C 1099)

Current conservation issues
The State Party submitted a state of conservation report on 29 January 2013. This report addressed the requests of the World Heritage Committee at its last session in relation to the impact of open-cast coal mining, the drafting of the management plan, protection, conservation and consolidation of archaeological sites and the clarification of the boundary and the buffer zone. It also reported on progress with the Trans-Frontier Conservation Area and on the proposed underground expansion of the De Beers Venetia Mine in the buffer zone.

a) Impact of Open-cast Coal Mining
The World Heritage Committee requested the State Party to ensure that the open-cast coal mining that was resumed in November 2011 does not negatively impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property. In its report, the State Party reiterated that the Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) carried out in 2011 concluded that the open-cast miningwill have no direct impact on the OUV of the property although the mining activities will impact on sites in the buffer zone closely related to the Mapungubwe Kingdom. The proposed mitigation, as set out in the HIA, is for archaeological sites to be recorded before destruction.
The State Party reports that a professional archaeologist has been appointed to provide day to day monitoring of the mining area and to oversee all mitigation measures, including cases where archaeological sites may have to be rescued. The State Party is also working with stakeholders in ensuring that archaeological research is undertaken on sites outside the mining areas but located within the wider landscape. This is part of an offset programme funded by the mining company that is currently being finalised.

b) Integrated Management Plan
The State Party has finalized the Integrated Management Plan for the property, and its draft was submitted to the World Heritage Centre on 29 January 2013, pending the final approval by the Minister in terms of the relevant national legislation.

c) Protection, Conservation and Consolidation of Archaeological sites
The State Party reports that a project to rehabilitate and conserve major archaeological sites within the property has been completed. No details were provided in the submitted report.

d) Clarifying Boundary and Buffer Zone
The State Party indicates that at the time of the inscription, although there was no buffer zone marked on the maps supplied, the area of the buffer zone was indicated in the text of the nomination dossier and this was said to include the Limpopo, Venetia Limpopo and Vhembe Reserves.
In the ICOMOS evaluation, it was stated that a trilateral Memorandum of Understanding had been drawn up with the objective of establishing a Limpopo-Shashe Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) and that this very extensive area in South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe would, when established, constitute a very effective buffer zone. The nomination stated that on the South African side the TFCA would include the Mapungubwe nominated area and its buffer zone. A map provided to the evaluation mission indicated this area encircling the property.
In 2009, the State Party delineated and approved at national level a buffer zone that excluded land in private ownership to the east of the property – but this buffer zone has not been presented to the Committee for approval. The State Party now acknowledges that the existing buffer zone does not extend to cover all areas that are necessary for the effective protection of the property’s OUV. An assessment has enabled the State Party to map out a more effective buffer zone, informed by distribution of archaeological sites, view shed protection and catchment protection areas
The State Party reports that, in 2012, as a result of appointing a facilitator to speed up negotiations with the land owners, it is now in a position to inform the Committee that the owners of the properties making up the 7 km of land to the east of the property have agreed to be incorporated into the buffer zone. A legal agreement between the land-owners and the State Party is under development. The State Party will be submitting in due course an application for a minor boundary modification.

e) Trans-Frontier Conservation Area
The State Party reports that the process of establishing a TFCA is almost completed waiting the signing of the treaty by the States Parties of Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The three countries have already agreed on the final draft of the TFCA treaty at a Ministerial level.

f) Proposed expansion of De Beers Venetia Mine & other mineral issues
The Venetia Diamond Mine lies within the buffer zone to the south of the property. It was officially opened in 1992. The mine has been operated as an open-cast mine within the footprint that existed at the time of inscription.
The State Party reports that an expansion of the mine is now proposed. This next phase involves an underground expansion and will take place within the existing footprint of the mine. No details are provided on any infra-structural implications of this expansion. The 2012 mission expressed concern at several large installations in the northern part of the property that provided the mine with water from the Limpopo River. The Management Plan mentions that as well as the rich coal and diamond resources, there are other strategic minerals on the borders of the park, and also a projected power station and a coal /gas field north of the Soutpansberg that will it is said ”change the character of the landscape in and around the Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape (MCL).” It also refers to the appraisal of the buffer zone as an opportunity to “facilitate the strategic engagement with the now numerous prospecting and mining applications in the area, especially around the need to negotiate advantageous off-set arrangements with prospective mining companies.”

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note the arrangements made for archaeological advice on measures to mitigate the impact of the open-cast coal mining on archaeological remains associated with the Mapungubwe Kingdom.
They recommend that the Committee welcome the progress made with the establishment of the TFCA and with extending the current buffer zone to the east of the property following the negotiations with private owners. As soon as a legal agreement with these owners has been agreed, a formal map of the overall buffer zone, together with details of its protection and management, needs to be presented to the World Heritage Committee for approval. In particular there needs to be clarification that no further mining activities will be allowed to take place in the buffer zone and this clarification needs to be reflected in the Management Plan, particularly in respect of ‘off-set arrangements’.
The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note the proposed underground expansion of the Venetia diamond mine and consider that further information needs to be provided on the associated infra-structural activities, such as roads and water supplies that will be needed for an expanded operation, in relation to their potential impact on the OUV.
The Advisory Bodies have reviewed the draft Management Plan and consider it a thorough, readable and professional plan for the World Heritage site and the contiguous National Park. The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies are of the view that in relation to mining
activities in the buffer zone, the plan needs to have greater clarity in terms of the impact of mining on the property and of the benefits of ‘off-set arrangements’. The Management Plan also refers to the development a coal /gas field north of the Soutpansberg that will “change the character of the landscape in and around the MCL”. Further information on this project needs to be provided as soon as possible in relation to its potential impact on the OUV of the property.

Draft Decision: 37 COM 7B.43
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/7B,
2. Recalling Decision 36 COM 7B.48, adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),
3. Acknowledges that archaeological advice will be provided to oversee the mitigation measures associated with the impact of open-cast coal mining on archaeological sites associated with the Mapungubwe Kingdom;
4. Notes the progress made in establishing a buffer zone for the property that will cover land to the east of the boundary, and progress with the establishment of the LimpopoShashe Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA);
5. Urges the State Party to submit a minor boundary modification for a buffer zone that clarifies the policies for protecting the property with respect to mining in the buffer zone and in relation to “off-set benefits”;
6. Also notes the production of the detailed and comprehensive Management Plan, requests the State Party to provide copies of the final approved plan to the World Heritage Centre and also urges the State Party to implement the plan with immediate effect;
7. Takes note of the proposed underground expansion of the De Beers Venetia Mine in the buffer zone and also requests the State Party to provide further details to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies on the infrastructure arrangements associated with this expansion, in particular for transport and water supplies, and to provide appropriate Heritage Impact Assessments before any irreversible commitments are made;
8. Notes with concern the proposals for the development a coal/gas field north of the Soutpansberg, which it is stated will “change the character of the landscape in and around the Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape (MCL)”, and in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, and further requests the State Party to provide, as soon as possible, an Environmental Impact Assessment and a Heritage Impact Assessment to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies before irreversible commitments are made;
9. Reiterates past decisions regarding gas exploration and exploitation in World Heritage properties as well as the International Council on Mining and Metals’ (ICMM) Position Statement on Mining and Protected Areas to “not explore or mine in World Heritage properties”, and therefore requests furthermore the State Party to ban any development of the coal/gas field in the property and to halt any development of the coal/gas field in the buffer zone until a Heritage Impact Assessment has been undertaken and submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;
10. Requests moreover the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2014, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session in 2014.

User avatar
Posts: 34047
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 12:29 pm
Country: -

Re: Mining in the Mapungubwe area

Post by Toko » Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:08 pm

Biodiversity Offset Agreement signed by the Department of Environmental Affairs, SANPARKS and Coal of Africa for Vele Colliery

08 October 2014

The Acting Director General of Environmental Affairs, Ms Judy Beaumont, on behalf of the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), today signed a historic biodiversity offset agreement (BOA) for the Vele Colliery Colliery to the value of R55 million over the life of the mine. The agreement was signed jointly with the Chairperson of the South African National Parks (SANParks), Mr Kuseni Dlamini and CoAL of Africa Limited (CoAL) CEO, Mr David Brown.

The biodiversity offset agreement for Vele Colliery is based on the ecosystem approach to biodiversity management. This approach promotes the integrated management of land, water and natural capital to achieve optimal conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. It is aimed at strengthening co-operation between the three parties towards the conservation and sustainable development of the Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape (MCL) World Heritage Site. It is also aimed at maintaining the integrity of the site, and ensuring that the negative impacts of development are avoided, minimised or remedied in the pursuit of sustainable development.

The Agreement is intended to promote the development of Mapungubwe so that it benefits the environment, the local economy and resident communities.

The background to today’s signing lies in the granting of a mining right to Limpopo Coal Company (Pty) Ltd, owner of Vele Colliery, a wholly owned subsidiary of CoAL. On 19 March 2010, the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) granted a mining right to the Limpopo Coal Company (Pty) Ltd (also known as Vele Colliery) to extract coal on a surface area of 8 663 hectares. The area is approximately 7km North East of the Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape World Heritage Site (MCLWHS) boundary and within an area that was initially earmarked for expansion of the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area.

The mining permit attracted opposition from conservation stakeholders, including the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). At the time Unesco considered the mining right area to be part of a future buffer zone area envisaged at the time of world heritage listing.

The chairman of the SANParks Board, Mr Kuseni Dlamini, said through the processes to revise the Mapungubwe World Heritage Site buffer zone, SANParks had expressed the view that it was possible for the mine to continue with its operations without impacting negatively on the protection Mapungubwe, provided an appropriate framework is put in place to manage the interface between mining operations and the World Heritage Site.

“There are those who have insisted on seeing conservation as being opposed to development and job creation, but this is certainly not the case. SANParks has long held the view that our national parks should serve as catalysts for local economic development, particularly in some of the more isolated rural areas where opportunities are limited,” said Mr Dlamini.

Vele Colliery applied for and was, on 5 July 2011, issued with an environmental authorization in terms of Section 24G of the National Environmental Management Amendment Act, (Act No. 107 of 1998), to continue with the listed activities that were commenced without authorization. The conditions for authorisation included formalisation and implementation of a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between DEA, CoAL and SANParks (the Management Authority for the World Heritage Site).

The MoA was signed on 01 September 2011 and relates to implementation of the Section 24G conditions of authorisation which included the development and implementation of the biodiversity offset programmes and implementation plans that (were) to be agreed upon. It committed the three parties to “ensuring that the negative impacts of development are avoided, minimised or remedied in pursuit of sustainable development.”

In addition, the parties agreed to promote alliances in the management of natural and cultural resources, as well as to collaborate in the formulation of biodiversity offset programmes that would ensure continued access to financial resources and achieve greater conservation value within the Mapungubwe World Heritage Site (WHS).

Following this, a Mapungubwe Biodiversity Offsets Negotiation Committee comprising officials from the department, SANParks and CoAL was established. One of the key objectives of the Committee was to agree on the scope of the offsets including target areas, residual impact, financial resources, legal and policy framework and allocation of responsibilities.The Committee met at least ten times between December 2011 to March 2013 to develop working documents to guide the BOA.

A number of high-level engagements were also held between the three organisations and related stakeholders around the BOA and its terms. These engagements had included representatives of regional and national government, tourism and parks agencies. On27 September 2013, the parties reached an agreement with CoAL indicating that they were prepared to commit to an offset amount of R55 million over the life of mine, payable in five phases over a period of 25 years.Therefore the agreement will terminate at the end of 2038. If the mine extends beyond 2038, the parties will negotiate new terms.

The Acting Director General of Environmental Affairs, Ms Judy Beaumont, said: “We have indeed reached a momentous stage in our country’s development, where sectors originally perceived to have competing mandates, have realised the common vision of growth and prosperity for our country, and are beginning to walk this path towards sustainability together.”

Ms Beaumont said the offset will enable Mapungubwe National Park and World Heritage Site to implement various projects to rehabilitate and improve management of archaeological sites, as well as the development of key park infrastructure such as an overnight education facility for children and roads.

These projects will create an estimated total of 349 temporary work opportunities for local communities over a fifteen year period, supporting at least 15 SMME’s. The bulk of the work opportunities – a total of 250 - will be created during the first 5 years of the programme. The eleven permanent positions needed for the management of the new facilities will become part of the operational responsibilities of the park.

“I hope that this will set an example for other companies with mining and similar interest in environmental sensitive areas to also act responsibly and ensure that any potential impacts are properly managed including by way of offsetting,” said Ms Beaumont.

The CEO of CoAL, Mr Brown, said: “It was a complex journey as we sought to marry the interests of environment, heritage and development. The signature of this agreement bears testimony to the commitment of the representatives of our respective organisations. We believe that Vele Colliery has set a new benchmark for co-existence between mining, heritage and agriculture.”

A Steering Committee will be established in order to manage and implement the terms of the agreement. Three representatives from each of the three parties to the Agreement (DEA, CoAL and SANParks) will be appointed to the Committee, which will meet quarterly.

For media queries contact:

Albi Modise
Cell: 083 490 2871

Reynold Thakhuli from SANParks
Cell: 073 373 4999

Florence Duval from Coal of Africa Ltd
Cell: 082 339 3091

JointlyIssued by the Department of Environmental Affairs, SANPARKS and Coal of Africa Ltd

User avatar
Posts: 34047
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 12:29 pm
Country: -

Re: Mining in the Mapungubwe area

Post by Toko » Thu Oct 09, 2014 1:54 pm

Please note: Vele Colliery started production of thermal coal in January 2012, and now the come up with biodiversity agreements -O- What's the point? After the planning, construction etc you start thinking about biodiversity 0-

User avatar
Posts: 34047
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 12:29 pm
Country: -

Re: Mining in the Mapungubwe area

Post by Toko » Thu Oct 16, 2014 4:29 pm

The chairman of the SANParks board, Kuseni Dlamini, offered the assurance that the income from the mine would be spent on biodiversity conservation, cultural-heritage management and tourism development in favour of Mapungubwe and the stimulation of the economy. ... -new-deal/
Is this the way to go for the future? O-/ Mining on the boundery of a National Park to fund conservation and further developments in National Parks O/

User avatar
Posts: 34047
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 12:29 pm
Country: -

Post by Toko » Thu Oct 16, 2014 5:19 pm

From Department of Environmental Affairs Budget Speech, 17 Jul 2014
The critical issue of mining which has in the past led to a conflict between conservation and development will now be addressed through the implementation of the Mining and Biodiversity Guideline which was published by my department and the Department of Minerals Resources last year.

These guidelines also introduce an extremely important concept known as ‘biodiversity off-setting’, aimed at restoring the environment or development balance. This tool is specifically designed to ensure that we leave subsequent generations with at least a biodiversity endowment of at least equal value.

However, biodiversity is not the only area where the offsetting concept may have extremely positive benefits.
Indeed, new thinking and developments around air quality, water quality and carbon offsetting appears to be indicating a potential radical and transformative approach to sustainable development.

To this end, the department will be exploring the exciting concept of environmental offsetting with all stakeholders over the next year and I encourage business, industry, consultants, NGOs and the academic community to actively engage with the department in exploring this potential missing link in sustainable development promotion.

User avatar
Committee Member
Posts: 77264
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 3:52 pm

Re: Mining in the Mapungubwe area

Post by Richprins » Thu Oct 16, 2014 6:00 pm

I don't quite understand why Mapungubwe are required to receive money from the mine? It is not part of the Park, I don't think? Mines such as Phalaborwa have always been very generous regarding assisting Kruger, for example, but it cannot be made obligatory? :-?

The idea of rehabilitating mines after use is law, I think now, and part of EIA's...sometimes it works well, with indigenous plants being planted where there were invaders before the mines? St Lucia seems to ring a bell!?
Please check Needs Attention pre-booking:

User avatar
Posts: 34047
Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 12:29 pm
Country: -

Re: Mining in the Mapungubwe area

Post by Toko » Thu Oct 16, 2014 6:18 pm

Offsets have nothing to do with rehabilitation, but are meant to be compensation for residual loss of biodiversity. This takes place in impact assessment and development planning processes. (The Amendment to the Environmental Authorisation for the Vele Colliery is underway.) ... es2013.pdf
Biodiversity offsets
Biodiversity offsets are defined as measurable conservation gains to balance
any significant biodiversity losses that remain after actions to avoid, minimise
and restore negative impacts have been taken. They are the last stage of
mitigation and should be considered after appropriate avoidance, minimisation,
and rehabilitation/restoration measures have been applied. Biodiversity offsets
generally target the same biodiversity as that residually impacted by
development, but may target biodiversity of higher conservation
By iteratively considering location, design, phasing and technology options
in the EIA to minimise residual impacts, it may be possible to avoid the need
for significant biodiversity offsets. Biodiversity offsets are required when there
are significant residual impacts on biodiversity or ecosystem services. Where
residual negative impacts are likely to remain after realistic rehabilitation efforts
have been implemented, ways to address the need for, and strategies to provide
biodiversity offsets, should be explored in the EIA process as part of
determining appropriate mitigation.

Return to “Mining Issues”