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Ezulwini Mining Company Pty Ltd v Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy and Others (53379/2019) [2021] ZAGPPHC 4

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Ezulwini Mining Company Pty Ltd v Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy and Others (53379/2019) [2021] ZAGPPHC 4

22nd January 2021

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Click here to read the full judgment on Saflii

In these proceedings applicant (hereinafter “EMC”) instituted motion proceedings on 24 July 2019 in terms of which the following relief was sought:

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“ 1.     Declaring that:

1.1          neither an environmental authorisation in terms of the National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998 and the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations published in GN R982 in GG 38282 of 4 December 2014;

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1.2          nor an amendment to the water use licence issued to the Applicant in terms of the National Water Act 36 of 1998;

are required by the applicant to cease the pumping of the water from the defunct underground workings of Ezulwini mine located on the farms Jachtfontein 344, Klipgat 700, Modderfontein 345 and Waterpan 292, Registration Division IQ, situated in the Rand West City Local Municipality, within the West Rand District Municipality.

2.         Alternatively, and to the extent that the Court find that an environmental authorisation or a water use license amendment is required by the applicant to cease the pumping of water from the defunct underground workings at the Ezulwini mine, declaring that:

2.1       in light of the prejudicial financial consequences, physical constraints and potential health and safety consequences of the continued pumping, as well as the findings of the extensive impact assessment studies completed by the applicant, the applicant is entitled to cease the pumping of water from the defunct underground workings at the Ezulwini mine in the absence of such environmental authorisation or water use license amendment;

3.         Further alternatively, and to the extent that the Court finds that an environmental authorisation or a water use license amendment is required by the applicant to cease the pumping of water from the defunct underground workings at the Ezulwini mine, and that the applicant is not entitled to cease the pumping of water from the defunct underground workings at the Ezulwini mine in the absence of such environmental authorisation or water use license amendment, directing that:

3.1       the fifth and sixth respondents either cover the costs of pumping water from the defunct underground workings at Ezulwini mine or contribute to such cost together with the applicant, the fifth and sixth respondents being jointly and severally liable, alternatively, directing the first and/or second and/or third and/or fourth respondents to order the fifth and sixth respondents to do so.

4.         Directing such respondents who may oppose this application to pay the costs thereof, including the costs of two counsel, jointly and severally, the one paying the others to be absolved.”

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