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CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Coal of Africa's proposed Vele coal mine could increase pollution and hurt South Africa's Mapungupwe World Heritage site, the environmental minister said on Tuesday. Located close to the Kruger National Park, the premier national wildlife park in Africa's largest economy, the Vele colliery in Limpopo has been criticized by environmentalists.

"It was the expressed opinion of the department that the proposed open cast coal mine is an undesirable development for the area where it is proposed," Buyelwa Sonjica, Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs told lawmakers in a written response to questions.

South Africa is one of the world's top coal exporters, driven increasingly by demand from India and China.

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