Minergy response to INK24 video posted on Facebook
Minergy or “the company” or “the business” or “the mine” is a Botswana registered and mostly Batswana owned company listed on the main board of the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE). The company’s 100% owned Masama Mine, located in the Mmamabula Coalfield of Botswana, is the Group’s cornerstone asset.
The company has noted with disappointment that a factually incorrect, malicious and sensation-seeking video regarding the Masama Coal Mine has been published twice on INK24’s Facebook page. The video was initially posted in June 2021 then reposted in August 2021. It is clear that this second posting of the video is intended to cause further public outrage. We would like to set the record straight from the claims in the video to our various stakeholders.
- Minergy is not a South African company – it is a Botswana company that listed on the main board of the BSE in 2017.
- A comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as required by law, was completed in 2017 and approved in 2018. Legally, a mining license cannot be awarded without an EIA being approved. Our mining license was awarded in 2018 subsequent to the abovementioned EIA approval.
- The statement made that there are on average 100 trucks per day, for the last two years travelling between Medie and Lentsweletau, is false.
- The inference that the mine operation is to blame for individuals, specifically the elderly with pre-existing medical conditions, deteriorating health is shocking, malicious and damaging.
- Permission was granted to Minergy by the Lentsweletau sub land board to drill a water borehole on the site which lies on open land outside of the videoed property. The permission allows for the borehole at a distance outside the specified minimum distance.
Medie and Lentsweletau Road
- The video claims that the mine’s use of the road between Medie and Lentsweletau, which is a public road, is a danger to the public. The road between Medie and Lentsweletau is a public road, under the care of the Department of Roads and Transport. In alignment with our mandate as a responsible corporate citizen, we have taken it upon ourselves and at our own cost, to help maintain the road.
- Our continuous efforts at Minergy’s cost include:
- Expensive chemical dust suppression products have been applied on roads in sensitive areas such as in-village transit routes. As the product binds to the road it has eliminated dust in the sensitive areas.
- This is undertaken in the morning and the afternoon to ensure dust does not impact villages and farmers.
- Speedhumps have been installed to slow down traffic.
- Allocating borehole / raw water for use for dust suppression of roads.
- Air quality monitoring is done on a monthly basis, which focuses on fall-out dust. To ensure an adequate water supply for this, Minergy drilled a borehole specifically to help with dust suppression.
We engage community leaders and elders regularly whenever possible for integration into the community and areas of common interests.
- Within the Medie village a study was undertaken of all housing in the village prior to the commencement of mining and all blast vibrations (air and ground) are monitored. The results of these blast vibrations show that all are well below acceptable thresholds. In addition to this, all complaints received by Minergy are proactively addressed and resolved.
- Aside from employing a total of 353 people at the Masama mine, the majority of which are people from the district, we have also ensured support to the Medie Primary School, the clinic and the kgotla. Our key project to date was to reticulate and bring electricity to the Medie village. This was successfully done with the kgotla and the clinic supplied with electricity. The village residents are also now able to connect to the national grid at their own cost, which would not otherwise have happened until 2024.
- We are extremely proud of the fact that 95% of the staff employed at the Masama Coal Mine are Batswana and mostly from the Medie, Lentsweletau or greater Kweneng district. This further means that there is a large amount of skills transfer, training and development, aside from the payment of salaries that takes place and these job opportunities created are in line with Government’s plans to reduce unemployment.
- The establishment of the mine has also led to the opening of peripheral business and boosted entrepreneurs to begin spaza shops, general dealers and hardware stores. It has also enabled homeowners to rent out rooms or in some instances even build additional accommodation which would not have been possible without the mine operating nearby.
Minergy remains committed to operate the mine within the confines of the approved EIA and promote dialogue with any party in the spirit of finding workable solutions. We are saddened by this turn of events but are focused on bringing the mine to its full potential, which will benefit all stakeholders including the community.