Poor mine closure practices worry green lobbyist

With commodity prices still low, culling non-core assets has become a viable option for many a mining company – something even most determined trade union leaders cannot prevent from happening. However, the main fear is that the assets could fall in the hands of organisations without the wherewithal to abide by environmental preservation regulations, according to NGO, Centre for Environmental Rights.

Responding to a concern Centre for Environmental Rights has raised regarding Anglo American’s divestiture of non-core or underperforming assets, the mining giant’s Executive Head, Andile Sangqu, says: “Anglo American is committed to exiting its noncore assets in a responsible manner that will seek to ensure that the assets continue to be managed by experienced and credible operators in the best interest of employees, communities and other stakeholders.”

The CER is calling for transparency and public participation in the transfer of any of Anglo American’s South African mining rights. It wants to ensure that the mining company’s efforts to rescue its profit performance and protect its shareholders’ interests are  not at the expense of the environment and the communities that surround its operations.

CER draws attention to “the woeful legacy of unrehabilitated mining operations in South Africa and the common trend for large companies to transfer mining rights to small companies which cannot comply with the rehabilitation obligations attached to the rights”.

Information credits: adapted for Transform SA Online from a report published by Sunday Times – Business Section

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