Plans to mine coal by Australia’s Coal for Africa close to the Mapungubwe Unesco World Heritage site have been put on hold.
This follows some concerns over the impact of coal mining and related activities on the environment, specifically the impact of mining on water and heritage resources in the area.
For the first time in South Africa, an offset agreement has been negotiated as a condition to obtain a mining license by the coal company. This means that any mining damage caused by Coal for Africa will be monetised and penalised.
The agreement is a win say environmentalists, who have said that should mining go ahead in the area, they have negotiated a deal that protects the area’s living and cultural heritage.