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Environmental News

Wealth Minerals aggressively advances Chile lithium asset acquisitions

By: Henry Lazenby     Updated 9 minutes ago The Vancouver- and Santiago-based teams of junior explorer Wealth Minerals has since February put together the largest brine property package in Chile of any junior mining company in the hopes of capitalising on the rising tide of the energy metal. On Wealth’s team is Marcelo Awad, a former... 

Vale ordered to pay C$30 000 for 2013 Voisey’s spill

By: Henry Lazenby     26th August 2016 A Vale subsidiary has been ordered to pay C$30 000 in penalties for a 2013 incident, where untreated and acutely lethal effluent was discharged from the Voisey’s Bay nickel mine, in Newfoundland and Labrador, into the Anaktalak Bay. The St Johns provincial court ordered Vale Newfoundland and... 

Kinross suspends Chile mine ops, lays off 300 workers

By: Henry Lazenby     26th August 2016 Canadian miner Kinross Gold has laid off about 300 workers at its Maricunga mine, in Chile, after it was forced to suspend operations earlier than planned owing to a court ruling upholding a local regulator’s resolution to close the mine’s water pumping wells. Kinross previously stated that it... 

AMD technology a hot topic in South Africa

By: Robyn Wilkinson     26th August 2016 Finnish specialist in hydrometallurgical treatment technology Global EcoProcess Services Oy (EPSE) launched a treatment for acid mine drainage (AMD) in South Africa in July, which it claims is a cost-effective, one-step process that can integrate with the existing technology and equipment used by... 

AMD technology a hot topic in South Africa
Photo by Duane Daws
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT Acid mine drainage, which has a high sodium content, has a negative effect on agricultural land when it is discharged into rivers that are used for irrigation

Drones offer significant benefits for mine surveying and analysis

By: Dylan Slater     26th August 2016 The remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) industry is growing at a staggering rate and such systems are increasingly being taken up by mining companies as a tool to manage their assets, operations and land.  

Drones offer significant benefits for mine surveying and analysis
Photo by Dylan Slater
AERIAL OPPORTUNITY Remotely piloted aircraft systems open the doors to numerous opportunities for the mining industry

SA urged to grasp opportunities afforded by platinum and gold resurgence, rising coal exports

By: Dylan Slater     26th August 2016 According to consulting engineers and scientists SRK Consulting South Africa, the fact there are signs of resurgence in platinum, a stronger gold price and growing coal exports to India should be triggers for South Africa’s mining leadership to grasp the opportunities it missed in the last... 

SA urged to grasp opportunities afforded by platinum and gold resurgence, rising coal exports
MARCIN WERTZ Strong leadership is vital to ensure the next mining upturn can be capitalised upon

Solar solutions power up prefabricated housing

By: Kimberley Smuts     26th August 2016 Tailored energy solutions provider ZRW Mechanika is supplying its solar power panels for prefabricated housing on mining sites across Africa, particularly Mozambique, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), receiving positive feedback from mining companies in the process. On the back... 

Solar solutions power up prefabricated housing
SOLAR POWERED SITES Hybrid solar power plants are used to power a site manager’s office and several project offices, among other buildings

Illinois granted ‘superpriority’ claims to Peabody’s self-bonding obligations 

By: Henry Lazenby     23rd August 2016 The US state of Illinois has reached a ‘superpriority’ settlement agreement with major coal producer Peabody Energy relating to the company’s self-bonding obligations in the state. This is the fourth superpriority settlement agreement, following agreements with Wyoming, New Mexico and Indiana... 

KWG and Chinese engineering group move ahead with RoF rail feasibility study

By: Henry Lazenby     23rd August 2016 Junior exploration firm KWG Resources has appointed a China-based consulting engineering group to undertake a conditional bankable feasibility study (BFS) on a proposed railroad from the mineral properties in Ontario's Ring of Fire (RoF), to a junction with the CN Railroad at Exton, Ontario. KWG... 

Mining lobbyists urge Canada to once more take global mining lead 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      22nd August 2016 Canada’s mining lobbies have outlined seven top priorities at the 73rd Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference currently underway in Winnipeg, Manitoba, urging federal and provincial leadership to take action to regain Canada’s former title as the top mining destination in the world. The Canadian... 

Adani overcomes another legal challenge to Galilee basin coal mine

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     19th August 2016 Proceedings brought against Indian group Adani’s 11-billion-ton Carmichael coal mine project, by a member of the Wangan and Jagalingou people, earlier this year, have been dismissed by the Federal Court. The group argued that a determination made in April 2015 by the National Native Title... 

Adani overcomes another legal challenge to Galilee basin coal mine

Canadian Malartic to fight noise, compensation complaints

By: Henry Lazenby     19th August 2016 The Canadian Malartic General Partnership (CMGP), an equal joint venture between partners Agnico Eagle Mines and Yamana Gold aimed at operating the Canadian Malartic mine, in Quebec, on Thursday said it would defend itself against an injunction application seeking to restrict operations at the... 

Congress key to addressing socioeconomic challenges

By: Nadine James     19th August 2016 Owing to the increasing relevance of the geosciences field and the insights and solutions to global socioeconomic challenges it holds, the thirty-fifth International Geological Congress (IGC) –  to be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from August 27 to September 4 –  is... 

Congress key to addressing socioeconomic challenges
PASSING THE TORCH The Thirty-fourth IGC president Neil Williams symbolically handing over the IGC to current copresident Professor Richard Viljoen

Impeded release of nitrates mitigating enviro impact of mining explosives

By: Dylan Slater     19th August 2016 Developments over the past three decades by mining explosives manufacturer BME, have resulted in a lowered negative impact on the environment through the impeded release of nitrates during blasting operations, thereby, preventing possible groundwater contamination and allowing enhanced recycling... 

Impeded release of nitrates mitigating enviro impact of mining explosives
EXPLOSIVES DEVELOPMENT Emulsion-based explosives released about 0.7% of its nitrate content into water in tests

Mining code aimed at helping countries attract investment launched

By: Dylan Slater     19th August 2016 Towards the end of July, the World Initiative of Mining Lawyers (WIOML) launched a mining code that is aimed at guiding countries in attracting investment while securing fair benefits from mineral exploitation within their borders.  

Tyre management project yields positive results for producer

By: Simon Sonnekus     19th August 2016 A tyre management project under way at Anglo American Platinum’s (Amplats’) Mogalakwena platinum mine, in the Waterberg district of Limpopo, aims to increase hauling days without tyre failures to improve the operation’s productivity and safety, as well as facilitate financial savings by make... 

Tyre management project yields positive results for producer
DAMAGED TYRES Tyre life is directly affected by the condition of haul roads

Rising uptake of vanadium-based batteries bodes well for market as price turns a corner 

By: Henry Lazenby     18th August 2016 A more than 40% increase in the price of vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) since December lows is invigorating the industry, just as it is poised to see significant new demand for the steel-strengthening ingredient coming from the increasing adoption of vanadium-redox flow batteries (VRBs). The commodity... 

Rising uptake of vanadium-based batteries bodes well for market as price turns a corner
Photo by Largo Resources
Vanadium from Largo Resources' Maracas Menchen vanadium mine, in Brazil

Four-member expert panel to review Canada’s federal enviro assessment processes

By: Henry Lazenby     18th August 2016 The Canadian government has created a four-member expert panel to undertake a promised review of the federal environmental assessment process, which was one of the incumbent Liberal government’s 2015 election campaign promises. The Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna this... 

DRA enjoying rise in gold project share, eyeing more gold opportunities 

By: Martin Creamer     17th August 2016 Mining project house DRA, which has hit the gold project high spots in particularly West Africa, is now well poised to extend that gold triumph further into Central Africa, East Africa and also South Africa. DRA’s impressive penetration of the gold project market has been characterised by... 

DRA enjoying rise in gold project share, eyeing more gold opportunities
DRA MD Johann de Bruin talks to Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer on the company’s project successes in gold. Photographs: Duane Daws. Video: Nicholas Boyd.

BHP plunges into the red with $6.4bn loss

By: Natasha Odendaal     16th August 2016 One of the world’s largest mining companies, BHP Billiton, has posted a $6.4-billion full-year loss on weaker commodity prices, offshore US asset impairments and the Samarco dam failure. Speaking to journalists during a global conference call on Tuesday, CEO Andrew Mackenzie said the  financial... 

BHP plunges into the red with $6.4bn loss
Photo by Bloomberg
BHP Billiton CEO Andrew Mackenzie

Protesters in Peru block key road to Las Bambas copper mine

By: Reuters     16th August 2016 Residents of Andean communities in Peru have blocked a key road to MMG's Las Bambas copper mine for the past week, forcing the Chinese-owned company to use an alternate route, the country's ombudsman's office said on Monday. The residents say the road passes through their lands and want the... 

Cash-strapped Nautilus to lay off workers, cancel contracts for delayed Solwara 1 

By: Henry Lazenby     16th August 2016 Despite having $51.3-million in its coffers as at the end of June, marine mining pioneer Nautilus Minerals on Monday announced that it would implement several measures aimed at preserving the company’s capital position while it seeks to secure further project financing. The TSX-listed company... 

Cash-strapped Nautilus to lay off workers, cancel contracts for delayed Solwara 1

Stalled BHP-Vale mine said seeking waiver on bank repayments

By: Bloomberg     13th August 2016 Brazilian miner Samarco is seeking a standstill agreement on about $1.6-billion in bank loans as its owners BHP Billiton and Vale refuse to cover debt payments, people with knowledge of the matter said. The iron-ore venture, whose operations were halted last year after a dam spill, is asking... 

Stalled BHP-Vale mine said seeking waiver on bank repayments
Photo by Reuters
A view of the Samarco mine, owned by Vale and BHP Billiton, in Mariana, Brazil

Glencore progresses low-emission coal project in Queensland

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     12th August 2016 The government of Australia has granted A$8.7-million to Carbon Transport and Storage Company (CTSCo), a wholly-owned subsidiary of triple-listed Glencore for its carbon capture and storage project in Queensland’s Surat basin. This funding, provided by the Department of Industry, Innovation and... 

Glencore progresses low-emission coal project in Queensland
Glencore global coal business group executive and World Coal Association chairperson Mick Buffier

Mining company weathers market volatility to further zinc project

By: Robyn Wilkinson     12th August 2016 While very few mining companies are implementing new projects as they struggle to navigate a volatile commodities market, zinc miner Vedanta Zinc International is developing its Gamsberg zinc project, in the Northern Cape. 

Mining company weathers market volatility to further zinc project
Photo by Duane Daws
RIGHT TIME AND PLACE Vedanta’s new Gamsberg project is well positioned to take advantage of the global zinc supply shortage

New vacuum cleaner transforms smog into gemstones 

By: Ilan Solomons     12th August 2016 Dutch social design lab Studio Roosegaarde will deliver to China, a smog vacuum cleaner system, which sucks in smog and turns it into small gemstones, in September. Studio Roosegaarde has to date produced rings, cubes and cufflinks from compressed smog particles collected from other trials of the... 

New vacuum cleaner transforms smog  into gemstones
Daan Roosegaarde discusses the benefits of Studio Roosegaarde’s smog free tower. (Video courtesy of Studio Roosegaarde)

Nickel market swings into undersupply

By: Robyn Wilkinson     12th August 2016 After several years of surplus, the nickel market moved to deficit in the second quarter this year and, with the price of the commodity now above $10 000/t, a smaller portion of global nickel producers are now cash negative, research and consultancy group Wood Mackenzie nickel markets principal... 

Nickel market swings into undersupply
SEAN MULSHAW A continued drop in the world’s nickel supply will result in the price of the commodity rising above the current $10 000/t in the medium term

Enviro studies start at Platina’s Owendale project

By: Creamer Media Reporter      11th August 2016 Environmental studies have commenced at ASX-listed Platina Resources’ Owendale project, in New South Wales. The environmental studies, which are being conducted by consultancy RW Corkery & Co (RWC), form part of a feasibility study for the scandium, platinum, nickel and cobalt project. 

Sibanye firming up funding for gold-from-dumps project 

By: Martin Creamer     8th August 2016 Sibanye Gold is far advanced with plans to recover gold, uranium and sulphuric acid in a phased manner. Sibanye VP Grant Stuart says the West Rand Tailings Retreatment Project (WRTRP) defines the creation of superior value for all stakeholders, creates jobs and is environmentally responsible. 

Sibanye firming up funding for gold-from-dumps project
Sibanye Gold outline tailings treatment plans to Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Photographs: Duane Daws. Video & Video Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Vedanta Resources aims to close merger with Cairn India in early 2017

By: Reuters     6th August 2016 Mining and energy group Vedanta Resources expects to complete its merger with Cairn India early next year, a move that would boost the firm's financial strength, Vedanta's CEO said on Friday. Vedanta is among the resource firms hit by a collapse in commodity prices and it is also facing legal... 

Peru smelter may process copper with high arsenic content – Kuczynski

By: Reuters     6th August 2016 Peru's centrist President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said in comments broadcast on Friday that the country's shuttered polymetallic smelter La Oroya could process copper concentrates with high levels of arsenic if reopened. Smelting so-called dirty copper concentrates at La Oroya might reduce costs... 

Amplats commissions quick-return chrome plant 

By: Martin Creamer     5th August 2016 A new chrome recovery plant has been commissioned at Anglo American Platinum’s (Amplats’) Amandelbult mine in Limpopo province. The chrome plant, which cost R400-million, should generate additional free cash flow at current prices of between R350-million and R400-million a year. (Also watch... 

Amplats commissions quick-return chrome plant
Anglo American Platinum CEO Chris Griffith outlines quick-freturn chrome project to Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Photographs: Duane Daws. Video and Video Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Bacteria mineral extraction project could be a win for miners and the environment

     5th August 2016 Using bacteria to extract minerals from ore is showing the potential to replace dangerous processing chemicals such as cyanide in the mining industry. Scientists at Flinders University, in South Australia, are developing a growing line-up of lab-based experiments to extract valuable minerals from... 

Sustainability reporting gets top rating for 9th year

     5th August 2016 Multinational metals and mining corporation Rio Tinto has again been rated as ‘leading’ in its disclosure of sustainability risks among ratings agency Standard & Poor’s ASX200 index of the largest listed eligible companies by market capitalisation. This rating is in reference to environmental,... 

Sustainability reporting gets top rating for 9th year
CLIMATE CONCERNS The Australian Council of Superannuation Investors sees climate change risk as an area of increasing focus

Australian miners leave clean-up bill after taking the cash

By: Reuters     2nd August 2016 A move by Australia's biggest mining state to support the industry by handing back funds earmarked for mine rehabilitation has backfired, critics say, with more than 70 projects suspending operations, raising fears taxpayers will be left to pay the clean-up bill. Western Australia had hoped the... 

Philippines' Duterte says nation can survive without mining companies

By: Reuters     1st August 2016 Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday warned mining companies to strictly follow tighter environmental rules or shut down, saying the Southeast Asian nation could survive without a mining industry. "We will survive as a nation without you," Duterte told a media briefing, referring to... 

Large-diameter drilling at Orapa project may start at year-end

By: Kimberley Smuts     29th July 2016 Exploration company Tsodilo Resources aims to extract between 2 000 t and 3 000 t of kimberlite from BK16, potentially one of the last economic kimberlite pipes in the Orapa kimberlite province in Botswana, during a large-diameter drilling (LDD) programme in the fourth quarter of the year. The... 

Large-diameter drilling at Orapa project may start at year-end
BETTER TREATMENT The dense medium seperator plantat Tsodilo's Orapa project is scheduled for an upgrade in the third quarter of this year

Continental Gold gets environmental nod for power lines

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     27th July 2016 TSX-listed Continental Gold has been granted an environmental licence approving the construction of a transmission line to provide electrical power for its proposed large-scale underground mine at the Buriticá project, in Antioquia, Colombia. Corpouraba, a regional autonomous environmental... 

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