The proposed Ibutho Coal Mine
The proposed Ibutho Coal Mine that will operate 7 days a week and 24 hours a day, for 32 years A proposed coal mine bordering on KwaZulu-Natal's world-famous Hluhluwe-iMfolozi game park, is said to be a danger to the area's rhino population.
Ocilwane Village, comprising of 230 households and an estimated 1909 residents. The village comprises of 2 schools, a clinic, small businesses, sevaral worship sites, small grazing land and crops near the Umfolozi River. Scores of households in this village lie directly in the mining path
Scores of households from the Ocilwane Village fall on the boundary of the proposed Ibutho Coal mine and will have to be rolocated
In addition to dust and pollution, noise from approximately 200 coal trucks, per day, will radiate out to distances of 3.5km at night and 1.5km during the day. These noise impacts are set to shatter the tranquility of the Imfolozi wilderness area
An estimated 7000 people will be affected by dust, noise and floodlights from the proposed Ibutho Coal Mine
The proposed Ibutho Coal Mine will be located 100m away from a complete wilderness part of the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Nature Reserve, a 32000ha zone of wilderness that the late wildlife conservationist Ian Player helped establish to preserve ancient wild spaces, undamaged by the influence of modern humanity. According to Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, less than 1% of South Africa's surface area is formally protected as wilderness Sign in - Google Accounts
37 million tons of coal are expected to be extracted from the mine over a 32 year period
New techniques of blasting will reduce the detonation speed of the blasts, meaning that vibration and noise will be reduced. However, the influence of blasting with explosives could radiate out to 3.5km and may hurl rocks and debris within 500m.
There is a realistic possibility of rocks, from blasting, hitting schools or other community areas within 500m of the coal pit boundaries
The proposed Ibutho Coal Mine will use approximately 2190MW hours of electricity per month and 105 million litres of water per month
The Nthuthunga 1 Village has a population of 1640, some of whom will be directly affected by the proposed Ibutho Coal Mine. The settlement has 2 schools, a number of Shembe worship sites, small businesses, 3 community graveyards, a water storage dam, livestock and grazing land and crop fields
The Nthuthunga 2 Village has approximately 1503 residents, a primary school, 2 community graveyards and vegetable gardens next to the river
The Umfolozi River is already considered a water-stressed river and it is unlikely that the Department of Water Affairs will grant an abstraction permit from this river Umfolozi River - Wikipedia
A possible option to source water would be to build a storage dam on the Mvamanzi River but this would impact on other downstream users such as Richards Bay
Surface and groundwater in the vicinity of the mine could also be poisoned from acidic mine drainage and other contaminants from mining. A huge risk is Sulphuric Acid, created when Sulphides in the coal rock were exposed to oxygen and water from the mining process
The Ibutho Coal Mining Project hopes to generate 200 permanent jobs, possibly increasing to 400 job opportunities within 5 years.
As part of a social labour plan, Ibutho plans to introduce projects such as adult basic education and training, core business training, artisan training, learnerships, bursaries and internships to a value of R6.6 million in the first 5 years
The Ibutho project plans to introduce 22 bursaries in mechanical, electrical, human resources and geology, as well as 31 learning opportunities for machine operating, truck driving, health and safety, HR, mechanics, electricians or fitting and turning. Imbutho has committed to supporting education and small business projects to the value of R2 million in the first 5 years
Ibutho's Fuleni coal mining project is described as a 44.9% Black Economic Empowerment shareholding, of which at least 5% free carry share equity is offered to a community shareholding trust
A potentially affected area is the Novunala Village, with 1245 residents, one school, several small businesses, a community graveyard and livestock grazing land
Wasat Investments (Pty) Ltd and Chlorosys Investments (Pty) Ltd jointly hold a 58.95% shareholding in Ibutho Coal

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