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Environmental News

Namibian uranium industry prepares for uptick

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     22nd February 2019 Amid a depressed market and low uranium prices, the Namibian uranium industry is streamlining operations through process optimisation and undertaking additional exploration, to overcome these challenges and be prepared for when the market improves, says Namibian Uranium Institute (NUI) executive... 

Microgrid hybrid solutions spark interest from mining companies

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     22nd February 2019 Although the development of microgrid hybrid power solutions in South African mines is still in its infancy, multidisciplinary engineering consulting firm WSP Africa director Dinesh Buldoo says there is growing interest from mining companies to offset the risks to their business that power supply... 

Microgrid hybrid solutions spark  interest from mining companies
IMPACT OF MINES Mines should create projects that are designed and constructed to feed into the surrounding areas and communities and that reduce the impact of their operations on the natural environment

Waste-to-energy viable option for mining operations

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     22nd February 2019 With the Germiston-based facility of waste management company Interwaste benchmarked to provide a consistent supply of up to 1 000 tons a month of waste-derived fuel, Interwaste CFO Jason McNeil says there is opportunity to develop such projects and supply alternative fuel to mines. “The facility... 

Consultancy implements responsible, sustainable practices for tailings facilities

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     22nd February 2019 Multidisciplinary engineering and environmental consultancy Knight Piésold aims to improve project sustainability this year and lower the possible risks that can arise from tailings facilities. This includes regular inspections, geotechnical investigations  and necessary slope analysis, says... 

Consultancy implements responsible, sustainable practices for tailings facilities
TESTS AND MORE TESTS CPTu Style tests measuring friction and pore pressure during the sounding enables the company to interpret how consolidated the material is

UG2 outperforms as Sibanye positions for new world ­  

By: Martin Creamer     21st February 2019 The soaring prices of rhodium and palladium have put new focus on the upper group two (UG2) reef, for long the poor cousin of Merensky reef in the hierarchy of platinum group metals (PGMs) mining. Merensky's predominant platinum content has made it the preferred reef for decades but UG2 is... 

UG2 outperforms as Sibanye positions for new world ­
Mining Weekly Online's Martin Creamer at Sibanye-Stillwater's results presentation. Photographs: Dylan Slater. Video: Darlene Creamer

Glencore auditing 140 slimes dams 

By: Martin Creamer     20th February 2019 Diversified mining and marketing company Glencore is auditing 140 slimes dams, 65 of them active and 75 of them closed. The company has been undertaking detailed assessments and audits of all material tailings storage facilities (TSFs) over the past three years, after accumulating a TSF... 

Glencore auditing 140 slimes dams
Photo by Glencore
Fifty-one percent of Glencore's tailings storage faciities are upstream dams.

Coal capped at 150 Mt/y – Glencore 

By: Martin Creamer     20th February 2019 Diversified mining and marketing company Glencore has capped its coal capacity at 150-million tonnes of coal a year, a figure that it is close to and which it will not exceed. The company has been working on the cap with its investors since 2016 in the interests of the transitioning to a low... 

Coal capped at 150 Mt/y – Glencore
Photo by Glencore
Glencore is using wind turbine generated energy in Canada and Australia

Kumba, Amplats 2018 financial results  

20th February 2019 This week, Mining Weekly editor Martin Creamer discusses Kumba and Amplats’ 2018 financial results   

Kumba, Amplats 2018 financial results
Kumba, Amplats 2018 financial results. Camerawork and Editing: Creamer Media's Nicholas Boyd.

Glencore ups low carbon transition, limits coal output

By: Martin Creamer     20th February 2019 Diversified mining company Glencore said on Wednesday that it was furthering its commitment a low carbon transition, following engagement with the investor signatories of the Climate Action 100+ initiative. As one of the world’s largest diversified mining companies, Glencore sees itself as... 

Glencore ups low carbon transition, limits coal output
Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg

Brazil iron-ore tragedy brings home reality of mining risk – Kumba  

By: Martin Creamer     19th February 2019 Following 58 mineworkers suffering fatal occupational accidents in South Africa in 2018, Kumba Iron Ore CE Themba Mkhwanazi on Tuesday drew attention to 2019 beginning globally with the tragic loss of life at Brumadinho, in Brazil, as a result of an iron-ore tailings dam collapse that killed 170... 

Kumba pays dividend, boosts safety, explores, creates local jobs

By: Martin Creamer     19th February 2019 Product-improving  Kumba Iron Ore generated hefty operational cash flow, paid a competent final 2018 cash dividend, pressed on with exploration in a new area and supported the creation of 2 600 new jobs in the local community, during a fatality-free, safety-boosted year, characterised by higher... 

Kumba pays dividend, boosts safety, explores, creates local jobs
Kumba Iron Ore CE Themba Mkhwanazi

Vale evacuates 200 people near Brazilian dam on fears of instability

By: Reuters     18th February 2019 Around 200 residents were evacuated from an area near a tailings dam in Brazil operated by Vale late on Saturday, amid fears that it was structurally weak and could burst like a similar barrier failure last month that killed 300 people. Vale said in a statement that it had evacuated people... 

NT moves to clarify offshore oil, gas industry’s nuclear waste obligations

By: Esmarie Iannucci     15th February 2019 The Northern Territory has passed the Nuclear Waste Transport Storage and Disposal (Prohibition) Amendment Bill, providing the offshore oil and gas industry with a blueprint of their obligations around the management of nuclear waste. The nuclear waste covered by the Bill included naturally... 

South32 finalising preferred list of coal mine bidders 

By: Martin Creamer     14th February 2019 The complete preferred list of bidders for South32’s energy coal interests is still being finalised, South32 CEO Graham Kerr told Mining Weekly Online on Thursday, when he also provided three reasons why the company’s Australian manganese operations are doing better than its South African... 

South32 finalising preferred list of coal mine bidders
Photo by Creamer Media
South32 CEO Graham Kerr

Eskom grid upkeep increasingly problematic – DRDGold  

By: Martin Creamer     13th February 2019 The quality of maintenance of the Eskom distribution infrastructure is becoming increasingly problematic, DRDGold CEO Niël Pretorius said on Wednesday. At the company's presentation of power-hit interim results for the six months to December 31, Pretorius said that although DRDGold's own power... 

Eskom grid upkeep increasingly problematic – DRDGold
DRDGold CEO Niël Pretorius discusses poor electricity infrastructure risk with Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Video and video editing: Creamer Media’s Darlene Creamer.

DRDGold profit down, gold reserves up

By: Martin Creamer     13th February 2019 Surface gold mining company DRDGold on Wednesday reported a 54% fall in operating profit to R102.2-million in the six months to December 31, but a major jump in mineral reserves. Reserves shot up by 83% to six-million ounces of gold from a former 3.28-million ounces but gold production in the... 

DRDGold profit down, gold reserves up
Photo by Creamer Media
DRDGold CEO Niël Pretorius

Sanedi ready to support the mining industry in energy efficiency

By: Kim Cloete     6th February 2019 The mining sector has been encouraged to use more renewable energy and tighten up on energy efficiency, with the support of the South African National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi). Energy Minister Jeff Radebe said the mining industry would need innovative and novel solutions to reduce... 

Sanedi ready to support the mining industry in energy efficiency

South African miners to review construction of tailings dams after Brazil disaster

By: African News Agency      1st February 2019 The Minerals Council South Africa on Thursday said local miners would be reviewing their tailing storage facilities construction, maintenance and operating protocols following the collapse of the tailings dam at Brumadinho in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. At least 60 people have been... 

PGM-using patents abound – CPM  

By: Martin Creamer     31st January 2019 Viable patents that involve the use of platinum group metals (PGMs) should be commercialised so that PGMs become less dependent on the automotive market, says CPM Group MD and founder Jeffrey Christian. CPM’s current projections, which are similar to those in the automotive and electricity supply... 

PGM-using patents abound – CPM
CPM Group MD Jeffrey Christian talks to Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Video: Nicholas Boyd. Video Editing: Christo Greyling.

Resources Watch  

31st January 2019 This week: Kropz anticipates first phosphate ore from long-awaited Elandsfontein by year-end And, the World Bank says Eskom debt restructuring should be coupled to power market reform 

Resources Watch
Resources Watch

Iron-ore rockets as Vale supply disruption convulses market 

By: Bloomberg     30th January 2019 The global iron-ore market was pitched into turmoil after Brazil’s Vale SA, the world’s largest producer, outlined plans to cut output after a deadly dam breach, buoying shares of rivals as investors weighed the impact of the disruption. Prices soared, with futures rallying more than 9%. Vale... 

Iron-ore rockets as Vale supply disruption convulses market
Photo by Bloomberg
Vale CEO Fabio Schvartsman

New data management solution to be exhibited

By: Paige Müller     25th January 2019 Mining software solutions specialist MICROMINE will exhibit its new data management solution, the Geobank 2019, at this year’s Investing in African Mining Indaba.  “Geobank 2019 has thus far been a closely guarded secret, but it will be available for delegates coming to our booth at this year’s... 

New data management solution to be exhibited
DIGITISATION POPULARISED The increased demand for digitised monitoring solutions indicates a push towards digitisation in the African mining industry

Mantashe highlights challenges facing South Africa’s mining sector

By: Rebecca Campbell     18th January 2019 Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe has stressed that the key factor in the future of South African mining was the human element. He did so when delivering the keynote address at the launch, in Pretoria last month, of a book – "The Future of Mining in South Africa: Sunset or Sunrise" – by... 

Association ensures PDS requirements are adhered to

18th January 2019 Surface mining association Aspasa, is working closely with government and role players to ensure its members understand and adhere to new requirements relating to proximity detection systems (PDS) for mobile machines in surface mining operations. Aspasa director Nico Pienaar says the new... 

Association ensures PDS  requirements are adhered to
NICO PIENAAR Measures need to be in place by no later than December 2020

Wear plate tests show positive results

By: Thabi Madiba     18th January 2019 Testwork on South Africa-based high-performance polymer producer Vesconite’s polymer sliding wear plates has shown promising results on a crawler drill that is employed at Vedanta zinc project, in Gamsberg, in the Northern Cape, South Africa. The wear plates were installed on the rotary head... 

Wear plate tests show positive results
PHILLIP DE VILLIERS Technical representative examines one of the stock wear plates inside the Johannesburg warehouse

Platinum price fall worsening plight of job-intensive mines 

By: Martin Creamer     16th January 2019 The latest fall of the platinum price is threatening to become the last straw that broke the camel’s back for some deep labour-intensive platinum group metals (PGMs) mines on particularly the western limb of the Bushveld Complex, Mining Weekly Online can today report. Well ahead of the latest... 

Platinum price fall worsening plight of job-intensive mines
Platinum price fall pressurising mines.

Acacia’s North Mara fined $130 000 for alleged environmental transgressions

By: Simone Liedtke     10th January 2019 London-listed Acacia Mining’s North Mara gold mine, in Tanzania, has received an environmental protection order (EPO) requiring the payment of a fine of $130 000, or TSh300-million. The EPO was issued in relation to alleged breaches of environmental regulations. 

Colliery opened in Gauteng

14th December 2018 Last month, coal exploration and mining company Canyon Coal successfully opened its openpit Khanye Colliery with a blast following a detonation procedure led by Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe in Bronkhorstspruit, Gauteng. As part of the ceremony, Mantashe, Canyon MD Vuslat Bayoglu, and... 

Colliery opened  in Gauteng
Photo by Creamer Media
NEW ARRIVAL The openpit Khanye Colliery in Bronkhorstspruit is expected to produce coal for about 15 years

Lack of capital and incentives hinders coal production

By: Thabi Madiba     14th December 2018 Owing to the lack of incentives and capital to implement new coal projects, coal production has remained stagnant, and some of the reserves of the older mines are nearing depletion, which means production will soon drop significantly, says coal industry and consulting firm XMP Consulting senior... 

Lack of capital and  incentives hinders  coal production
XAVIER PREVOST South African coal mining production contracted 0.9% year-on-year in September and 7.1% month-to-month, which resulted in coal production falling by 2%

First coal production due in 2020

By: Thabi Madiba     14th December 2018 Coal mining and exploration group of companies Canyon Coal is expecting first coal production at its Springfield coal project in the second quarter of 2020, with a targeted production rate of 600 000 t of run-of-mine coal a month. The project, comprising a coal deposit of 307.86-million tons, is... 

First coal production  due in 2020
Photo by Creamer Media
BULKY An estimated 600 000 t of coal production a month is expected

Process that will ‘drastically’ cut the power needed to reprocess mining waste edging closer to commercialisation

By: Tracy Hancock     7th December 2018 Energy efficiency in the mining and minerals processing sector continues to be a hot topic, especially in South Africa, where increases in the cost of energy sources – namely electricity, diesel and coal – along with that of labour, exceed inflation.   

Process that will ‘drastically’ cut the power needed to  reprocess mining waste edging closer to commercialisation

Innovate and generate cash at same time – Dassault Systèmes Geovia  

By: Martin Creamer     5th December 2018 The objectives of innovating and generating cash are not mutually incompatible and can be achieved at multiple levels simultaneously, says Dassault Systèmes Geovia Brand CEO Raoul Jacquand, who was in Johannesburg to showcase the French company’s suite of advanced three-dimensional (3D) software.... 

Innovate and generate cash at same time – Dassault Systèmes Geovia
Dassault Systèmes Geovia Brand CEO Raoul Jacquand spoke to Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer on new mining technology. Video: Christo Greyling. Photogaphs: Creamer Media Chief Photographer Dylan Slater.

The final frontier: who owns the oceans and their hidden treasures?

By: Reuters     4th December 2018 Ransom-hungry pirates, polar explorers, offshore oil giants - the race for the riches of the world's final frontier is on. From Thailand to Alaska, the battle to tap ever-dwindling resources from minerals to fish is spurring new conflicts over who has the right to the treasures of the deep seas. 

Need for digital tech growth in industry

By: Cameron Mackay     30th November 2018 Although the oil and gas industry has begun to use analytics, it can use digital technology to grow the industry even more, says consulting and business process services company Wipro business development manager for South Africa Marleze van Loggerenberg. “Oil and gas companies are focusing on... 

Need for digital tech growth in industry
MARLEZE VAN LOGGERENBERG Africa has the potential to leapfrog current technology and current infrastructure, and implement new technologies in its operations

Attractive and certain policy presents positive prospects for industry

By: Cameron Mackay     30th November 2018 With the now confirmed separation of oil and gas legislation from that of mining in the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act South African Oil & Gas Alliance (Saoga) CEO Niall Kramer says the prospects of South Africa entering the liquefied natural gas and indigenous shale gas market... 

Attractive and certain policy presents positive prospects for industry
NIALL KRAMER The separation of oil and gas legislation from mining legislation is something that the industry has been asking for and policy makers are heading the country in the right direction

Innovative training the next step to improving safety

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     30th November 2018 Health and safety training company KBC Health and Safety encourages mining companies to engage in continuous learning and the extension of knowledge to decrease the number of incidents and fatalities on site. KBC Health and Safety lead: strategy and business growth director Jared Kangisser says... 

Anglo willing to play constructive land role  

By: Martin Creamer     29th November 2018 Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani on Wednesday expressed willingness to play a constructive role in helping South Africa to arrive at solutions involving the diversification of land ownership and ensuring land productivity. Speaking to journalists at a year-end media function, Cutifani urged the... 

Anglo willing to play constructive land role
Photo by Creamer Media
Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani

Nema to ensure mines are held accountable, adhere to legal duties – law firm

By: Simone Liedtke     27th November 2018 The gazetting of the overhauled National Environment Management Act (Nema) will ensure more mines are held accountable and meet their obligations in terms of financial provisioning for environmental rehabilitation, says law firm Webber Wentzel environment and natural resources partner Garyn... 

Nema to ensure mines are held accountable, adhere to legal duties – law firm
Webber Wentzel environment and natural resources partner Garyn Rapson
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