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Environmental News

Copper mining offers growth opportunity to dust suppressant supplier

By: Nadine James     2nd December 2016 Johannesburg-based nanotechnology provider Cruze Holdings expects to secure more work from African copper mining operations as its products generate savings by ensuring companies spend less on their existing road dust suppression measures. The company may double its mining revenue within the next... 

Importance of artisanal mining increases in DRC

     2nd December 2016 The stagnation of the formalised mining sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has led to an increase in artisanal mining activity, says the mining representative body DRC Chamber of Mines (CoM). “Artisanal mining in the DRC has become a widespread activity of significant economic... 

Importance of  artisanal mining increases in DRC
SUBSISTENCE MINING Artisanal mining in the DRC has become a widespread activity of significant economic importance

Crude pipeline approvals attract reaction straddling both sides of argument

By: Henry Lazenby     1st December 2016 Tuesday's approval by the federal Liberal government of Kinder Morgan’s C$6.8-billion Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) project and Enbridge’s C$7.5-billion Line 3 Replacement project has drawn equally strong praise and criticism from Canadian business and civic organisations. Gathering almost... 

Crude pipeline approvals attract reaction straddling both sides of argument
Photo by Reuters
Protesters walk down Robson Street in opposition to Canada's decision to approve Kinder Morgan's pipeline from the Alberta oil sands to the Pacific coast, in Vancouver

Namibia Rare Earths files mining licence application for Lofdal

By: Henry Lazenby     30th November 2016 Heavy rare earth elements project developer Namibia Rare Earths has filed an application with the Namibian Mines and Energy Ministry for a mining licence for its Lofdal project, the company reported Wednesday. Since releasing its preliminary economic assessment (PEA) in November 2014, the company... 

PTM’s Maseve ramp-up dogged by DMR safety blitzes

By: Henry Lazenby     30th November 2016 The ramp up of South Africa-focused miner Platinum Group Metals’ (PTM’s)  cornerstone Maseve mine has been hampered in recent weeks by safety blitzes in the North West province by the inspectorate branch of South Africa's Department of Mineral Resources (DMR). The company noted on Tuesday that... 

Trudeau govt approves Trans Mountain, Line 3 pipelines, rejects Northern Gateway

By: Henry Lazenby     30th November 2016 Canada’s Liberal federal government under leadership of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has approved two out of three contentious crude oil pipelines in the country, critical infrastructure needed to get Canada’s vast oil reserves to new markets. In a landmark decision, the Trudeau government has... 

Trudeau govt approves Trans Mountain, Line 3 pipelines, rejects Northern Gateway

Capital expenditure to continue downward trend

By: Henry Lazenby     29th November 2016 Despite a modestly more buoyant outlook for key metal prices, mining capital expenditures (capex) are expected to continue on a downward slide over the next three years as miners seek further cost cuts and to improve operational margins, according to analysis by Fitch Group research arm BMI.... 

Capital expenditure to continue downward trend

Emerging phosphate miner gains momentum, aims to ‘change’ mining perception

By: Natasha Odendaal     25th November 2016 Emerging miner Kropz is working to change the perception of mining and become the new industry benchmark through the responsible operation and rehabilitation of the  Elandsfontein phosphate mine, near Saldanha Bay. The R1.35-billion Western Cape-based mine, a 70:30 joint venture between Kropz and... 

Company promotes ecofriendly production processes

By: Sascha Solomons     25th November 2016 As a means of protecting the environment, nonwoven geotextile manufacturer Fibertex uses chemical-binder-free products and production processes to manufacture Fibertex geotextiles, which are made of virgin polypropylene (PP) material. Fibertex South Africa CEO Clive Hitchcock comments that virgin... 

Company promotes ecofriendly production processes
CLIVE HITCHCOCK Nonwoven geotextiles play an important role in diverse sectors

Lack of funds hampers rehabilitation of derelict, ownerless asbestos mines

By: Dylan Slater     25th November 2016 Randburg-based mineral and metallurgical innovation company Mintek is struggling to meet its mandate of rehabilitating derelict and ownerless asbestos mines and related workings owing to lack of funding required to tackle projects of increased risk, size and complexity.  

Lack of funds hampers rehabilitation of derelict,  ownerless asbestos mines
LASTING LEGACY An abandoned building built using asbestos shows the legacy of the cancer-inducing resource on the built environment

R10-million laboratory commissioned in DRC

By: Simone Liedtke     25th November 2016 Turnkey laboratory solutions provider Tramecon has commissioned the R10-million Kinsenda laboratory, a project headed by midtier mining group Metorex, near the border town of Kasumbalesa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). 

R10-million laboratory commissioned in DRC
CONTAINERISED SOLUTION The Kinsenda laboratory project involved the design, supply, installation and commissioning of a containerised laboratory facility

Science council heavily involved in mining research and development

By: Keith Campbell     25th November 2016 Although the new Mining Precinct (or Mining Hub) initiative has rightly attracted a lot of interest (see “Mining Weekly” October 7), the mining and minerals research and development (R&D) activities of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR – a key participant in the Mining... 

Science council heavily involved in mining research and development

Landslide kills 13 as diggers invade Freeport mine in Congo: governor

By: Reuters     22nd November 2016 A landslide killed at least 13 people last week in southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo after thousands of artisanal miners began invading a copper mine controlled by Freeport-McMoRan, the provincial governor said on Monday. Between 5 000 and 10 000 illegal miners have descended on the... 

Canada accelerates transition to clean power; to phase out coal-fired generation by 2030

By: Henry Lazenby     22nd November 2016 The Liberal Canadian federal government on Monday announced accelerated plans to transition the economy to renewable energy sources, saying it would aim to phase out coal-fired plants by 2030. According to Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna, coal-fired electricity... 

Canada accelerates transition to clean power; to phase out coal-fired generation by 2030

Gold from woodchips, grease, mine muck surprises on upside 

By: Martin Creamer     21st November 2016 The recovery of gold from mine waste at Goldplat Recovery in Benoni generates a surprisingly high level of revenue while simultaneously protecting the environment and providing hundreds of valuable jobs. The London Aim-listed Goldplat, a bona fide junior producer from secondary material, last... 

Gold from woodchips, grease, mine muck surprises on upside
Goldplat CEO Gerard Kisbey-Green talks to Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer at the company’s Benoni site. Photographs: Duane Daws. Video and Video Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

TCTA celebrates thirtieth consecutive unqualified audit, eyes further mandates

By: Natasha Odendaal     18th November 2016 State-owned Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA) has achieved its thirtieth consecutive unqualified audit opinion in the financial year ended March 31, and the water infrastructure entity is targeting further mandates by shareholder, the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS). The DWS-led... 

Brazilian judge accepts criminal charges for Samarco dam disaster – report

By: Reuters     18th November 2016 A federal judge in Brazil has accepted the criminal charges brought by prosecutors against four companies and 22 employees for a burst tailings dam at the Samarco mine last November, the G1 news site reported on Friday. Prosecutors last month accused Samarco, its joint venture owners Vale and BHP... 

Finnish firm gets funding to commercialise AMD solution in SA

By: Dylan Slater     18th November 2016 Following the July launch of water treatment technology for the treatment of acid mine drainage (AMD) and industrial hazardous waste water in South Africa, Finland-based company Global EcoProcess Services Oy (Epse) has been granted funding by the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation for the... 

Finnish firm gets funding to commercialise AMD solution in SA
Photo by Duane Daws
LASSE MUSAKKA Our technology can assist in achieving a sustainable and better future for South Africa

Mobile technology helps eliminate blasting obstacles

By: Kimberley Smuts     18th November 2016 Explosives firm BME explored how mobile technology and centralised data could provide mine managers with an edge to comprehensively eliminate potential blast problems, through among others management of blast inputs, thereby improving blast results, at its annual Drilling and Blasting Conference.... 

Queensland’s new groundwater law a ‘risk’ to resource projects – miners

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     18th November 2016 Despite objections from the resources sector and dire warnings about the impact it would have on the development of coal projects, a Queensland Parliamentary Committee has backed the Environmental Protection (Underground Water Management) and Other Legislation Amendment (EPOLA) Bill. In essence,... 

Queensland’s new groundwater law a ‘risk’ to resource projects – miners

Pure Energy hits lithium brines in Clayton Valley drill campaign

By: Henry Lazenby     17th November 2016 Canadian lithium explorer Pure Energy Minerals plans to collect new brine samples for lithium analysis and integrate that data into its existing inferred lithium brine resource through its current drill programme at the Clayton Valley South (CVS) project, in Nevada. The Vancouver-based public... 

Business, labour need to combine as errant DMR turns dictator

By: Martin Creamer     17th November 2016 The point has been made that mining business and labour have never been closer than now and that they need to make use of the current window of opportunity to establish a better foundation between themselves so that they can collectively shame the government into moving mining forward for the... 

Business, labour need to combine as errant DMR turns dictator
Chamber of Mines CEO Roger Baxter

Banco Safra sues Samarco in US court over Brazil dam disaster

By: Reuters     15th November 2016 Brazilian mining company Samarco Mineração was sued by creditors in the US on Monday, accusing it of making false statements about a deadly dam disaster in November 2015. Banco Safra's Cayman Islands branch, individually and on behalf of investors holding Samarco's bonds due in 2022, 2023 and... 

Hudbay resumes Constancia ops on peaceful brokered resolution

By: Henry Lazenby     11th November 2016 Base metals miner Hudbay Minerals has resumed operations at its Constancia mine, in Peru, after negotiating a peaceful resolution regarding occupation of the openpit area, with support from the Peruvian government, the company reported Friday. The Canadian miner on Tuesday called a halt to... 

Consultancy assists miner in relocation of KZN community

By: Dylan Slater     11th November 2016 Planning for the start of mining at the KwaZulu-Natal-based Zulti South lease area, mineral sands miner Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) has been working closely with mining consultancy SRK Consulting to ensure that its resettlement strategy continues to enhance both the company’s social licence to... 

Consultancy assists miner in relocation  of KZN community
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT The role of an experienced resettlement practitioner is integral in providing practical management solutions

Final position on regulations requires greater impetus

By: Victor Moolman     11th November 2016 Although government has shown a willingness to consider the concerns raised by industry regarding the recently promulgated Financial Provisioning Regulations under the National Environmental Management Act (Nema) and softening some of the “hard edges”, greater urgency in establishing a clear... 

Final position on regulations requires greater impetus
MINE ACIDITY The new regulations should help to decrease the acidity of the acid mine water discharge from mines that have been closed

Miners set to cash in on Trump's White House

By: Reuters     10th November 2016 Mining companies led gains on London's FTSE bluechip index on Wednesday as Republican Donald Trump's victory in the US presidential election spurred hopes for higher metal demand and drove investors to buy gold as a shelter against economic uncertainty. The FTSE mining index rose around 5% to... 

World's first forest bond beats expectations

By: Reuters     9th November 2016 A green investment that for the first time channels private money into protecting forests has raised twice as much planned, its issuers said on Tuesday. A branch of the World Bank and miner BHP Billiton are backing the bond, which is also a first in allowing investors to opt to be paid in carbon... 

South32 opens desalination plant

By: Martin Creamer     8th November 2016 Diversified mining company South32 has opened a seawater desalination plant at its Hillside aluminium smelter in Richards Bay to mitigate against the drought experienced in KwaZulu-Natal in the last few years. The R74-million desalination plant will allow South32 to maintain operations during a... 

DMR must be challenged, good governance must be assured

By: Martin Creamer     7th November 2016 Mining has the wealth-generating potential to boost economies, but countries blessed with a mineral endowment must at least do their bit by assuring good governance. Regrettably, against the background of the recently released 'State of Capture' report of former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela,... 

DMR must be challenged, good governance must be assured
Photo by Duane Daws
Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela

Trumpism doesn’t play in Canada, which just eased takeover rules

By: Bloomberg     4th November 2016 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, bucking a global trend toward greater protectionism, will loosen foreign takeover rules for more than 50 Canadian publicly traded companies next year, including those in mining, oil and marijuana production. Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced this week Canada... 

Trumpism doesn’t play in Canada, which just eased takeover rules

Africa a focus for energy solutions in mining

By: Simone Liedtke     4th November 2016 The global mining industry risks wasting millions of dollars if greater emphasis is not placed on its employing renewable-energy solutions, such as solar photovoltaic (PV) technology and biogas, according to global nonprofit organisation Rocky Mountain Institute-Carbon War Room (RMI-CWR).  

Africa a focus for energy solutions in mining
SUNSHINE FOR MINES Greater emphasis should be placed on employing renewable-energy solutions in the mining industry

Beleaguered Brazilian miners set great store by new President – KPMG

By: Ilan Solomons     4th November 2016 The mining sector in Brazil, like most others worldwide, is currently facing many difficulties, principally owing to weak commodity prices. However, mining companies are hopeful that the country’s recently appointed President Michel Temer will support efforts to strengthen the country’s mining... 

Beleaguered Brazilian miners set great store by new President – KPMG
Photo by Reuters
SAMARCO SCARS This incident has been described by analysts as ‘the worst environmental disaster’ in Brazilian history

Discussing Samarco disaster one year on 

     3rd November 2016 The anniversaries of three deadly mine waste disasters should have governments in all mining jurisdictions insisting on new audits of tailings dams and demanding sound assurances that such needless mine-waste disasters never recur, says Mining Weekly editor Martin Creamer, who joins senior deputy... 

Discussing Samarco disaster one year on
Discussing Samarco disaster one year on

Ontario invests C$2.5m in mining R&D; Minister outlines progress to position province as mining leader

By: Henry Lazenby     2nd November 2016 The Ontario government on Tuesday announced that it would invest C$2.5-million in the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation's (CEMI's) ongoing work with the Ultra Deep Mining Network (UDMN), which is helping the mining sector develop and adopt commercially viable innovations. Part of a... 

Ontario invests C$2.5m in mining R&D; Minister outlines progress to position province as mining leader
Photo by Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
Minister of Northern Development and Mines Michael Gravelle addresses the Mining Innovation Summit 2016, held in Sudbury

BHP backs bond to help limit deforestation

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     1st November 2016 Mining major BHP Billiton has thrown its weight behind the Forest Bond, designed to reduce deforestation and stimulate investment in low-carbon development. The Forest Bond, issued by the International Finance Corporation, raised $152-million from institutional investors, and is listed on the... 

Qld gets tough on Ben Lomond

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     31st October 2016 The Queensland government has issued an environmental protection order (EPO) to privately-held Uranium Mineral Ventures dealing with the Ben Lomond uranium mine. The EPO was issued by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) to further strengthen safeguards against any release... 

Electric hauler prototype on cards for January

By: Aarifah Nosarka     28th October 2016 The prototype of the 25 t electric hauler vehicle, with applications in soft- and hard-rock mining, from Johannesburg-headquartered underground trackless mining machinery manufacturer Fermel, is expected to be trialed from January 2017 to June 2017. “The prototype is 85% complete and undergoing... 

Electric hauler prototype on cards for January
GREEN BREAKTHROUGH The development of the electric traction system on the Fermel battery-driven electric hauler has led to improved battery management, but, more importantly, zero-emissions mining technology
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