Jindal Steel & Power Ltd.’s ambitious plan to develop a $2 billion iron-ore mine in South Africa has encountered a significant setback. The environmental application for the project has been rejected, with environmental legal organization All Rise citing “extensive gaps in the environmental impact assessment” as the reason.
A multi-billion dollar investment at stake
Jindal Steel & Power Ltd, a company controlled by Asia’s richest woman, Savitri Jindal, and her family, had proposed building a massive iron-ore mine in Melmoth, KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa. If constructed, the mine would become the country’s second-largest iron ore mine, producing 32 million tons of magnetite iron ore per year, which could be processed into 7 million tons of iron ore concentrate.
Environmental concerns and community opposition
However, the permit for the mine has been refused by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, due to the aforementioned gaps in the environmental impact assessment. Additionally, local communities have expressed their opposition to the planned development, citing the potential relocation of thousands of homes and graves. While Jindal has stated that all resettlement and grave relocation decisions would be made in consultation with the communities, concerns remain.
The future of the project: an uphill battle
Despite the setback, Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. has confirmed its intention to challenge the decision, emphasizing the importance of environmental impact assessments in mining projects. Parshant Kumar Goyal, a company representative, stated that they plan to appeal the decision within three weeks. However, the road to success may be a difficult one, as the environmental concerns and community opposition will need to be addressed adequately.
Source: bnn breaking