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Great Barrier Reef not ‘in danger’ – Unesco

By: Esmarie Swanepoel The Australian government and resources industry have welcomed a decision by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) World Heritage Committee not to place the Great Barrier Reef on the ‘in-danger’ list. The 21-member committee this week took a final decision... 

Vogel to step down as EPA chair

By: Esmarie Swanepoel The Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has announced that chairperson Paul Vogel would step down from his position at the end of his term in November. Vogel, who was appointed in 2007, is the second longest serving chairperson in the EPA’s 44-year history. 

Govt, private sector working constructively to tackle acid mine drainage in Wits basin

By: Ilan Solomons Although acid mine drainage (AMD) in the Witwatersrand basin is the result of a legacy of environmental mismanagement of water resources by mines and lax enforcement of regulations by government, these role-players are working to constructively address this problem, says Department of Water and... 

Govt, private sector working constructively to tackle acid mine drainage in Wits basin

Govt, private sector working constructively to tackle acid mine drainage in Wits basin

By: Ilan Solomons Although acid mine drainage (AMD) in the Witwatersrand basin is the result of a legacy of environmental mismanagement of water resources by mines and lax enforcement of regulations by government, these role-players are working to constructively address this problem, says Department of Water and... 

Govt, private sector working constructively to tackle acid mine drainage in Wits basin

Rejected mine water plan deprived 7 000 of jobs – Robinson 

By: Martin Creamer The rejection of a still-workable mine water and slimes dam plan at the stricken Grootvlei gold mine on Gauteng’s East Rand deprived 7 000 squatter camp dwellers of employment and set the mine on its downward trajectory, which has arguably ended up as the harshest aspect of the Aurora liquidation... 

Rejected mine water plan deprived 7 000 of jobs – Robinson
Photo by Daune Daws
Dr RE (Robbie) Robinson (right) and Martin Creamer

Unesco to conduct mining impact study on world heritage site

By: Megan van Wyngaardt United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) has requested Canada to invite a reactive monitoring mission to conduct an indepth investigation of how Wood Buffalo National Park, in Alberta, is being impacted by hydroelectric and oil and gas development. The park was... 

Unesco to conduct mining impact study on world heritage site
Photo by Wikimedia Commons
Wood Buffalo National Park

QRC slams Climate Council report on future of Galilee basin coal

By: Ilan Solomons The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) on Wednesday criticised a recently released report by environmental group Climate Council, which pitched “gloom and doom” for the future of coal. The QRC said the report, entitled ‘Galilee basin – Unburnable Coal’ was short sighted in its analysis of the... 

QRC slams Climate Council report on future of Galilee basin coal
Photo by 350-Australia
Galilee Basin

Ramatlhodi hails 'safest year' in industry 

By: Reuters South Africa's mines minister on Tuesday hailed 2014 as the "safest year" in the history of an industry that has claimed a huge toll in mostly black lives over the past century. "There has been a reduction of about 86% in fatalities from 615 in 1993 to 84 in 2014, which is the safest year on... 

Chile environmental regulator eyes sanctions for Teck copper mine

By: Reuters Canada's Teck Resources is facing sanctions that could include revoking its permit over environmental infractions at its Carmen de Andacollo copper mine in Chile, the local regulator said on Monday. Problems at the mine, located in the north-central region of Coquimbo, included openings in the... 

Public comment sought on Mount Polley restart application

By: Henry Lazenby The British Columbia provincial government is seeking public input to help ensure that Imperial Metals has a modern long-term remediation and restoration plan for the ill-fated Mount Polley mine in place by early next year, as the government considers allowing a temporary restart of the... 

Royal Nickel chooses Swedbank to advise on $600m bond financing

By: Henry Lazenby Base metals project developer Royal Nickel Corporation (RNC) has appointed Swedbank Norway (Swedbank) as adviser for a senior bond financing of about $600-million, with a five-year maturity, to develop its Dumont nickel project, in Quebec. Swedbank would work closely with RNC to arrange the... 

Royal Nickel chooses Swedbank to advise on $600m bond financing

Mining industry to refocus metrics and methodologies on long-term efficiency

By: Simon Rees Among analysts, fund managers and investors, questions surrounding liquidity, cash generation and squeezing out productivity gains dominated the conversation on how to best avoid the downcycle’s worst shoals. Many a management had tailored their project and operational metrics in response to... 

Dust from abandoned Cliffs' mine casts pall over eastern Canadian town

By: Reuters Heavy dust clouds blowing from Cliffs Natural Resources' abandoned Wabush iron-ore mine into a small township in the eastern Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador is putting a focus on the liability of miners that seek creditor protection and walk away from assets. Iron-ore and coal... 

It’s vital to hire consultants who are enviro experts, understand mining – SRK

By: Zandile Mavuso Following the National Environmental Management Act (Nema) amendment in December last year, mining consulting firm SRK Consulting says it is vital for mining companies in South Africa to deploy consultants who are environmental experts and also have sound technical understanding of mining. 

Rio’s Iron Ore Company of Canada fined under Fisheries Act

By: Henry Lazenby A Canadian subsidiary of global mining major Rio Tinto has been fined C$30 000 for unauthorised dumping of effluent into fish-bearing water. The Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Court on Monday ordered the Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) to pay a fine after pleading guilty to offences under... 

Federal project supports women in mining

By: Henry Lazenby The federal government of Canada has announced support for a new project to help women advance within the country’s mining industry. Canada's Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women Dr K Kellie Leitch said on Wednesday that the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR) would... 

Internal audit under way at Nevsun as report alleges forced Eritrean labour

By: Henry Lazenby A United Nations (UN) report has implicated Canadian base metals producer Nevsun Mining in using forced labour at its high-grade Bisha copper mine, even as an internal company audit was under way. TSX- and NYSE-listed Nevsun on Wednesday said it was awaiting the results of a follow-up audit on... 

Internal audit under way at Nevsun as report alleges forced Eritrean labour
Photo by Nevsun Resources
Bisha, Eritrea.

Mining companies in Chile nearly double use of ocean water

By: Reuters Mining companies in Chile almost doubled the use of ocean water in their operations in 2014 as new projects came on line and the firms took measures to address an ongoing drought in the world's top copper producer. Ocean water represented 16 percent of all the water used at Chilean mines last... 

Glencore sees slight coal undersupply

By: Martin Creamer Mining and marketing giant Glencore sees a slight undersupply of coal on the horizon. Speaking on video to Creamer Media’s senior staff writer Zandile Mavuso at Glencore’s donation of a new R75-million state-of-the-art school to South Africa’s Department of Basic Education, Glencore CEO Ivan... 

Glencore sees slight coal undersupply
Photo by Daune Daws
At Glencore R75-million school donation are (from left) principal AS Mahlangu; Glencore Coal South Africa CEO Clinton Ephron; Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg; Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, Education MEC Reginah Mhaule, Emalahleni Mayor Salome Sithole, School Governing Body chairperson DP Maimela; District Basic Education Director Jerry Mabena.

Blyvoor community’s water supply to be restored – Ramatlhodi 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt The Merafong municipality was ordered to restore water supply to the Blyvooruitzicht mining community, following an emergency meeting called by Mineral Resources Minister Advocate Ngoako Ramatlhodi to deal with the humanitarian challenges facing the community. Water supply, which was disconnected... 

Asbestos legacy continues to haunt South Africa

By: Ilan Solomons South Africa was once one of the leading producers of asbestos, but mining this highly hazardous material has left a significantly negative legacy in the areas where it was once mined, asserts local mineral and metallurgical innovation company Mintek mineralogy department scientist Sonwabile... 

Asbestos legacy continues to haunt South Africa
ASBESTOS MATERIAL The exposure of mineworkers, artisans and millers to the toxic asbestos material was poorly controlled, which resulted in many people contracting debilitating and often deadly diseases

Meeting air-quality standards a key mining-sector priority

By: Ilan Solomons The minimum emission standards (MES), in terms of Section 21 of the National Environmental Management Air Quality Act 39 of 2004, came into effect in April this year and will have far-reaching implications for the mining industry, says private-sector-owned Richards Bay Coal Terminal health,... 

Meeting air-quality standards a key mining-sector priority
KICKING UP DUST Particulate matter is emitted into the air because of excavations, blasting works, the transportation of materials, wind erosion, fugitive dust from tailings facilities, material stockpiles and waste dumps

Partnership to help tackle acid mine drainage

Industrial automation provider Rockwell Automation and mine dewatering company Ritz Pumps South Africa (SA) are partnering to address South Africa’s acid mine drainage (AMD) challenge. Rockwell Automation and Ritz Pumps SA are providing variable speed drives (VSDs) and pumps, respecitively, for... 

Partnership to help tackle acid mine drainage
WORKING OVERTIME The equipment operates for 24-hours nonstop, which requires the pumps to have 99.9% availability to ensure they can deliver the maximum capacity to guarantee full flow at all times

Prioritising short-term objectives over long-term strategy to haunt project developers

By: Simon Rees With short-term objectives taking precedence over long-term planning and strategy, the shortcomings of senior management and poor CEO performances often exacerbate and sometimes introduce many of the difficulties dealt with by mining companies. That was what mining industry veteran Larry Smith... 

Sylvania to submit amended EIA for Volspruit

Aim-listed Sylvania Platinum, which sought to mine platinum-group metals and base metals at the Volspruit project, in Limpopo, has clarified that the Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (LEDET) has asked it to provide additional information to its final... 

Nolans progresses as EIS terms are laid

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Rare earths developer Arafura Resources has taken a step closer to the development of its Nolans project, after the Northern Territory Environmental Protection Authority finalised the terms of reference for the project’s environmental-impact statement (EIS). The receipt of the terms of reference... 

Goldcorp named among Canada’s top 50 socially responsible corporations

By: Creamer Media Reporter Major miner Goldcorp has been named as one of Canada's 50 most socially responsible corporations by Sustainalytics, an independent provider of environmental, social and governance (ESG) research to institutional investors and financial institutions around the world. The yearly list recognised... 

Northern Dynasty wins small victory in suit challenging pre-emptive EPA enviro veto

By: Henry Lazenby The US federal court has ruled that the lawsuit in which Alaska-focused explorer Northern Dynasty Minerals alleges that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) violated the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) in advancing the EPA's Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment (BBWA) study and the... 

Remote mining operations should spread more grassroots benefits

By: Simon Rees As the mining industry is increasingly looking for world-class deposits in more remote jurisdictions, issues surrounding risk and engagement have become more pressing, seeing as local demands and often-shifting regulatory goal posts are complicating many a project developer's plans. Former... 

Remote mining operations should spread more grassroots benefits

Industry, govt welcome Great Barrier Reef’s exclusion from ‘in danger’ list

By: Esmarie Swanepoel The Queensland government at the end of last week welcomed the World Heritage Committee’s recommendation to not list the Great Barrier Reef as “in danger”. Minister for the Great Barrier Reef, Dr Steven Miles, said the draft decision was a vote of confidence in the measures introduced by the... 

Marine mining could possibly reduce social and environmental impacts of terrestrial operations

By: Henry Lazenby An independent report on Nautilus Minerals’ Solwara 1 project, offshore Papua New Guinea, has found that the project has the potential to significantly reduce social and environmental impacts commonly associated with large surface terrestrial copper mines. Toronto-based Nautilus had commissioned... 

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