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Environmental News

Ventilation and cooling in mines often work against nature

By: Simone Liedtke     24th November 2017 Mining requires a robust constitution as mines often work against nature, descending deep underground, where temperatures can rise to between 60º and 70º at the rock face, explains heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) company Johnson Controls GM Neil Cameron. 

Consulting industry evolves despite current challenges

By: Marleny Arnoldi     24th November 2017 As mines have reduced their in-house technical capacity to deal with cost constraints in the economic downturn, the role of consulting engineers in the mining industry has evolved in the past decade, with their specialist skills being applied more broadly, says firm of consulting engineers and... 

Consulting industry evolves despite current challenges
VIS REDDY The involvement of consultants in operational work on mines tends to detract from the more specialised focus that consultants should have

Agromining may provide new opportunities to extract remaining value from mined land

By: Mia Breytenbach     24th November 2017 With a significant portion of the large mineral deposits having been discovered worldwide, and in many cases reaching the end of viable economic recovery, phytomining is one option that could be chosen to extract the remaining value from this mined ground, Florida International University... 

Agromining may provide new opportunities to extract remaining value from mined land

Sibanye share price rises on gold tailings deal with DRDGold

By: Martin Creamer     22nd November 2017 The share price of Sibanye-Stillwater rose quickly and sharply on Wednesday on the news that the precious metals company had moved to create an industry-leading surface mining partnership with gold tailings retreatment company DRDGold. The proposed transaction, which saw the share price of... 

Sibanye share price rises on gold tailings deal with DRDGold
Photo by Duane Daws
Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman (left) and DRDGold CEO Niël Pretorius.

Funding made available to advance Burkina Faso solar project

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd November 2017 The Banque Internationale pour le Commerce, l’Industrie et l’Artisanat du Burkina (BICIAB), a BNP Paribas Group subsidiary, will provide $16.5-million in financing to Eren Renewable Energy for a 15 MW solar power plant that is under construction in Burkina Faso. The funding was granted to... 

Canadian federal agency rejects NGO complaint regarding KSM project permitting process

By: Henry Lazenby     21st November 2017 A Canadian federal agency has rejected a request for review (RfR) by nongovernmental organisation (NGO) the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC) of the permitting process regarding Seabridge Gold’s Kerr-Sulphurets-Mitchell (KSM) project, in British Columbia. The Canadian National Contact... 

Regulatory uncertainty results in inability to comply

By: Nadine James     17th November 2017 Given the uncertainty surrounding the interpretation of the National Environmental Management Act’s (Nema’s) Financial Provision Regulations, most mining companies have decided to wait until the regulations have been finalised before allocating resources to become compliant, says underwriting... 

Regulatory uncertainty results in inability  to comply
LEENTIE SMIT Financial guarantee solutions allow mining clients to fund the mining rehabilitation liability over a period that takes into consideration life-of-mine

Consultancy looks to reduce cost of complying with new regulations

By: Nadine James     17th November 2017 Mining consultancy The MSA Group is liaising with various industry players including mining companies, insurers, law and auditing firms to establish a consistent approach to assessing and reviewing mine closure liability. They believe that this collaboration will result in greater understanding... 

Consultancy looks to reduce cost of complying with new regulations
RECLAIMED BY NATURE The new, stricter regulations are likely owing to the Department of Mineral Resources being responsible for the rehabilitation close to 6 000 abandoned mines

Financial provisioning regulations a game changer – law firm

By: Nadine James     17th November 2017 The National Environmental Management Act’s (Nema’s) Financial Provisioning Regulations are a game changer because of the level of detail they require from mining companies, as well as the increased levels of liability they have established, says mining law firm Webber Wentzel. Webber Wentzel... 

Financial provisioning regulations a game changer – law firm
GARYN RAPSON The new laws have changed the rules surrounding mine closure in fundamental ways

'A good number of investors' considering countries offering better return-on-investment prospects than SA

By: Dylan Slater     17th November 2017 Mining policies imposed by the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) on local industry are creating increased uncertainty for investors, a growing number of whom are considering investing in mining projects and exploration in other countries, with a greater chance of a healthier return on... 

'A good number of investors' considering countries offering better return-on-investment prospects than SA
Photo by Duane Daws
PAUL MILLER A significant volume of additional capital needs to be earmarked for every new mining project to account for risk associated with policy uncertainty

Better regulations needed to prevent tailings dam failures – UNEP

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     15th November 2017 In the last decade, there have been over 40 mining waste failures, killing some 341 people and damaging hundreds of kilometers of waterways, affecting drinking water sources and the livelihood of communities, a new report entitled ‘Mine Tailings Storage: Safety Is No Accident’, reveals. The... 

Better regulations needed to prevent tailings dam failures – UNEP

Emerald's Okvau granted enviro approval

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     13th November 2017 The Cambodian Ministry of Environment has granted the Okvau gold project, being developed by ASX-listed Emerald Resources, environmental approval. With an environmental contract now signed, Emerald is able to progress to the final stages of its application for an industrial mining licence, the... 

Room to improve stakeholder collaboration in African mining

By: Robyn Wilkinson     10th November 2017 African mineral resources Ministers speaking at this year’s Africa Down Under Conference reiterated the importance of creating meaningful stakeholder collaboration, achievable only through continued efforts to open dialogue between government, the private sector and civil society, stresses law... 

Room to improve stakeholder  collaboration in African mining
Photo by Bloomberg
MORE THAN MINING Mining companies must take the time to interact with the people affected by their operations

Miners urged to take heed of Natural Capital Protocol framework

By: Ilan Solomons     10th November 2017 The recently released Natural Capital Protocol promises to give business a new appreciation of the ecosystem services on which they rely, states independent engineering and scientific consultancy SRK Consulting. The protocol was developed by a global multi-stakeholder group representing business,... 

Miners urged to take heed of Natural Capital Protocol framework
Photo by SRK Consulting
PAUL JORGENSEN Sustainability practices in mining are increasingly being incorporated into these value chain approaches to risk management

AEL Mining Services launches rock-breaking technology chair at University of Pretoria

By: Mia Breytenbach     10th November 2017 Johannesburg-headquartered developer, producer and supplier of commercial explosives AEL Mining Services has, in partnership with the University of Pretoria (UP), launched the AEL Mining Services Chair in Innovative Rock Breaking Technology, which will reside within the Department of Mining... 

AEL Mining Services launches rock-breaking technology  chair at University of Pretoria
CHAIRED PROJECT The first project from AEL Mining Services Chair in Innovative Rock Breaking Technology will be to determine safe blast-clearance radii for blasting

Boonanarring granted final approval

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     8th November 2017 The Boonanarring mineral sands project, in Western Australia, has received its final development approval, allowing construction and commissioning of the project to start. ASX-listed Image Resources on Wednesday told shareholders that the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation had... 

Bristow, Friedland may go head-to-head in on-stage copper-gold debate

By: Martin Creamer     7th November 2017 Dr Mark Bristow of Randgold Resources and Robert Friedland of Ivanhoe Mines may go head-to-head in a live on-stage gold-versus-copper debate at the Investing in African Mining Indaba event at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from February 5 to 8, Mining Indaba MD Alex Grose disclosed... 

Bristow, Friedland may go head-to-head in on-stage copper-gold debate
Photo by Creamer Media
Investing in African Mining Indaba MD Alex Grose (right) and Martin Creamer

Uranium-endowed South Africa stands to benefit from ambitions to improve electricity access in Africa

By: Dylan Slater     3rd November 2017 In tandem with growing ambitions to increase access to electricity for many African citizens who currently have no or limited access to electricity comes the call for new large-scale power stations to be built. In line with this expansion is a keen interest in nuclear power stations and,... 

Uranium-endowed South Africa stands to benefit from ambitions to improve electricity access in Africa

Elandsfontein mine to assist in alleviating West Coast water challenges

By: Ilan Solomons     3rd November 2017 Emerging miner Kropz’s Elandsfontein phosphate mine, near Saldanha Bay, in the Western Cape plans to supply the drought stricken West Coast region with additional clean water, while offsetting its own water-use over the course of the next three years. The project is located on land adjacent to... 

Elandsfontein mine to assist in alleviating  West Coast water challenges
Photo by Creamer Media image
SEEKING TO BE MISERLY Kropz has revised down its water-use requirements to 1.6 megalitres a day and it is the company’s intention to further revise this down to 1 meglitres a day

US withdraws from Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

By: Reuters     2nd November 2017 The US has withdrawn as an implementing country from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), an international initiative to account for revenues from extractive industries, including the global oil sector and mining. In a letter to the EITI board on Thursday, the Director of... 

Energy shares boost TSX to record peak despite weak earnings

By: Reuters     28th October 2017 Canada's benchmark stock index closed at a record high on Friday as energy shares surged alongside oil prices and as investors bet the central bank will be less aggressive in raising interest rates than previously anticipated. The Toronto stock market, which also set an intraday record high, has... 

Kibo secures Esia certification for Mbeya project

By: Natasha Odendaal     27th October 2017 AltX- and Aim-listed Kibo Mining has been granted an environmental- and social-impact assessment (Esia) certificate for its Mbeya coal and power generation project, in Tanzania. The Esia is the latest critical milestone for the company’s Mbeya coal-to-power project (MCPP), taking the project a... 

Africa must innovate or risk being left behind

     27th October 2017 South Africa remains a resource-rich region, but has missed opportunities to take advantage of the resources boom. As such, it has suffered more than other resource-rich regions during the industry downturn, says mining networking platform African Mining Network (AMN) chairperson Yolanda Torrisi.... 

Africa must innovate or risk being left behind
YOLANDA TORRISI Innovation, cost effectiveness and safety are factors that must be prioritised, to boost Africa’s opencast mining industry

Association educates mineworkers and communities

     27th October 2017 With new technologies, increasingly stringent legislation and statutory compliance matters, education has become essential in surface mining operations, says Aggregate and Sand Producers Association of Southern Africa (Aspasa) director of surface mining Nico Pienaar. Modern surface mines require... 

Association educates mineworkers and communities
NICO PIENAAR The Aggregate and Sand Producers Association of Southern Africa wants to encourage surface mine and quarry management to look beyond their boundaries

Diamond company invests in mining communities

By: Nica Schreuder     27th October 2017 There is a new language to be learnt and a new mindset to be adopted in South Africa’s opencast mining industry, says diamond mining company De Beers’ Limpopo-based Venetia mine GM Benford Mokoatle. As many underground resources have been depleted in the region, mining companies have been forced... 

Diamond company invests in mining communities
SOCIAL CAPITAL Investing in communities and involving them in important discussions is crucial to sustainable mining operations

Enviro lobby group takes emerging miner to court over phosphate mine’s water-use licence

By: Ilan Solomons     27th October 2017 Emerging miner Kropz has warned that the West Coast Environmental Protection Association’s (WCEPA’s) application to have the water-use license (WUL) for Kropz’s Elandsfontein phosphate mine, near Saldanha Bay, in the Western Cape, suspended, would, if successful, cause “irreversible environmental... 

Enviro lobby group takes emerging miner to court over phosphate mine’s water-use licence
Photo by Creamer Media image
IN THE CROSS HAIRS Kropz is opposing WCEPA’s application, stating that according to legal advice, the bid to have Elandsfontein’s water-use license revoked has ‘no grounds’

First indigenous tree species planted on West Rand sand dump

By: Ilan Solomons     27th October 2017 Local environmental watchdog the Federation for Sustainable Environment (FSE) planted the first indigenous trees, namely Ziziphus mucronatas, which are commonly known as Buffalo Thorns, on the rehabilitated footprint area of Sand Dump 20 in Randfontein, on the West Rand, earlier this month. The... 

First indigenous tree species planted on West Rand sand dump
Photo by Federation for Sustainable Environment
REINVIGORATING NATURE Sand Dump 20 was alleged to be the ‘largest man made sand dump worldwide’ and had been a significant source of dust fallout and water pollution

Technology can help overcome productivity challenges

     27th October 2017 Mining companies operating in Africa must innovate to address productivity challenges. If not, they face the risk of perishing, says African Mining Network chairperson Yolanda Torrisi. Speaking to Mining Weekly this month, she explains that, although innovation is the current trend in global... 

Technology can  help overcome productivity challenges
Photo by Duane Daws
IRON-ORE CHALLENGES Factors such as poor ore quality, declining ore grades and impurities have resulted in productivity challenges for the opencast mining industry

Draft regulations on rehab funds at odds with other pieces of legislation

By: Dylan Slater     27th October 2017 Mining companies are between a “rock and a hard place” over proposed tax measures to curb what government says is abuse of mining rehabilitation funds, according to law firm Bowman Gilfillan partners Betsie Strydom and Wandisile Mandlana.  

Despite regulatory creep, Mali remains ‘model’ mining country – Randgold

By: Henry Lazenby     26th October 2017 Africa-focused miner Randgold Resources said on Thursday that Mali was in many ways a model of its kind for Africa’s other mining countries, despite “some concern” that continued “upward revisions” to its mining code was diminishing its ability, relative to its peers, to attract investment.... 

Company explores tailings project, defines overall resource

By: Nadine James     20th October 2017 Rustenburg-based miner LANXESS Chrome Mining – owned by German speciality chemicals company LANXESS – is investigating the viability of a tailings retreatment project, in addition to defining the resource of its existing opencast licence and that of its recently acquired land, thereafter... 

General uptick in West Africa mining as commodity prices improve

By: Ilan Solomons     20th October 2017 There have been a number of recent positive developments in West Africa’s mining industry, such as in Mali, where two new mines are scheduled to be commissioned by the end of this year. This is according to engineering and scientific consultancy SRK Consulting Ghana country manager John Kwofie,... 

General uptick in West Africa mining as commodity prices improve
Photo by SRK Consulting
JOHN KWOFIE SRK has been engaged in aspects of iron-ore projects in Cameroon, bauxite in Guinea and diamonds in Sierra Leone and Guinea in recent years

South Africa spending less than its peers on mining research and development

By: Mia Breytenbach     20th October 2017 While South Africa had increased its investment in mining research and development (R&D) since 2014, the country’s investment was still below that of its peers, delegates heard during a panel discussion on ‘Technological Innovation and Advancements in the Mining Industry’ at the Joburg Indaba... 

Gamsberg zinc project a thumbs up for South Africa amid investment slowdown

By: Mia Breytenbach     20th October 2017 Amid low levels of capital project activities in South Africa, the $400-million Gamsberg zinc and lead project, in the Northern Cape, has become the largest mining project under execution in the country. “Commentators have noted that this significant investment in the South African mining... 

Gamsberg zinc project a thumbs up for South Africa amid investment slowdown

Miner defends Western Cape phosphate project, highlights its importance

By: Ilan Solomons     19th October 2017 Emerging miner Kropz has warned that the West Coast Environmental Protection Association’s (WCEPA’s) application to have the water-use license (WUL) for Kropz’s Elandsfontein phosphate mine, near Saldanha Bay, in the Western Cape, suspended, would, if successful, cause “irreversible environmental... 

Miner defends Western Cape phosphate project, highlights its importance

Remove exploration red tape or mining will die, geologist warns 

By: Martin Creamer     19th October 2017 The excessive red tape around minerals exploration must be removed to prevent the demise of South Africa’s vital mining industry, consulting exploration geologist Allan Saad said on Thursday. Saad, who spent 18 years in geological roles with mining major Rio Tinto and who formerly represented the... 

Remove exploration red tape or mining will die, geologist warns
Consulting exploration geologist Allan Saad outlines current exploration constraints to Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Photographs: Christo Greyling. Video and Video Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

‘Digital effectiveness’ tops EY’s 2017/18 risk radar

By: Henry Lazenby     18th October 2017 Professional services firm EY Global has revealed it annual ‘Top 10 business risks facing mining and metals’ report on Tuesday, with new entry ‘digital’ topping the list of most critical risks facing the mining industry in the coming year. This year’s report has seen a reshuffling with digital... 

‘Digital effectiveness’ tops EY’s 2017/18 risk radar

Miners beware growing cyber risk

By: Henry Lazenby     17th October 2017 Cyber risk has increased in prominence on professional services firm EY’s annual ‘Top 10 business risks facing mining and metals’ report, jumping to third position from ninth in 2016. According to EY's report, which was published on Tuesday, cyber risk is an ever-growing issue – an outcome of... 

Miners beware growing cyber risk
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