In South Africa, a Friedland-backed mine is told to stop exhuming historic graves – by Geoffrey York (Globe and Mail – December 5, 2016)

JOHANNESBURG — A court has ordered Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. to stop exhuming and relocating dozens of historic graves at the site of its planned $1.6-billion platinum mine in South Africa.

The Vancouver-based company says it is complying with the interim order, but will fight it in a court hearing in late January. It says the court order hasn’t affected construction at the site, where its first shaft has reached a depth of more than 120 metres underground.

The court order is the latest sign of tensions between Ivanhoe and some community members near the mining site in Limpopo province, about 280 kilometres northeast of Johannesburg.

The mine is expected to become the biggest new platinum mine in the world. The company’s billionaire founder and executive chairman, Robert Friedland, has called it the world’s lowest-cost and longest-life platinum mine.

Hundreds of the mine’s opponents have held a series of protests against the project over the past two years, including a protest at the Canadian high commission in Pretoria. They have also attempted to launch challenges against the mine in the courts and at government departments and agencies.

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