Australian company pushing ahead with destructive new coal mine in South Africa amid Covid-19 crisis  

Media Statement: An Australian company is quietly pushing ahead with a new coal mine in South Africa, as the country confirms 1,655 confirmed cases and 11 deaths related to COVID-19. Other Australian companies in the region, like Glencore, have suspended operations. 


Resource Generation will hold its extraordinary general meeting tomorrow, on 7 April 2020 to seek approval from shareholders for a lending package of approximately $420 million to complete construction of the Boikarabelo thermal coal mine, situated in Waterberg, a coal-rich district of South Africa’s Limpopo province.

“Resource Generation’s decision to go ahead with its extraordinary general meeting in the middle of a global health epidemic is undemocratic and unethical,” said Katherine Tu, Head of Policy and Campaigns at ActionAid Australia.

“Resource Generation already has a track record of failing to consult with women in communities that will be affected by the mine. Obtaining free, prior and informed consent from all community members is a basic principle for good mining practice globally. Resource Generation need to do better.”

Francina Nkosi who lives in Lephalale, the closest town to Resource Generation’s proposed coal mine, has engaged with Resource Generation and its contractors for many years about the risks of the proposed mine.

“Resource Generation is using the COVID-19 health crisis to generate another crisis for our communities – by pushing forward its destructive Boikarabelo coal mine,” she said.

“We are experiencing a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases across South Africa and right now we are focused on the health of our families and communities. Yet, Resource Generation is using this as an opportunity to prevent us from having our voices heard.”

Resource Generation has already broken their promises to deliver essential services such as water, sanitation, and electricity. Community members were inadequately consulted and could be displaced by the proposed mine. Resource Generation has already restricted a local family’s access to the communal cemetery, where they wanted to bury their relative.

Ahead of the extraordinary general meeting online tomorrow, Francina has a clear message to shareholders: Shareholders must ensure that Resource Generation adequately consults with women and affected communities before approving this mind to proceed.”


Note to editors:

Resource Generation is a dual-listed company in Australia (ASX) and South Africa (JSE). The company had originally planned to hold an in-person meeting in Brisbane, but due to travel restrictions the meeting has now shifted online.