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Environmental News

Botswana to adopt Canadian model of sustainability

     26th May 2017 A Canadian model aimed at improving the sustainability of mining through environmental and community outreach practices is being introduced in Botswana, says mining networking platform African Mining Network (AMN) chairperson Yolanda Torrisi. 

Council for Geoscience launches near-shore mapping programme

By: Ilan Solomons     26th May 2017 Mineral resources are important to the economy and capacity building of South Africa and are being extensively exploited on land and there will likely be a shift towards the offshore environment, where exploration is currently focussed on diamonds and titanium sand, says Council for Geoscience... 

Council for Geoscience launches near-shore mapping programme
Photo by USGS
TREASURES OF THE DEEP Future possibilities in offshore mining include polymetallic manganese nodules and crusts, glauconite, phosphates and building aggregates

NGO sues Guatemala mining Ministry for issuing Escobal licence

By: Henry Lazenby     24th May 2017 TSX- and NYSE-listed Tahoe Resources reported Wednesday that a Guatemala-based nongovernmental organisation (NGO) has filed a claim against the Guatemalan Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM), alleging that the Ministry failed to consult with a local indigenous group before granting the mining... 

NGO sues Guatemala mining Ministry for issuing Escobal licence
Photo by Tahoe Resources
Escobal, Guatemala

AuRico Gold, First Nations ink impact benefit accord

By: Henry Lazenby     19th May 2017 TSX-listed AuRico Metals and First Nations surrounding the Kemess underground project have signed an impact benefits agreement (IBA) for the Kemess underground project, in British Columbia, solidifying local relationships and ensuring the project provides economic opportunities and benefits to... 

Inflated base case prices could dent confidence in mine development

By: Henry Lazenby     19th May 2017 Project valuations based on elevated price assumptions in the absence of more reasonable scenarios to provide a more balanced view to the market is potentially damaging to the credibility of management teams, their consultants and the mining industry as a whole, London-based boutique investment... 

Inflated base case prices could dent confidence in mine development

New multigas detector sets benchmark – supplier

By: Simone Liedtke     19th May 2017 With the experience gained through the application of its Altair 4X multigas detector in the South African mining sector, safety equipment supplier MSA Africa believes that the mining industry could benefit greatly from its newly launched Altair 4XR. Meant for application in confined spaces in... 

New multigas detector sets benchmark – supplier
ALTAIR CONNECT The MSA Altair Connect application can immediately send alarm notifications to other users using text messages

New toolkit to help govts manage small-scale mining sector

By: Ilan Solomons     19th May 2017 Governments struggling to manage the complex and sometimes chaotic artisanal and small-scale mining sector have a new toolkit, which was developed by the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF). IGF is a Canada-based, international member-driven... 

New toolkit to help govts manage small-scale mining sector
Photo by BGR
GIVING GUIDANCE The guidance report provides direction on how to ensure effective, inclusive strategy development and implementation, as well as effective governance of ASM

KZN coal mine supplying communities’ water needs and more, mulls output expansion 

By: Ilan Solomons     19th May 2017 The Zululand region of KwaZulu-Natal was afflicted by what the Department of Water and Sanitation described as the “worst drought in a century” in 2016 and is still a water scarce area of the country. Helping neighbouring communities survive this disaster, investment company Menar Holding’s... 

KZN coal mine supplying communities’ water needs and more, mulls output expansion
Zululand anthracite colliery discusses the importance it places on providing potable water for the local communities, as well as provides a mining operational update. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Darlene Creamer.

Report sketches optimistic outlook for BC mining sector

By: Creamer Media Reporter      17th May 2017 The mining industry in British Columbia is cautiously optimistic as prices of key metal and resource commodities either rose or stabilised in 2016, new analysis by professional services firm PwC Canada has found. The trend continued into the first quarter, building on net mining revenues rising... 

Chinese steel industry policies to boost iron-ore demand – Rio Tinto CEO

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     16th May 2017 Rio Tinto CEO Jean-Sébastien Jacques is confident China will continue to drive demand for mining products and iron-ore in particular, despite introducing new policies that will make environmental permits for steel mills harder to obtain and slow capacity. The country plans to eliminate... 

Walkabout gets environmental nod

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     16th May 2017 Graphite developer Walkabout Resources has been granted environmental approval for its Lindi jumbo graphite mine, in Tanzania. The award of an environmental impact assessment (EIA) certificate was a pre-requisite to the mining licence application, which will now be submitted to the Ministry of... 

Senate inquiry into Bight fizzles

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     12th May 2017 A Senate inquiry into oil and gas exploration in the Great Australian Bight has failed to deliver conclusive results, with committee members failing to reach a consensus or make a formal recommendation to the government. While the Greens senator remained opposed to any oil and gas exploration in... 

Improved outcomes at member quarries

     12th May 2017 Voluntary producers association Aggregate and Sand Producers Association of Southern Africa (Aspasa) notes a significant improvement in the environmental stewardship of its member quarries across South Africa since the inception of its About Face programme. Launched in 1994, the programme has... 

Improved outcomes at member quarries
NICO PIENAAR The About Face programme is a valuable tool for meaningful self-governance

De Beers in push for carbon-neutral mining at its operations

By: Mia Breytenbach     12th May 2017 Diamond miner De Beers Group is leading a research project that aims to deliver carbon-neutral mining at some of its operations in as few as five years’ time. The company’s scientists, in close collaboration with a team of internationally renowned scientists, are investigating the potential to... 

De Beers in push for carbon-neutral mining at its operations
Photo by Bloomberg
CARBONATION PROSPECT Kimberlite has been found to offer suitable properties for storing carbon through mineral carbonation technologies

Dust-suppression specialist geared for growth in Africa

By: Simone Liedtke     12th May 2017 Environmental management company I-CAT Environmental Solutions continues to grow its market share in dust-suppression management and solutions, and intends to increase its market share in Africa this year. 

Dust-suppression specialist geared for growth in Africa
OPENCAST OBSTACLE Visibility on opencast mine roads is severely impaired by excessive road dust and is a major cause of on-site vehicle accidents

Dust regulations hinder productivity

By: Simone Liedtke     12th May 2017 Regulations implemented by governmental authorities, including municipalities, and environmental bodies, are impacting significantly on productivity in the global mining industry at a time when opencast operations are running tight margins, says Johannesburg-based mining equipment manufacturer... 

Dust regulations  hinder productivity
IDEAL SOLUTION The T1255III Terrain Leveler surface excavation machine is ideal for use in surface mine applications with drill-and-blast restrictions

Philippines' new Environment Minister says can allow responsible mining

By: Reuters     9th May 2017 The Philippines' new Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said on Tuesday he can allow mining in the country as long as it is done responsibly, taking a more moderate stance than his dismissed predecessor who ordered over half the country's mines shut. "For me, I think we can allow mining (as long... 

Geodrill reports ‘most promising start to any fiscal year ever’ – CEO

By: Henry Lazenby     9th May 2017 A 20% jump in first-quarter revenues bears witness to strong demand for drilling services provided by Canada-based Geodrill, prompting president and CEO Dave Harper to bill the three months ended March as “the most promising start to any fiscal year ever”. The Toronto-based company recorded... 

Geodrill reports ‘most promising start to any fiscal year ever’ – CEO

Northern Dynasty, EPA identify likely framework to settle long-standing dispute next week

By: Henry Lazenby     6th May 2017 A subsidiary of Northern Dynasty Minerals, the proponent of one of the largest undeveloped copper/gold deposits in the world today, and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have filed a joint motion in federal court to extend a stay of proceedings in the parties' long-standing legal... 

Queensland unveils mine rehabilitation reforms

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     5th May 2017 The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (Amec) has welcomed the Queensland government’s proposed reforms on mine rehabilitation and financial bonds for mines. The proposed reforms are the most significant upgrades to the resource sector’s financial assurance and rehabilitation... 

Queensland unveils mine rehabilitation reforms

Valves training centre well received by industry

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     5th May 2017 Valves supplier AVK Southern Africa (AVK SA) strives to deliver high-quality, flawless and durable valves, and assist mining companies with the critical aspect of selecting the correct valve for high-quality water flow solutions, by providing training to mining industry players through its new... 

Valves training centre  well received by industry
VITAL COMPONENT It is critical that mines select the correct valves to suit their specifications for quality water-flow solutions

Shift in thinking positive for uptake of new tech

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     5th May 2017 Mineral processing specialist Multotec is taking advantage of the prioritisation of water recovery and treatment in mining operations by creating awareness in the industry about its unconventional water-treatment methods. Multotec’s Samplers, Solid/Liquid and Magnetic Separation (SSM) division GM... 

Shift in thinking positive for uptake of new tech
PROMOTING TECHNOLOGY Multotec is actively aiming to educate the mining industry on the benefits and opportunities provided by its polishing filter, the Ishigaki Fibre-Wakishimzu

Mission urges ‘imminent action’ to curb contamination from old Kyrgyzstan mine

By: Ilan Solomons     5th May 2017 An environmental impact assessment (EIA) report on a former lead and zinc mine in the Sumsar industrial area, in Kyrgyzstan, which was undertaken jointly by international nongovernmental mine action organisation the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) and the Agency for Tailings Management of... 

Mission urges ‘imminent action’ to curb  contamination from old Kyrgyzstan mine
SUMSAR INDUSTRIAL AREA, KYRGYZSTAN The former Sumsar mining and ore processing area is located in an ecologically sensitive environment and is exposing residents to chemical contaminants

Mozambique authorities act to protect mining tax base from illegal activities

By: Keith Campbell     5th May 2017 The Cabo Delgado Provincial Command of the Mozambique Republic Police announced late last month that it had expelled more than 4 000 illegal miners form the Namanhumbir area since February. Fifty of the illegal miners, composed of both Mozambicans and foreigners, had been arrested. The foreigners... 

Capitalising on need to save water

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     5th May 2017 Vibrating equipment and solutions original-equipment manufacturer Kwatani, previously called Joest Kwatani, is capitalising on the recent drive by South African mines to increase the efficiency of their water use through innovation and technology by providing customised vibrating dewatering... 

Capitalising on  need to save water
TECH DRIVE Kwatani believes mines should reduce their overall water use through the introduction of innovation and technology, instead of relying on the discovery of new water sources

More to mining’s water challenge than AMD

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     5th May 2017 With a range of water management challenges affecting the mining sector globally, industry needs to innovate solutions beyond its current focus on the treatment of acid mine drainage (AMD), says independent process industry consultant and chemical engineer Santosh Gunpath. He notes that during... 

More to mining’s water challenge than AMD
Photo by Megan van Wyngaardt
REPRESSED FOCUS Acid mine drainage has monopolised the industry’s focus because of its environmental impact

Water management strategy cannot be ignored

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     5th May 2017 With water scarcity and quality being fundamental risks to South Africa’s mines, necessitating that operations understand and develop water management strategies that ensure their viability, the comprehensive strategy of a North West platinum mine presents a level of management to aspire to,... 

Water management strategy cannot be ignored
Photo by Bloomberg
WATER INTENSIVE With mines requiring water in the majority of their processes, water management strategies are vital

Settlement likely by year-end as parties in silicosis case pursue out-of-court option

By: Jade Davenport     5th May 2017 Mining companies facing a class action suit from mineworkers who developed silicosis on South Africa's gold mines, are anticipated to reach an out of court settlement before the close of the year. The class action, which was lodged in May 2016, comprises, according to attorney Richard Spoor, an... 

Settlement likely by year-end as parties in silicosis case  pursue out-of-court option

Dung beetles a ‘highly viable’ option to rehabilitate soil at disused coal mines

By: Dylan Slater     5th May 2017 Rehabilitation of mine land after a mine has closed can take several years to achieve and cost millions of rands; however, according to research undertaken by researchers at the University of Pretoria (UP), the application of dung beetles and dung can go a long way to helping nutrient-deprived... 

Dung beetles a ‘highly viable’ option to rehabilitate soil at disused coal mines
FIELD TEST Dung beetles have been applied to degraded land on a former coal mine, thereby demonstrating their real-world viability in improving key aspects of soil quality

De Beers leads research project to deliver carbon-neutral mining at its operations 

By: Mia Breytenbach     4th May 2017 Diamond miner De Beers Group is leading a groundbreaking research project that aims to deliver carbon-neutral mining at some of its operations in as few as five years. The company’s scientists, in close collaboration with a team of internationally renowned scientists, are investigating the... 

De Beers leads research project to deliver carbon-neutral mining at its operations
An animation shows the mineral carbonation process at a diamond mine. Video courtesy of De Beers

Platinum's process leap given Parliamentary pep

By: Martin Creamer     28th April 2017 A significantly improved platinum group metals (PGMs) processing method has been developed with the assistance of South Africa's State-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel has informed Parliament. In response to questions posed by Shadow... 

Platinum's process leap given Parliamentary pep
Photo by Duane Daws
Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel

Greater emphasis on ensuring sustainability

By: Nadine James     28th April 2017 Engineering expertise can be used to generate socioeconomic gains for mining companies, particularly in jurisdictions that are dependent on the finite business of mineral extraction, states global engineering and infrastructure advisory firm Aurecon, an adviser to the African mining sector.... 

Greater emphasis on  ensuring sustainability
ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION Engineering innovation could transform mining assets into new business opportunities

Collaboration key to build pipeline of opportunities on global scale

     28th April 2017 Québec-based carbon-capture technology developer CO2 Solutions president and CEO Evan Price expects its collaboration with global consulting and engineering firm Hatch to be central to the success of its Valorisation Carbone Québec (VCQ) project and instrumental in building the company’s... 

Collaboration key to build pipeline of opportunities on global scale
CLEAN TECH The Valorisation Carbone Québec project aims to demonstrate carbon dioxide capture and beneficial reuse at the large-scale industrial facilities of Québec’s main industries, namely manufacturing and mining

PotashCorp Q1 earnings rise as it lifts outlook on improving crop nutrient fundamentals

By: Henry Lazenby     27th April 2017 The world’s largest crop nutrient company Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan surprised investors with a bigger-than-expected first-quarter profit Thursday and increased its full-year earnings guidance, underpinned by increased sales and lower costs. PotashCorp Potash reported earnings of... 

PotashCorp Q1 earnings rise as it lifts outlook on improving crop nutrient fundamentals
Photo by Reuters
Increased output from PotashCorp’s lower-cost mines – including Rocanville – resulted in average manufactured cost of goods sold for the quarter of $90/t, down from $128/t in the same period last year

Sherritt narrows Q1 headline loss

By: Henry Lazenby     27th April 2017 Canadian diversified miner Sherritt International has increased headline earnings in the March quarter as significantly higher nickel, cobalt and oil prices boosted the bottom line. The Toronto-based company reported a loss, adjusted for special items, totalling C$82.7-million, or C$0.25 a share... 

FCX stock rises on interim Indonesia export deal despite earnings miss

By: Henry Lazenby     26th April 2017 The NYSE-listed stock of US-based diversified miner Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) on Tuesday closed 7.11% higher despite the miner reporting earnings below analyst forecasts, as investors were pleased with the company reporting resumed copper concentrate exports from Indonesia following a three-month... 

FCX stock rises on interim Indonesia export deal despite earnings miss
Photo by Reuters
Freeport has taken actions to adjust its cost structure, reduce its workforce and slow significant investments in its underground development projects and new smelter at Grasberg, Indonesia

Anglo commits to innovative mining that’ll keep people out of harm’s way

By: Martin Creamer     25th April 2017 Keeping people out of harm’s way, extracting more precious ore and less waste rock, recycling all the required water and producing only dry tailings are among the innovative steps diversified mining company Anglo American is firmly committed to taking.  “The real future of mining lies in turning... 

Anglo commits to innovative mining that’ll keep people out of harm’s way
Anglo American Chairperson Sir John Parker

Oil and mining giants detail road map to reduce carbon by half

By: Bloomberg     25th April 2017 A group of companies and nonprofit agencies that includes energy giants Royal Dutch Shell and BHP Billiton said global greenhouse gas emissions could be cut in half by 2040 without impeding economic development, in part by converting grids to use mostly renewable power. The declining costs of... 

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