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Environmental News

Global awareness of environmental footprint of marine mining – underwater institute

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     7th November 2008 International marine and exploration mining forum, the Underwater Mining Institute (UMI), says that there is a trend in the mining industry globally to become more aware of the environmental effects of marine mining. 

Consulting engineers design new wastewater system for KZN project

By: Jonathan Faurie     31st October 2008 Consulting engineers WSP Coastal, part of the WSP group of companies, has completed and handed over a new dense waste water marine outfall system for water management company Mhlatuze Water in Richards Bay, in KwaZulu-Natal. 

Human rights lawyer blasts compensation system for asbestos disease sufferers

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     31st October 2008 A significant challenge facing asbestos-related disease (ARD) sufferers is South Africa’s “antiquated” and “dysfunctional” compensation system, says human rights lawyer and activist Richard Spoor.  

Pressure on for cleaner coal use

By: Martin Creamer     24th October 2008 While many countries are now pursuing coal-to-liquids (CTL) as a means of providing transport fuel, many see the need for CTL to clean up its act in order to lessen its impact on climate change through excessive carbon dioxide (CO2) emission. 

Coal-mining hotbed menace to conservation groups

By: Sylvester Haskins     24th October 2008 The Mpumalanga province has a total of 65 coal mines, producing 80% of South Africa’s total coal production, and creating abundant employment opportunities in the region.  

90 000 dying yearly from asbestos-related illnesses globally

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     24th October 2008 About 125-million people around the world, of whom 48-million are in South Africa, are exposed to asbestos at work, with at least 90 000 dying each year from diseases associated with this fibrous mineral, according to the World Health Organisation.  

Conventional Land Reform Design Falling into Disfavour

By: Guy Copans     24th October 2008 While engineers have been responsible for designing the conventional structural approach to land reform design, it is rapidly falling into disfavour owing to the perpetual maintenance that is required after mine closure, says professional services company Golder Associates’ principal member, Les... 

Ivernia pares staff to cut costs

By: Liezel Hill     23rd October 2008 TSX-listed Ivernia, which is waiting for approvals to restart its Magellan lead mine, in Western Australia, will retrench 18 employees, mainly from the mine site, the company announced on Thursday. The decision to reduce payroll costs was a response to the global financial turmoil, and was aimed... 

Winners of 2008’s Green Mining Awards announced

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     23rd October 2008 On Thursday evening, financial services firm Nedbank Capital announced the winners of its yearly Green Mining Awards. For the first time since the inception of the awards, an honour was given to a company operating outside of South Africa’s border. “The response to this year’s awards was very... 

New State mining company exempt from ‘application’ criteria only – DME 

By: Martin Creamer     21st October 2008 The State mining company is exempt from the “application” criteria of South Africa’s minerals legislation only, and not from the legislation’s key “granting” criteria, says Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) DDG Jacinto Rocha. Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica has, in a... 

Remediation plans under discussion for Wonderfontein Spruit catchment area

By: Loni Prinsloo     17th October 2008 Radioactive waste outside mining areas in the catchment of the Wonderfontein Spruit poses no risk to the public, state experts brought in by the Department of Water Affairs (Dwaf) and the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR). 

SA miners urged to apply lessons from past clean-ups to Wonderfontein pollution

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     16th October 2008 The gold-mining industry should apply knowledge gained from previous experiences in the clean-up of contaminated sites to tackle the mine-related pollution in the Wonderfontein catchment area, in South Africa's Witwatersrand, says AngloGold Ashanti environmental manager for systems and radiation... 

SA govt spending 'millions of rands' to rehabilitate abandoned mines 

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     15th October 2008 South Africa's Department of Minerals and Energy is spending heavily to identify and rehabilitate derelict mines across the country, an official said on Wednesday. “Despite the economic gains that have been derived from the mining industry, the mining activities have also resulted in disastrous... 

Far-flung Limpopo town chosen for zinc air fuel cells

By: Leandi Kolver     10th October 2008 A mass alternative energy project to electrify the Tshikondeni rural community, situated 140 km from Musina, in the Limpopo province, will be introduced by the Alternative Energy Development Corporation (AEDC) in a project sponsored by diversified mining group Exxaro. 

Narrow-vein mining technique sparks interest in South Africa

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     10th October 2008 Representation of Canadian junior exploration mining company Rocmec is currently visiting South Africa, where they are holding discussions with mining companies and contractors regarding the company’s patented thermal fragmentation mining method. 

Outlook for global mining industry positive – US CEOs

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     10th October 2008 CEs of the US coal, minerals and mining equipment companies described the state of the mining industry a positive both in the US and globally, as growth in the developing world continues to fuel demand for coal, minerals and mining equipment. 

Gold-miner commits to conservation trust for life of project

By: Jonathan Faurie     3rd October 2008 Gold mining junior Pamodzi Gold has pledged further support to the Blesbokspruit Grootvaly Conservation Trust which covers the life of Pamodzi Gold mining activities in the area, reports the company. 

New product range offers major environmental benefits 

By: Dennis Ndaba     3rd October 2008 Manufacturer of biodegradable drilling fluids and chemicals Samchem has launched a range of fibre products that absorb oil from water. 

Brazilian group manages forests as well as mines

By: Keith Campbell     3rd October 2008 Brazilian group Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (Vale), the world’s third-largest mining company by market capitalisation, is active not only in diversified mining, but also in transport, energy – and the environment.  

Study commissioned to develop business case for climate change

By: Fatima Gabru     26th September 2008 The world’s third-largest gold miner AngloGold Ashanti has commissioned a group-wide climate change study to establish the company’s carbon footprint, identify adaptation and mitigation risks and opportunities, and develop a business case for addressing climate change. 

Eskom announce whether it will support Umbani Power's cogen project by month-end

By: Leandi Kolver     26th September 2008 Umbani Power would be a discard coal-fired project, and would consist of a 270-MW circulating fluidised-bed (CFB) plant, with an option for an additional 270 MW. Stewart said that a 100-ha site had been identified for the project, which was expected to use from 16-million litres to 32-million... 

Don't impose enviro tax – Chamber 

By: Martin Creamer     22nd September 2008 The South African government needs to consider holding back the imposition of the 2c/kWh environmental tax until the country has worked through the energy crisis, says Chamber of Mines economist Roger Baxter. “We have been arguing, and we are going to continue arguing, that government needs... 

RO plant to reduce fresh water intake at Namakwa Sands

By: Guy Copans     19th September 2008 Namakwa Sands, a division of Anglo Operations, has proposed constructing a reverse osmosis (RO) plant extension to its mineral separation plant (MSP) infrastructure near Lutzville in the Western Cape. 

International Council releases mine closure tool kit

By: Irma Venter     12th September 2008 The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) has released the Planning for Integrated Mine Closure toolkit, aimed at providing practical guidance to the mining and metals sector on the closure of operations. 

Local company secures package plant supply contract for Zambian mine

12th September 2008 Local water and wastewater treatment specialist VWS Envig has secured a contract to install a water treatment package plant at the Lumwana copper mine in Zambia, reports the company. 

Waratah plans legal challenge after Australian Enviro Minister blocks coal project

By: Liezel Hill     5th September 2008 Shares in coal hopeful Waratah Coal lost almost half their value on the TSX Venture Exchange on Friday, after Australia's federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett rejected the company's plans to build a coal mine, railway and port in central Queensland. The project plans were refused under the... 

PPC De Hoek factory invests R70-million to reduce dust emissions

By: Dennis Ndaba     5th September 2008 South African cement group Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) is to undertake a major project to reduce dust emissions at its De Hoek factory in the Western Cape. The cost of the project is about R70-million and will be completed by 2011. 

Biodiversity forum to meet again in three months’ time

By: Darren Parker     29th August 2008 The full South African Mining and Biodiversity Forum (SAMBF) is to meet in November for the first time since its conception in January 2005. 

Asbestos-related disease sufferers receive R147,5m 

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     29th August 2008 There are many undetected diseases in the pipeline and we need to protect young people from further exposure to asbestos, argued Brian Gibson, chairperson of the asbestos-related diseases compensatory fund, the Kgalagadi Relief Trust, at an asbestos regulations workshop, held in Johannesburg,... 

Alaskans keep the door open to mining industry

By: Liezel Hill     27th August 2008 Voters in Alaska this week appear to have voted against a clean-water initiative that could have threatened the future of the mining industry in the US's most northerly state. According to unofficial figures available on Wednesday, 57% of voters voted “no”to the measure, which proposed to block... 

Northam studies alternative power sources for Booysendal project 

By: Matthew Hill     25th August 2008 Precious metals producer Northam Platinum could produce at full capacity of some 400 000 t/m from its newly acquired Booysendal project from 2014/15, an official said on Monday. One feature that its bankable feasibility study (BFS) on the project, which is currently under way, would interrogate... 

Dwaf regulates water discharges at Olifants river

By: Rozanne Cloete     22nd August 2008 Resources giant Anglo American’s coal subsidiary, Anglo Coal, is regulating its water releases into the Olifants River catchment area, in the Mpumalanga province, following a directive set by the the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (Dwaf). 

Cleaner production strategies in mines

By: Jacqueline Holman     15th August 2008 Cleaner production means the continuous application of an integrated, preventative environmental strategy to processes, products and services to increase efficiency and reduce risks to humans and the environment. 

Gold producer to apply newly developed mine closure principles in Mali

By: Jonathan Faurie     8th August 2008 One of South Africa’s largest gold producing companies, AngloGold Ashanti, plans to use mine closure principles which will integrate the issues of environmental rehabilitation and social involvement in future mine closure programmes, including the forthcoming closure of a gold mine in Mali. 

New Act calls for stringent regulation

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     1st August 2008 The mining industry could possibly be regulated much more stringently under the new National Environment Management Air Quality Act than it was under the previous Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act. 

Illegal Congolese miners being abused in Angola – NGO

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     1st August 2008 There is growing concern that illegal Congolese migrants working on illicit diamond operations in Angola are being subjected to illicit diamond operations in Angola.  

Dundee gets approval for Bulgaria mine expansion

30th July 2008 TSX-listed Dundee Precious Metals marked the end of a lengthy wait on Wednesday, when Bulgaria's Minister of Environment and Waters signed the environmental impact assessment for the company's plans to expand its Chelopech gold mine in the country. The company is now completing a restated... 

Vexing complications prevent well-endowed Angola from reaching its enormous potential

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     25th July 2008 Despite Angola’s undoubted potential to host the world’s next big diamond mine, Royal Bank of Canada capital markets director and former South African mining analyst and journalist Des Kilalea recorded that Angola was seen by most at the bank’s conference in Canada as “one of the least preferred... 

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