Mining Mirror May 2017 - Page 23

Excursion Atha Africa’s coal mine is expected to improve economic conditions in the Wakkerstroom area. fundamental premise that no mining should take place in certain areas, to the other side of the continuum, where proponents of mining operations hold the view that the mining operations should proceed because of the positive benefits to employment, skills development, community upliftment through programmes in the Social and Labour Plan, infrastructure development, and broad-based black economic empowerment. “It is extremely difficult to argue against these strongly held views, because mining and its impact are often very personal and very real. They are often extremely polarising and in many instances, the actual and perceived benefits, such as employment and community upliftment, promise immediate gains, and environment and related aspects become overshadowed by what is immediately promised,” Beech concludes. As the global population grows and demand for resources increase, more land will be needed for mining these resources. This puts mining and conservation on a collision course and it is an issue that demands serious attention. b MAY 2017 MINING MIRROR [21]