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New Australia PM begs to differ with those calling for coal mine ban, citing economic and job implications

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Australias newest Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has taken a practical stance on Australias coal future, despite mounting turmoil in the sector as new mines face severe environmental resistance and producers are cutting output in an effort to fight rising costs and decreased prices.   

Enviro groups slam Qld for rehabilitation bond tax reprieve

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Environmental groups have lashed out at the Queensland government’s decision to reduce the fees that resource companies have to pay to guarantee that mines were rehabilitated. The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection has announced that miners would no longer have to pay a 10% goods... 

Continental secures EIA prioritisation for Buriticá

By: Natasha Odendaal The final legal process to facilitate the filing of an updated environmental application amendment for TSX-listed Continental Gold’s flagship Buriticá project, in Colombia, has been completed. The Colombia government last week published Decree 2220, which would allow the national environment... 

K+S faces output curbs amid lack of waste water approval

By: Reuters Germany's K+S could face production restrictions as authorities are withholding approval of its request for the continued discharge of waste water from processing potash. K+S was raided earlier this year by German criminal state police, on suspicion of illegally disposing of saltwater, which... 

Samarco tailings breach underscores need for industrywide best practise

By: Simon Rees On November 5, there was a large, destructive breach of tailings dams at an iron-ore mine run by Samarco Mineração, in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. It was reported that about ten people had lost their lives, while hundreds more had to be evacuated. Much of Bento Rodrigues village was... 

NT to strengthen environmental assessments with regulatory reform

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt has commended the Northern Territory government’s announcement that it would reform its environmental regulatory system. The territory government has announced that it would adopt a raft of recommendations from the Review into Environmental Assessment and... 

NT to strengthen environmental assessments with regulatory reform

Mines must consider postblast fume problems

By: Bruce Montiea Mines should try to create conditions that reduce the risk of toxic-fume production during blasting, says business consulting service company Kilmorie Consulting. The company notes that, in most cases, fumes emanating from the use of explosives are nontoxic; however, an understanding of the... 

Mines must consider postblast fume problems
Photo by Bloomberg
CAUTION NEEDED The potential for postblast fume problems has to be taken into consideration at managerial level so that clear direction on fume minimisation can be provided to all staff

S Africa’s Environmental Affairs Minister dismisses appeal against Vele authorisation

By: Megan van Wyngaardt Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa has dismissed an appeal against the environmental authorisation (EA) amendment for Coal of Africa Limited’s (CoAL’s) flagship hard coking and thermal coal asset, Vele colliery, in Limpopo. The coal miner noted that the EA amendment was granted in January... 

Carr mum on environmental review changes, NEB plans

By: Henry Lazenby Canada’s new Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr on Wednesday morning offered little insight to the Liberal Government’s planned changes to the National Energy Board (NEB), or how a promised shake-up of the environmental review process for new projects would change the current project landscape.... 

Carr mum on environmental review changes, NEB plans

Brazil dam collapse reignites debate over storing mining waste

By: Reuters A deadly mud slide at an iron-ore mine in Brazil has reignited calls for safer ways to dispose of millions of tonnes of ore waste held back by man-made dams. The disaster at the Samarco iron-ore mine is only the latest in a series involving tailings - waste in mining parlance - that have... 

South32 reviewing tailings dam risk after Brazil disaster

By: Martin Creamer Diversified mining company South32, which was spun out of BHP Billiton earlier this year, is reviewing its tailings dam risk in the light of the collapse that killed 11 and displaced 600 at Samarco, the iron-ore mine in Brazil owned jointly by BHP Billiton and Vale. Under shareholder questioning... 

South32 reviewing tailings dam risk after Brazil disaster
Photo by South32
South32's first annual general meeting

Samarco makes emergency repairs to dams at risk as rain sets in

By: Reuters Brazilian miner Samarco said on Tuesday it is conducting real-time monitoring and emergency repairs on two of its tailings dams that suffered damage in the wake of the November 5 collapse of another dam that killed 11 and left another 12 missing. Officials of Samarco, an iron-ore venture owned by... 

Despite slowing growth, China to remain key growth market for metals

By: Henry Lazenby As commodity prices touched fresh decade-lows in recent months, a look at the global macroeconomic situation reveals that, despite China being a significant part of the commodity price slump, it will remain a critically important growth market for metals for decades to come. Addressing an... 

Despite slowing growth, China to remain key growth market for metals

Link executive pay to mine safety, environment – PRI

By: Martin Creamer Executive compensation should be linked to factors other than financial performance, Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) MD Fiona Reynolds said on Tuesday. Responding to Mining Weekly Online within the context of this month’s collapse of the tailings dam of the Samarco iron-ore mine in... 

Link executive pay to mine safety, environment – PRI
Fiona Reynolds

Brazil's Vale says Samarco costs so far exceed insurance

By: Reuters Costs and fines already incurred as a result of a deadly dam burst at an iron-ore mine in Brazil run by Samarco have exceeded insurance against civil damages, an executive for Brazilian miner Vale, which owns Samarco along with Australia's BHP Billiton, said on a Monday conference call. 

Ministerial mandate letters point to greener Canadian economic priorities

By: Henry Lazenby Canadian Prime Minister (PM) Justin Trudeau on Friday took the unprecedented step of publicly releasing all ministerial mandate letters, as part of his plan for open and transparent government for Canadians, giving citizens a first glimpse of the new Liberal administration's policy priorities.... 

Ministerial mandate letters point to greener Canadian economic priorities

Brazil levies initial fines of $66m against mine for burst dams

By: Reuters President Dilma Rousseff on Thursday announced preliminary fines worth 250-million reais ($66.2-million) against a mine in southeastern Brazil where two dams burst, killing at least seven people and coating a two-state area with mud and mine waste. The fines, announced after Rousseff flew over... 

Report calls on G20 governments to immediately phase out fossil fuel subsidies

By: Henry Lazenby Despite efforts to boost so-called green economies, the Group of Twenty (G20) international governments had provided $452-billion a year in subsidies to produce fossil fuels in 2013 and 2014, a new report has shown. That was almost four times the amount that the International Energy Agency had... 

Report calls on G20 governments to immediately phase out fossil fuel subsidies

Brazil vows to make BHP, Vale pay for deadly mine disaster

By: Reuters Brazil's government said on Wednesday it may fine mining giants BHP Billiton and Vale for the "environmental catastrophe" caused by ruptured dams at an iron-ore mine jointly owned by the companies in a south-eastern state. The government is increasingly concerned over the rising death toll and... 

US Space Act unanimously passes Senate vote

By: Henry Lazenby Space-mining pioneers have welcomed the historic unanimous passing of the Space Act of 2015, as amended, in the US Senate on Tuesday, recognising the right of US citizens to own asteroid resources they obtain as property and encouraging commercial exploration and recovery of resources from... 

US Space Act unanimously passes Senate vote

Insurers face $600m claim in Brazil dam burst, sources say

By: Reuters Insurers covering risks for a Brazilian mine where two dams burst last week, killing at least six people, could pay up to $600-million in claims, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said on Monday. A property policy held by the dams' owner, Samarco Mineração, could cover up to... 

Anger at burst dams in Brazil focuses on Vale, mining code

By: Reuters As despair turns to anger over a deadly dam burst at a Brazilian mine, lawmakers pushed on Tuesday for tougher regulations in a new mining code and iron-ore giant Vale came under pressure to help mourning families and contain the environmental impact. In five days of rescue efforts in towns... 

Ocean will satisfy half of Chile copper miners' water needs by 2026

By: Reuters Copper miners in Chile, the world's top producer, are forecast to satisfy half their water needs using ocean water by 2026, a government-sponsored study showed on Tuesday. Strained fresh water resources in Chile's arid north, where most of the Andean nation's copper mines are concentrated, and... 

Fracking task team denied opportunity to address meeting

By: RDM News Wire Pro-fracking entrepreneurs brought the first public meeting of scientists studying the controversial attempt to mine gas buried deep under the Karoo to a sudden halt in Graaff-Reinet's Masizake Hall on Monday. In May‚ cabinet mandated five government departments and three science councils and... 

Fracking task team denied opportunity to address meeting

Brazil's Vale says Samarco disaster to cut output at nearby mines

By: Reuters Brazilian mining company Vale SA said on Monday that a deadly collapse of a tailings dam at Brazil's Samarco, an iron-ore company it owns 50:50 with Australia's BHP Billiton, will cut output from two nearby mines. Iron-ore output from Vale's Fábrica Nova and Timbopeba mines will be cut by... 

Peabody to amend disclosures after reaching resolution with NY Attorney General

By: Henry Lazenby NYSE-listed coal miner Peabody Energy will amend its disclosures regarding climate change, after the New York Attorney General took issue with the company during an eight-year-long investigation. The miner on Monday said it had resolved the matter without any other action associated with this... 

Peabody to amend disclosures after reaching resolution with NY Attorney General

Rush to speed Brazil mine permit may be behind dam disaster

By: Reuters Mining companies often complain endless red tape makes it hard to do business in Brazil but prosecutors and environmentalists say burst dams at an iron-ore mine that triggered massive flooding last week point to gaping lapses in regulation. The floodwaters and mudflow killed at least two people... 

TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline defeated as Obama hands greens huge enviro victory

By: Henry Lazenby US President Barack Obama has rejected Canadian energy infrastructure operator TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline, ending a drawn out and highly politicised battle to build an $8-billion conduit that would have transported Canadian bitumen to large refining markets in the American... 

TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline defeated as Obama hands greens huge enviro victory

Dam burst at Vale, BHP mine devastates Brazilian town

By: Reuters A dam holding back waste water from an iron ore mine in Brazil that is owned by Vale and BHP Billiton burst on Thursday, devastating a nearby town with mudslides and leaving officials in the remote region scrambling to assess casualties. The mining company Samarco, a joint venture between top... 

Africa should boost exploration before new supercycle

By: Mia Breytenbach Despite the imperative for African mining companies to preserve, or consolidate their assets, these companies also need to prime themselves for a new commodity super cycle and potential growth, through boosting exploration projects, states multinational services firm EY mining and metals sector... 

Africa should boost exploration before  new supercycle
Photo by Bloomberg
CHANGING GEARS Mining companies now have to strike a balance between optimising the current mines and a focus on looking for opportunities to grow

Embattled Mintails denies it has no rehab funds, plans for its operations

By: Ilan Solomons South Africa-focused tailings extractor Mintails has refuted claims that it has no rehabilitation funds or a rehabilitation plan for its mining operations, which are located west of Johannesburg. These allegations were made by nonprofit company Federation for a Sustainable Environment (FSE) CEO... 

Embattled Mintails denies it has no rehab funds, plans for its operations
Photo by Duane Daws
WHOSE RESPONSIBILITY? If Mintails ceases operations will the responsibility and environmental liability be transferred to neighbouring mines, the local municipality and the State?

Chamber repeats delay call as National Treasury publishes carbon tax draft

By: Martin Creamer The imposition of a carbon tax should be delayed by five years, the Chamber of Mines of South Africa reiterated on Wednesday following the publication by National Treasury of a draft carbon tax Bill. The chamber said ahead of its own planned scrutiny of the draft that such a delay would be... 

Chamber repeats delay call as National Treasury publishes carbon tax draft
Photo by Duane Daws
Roger Baxter

TransCanada asks US Secretary of State to halt Keystone XL review in bid to win time

By: Henry Lazenby Delayed by years of bureaucratic red tape and environmentalist opposition, Canadian energy infrastructure operator TransCanada on Monday revealed that it had written a letter to US State Department Secretary John Kerry, asking the department to pause its review of the ‘presidential permit’... 

WA farmers, gas explorers agree on land access framework

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Western Australia’s Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion has welcomed the Farming Land Access Agreement template released by the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (Appea) on Friday. Farmers and petroleum companies in Western Australia have drawn up a model... 

Carbine wins Qld water treatment contract

By: Esmarie Swanepoel ASX-listed Carbine Resources has been awarded a A$1.25-million a year water treatment contract from the Queensland government, covering the Mount Morgan mine. The Queensland state government said Carbine would use specialist technology to boost environmental management and flood protection and... 

MPRDA lacking on mines’ social and environment responsibilities

By: Ilan Solomons Mining is a land use choice and this choice is not necessarily benign, as when mining takes place, particularly on a large scale, it can have very long lived environmental and social impacts. These impacts can have long term negative consequences at the local community and national levels, said... 

MPRDA lacking on mines’ social and  environment responsibilities
MPUMALANGA MINING BOOM Currently 61% of the surface area of Mpumalanga is under mining or exploration application

Corruption concerns have increased implications for mining and exploration M&A

By: Simon Rees Buyers are becoming increasingly wary of corruption issues when buying projects, operations or other companies, and those looking to sell will have to be more mindful of this, says PricewaterhouseCoopers Canada MD and anticorruption expert Frederic Miller.   “Nobody these days wants to buy a... 

Arianne Phosphate gets favourable public hearing opinion in Quebec

By: Henry Lazenby Project developer Arianne Phosphate has received a favourable outcome from public hearings conducted by Quebec’s Office of Public Hearings on the Environment (BAPE) for its Lac à Paul project, in Quebec's Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region, signalling that the provincial government would issue its... 

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