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The need for further development of SA’s coal sector cannot be overstated, given its contribution to energy generation and employment, Joel Raphela, deputy director-general of mineral policy and promotion in the Department of Mineral Resources, said on Thursday. This runs counter to global trends to move away from use of fossil fuels in power and transport, particularly coal which is identified as a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Raphela, who was delivering a speech on behalf of Minister Mosebenzi Zwane at the IHS Markit South African Coal Export Conference 2017 in Cape Town, said fossil fuels were a key source of energy and SA had abundant reserves, recently estimated at 66-billion tonnes. "Market fundamentals permitting, we desire to grow this sector," he said. He said amendments to the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) and the harmonisation of mining and water licences through the "one environment" system were intended to make it easier to do...

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