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Environmental News

Sonic drilling represents untapped potential for mining

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     17th March 2017 There is huge scope in the future for the adoption of sonic drilling by mining companies in South Africa, which heavy minerals mining companies can capitalise on, says exploration drilling industry training course provider Colin Rice Exploration & Training founder Colin Rice. Local use of sonic... 

China to stir coal market again in 2017

     17th March 2017 China will again generate significant volatility in the global coal market in 2017 as the government strives to balance smooth and cheap coal supply to households and steel mills with environmental concerns about coal use, according to Fitch-affiliated market analyst BMI Research.  

MoU to facilitate a dialogue between govts, coal industry

     17th March 2017 To help facilitate a dialogue between governments and the coal industry, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the World Coal Association (WCA) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that formalises their long-term collaboration.  

MoU to facilitate a dialogue between govts, coal industry
CHRISTIAN BACH Clean coal technologies are critical to achieve the goals in the Paris Climate Agreement

‘Gold mining not only contributor to seismic events in Gauteng’

By: David Oliveira     17th March 2017 Historical research by the Council for Geoscience (CGS) has found that the gold mining sector is not the sole cause of seismic events in and around Johannesburg but has, however, amplified the number and magnitude of seismic events, delegates were told earlier this month at this year’s CGS... 

UCG power plant developer eagerly awaits procurement programme

By: Marleny Arnoldi     17th March 2017 Multifaceted resource and technology company African Carbon Energy (Africary), which plans to develop an underground coal gasification (UCG) power plant project at its one-billion-ton coal deposit in Theunissen, in the Free State, says it has been bid-ready for the domestic gas independent power... 

UCG power plant developer eagerly awaits procurement programme
JOHAN BRAND & DR JOHAN VAN DYK The production well of an underground coal gasification process produces clean-mined coal

IDC supporting entry of superior platinum processing route – Malinga 

By: Martin Creamer     15th March 2017 A bankable feasibility study has been completed on a new platinum processing method that slashes electricity consumption by eliminating the power-guzzling smelting step in the processing of platinum-group metals (PGMs), Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) divisional executive: mining and... 

IDC supporting entry of superior platinum processing route – Malinga
Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer in conversation with Industrial Development Corporation divisional executive: mining and metals industries Abel Malinga. Photographs: Duane Daws. Video and Video Editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Silver Wheaton remains a unique offering in uncertain times 

By: Henry Lazenby     13th March 2017 As the tide turns in the resource investment space, a renewed focus on project development sees many juniors looking for cash to fund their project development goals. The world’s largest precious metals streaming firm Silver Wheaton believes it has the answer for the right junior firms: its early... 

Silver Wheaton remains a unique offering in uncertain times
Silver Wheaton president and CEO Randy Smallwood discusses the company's strategy for acquiring metal streams. Video: Henry Lazenby; Editing: Lionel da Silva.

Samarco mine restart threatened by request to protect forest

By: Bloomberg     13th March 2017 The Samarco iron-ore mine in Brazil is facing one more obstacle to restarting operations later this year after a court accepted a request by prosecutors to protect a forested area that encompasses a pit the venture had planned to use for storing waste. The BHP Billiton-Vale joint venture had... 

Form partnerships and seek community acceptance, mines urged

By: Ilan Solomons     10th March 2017 Forming partnerships and social acceptance by communities are the two key factors miners need to ensure to promote sustainability in the mining industry, says University of Cape Town Department of Chemical Engineering Minerals to Metals Initiative chief research officer Professor Jennifer... 

Form partnerships and seek community acceptance, mines urged
PERCEPTION PROBLEMS Anti-mining lobbyists argue that mining companies purposefully divide communities and 'corrupt' their leaders to ensure that mining projects receive local endorsement

W Resources to advance copper projects following £750 000 capital raise

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     9th March 2017 Iberia-focused miner and explorer W Resources has raised £750 000 through the placing of 214-million ordinary shares at 0.35p apiece. The company will use the proceeds to advance the development of its copper and gold assets, and advance the acquisition of the La Parrilla crusher, jig and mill. 

Northern Dynasty appoints HDR Alaska to start Pebble permitting process

By: Henry Lazenby     9th March 2017 The proponent of the controversial Pebble copper/gold project, in Alaska, one of the largest undeveloped projects in the world, is taking advantage of US President Donald Trump’s pro-development agenda and has appointed regulatory and permitting consultant HDR Alaska to start the federal and... 

Elephant hunter Randgold walks the talk in Africa

By: Henry Lazenby     7th March 2017 The industry is constantly reducing the quality of its asset base and the only way to reverse the trend is to restart the “exploration engine”, Randgold Resources CEO Mark Bristow said in Toronto this week. “It is misguided to think that cutting back on exploration is a good idea, because it... 

Elephant hunter Randgold walks the talk in Africa

Judgment reserved in South Africa’s first climate change court case  

By: Kim Cloete     7th March 2017 The outcome of South Africa’s first climate change court case could set an important precedent. Judgment has been reserved, following compelling arguments in the Pretoria High Court by lawyers for Earthlife Africa, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and the developers of the 557.3 MW... 

Stakeholder engagement key to African development success

By: Henry Lazenby     7th March 2017 Capital for development ebbs and flows with global economic cycles, pushing to the fore the need for long-term regulatory security when it comes to multinational miners developing projects in Africa, said Ashanti Gold CEO and director Tim McCutcheon during a panel discussion on Africa’s mining... 

Stakeholder engagement key to African development success

Transformation at the core of Anglo American’s resilience

By: Henry Lazenby     7th March 2017 The ability to innovate and build adaptation into the DNA of mining companies is a critical requirement to successfully navigate major market changes, Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani said during a keynote address at the 2017 Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s yearly convention.... 

Transformation at the core of Anglo American’s resilience
Photo by Duane Daws
Ango American CEO Mark Cutifani says survival meant a massive transformation of the asset base, in a rapid time frame

West African gold mine signs solar power agreement

By: Martin Creamer     6th March 2017 West African gold mine Iamgold Essakane has signed a 15-year power purchase agreement with renewable-energy providers in a move that will cut its diesel use and lower its carbon footprint.  EREN Renewable Energy and its partner African Energy Management Platform (AEMP) on Monday announced that... 

West African gold mine signs solar power agreement
Solar power project at Iamgold Essakane in Burkina Faso

In world first, MAC members commit to voluntary principles on security and human rights

By: Henry Lazenby     3rd March 2017 Members of the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) on Thursday committed to implementing the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPs) – a world first for a mining association. The VPs were created in 2000 to help extractive sector companies balance the obligation to respect human... 

Water resources under increasing pressure, bad news for mining

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd March 2017 Global water resources are being placed under increasing pressure, driven by factors like climate change and population growth, and mines risk having ‘stranded assets’ that cannot be developed without water, despite concerted corporate action and technological improvements. 

Water resources under increasing pressure,  bad news for mining
CLEMENCE MCNULTY Water is becoming a critical constraint to mine and socioeconomic development

Renewables offer mines bottom line boost, stability

     3rd March 2017 juwi Renewable Energies MD Greg Austin says mining companies can achieve a 2% to 3% gross profit benefit as a result of energy cost savings, should they replace diesel or heavy fuel oil (HFO) with solar power in pure self-consumption mode. 

Renewables offer  mines bottom line  boost, stability
GREG AUSTIN Integrating solar photovoltaic into mine power supply systems makes good sense

Eastern basin AMD plant lauded for success achieved since coming on stream in June 2016

By: Ilan Solomons     3rd March 2017 Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane has lauded the successes achieved by the Eastern Basin acid mine drainage (AMD) treatment plant, located in the town of Springs, in Gauteng, since it began operating in June 2016. Speaking during a visit to the facility last month, the Minister... 

Eastern basin AMD plant lauded for success achieved since coming on stream in June 2016
Photo by Duane Daws
EASTERN BASIN TREATMENT PLANT The high-density sludge treatment plant IS running at about 85% of its 108 Mℓ/d capacity, thereby treating around 94 Mℓ/d of acid mine drainage

'Coal is critical for Africa's development'

By: Ilan Solomons     3rd March 2017 Coal is required for the industrialisation of Africa, particularly as several African countries are experiencing significant development and expansion of their industrial sectors, says mining investment advisory company MX Mining Capital Advisors director Dr Mike Seeger. He states that Africa’s... 

'Coal is critical for  Africa's development'
MIKE SEEGER Coal miners are facing ‘severe challenges’ in raising the capital they require, as coal is not viewed as an attractive investment proposition for many traditional investors

Muskowekwan First Nation inks tripartite accord with Encanto, government

By: Henry Lazenby     1st March 2017 The Muskowekwan First Nation of Saskatchewan has signed an agreement with junior project developer Encanto Potash, as well as the provincial and federal governments, that will pave the way for the construction of Encanto's proposed potash mine on the reserve located northeast of Regina. The... 

Advantage in pursuit of another ‘Salar de Atacama’ in Argentina

By: Henry Lazenby     1st March 2017 Junior project developer Advantage Lithium plans to “aggressively” chase its exploration target of finding between 250 000 t and 5.6-million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) as soon as its acquisition of 75% of ASX- and TSX-listed Orocobre’s Cauchari project and a 100% interest in... 

Advantage in pursuit of another ‘Salar de Atacama’ in Argentina

Event a gold mine for energy solutions

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     24th February 2017 Mining companies operating in Africa continue to recognise the need to go off-grid, find energy solutions that ensure they do not depend on an outside source and acquire renewable-, cleaner-energy solutions for a more sustainable future, in spite of the tough economic climate, says Africa Energy... 

Event a gold mine for energy solutions
Photo by Bloomberg
LEADING THE WAY The Africa Energy Indaba has lined up a host of speakers aligned with energy solution services and opportunities applicable to the mining sector

Renewables gaining traction

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     24th February 2017 Off-grid mines present one of the biggest business opportunities in renewable-energy solutions for mining companies, says engineering professional services consulting firm WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff director of transmission, distribution and power Dinesh Buldoo. The mining sector is one of the... 

Renewables gaining traction
DINESH BULDOO Off-grid mines present one of the biggest business opportunities in renewable-energy solutions for mining companies

Acid mine drainage in Wits basins comes under the spotlight in new book

By: Dylan Slater     24th February 2017 A research-based book, titled, Acid Mine Drainage in South Africa, which focuses on acid mine drainage (AMD) within the Western, Central and Eastern basins of the broader Witwatersrand basin, was launched at Unisa’s Muckleneuck campus, in Pretoria, earlier this month.  

Acid mine drainage in Wits basins comes under the spotlight in new book
BOOK LAUNCH Suvania Naidoo (third from left) with some of the key role players of her new book on acid mine drainage

Rapid energy access needed in Southern Africa

     24th February 2017 The rebound in commodity prices should usher in new projects as well as the expansion of existing operations in Southern Africa’s mining industry, but the region, counteractively, has an insufficient power supply, says fast-track mobile turbine power provider APR Energy regional sales director... 

Analysts acclaim Glencore’s performance as good fundamentals return

By: Martin Creamer     23rd February 2017 Commodity market fundamentals are improving against a backdrop of better than expected demand and limited, if any, inventory build through the trough of the cycle, diversified mining and marketing company Glencore said on Thursday. This comes against the background of the London-, Hong Kong- and... 

Analysts acclaim Glencore’s performance as good fundamentals return
Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg

St Augustine certain Philippine mineral sharing accord will withstand legal scrutiny

By: Henry Lazenby     23rd February 2017 TSX-listed St Augustine Gold and Copper (SAGC) this week said its mineral production sharing agreement (MPSA), which covers the King-king copper/gold project in Mindanao, Philippines, will withstand legal scrutiny after authorities earmarked the permit for cancellation. The Philippine Department... 

Minergy to list coal project in Botswana, also eyeing JSE

By: Martin Creamer     20th February 2017 Coal and energy company Minergy said on Monday that it will list on the Botswana Stock Exchange in the first half of this year and is also planning a Johannesburg Stock Exchange listing in 2017’s latter half. In the initial capital raising ahead of the listing of its Masama coal project, Minergy,... 

Minergy to list coal project in Botswana, also eyeing JSE
Minergy CEO Andre Boje

Mokonyane gives thumbs-up as Eastern Basin plant treats 94 Mℓ/d of AMD 

By: Ilan Solomons     17th February 2017 Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane has lauded the successes achieved at the Eastern Basin acid mine drainage (AMD) treatment plant, in Springs, in Gauteng. The R1-billion plant, which started operations in June 2016, was completed under the instruction of State-owned water management... 

Mokonyane gives thumbs-up as Eastern Basin plant treats 94 Mℓ/d of AMD
Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane discusses the importance of the Eastern Basin acid mine drainage treatment plant. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva.

Convention aims to bridge communication gap

By: Simone Liedtke     17th February 2017 As a continually evolving industry that operates globally, sometimes the biggest difficulty for the mining industry is getting the right people together in one place to discuss their challenges and find ways to address and, ultimately, overcome them, says Prospectors and Developers Association of... 

Convention aims to bridge communication gap
EIGHTY-FIFTH CONVENTION Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada's 2017 convention will feature more than 400 exhibitors at the investors exchange and 500 at the trade show

Scientists ‘discover’ ancient continental crust beneath Mauritius

By: Dylan Slater     17th February 2017 The tropical volcanic island of Mauritius has been found to be hiding fragments of an ancient continent and the secrets of how the earth was formed about 200-million years ago when the the supercontinent – Gondwana – broke up, according to University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) geologist... 

New US President may benefit the resources sector

By: Henry Lazenby     17th February 2017 While US President Donald Trump is likely to lower US corporate taxes, bringing US dollars back into the country and rebuilding American infrastructure through a massive $1-trillion spending programme, Trump is coming in at the “US midnight” Euro Pacific Capital analyst Peter Schiff says. Markets... 

New US President may benefit the resources sector

Rehabilitation plan important for proper project management

By: Victor Moolman     17th February 2017 Rehabilitation should be included and budgeted for in a project’s initial mine plan to ensure proper project management over the entire mine life cycle, says nonprofit organisation Land Rehabilitation Society of South Africa (LaRSSA) president Raina Hattingh. 

Rehabilitation plan important for proper project management
Photo by Victor Moolman
OFTEN NEGLEGTED Unfortunately, the need for including rehabilitation components early on in mine plans is often neglected in South Africa

DRDGold spends R26m in six months on environmental restoration  

By: Martin Creamer     15th February 2017 Johannesburg is probably one of the world’s best examples of unintended sustainable development, where almost accidentally the mining economy has been fully replaced by another larger economy. This is because mining took place for long enough to allow for the emergence of services industries such... 

DRDGold spends R26m in six months on environmental restoration
Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer talks to DRDGold CEO Niël Pretorius on the company’s R26-million expenditure on environmental restoration. Photographs: Duane Daws. Video: Nicholas Boyd. Video Editing: Lionel da Silva.

DRDGold ups operating profit on lower output as enviro cleanup weighs

By: Martin Creamer     15th February 2017 Gold-from-dumps producer DRDGold on Wednesday announced a 4% increase in operating profit to R172.6-million on 7% lower gold output for the six months to December 31. A rise in the rand gold price helped to offset the impact of lower production in the period, when the company focused on cleaning... 

DRDGold ups operating profit on lower output as enviro cleanup weighs
Photo by Duane Daws
DRDGold CEO Niël Pretorius

Canadian Zinc, NTPC to evaluate LNG power generation for Prairie Creek

By: Henry Lazenby     14th February 2017 Junior project developer Canadian Zinc has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC) to assess electricity supply options for the Prairie Creek zinc/lead/silver mine. Under the terms of the MoU, NTPC has agreed to work with Canadian Zinc to... 

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