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Environmental News

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... 

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

Soil sampling, mapping suggest new gold targets

     13th October 2017 A large soil anomaly with a peak value of 0.25 g/t gold has been discovered at the New York target area of ASX-listed Tanga Resources’ Hanang gold project, in Tanzania, following a geochemical sampling and mapping programme. Tanga Resources CEO Matthew Bowles explains that the New York target... 

Hybrid solar systems punted as the way forward for sub-Saharan Africa mines

By: Dylan Slater     13th October 2017 Factors such as limited and unreliable energy transmission and distribution grids, across many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, have created a dependency among large industrial and mining houses on diesel and heavy fuel oil (HFO) to provide a reliable energy supply, says renewable-energy... 

Hybrid solar systems punted  as the way forward for  sub-Saharan Africa mines
DEGRUSSA PLANT The off-grid hybrid power plant at the DeGrussa copper/gold mine, in western Australia features a solar PV plant, lithium-ion battery facility and a diesel power station

South Africa should consider agromining – US professor 

By: Martin Creamer     11th October 2017 South Africans, who have been mining for metals for more than a century, were this week urged to farm for metals. South African-born Stephen Haggerty, a distinguished research professor of Florida International University in the US who spoke to Mining Weekly Online while in Johannesburg, outlined... 

South Africa should consider agromining – US professor
Florida International University distinguished research professor Stephen E Haggerty talks to Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer on the potential to farm for metals. Photographs: Duane Daws. Video and Video Editing: Lionel de Silva.

Mining company has eyes on West Coast National Park, say activists

By: News24Wire      9th October 2017 Kropz mining company has told SANParks executive committee members that it may ask to extend its phosphate mine into the West Coast National Park. The company, formerly Elandsfontein Exploration and Mining, has also approached the department of mineral resources (DMR) to "protect our rights" over... 

Northam backs Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association’s awareness campaign

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th October 2017 Platinum miner Northam is supporting a campaign by US-based Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) to raise awareness of clean energy technology. Globally, governments are being urged to support investment in technology to provide cleaner and more efficient sources of power in the... 

Northam backs Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association’s awareness campaign
Photo by Duane Daws
Northam CEO Paul Dunne

Canadian miners commit to new actions in combat against climate change

By: Henry Lazenby     3rd October 2017 The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) has adopted 13 actions under the six policy areas proposed last year by an internal advisory body, that will help its members better fight against climate change. The MAC said on Monday that it has incorporated recommendations levelled by the association’s... 

Appea calls for clarity on Pristine Rivers legislation

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     29th September 2017 The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (Appea) has called on the Queensland government to clarify its position on natural gas development in the Cooper basin, after reports emerged that the government could be considering environmental legislation to protect rivers.... 

America’s ‘most storied mine’ under new management as Bunker Hill aims at restart

By: Henry Lazenby     29th September 2017 One of America’s most famous mines is set to restart operations, after a team of mine developers that have done it before in Idaho’s Silver Valley, recently obtained a lease and option to buy the historic brownfields project. Using a Canadian shell company to advance the acquisition of the... 

America’s ‘most storied mine’ under new management as Bunker Hill aims at restart
Photo by US EPA
The Bunker Hill smelter operating in winter snow in the 1970s

Mining companies must embrace key changes to succeed

     29th September 2017 Mining companies willing to engage in substantive change by rethinking strategy and embracing disruption to help unlock productivity and improve sustainability, will be best positioned to succeed in upcoming years, says advisory firm Deloitte Global mining sector leader Philip Hopwood. 

Mining companies must embrace key changes to succeed
TECHNOLOGICAL REVOLUTION The mining sector is investing in technological innovations, such as driverless trucks, to streamline equipment maintenance and prevent safety incidents

Mining-focused drone data service company gets Ghana licence

By: Dylan Slater     29th September 2017 Drone data service provider Rocketmine has received the first commercial remotely piloted aircraft system operating certificate (ROC) in Ghana.  

No clarity on mine rehab funding drawdown  

     28th September 2017 There is no clarity on the how mining companies can draw down from their financial provision vehicles to undertake mine rehabilitation, Mining Weekly heard during a discussion on the new National Environmental Management Act at the Joburg Indaba breakfast ahead of the event next month. Mining... 

No clarity on mine rehab funding drawdown
No clarity on mine rehab funding drawdown

Guatemala court clarifies consultation area, denies action on export permit

By: Henry Lazenby     27th September 2017 The TSX-listed stock of beleaguered miner Tahoe Resources fell as much as 13.5% on Wednesday, after the Guatemalan Supreme Court issued a ruling clarifying the specific geographical areas that needs to be included in a fresh round of indigenous consultations; the court also denied action to force... 

No clarity on funding drawdown for mine rehab – Joburg Indaba

By: Martin Creamer     27th September 2017 There is no clarity on the way that mining companies can draw down from their financial provision vehicles to undertake mine rehabilitation, the Joburg Indaba Breakfast heard on Wednesday during a discussion on the implications of the new National Environmental Management Act (Nema). Chaired by... 

No clarity on funding drawdown for mine rehab – Joburg Indaba
Photo by Joburg Indaba
Panellists from left to right are Pan African CEO Cobus Loots, MSA MD Ben Burnand, PwC's Dr Ferdi Linde, ENSafrica's Andries Myburgh, DMR's director of mine closure Reuben Masenya and Cenviro Solutions MD Leentie Smit

BC’s NDP-led govt talks up exploration, mining as basis for building burgeoning communities

By: Henry Lazenby     26th September 2017 British Columbia is ‘ground zero’ for mining in Canada, as technological advances require an ever-increasing volume of metals to satisfy improving standards of living and environment-friendly technologies. This was the key message to attendees at the fourth yearly Resource Breakfast Series held... 

BC’s NDP-led govt talks up exploration, mining as basis for building burgeoning communities
Photo by British Columbia Government
BC Minister for Energy, Mines and Petroleum Michelle Mungall was formally sworn in by Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon

Platinum-group metals producer aiming to increase fuel cell demand

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd September 2017 To increase demand in the fuel cell (FC) industry, platinum group metals producer Impala Platinum (Implats) aims to take its Impala Platinum Refinery off the State-owned power utility Eskom grid and power the refinery using FC technology, with commercial operation of its first phase aimed to... 

Platinum-group metals producer aiming to increase fuel cell demand
FAHMIDA SMITH The development of the 8 MW fuel cell is an exciting development in Implats’ move towards a carbon-neutral fuel source at its refinery

Surge in fuel cell demand would aid platinum’s future

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd September 2017 As a means of promoting beneficiation, South African Chamber of Mines (CoM) administration head Jeannette Hofsajer says the platinum-based fuel cell installed at its offices is just the start in a potentially vast surge in demand for fuel cell units, which would positively impact on the platinum... 

Surge in fuel cell demand would aid platinum’s future
FACING RESISTANCE Using fuel cells to replace petrol and diesel power is facing consumer resistance

Technological advances aim to improve sustainability

By: Nica Schreuder     22nd September 2017 Owing to the possible presence of hazardous methane gas during coal mining, it is common practice to monitor methane levels at operational mining sections. As such, mining monitoring systems company Monitech’s Hazardous Area Control System was introduced to coal mining fifteen years ago and it... 

Technological advances aim to improve sustainability
CUSTOMISED PROJECTS Every Exxaro project is customised, owing to possible environmental constraints

Fuel cell opportunity to save platinum mining

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd September 2017 With platinum being one of the most effective and durable catalysts in proton exchange membrane fuel cell technology (PEMFC), fuel cell and electrolyser technology developer Isondo Precious Metals (IPM) CEO Vinay Somera believes that this presents an opportunity for the South African platinum... 

Fuel cell opportunity to save platinum mining
Photo by Duane Daws
VINAY SOMERA The drive to zero emissions also represent the “single biggest opportunity” for the industry

Platinum mining to play role in emerging sector

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd September 2017 With there being a global increase in demand for all fuel cells, with low temperature platinum bearing fuel cells seeing the largest increase in market pull, independent analysis and advisory firm 4th Energy Wave CEO Dr Kerry-Ann Adamson believes that this creates an increasing opportunity for... 

Platinum mining to play role in emerging sector
Photo by SFC
INCREASED ADOPTION Trends and demands for an increasing availability of fuel cells are leading to increased adoption

Deterrence, prevention critical for miners in fight against fraud

By: Henry Lazenby     18th September 2017 Fraud is a significant burden on the mining industry and is likely to cost companies an average of 5.85% of turnover every year. Therefore, catching it before it happens is often the best weapon to combat this scourge. This figure is based on 20 years of data across more than 40 sectors,... 

Deterrence, prevention critical for miners in fight against fraud

Industrial solutions provider aiming to benefit Zambia’s mines

By: Simone Liedtke     15th September 2017 Industrial solutions provider RTS Africa Engineering (RTS) states that air compressors used in the mining industry – including in Zambia – are, for the most part, well-proven, reliable pieces of equipment that can operate for years with relatively little maintenance. 

Industrial solutions provider aiming to benefit Zambia’s mines
EFFECTIVE SUPPLY The use of a spin filter is a truly effective means of feeding clean air at ambient temperatures

Peristaltic pumps key in war on water wastage

     15th September 2017 Peristaltic pumps use less water, with traditional centrifugal pumps losing efficiency when the slurry has a specific gravity (SG) of 1.3, or 30% solids, or more. Peristaltic pumps can efficiently circulate slurry with SGs of up to 1.6 to 1.8, or up to 80% solid content.  Pumps supplier Verder... 

Peristaltic pumps key in war on water wastage
SAVE ON WATER On a plant processing slurry at 75 t/h with 65% solids, every time a peristaltic pump replaces a process slurry pump, more than 1 100-million litres of water is saved every year

Peristaltic pumps operating at Zambian mines

By: Simone Liedtke     15th September 2017 Randburg-based industrial equipment supplier Verder Pumps’ Verderflex (VF) 125 peristaltic pump is in operation at mining company Kansanshi Mining’s Zambia-based Kansanshi copper mine and is undergoing testing at two other Zambian mines, as well as mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo.... 

Peristaltic pumps operating at Zambian mines
VERDERFLEX 125 The peristaltic pump is in operation at the Kansanshi copper mine

Second Copper Cobalt Africa Conference to be held next year

     15th September 2017 Educational institution Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM) will host the second Copper Cobalt Africa Conference at the Avani Victoria Falls Resort, in Livingstone, Zambia, in July next year. 

Second Copper Cobalt Africa Conference to  be held next year
Photo by Bloomberg
INDUSTRY REVIVAL The African Copperbelt is again experiencing a resurgence of activity following the commodity downturn of recent years

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