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Uncontrolled, illegal sand mining has increased ‘dramatically’ in last five years

By: Ilan Solomons Illegal sand mining forms a significant part of the $200-billion global environmental crime challenge, says Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning environmental compliance and enforcement director Dr Eshaam Palmer. Palmer was addressing black-owned training and... 

American CuMo Mining gets green light to complete exploration at Idaho project

By: Henry Lazenby Explorer American CuMo Mining (CuMoCo) has been given the go-ahead to continue exploration of its flagship CuMo project, in Idaho, after the US Forest Service (USFS) released its draft supplemental decision notice, ‘finding of no significant impact’ (FONSI) and supplemental environmental... 

Mining companies risk competitive edge without more women on board

By: Simon Rees Canadian mining companies should have more women on their boards to sharpen their competitive edge, increase diversity and boost creativity, Patrice Merrin told an audience at the Women in Mining Toronto branch last week. Among her many roles, Merrin was currently a corporate director on the... 

Astur Gold files suit to challenge Spanish denial of Salave underground mine

By: Henry Lazenby Vancouver-based project developer Astur Gold on Friday announced that its subsidiary, Exploraciones Mineras del Cantabrico (EMC), had filed a lawsuit before the Asturias Superior Court of Justice, in Northern Spain, challenging the Ministry of Economy and Employment of the Principality of... 

Exxaro unveils R250m water treatment plant at Matla coal mine

By: Natasha Odendaal Diversified miner Exxaro on Thursday unveiled the first of three water treatment plants designed to mitigate underground water storage constraints, protect scarce natural water resources and ensure the safety of mineworkers. The launch of the R250-million Robert Clarke Water Treatment Plant (WTP)... 

Exxaro unveils R250m water treatment plant at Matla coal mine

Quebec scales back plan to develop its resource-rich north

By: Reuters The Canadian province of Quebec unveiled a scaled-back version of its long-touted plan to develop its vast, mineral-rich north on Wednesday as investor interest has waned due to weak commodity prices, particularly for iron-ore. The provincial government said it now expects its Plan Nord to... 

Arguments start on whether BC Supreme Court has say in Guatemalan violence suit

By: Henry Lazenby Vancouver-based Tahoe Resources on Wednesday argued in the British Columbia Supreme Court to dismiss a civil suit launched last year by seven Guatemalan protesters who were shot during a peaceful protest outside the Escobal silver/lead/zinc mine, in south-eastern Guatemala. The seven men were... 

Arguments start on whether BC Supreme Court has say in Guatemalan violence suit
Photo by Tahoe Resources
The Escobal silver/lead/zinc mine, in south-eastern Guatemala.

Threatened beluga whales prompt TransCanada to delay Energy East pipeline plans

By: Henry Lazenby Canada’s number-two pipeline operator TransCanada Corp has cancelled plans to build a marine terminal and oil tank farm at Cacouna, in Quebec, owing to strong local opposition in favour of protecting the St Lawrence Estuary habitat of a population of threatened beluga whales. The result would be... 

Threatened beluga whales prompt TransCanada to delay Energy East pipeline plans

Pretium’s Brucejack project gets BC’s environmental nod, bar 15 conditions

By: Henry Lazenby British Columbia’s Environment Minister Mary Polak and Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett have issued an environmental assessment certificate to Pretium Resources for the Brucejack gold mine, about 65 km north-west of Stewart district municipality. The ministers had issued the certificate... 

Pretium’s Brucejack project gets BC’s environmental nod, bar 15 conditions
Photo by Pretium Resources
Pretium Resources' Brucejack mine, BC.

British Columbia recognises health and safety achievements of local mines

By: Henry Lazenby The Canadian province of British Columbia (BC) this week recognised several local mining operations for their health and safety achievements at the fifty-third yearly Mine Safety Awards banquet, in the provincial capital Victoria. The awards were presented to mines and quarries within the... 

Rio and Alcoa bow out of bauxite project to make way for national park

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Industry titans Rio Tinto and Alcoa have terminated a historic State Agreement Act intended to facilitate the development of a bauxite mine and alumina refinery in the north Kimberley region, instead freeing up the area to allow for the establishment of a national park. “The Kimberley National... 

Chilean Environmental Court rejects claims that Barrick damaged glaciers

By: Henry Lazenby Chile's Environmental Court  ruled on Monday that the Pascua-Lama project straddling the Chilean/Argentinian border had not damaged glaciers within the project's area of influence. Barrick reaffirmed its commitment to work with stakeholders and local communities in Chile to advance Pascua-Lama in... 

Noront Resources consolidates position in Ontario’s Ring of Fire for a bargain 

By: Henry Lazenby Northern Ontario’s emerging minerals-rich Ring of Fire (RoF) mining camp has a new champion after US-focused iron-ore producer Cliffs Natural Resources agreed to bow out of the prospective region by selling its claims to explorer Noront Resources for $20-million. Noront, which was currently in... 

Noront Resources consolidates position in Ontario’s Ring of Fire for a bargain

Australia commits extra A$100m to protect Great Barrier Reef

By: Esmarie Swanepoel The Australian government would commit an additional A$100-million in new funding for the Reef Trust to support the implementation of the Reef 2050 long-term sustainability plan, Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced over the weekend. The Reef 2050 long-term sustainability plan is the... 

Australia commits extra A$100m to protect Great Barrier Reef

Company prioritises oil-contamination prevention, safety

By: Bruce Montiea To reduce the environmental impact of its projects, drilling services company Ubuntu Rock Drilling (URD) aims to prevent oil contamination as much as possible, company marketing manager Michelle Berrington tells Mining Weekly. To achieve this, a plastic liner is used to cover the ground surface... 

Company prioritises oil-contamination  prevention, safety
Photo by Bloomberg
ZERO SPILLAGE Drilling must have as little impact as possible on the environment

Increased focus on enviro management in tough investment climate

By: David D‘ Oliveira The increasing focus on mitigating the environmental and social impacts of mining is making securing financing to develop new and expand existing mining projects more difficult, says specialist mining consultancy The MSA Group. MSA principal environmental consultant Robin Bolton explains that... 

Increased focus on enviro management in tough investment climate
FINDING A SOLUTION Environmental and social risk imperatives will always be present and companies have to find means to identify, manage and limit those risks

Legislative changes to result in improved enviro protection

By: David D‘ Oliveira While recent changes to legislation have not affected the Department of Mineral Resources’ (DMR’s) role as controlling authority in terms of issuing mining environmental authorisations, penalties for noncompliance are greater than what they were under the Mineral and Petroleum Resources... 

Legislative changes  to result in improved enviro protection
Photo by Duane Daws
NEMA AMENDMENTS, SAFER ENVIRONMENT Increased penalties should result in the environment being better protected in the areas affected by mining activities

Nema amendments bring land rehabilitation to the fore

By: David D‘ Oliveira Amendments made to the National Environmental Management Act (Nema) in October last year indicate that government is focusing more on mining-related land rehabilitation schemes, says land rehabilitation membership organisation the Land Rehabilitation Society of Southern Africa (LaRSSA) council... 

Nema amendments bring land rehabilitation to the fore
LAND REHABILITATION FOCUS The Nema amendments have shifted the focus from closure plans as a guide for post-mining planning documentation to rehabilitation plans

New extinguisher system eliminates need for harmful chemicals

By: David D‘ Oliveira Environmental management company I-Cat Environmental Solutions launched its environment-friendly water-based extinguisher system EXTINGUISHmist in November last year after it had received certification from the South African Bureau of Standards. I-Cat product specialist Eugene Kleynhans explains... 

Effective CSR strategies becoming increasingly critical to project success

By: Henry Lazenby With the extractive industry these days being forced to look for viable projects in more far-flung regions, it often entails coming into contact with communities that have, in a sense, been forgotten or neglected by their own governments, potentially adding to project risk. But socioeconomic... 

Effective CSR strategies becoming increasingly critical to project success

Great Barrier Reef ‘in-danger’ listing to hurt industry – QRC

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Should the Unesco World Heritage Committee assign an ‘in-danger’ status to the Great Barrier Reef, it would be a death knell for industries relying on imports or exports, the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has warned. Revealing an independent analysis of what it would mean if Unesco in June... 

Caserones mine in Chile fined for environmental failures

By: Reuters Chile has fined the Caserones copper mine in northern Chile $11.9-million for breaching environmental rules, its environmental regulator said on Wednesday. The fine was for a number of infractions, including failure to implement mitigation measures to prevent the contamination of underground... 

Algae can reduce coal-related CO2 emissions

By: Bruce Montiea South Africa can benefit from using algae and related plants for carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction and cofiring while facilitating mine rehabilitation, says coal expert and University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering Professor Rosemary Falcon. The research... 

Algae can reduce  coal-related  CO2 emissions
Photo by Bloomberg
BENEFICIAL The research into using algae and related plants for CO2 reduction and cofiring is at an advanced stage at the Clean Coal Technology Centre at Wits

Coal merchant to release green coal-processing technology

By: Bruce Montiea Coal merchant Afri Coal is investigating a coal processing method to reduce carbon emissions, says company director Pauline Coertzen. Afri Coal is conducting the research and development for this method that it will, once commercialised, provide for its clients that process coal. 

Coal merchant to release green coal-processing technology
Photo by Bloomberg
TRANSPORT COSTS One of the most common challenges of bulk coal distribution is transport costs, from the loading point to the client

Early understanding of social risks should inform project decisions

By: Bruce Montiea Proposed mining projects’ investment and capital expenditure decisions should be informed by an early understanding of social risks, says environmental and social services provider Digby Wells Environmental stakeholder engagement departmental manager Nestus Bredenhann. He states that obtaining a... 

Early understanding of  social risks should inform project decisions
CONSULTATION Mining companies have to communicate the potential environmental impact of their operations to local communities

Greater investment in clean coal technologies needed

Global industry body the World Coal Association (WCA) has called for greater investment in cleaner coal technologies, to meet the growing global energy demand, while also reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. As coal is currently providing 40% of global electricity, with coal use forecast to... 

Greater investment in clean coal technologies needed
CLEAN COAL The World Coal Association calls for greater investment in cleaner coal technologies to meet the growing global energy demand while also reducing carbon dioxide emissions

Mineral sands project developed

Exploration company World Titanium Resources’ Ranobe mine, in south-west Madagascar, is undergoing final environmental and social permitting by the local government, the company said in November last year. The mine, which forms a part of World Titanium’s Tier 1 Toliara Sands project is projected... 

Mining industry needs to be more consultative, transparent

By: Pimani Baloyi Mining companies needed to be more open and transparent with communities surrounding their mine operations, Bench Marks Foundation executive director John Capel said in his presentation during a panel discussion, of which the topic was Building Community Trust, at the 2015 Investing in African... 

Tungsten industry in transition as China's competitiveness wanes

By: Henry Lazenby Despite China having not yet made significant inroads into securing tungsten supply from outside its borders, it might only be a matter of time before teh country did, providing the incentive investors are looking for to finance several shovel-ready projects. Tungsten, or wolfram as it is also... 

Canada strikes more than 10 African foreign investment promotion, protection accords 

By: Henry Lazenby Canada has concluded foreign investment promotion and protection agreements with more than ten countries in Africa, improving the confidence and protection Canadian companies need to invest abroad. Canada’s International Trade Minister Ed Fast, accompanied by ministerial colleagues from African... 

Canada strikes more than 10 African foreign investment promotion, protection accords
Photo by Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
The African mining delegation closes the TSX on Tuesday.

Brazil’s ambassador to Canada calls for greater trade between the two natural resource giants

By: Simon Rees Brazil seeks to boost the level of bilateral trade with Canada, particularly in the sphere of mining, the country’s ambassador to Canada Pedro Fernando Brêtas Bastos told audience members at the Brazil-Canada Chamber of Commerce mining breakfast on Monday. The level of bilateral trade between... 

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