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Environmental News

Brazilian judge suspends Samarco dam disaster civil claim indefinitely

By: Henry Lazenby     19th July 2017 A Brazilian federal judge of the Federal Court of Minas Gerais has, for an indefinite time, suspended a public civil lawsuit against Samarco Mineração over the miner’s tailings dam collapse in November 2015, the company said on Tuesday. Vale, the world’s largest iron-ore producer, said in a press... 

Taseko gets multiyear ‘NOW’ permit for contentious New Prosperity mine

By: Henry Lazenby     19th July 2017 The provincial government of British Columbia has issued Taseko Mines with a multiyear Notice of Work (NOW) permit that will allow the base metals producer to undertake a site investigation programme at the New Prosperity gold/copper mine. The mine project, which has been nixed twice by the... 

Taseko gets multiyear ‘NOW’ permit for contentious New Prosperity mine
Photo by Reuters
First Nations demonstrators protesting against the proposed New Prosperity copper/gold project by proponent Taseko Mines

Demand growth for some metals may exceed 1 000% – World Bank

By: Martin Creamer     18th July 2017 A new World Bank report highlights the potential impacts that the expected continuing boom in low-carbon energy technologies will have on demand for many minerals and metals, including Southern Africa's platinum, manganese and chrome. Using wind and solar energy, and energy storage batteries, as... 

Taseko temporarily halts mining activity at Gibraltar

By: Anine Kilian     18th July 2017 Base metals producer Taseko’s British Columbia-based Gibralter mine has been temporary idled owing to uncontrolled wildfires in the mine’s immediate vicinity.  In response to the severe wildfire conditions, the company had already scaled back mining and milling operations at the mine.   An... 

Mali gold project production targeted for December

By: Simone Liedtke     14th July 2017 Multi-asset gold company Hummingbird Resources is developing the advanced Yanfolila gold project, in Mali, as a low-cost, high-grade openpit mining operation, with first gold production targeted for December. 

Mali gold project production targeted  for December
YANFOLILA GOLD MINE The overall investment to bring the project into production will be around $88-million

Power increasingly expensive input cost in Southern African mining

By: Simone Liedtke     14th July 2017 In Southern Africa, power is becoming a far higher input cost in industries and processes than it was in the past, says mining ventilation solutions provider TLT Actom director Craig Johnston, highlighting that one of the major input costs at any underground mine or process plant is that of... 

Power increasingly expensive input cost in Southern African mining
TOTAL VENTILATION One of the major input costs at any underground mine or process plant is that of ventilation or air used in the process

Mining Charter Three unpacked ahead of court hearing

By: Mia Breytenbach     14th July 2017 Ahead of the High Court of South Africa’s hearing, on July 18, to decide on an interdict to halt the implementation of the revised Mining Charter, Deloitte Africa Energy and Resources leader Andrew Lane last week said the mining industry had to take a broader view of the charter, focus and... 

Mining Charter Three unpacked ahead of court hearing
Photo by Duane Daws
MOSEBENZI ZWANE Zwane published the Mining Charter on June 15, which was received with much turbulence and controversy

Africa remains tough but attractive mining destination

By: Nica Schreuder     13th July 2017 Despite potential risk factors associated with mining in Africa, mining services provider Fraser Alexander executive business development head Ken Bouch says the rewards make it worth investing in the mineral-rich continent. 

Africa remains  tough but attractive mining destination

Taseko scales back Gibraltar ops as BC wildfires complicate employee commutes

By: Henry Lazenby     13th July 2017 Base metals producer Taseko Mines has scaled back mining and milling operations at its cornerstone Gibraltar mine, in response to the severe wildfire conditions in the Cariboo region of British Columbia. The Vancouver-based company reported that despite there not being any fires in the immediate... 

Platinum for new fuel cell Mercedes cut to autocat level  

By: Martin Creamer     12th July 2017 German car manufacturer Daimler has cut the platinum loading of its new fuel cell Mercedes to catalytic converter level. “We reduced the amount of platinum by 90%, which provides a significant cost reduction. Our fuel cell is not much above the platinum loading of a catalytic converter on a... 

Platinum for new fuel cell Mercedes cut to autocat level
Photo by cH2ange
Daimler fuel cell director Prof Dr Christian Mohrdieck

EPA considers cancelling Clean Water Act veto on debated Pebble project, Alaska 

By: Henry Lazenby     12th July 2017 The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a pre-publication federal register notice to withdraw the July 2014 Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 404(c) proposed determination, which would have pre-emotively imposed restrictions on the discharge of dredged or fill material from the Pebble... 

EPA considers cancelling Clean Water Act veto on debated Pebble project, Alaska
Photo by Northern Dynasty Minerals
The controversial Pebble copper/gold project, in south-west Alaska

Miners rewarded for improved capital discipline

By: Henry Lazenby     11th July 2017 Increased cash flows, merger and acquisition (M&A) activity and new debt issues have helped many of the world’s top miners strengthen their balance sheets in 2016, reflecting miners’ response to investor messages around capital discipline, according to new analysis from PwC Canada. "As the global... 

Miners rewarded for improved capital discipline

Manganese makes list of key tech metals heading for short supply

By: Martin Creamer     11th July 2017 Nothing can stop the proliferation of iPhones, solar panels and Teslas, except perhaps a shortage of key natural resources, comments the latest Fortune magazine, which puts manganese from South Africa on the list of crucial technology metals needed in the US. Fortune’s world map showing the... 

Manganese makes list of key tech metals heading for short supply
Photo by Duane Daws
Industrial Development Corporation Mining and Metals Industries divisional executive Abel Malinga (right) talking to Mining Weekly's Martin Creamer.

Fires hit Canada lumber mills, get close to Kinder pipeline

By: Bloomberg     11th July 2017 Wildfires in British Columbia have forced Canadian lumber mills to shut and were edging closer to a Kinder Morgan Inc. oil pipeline as hot, dry weather sparked blazes across swathes of western Canada and the U.S. Norbord Inc., the largest North American producer of oriented strand board used in... 

Imperial’s Mount Polley mine impacted by BC wildfires

By: Henry Lazenby     11th July 2017 Base metals miner Imperial Metals has significantly reduced operations at its Mount Polley openpit copper/gold mine, in the Williams Lake area of British Columbia, as about 17 ‘wildfires of note’ posing a threat to public safety, rage in four of the province’s six fire management centres. Many of... 

Imperial casts about for strategic alternatives on poor H1 output, Moody’s downgrades ratings

By: Henry Lazenby     7th July 2017 Imperial Metals is assessing strategic alternatives for its portfolio of base metals mines in British Columbia, after announcing that production will not meet guidance and that the company will breach bank covenants and require additional financing. The TSX-listed firm reported on Thursday that... 

Diverse footprint keeps orders coming in during downturn 

By: Victor Moolman     7th July 2017 The wide geographic spread of Barloworld Equipment, the South African distributor of US-based construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar’s products, insulates it from the effects of mining cycles that may challenge the sustainability of some of its competitors. 

Diverse footprint keeps orders  coming in during downturn
Barloworld executive director Shane Fitzpatrick talks about the growth of the company in Africa. Camerawork: Victor Moolman.

Peru steps up rainforest protection as police raid illegal mines

By: Bloomberg     6th July 2017 Peru’s government moved to halt the destruction of the world’s largest rainforest by dispatching almost a 1 000 police to raid illegal mining camps on the edge of a major nature reserve in Peru’s Amazon jungle. Police raided 83 camps surrounding the Tambopata reserve in the Madre de Dios region... 

Peru steps up rainforest protection as police raid illegal mines

Deloitte unpacks Mining Charter ahead of High Court hearing into Chamber’s application to halt its implementation

By: Mia Breytenbach     5th July 2017 Ahead of the High Court of South Africa’s hearing, on July 18, to decide on an interdict to halt the implementation of the revised Mining Charter, Deloitte Africa Energy and Resources leader Andrew Lane on Wednesday said the mining industry had to take a broader view of the charter, focus and... 

Deloitte unpacks Mining Charter ahead of High Court hearing into Chamber’s application to halt its implementation
Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane

Agri SA says will not support fracking as set out under current legislation  

By: Anine Kilian     5th July 2017 Agricultural industry association Agri SA says it cannot support government’s continued pursuit of hydraulic fracturing (fracking). Addressing media at a briefing in Centurion, on Wednesday, Agri SA president Johannes Möller said there were still uncertainties with respect to water supply and... 

Agri SA says will not support fracking as set out under current legislation
Agri SA President Johannes Moller talks to Engineeirng News Online about fracking

Mining Indaba offering new junior zone, boosting interface opportunities 

By: Martin Creamer     4th July 2017 Strong new thrusts are planned for next year’s Investing in African Mining Indaba, which is scheduled to take place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from February 5 to 8, once again to support investment in mining companies operating in Africa and to provide an effective platform... 

Mining Indaba offering new junior zone, boosting interface opportunities
Investing in African Mining Indaba MD Alex Grose outlines to Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer the major new focus on junior miner involvement. Video and Video Editing: Lionel da Silva.

Disruptive tech needed in local gold sector

30th June 2017 Trends in gold production and processing have remained largely unchanged; however, the varying nature of future gold reserves will force change and, as such, the industry needs to be prepared to invest in and employ disruptive technology, says independent process industry consultant Santosh... 

Disruptive tech needed in local gold sector
SANTOSH GUNPATH To maintain its relevance to the global gold industry, South Africa has no option but to position itself as a gold technology sector

Implementation of hybrid renewable-diesel microgrids set to increase

By: Nadine James     30th June 2017 Mining houses’ use of microgrids and renewable energy to generate power and supplement diesel energy at isolated mining operations has been steadily increasing, says renewable-energy and microgrid consultant THEnergy. THEnergy founder and MD Dr Thomas Hillig notes that the company has been... 

Implementation of hybrid renewable-diesel microgrids set to increase
ENERGY EFFICIENT A growing confidence in renewables has ensured that the use of hybrid plants will increase

Passive treatment may hold key to tackling AMD challenge – geoscientist

By: Ilan Solomons     30th June 2017 Abandoned coal mines have contributed to the generation of acid mine drainage (AMD) in South Africa, states Council for Geoscience (CGS) environmental geoscientist Gloria Dube. She elaborates that AMD is characterised by lowered pH of less than 4, high sulphate concentrations and high acidity... 

Passive treatment may hold key to tackling AMD challenge – geoscientist
CAUSE FOR CONCERN Hazardous metals such as aluminium, iron and manganese may currently be entering the country’s streams and rivers, threatening its limited water resources

Poor governance, accountability stymieing rehabilitation after mine closure

By: David Oliveira     30th June 2017 Delegates at the mining seminar of Sustainability Week, which took place at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, in Pretoria, earlier this month, heard that greater levels of governance and accountability were needed to ensure effective land rehabilitation post-mine closure. South... 

Vedanta’s KCM UK Court of Appeal hearing starts next week

By: Natasha Odendaal     29th June 2017 Global mining company Vedanta Resources and its Zambian subsidiary Konkola Copper Mines’ (KCM’s) UK court appeal against a decision in favour of 1 826 Zambian villagers is set to get under way next week. High Court Judge Justice Coulson last year ruled that English courts had jurisdiction to hear... 

ZIOC encouraged by improved equilibrium in iron-ore market, to enhance Congo project’s investment case

By: Mia Breytenbach     29th June 2017 The global iron-ore industry's performance improved significantly in 2016 from a cost and pricing perspective, providing a much more positive platform going into 2017, Zanaga Iron Ore Company (ZIOC) nonexecutive chairperson Clifford Elphick said on Thursday. Industry operating costs have been... 

CME finds EPA decision on two new iron-ore mines disappointing

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     28th June 2017 The Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA’s) recommendation against approval of two mid-west banded iron formation (BIF) mines is a disappointing decision, Western Australia Chamber of Minerals and Energy (CME) natural resources manager Kane Moyle said on Wednesday. The EPA... 

Seabridge gets federal law amendment to use fish-bearing streams for KSM tailings storage

By: Henry Lazenby     28th June 2017 The Canadian federal government has passed a regulatory amendment authorising project developer Seabridge Gold to use fish-bearing streams in the tailings management facility (TMF) for its Kerr-Sulphurets-Mitchell (KSM) project, in north-western British Columbia. The company announced on Tuesday... 

Sisson tungsten/moly play gets federal nod

By: Henry Lazenby     24th June 2017 TSX-listed Northcliff Resources’ majority owned Sisson Mines has received Canadian federal approval for the Sisson tungsten/molybdenum mine, in New Brunswick, following an environmental assessment under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. The federal Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the... 

Process-focused solution ups output

23rd June 2017 North West sand and aggregate supplier CNC Crushers raised throughput by 45% at its Roadstone Shaft 5 crushing plant while simultaneously cutting back on maintenance, after implementing a full process-focused solution from industrial equipment supplier Weir Minerals Africa. 

Process-focused solution ups output
NEW TECHNOLOGY PAYS The installation of the Cavex hydrocyclone at CNC Crushers’ Stilfontein operation has resulted in increased production and reduced slimes to the tailings dam

Lonmin risk manager spells out four scenarios local mines may be exposed to in 2017

By: Ilan Solomons     23rd June 2017 In the Institute of Risk Management South Africa’s (IRMSA’s) recently launched 2017 risks report, four scenarios laying out how the country’s National Development Plan (NDP) might potentially be executed are tabled. As part of ensuring that mining companies have a thorough understanding of the... 

Lonmin risk manager spells out four scenarios  local mines may be exposed to in 2017
Photo by Duane Daws
BUILDING BOUYANCY Despite being a ‘taker’, resilient mining companies are able to absorb certain factors as a result of their planning and execution processes

Mines urged to ensure their operations are socially, environmentally sustainable

By: David Oliveira     23rd June 2017 Companies across all sectors are having to toe the line and create operations that are environmentally and socially sustainable; however, the path to sustainability is often unclear in a sector largely known for generating huge profit yields with equally huge negative environmental and social... 

Civil society takes Atha-Africa to court

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd June 2017 A coalition of eight civil society and community organisations has launched proceedings in the Pretoria High Court against India-owned mining company Atha-Africa Ventures, asking the court to stop the miner from starting any activities inside the Mabola protected environment, located outside... 

Slow, bumpy market recovery on the cards for most commodities

By: Henry Lazenby     22nd June 2017 The global commodity market is probably in for a slow, drawn-out recovery following the five-year bear market, S&P Global Market Intelligence director for reports on the metals and mining sectors Dr Chris Hinde said during a webcast on Wednesday. According to S&P’s ‘State of the Market’ report,... 

Slow, bumpy market recovery on the cards for most commodities

SWC welcomes moratorium on Wild Coast mining, but remains sceptical

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     19th June 2017 Activist group Sustaining the Wild Coast (SWC) has welcomed a notice gazetted by Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane which blocks any mining or prospecting applications on the Xolobeni mine area, in Bizana, in the Eastern Cape, for the next 18 months, “or until the Minister is satisfied... 

Unrehabilitated Mpumalanga asbestos mine tailings a possible health hazard – scientist

By: Ilan Solomons     16th June 2017 Asbestos mining was banned in South Africa because of the health effects linked to the inhalation of asbestos dust-fibres. However, asbestos mine tailings in Mpumalanga have not been rehabilitated and dust-fibres could easily be lifted and transported by the wind and then settle in sensitive... 

Unrehabilitated Mpumalanga asbestos mine tailings a possible health hazard – scientist
ASBESTOS MINE DUMP, MPUMALANGA Despite the cessation of asbestos mining, there is still a concern about possible environmental pollution by asbestos fibres

Company aims to solve Africa’s challenges with Aussie solutions

16th June 2017 Pumps and pressure cleaners producer Australian Pump Industries, commonly known as Aussie Pumps, has been actively looking to the African continent for distribution outlets, says MD Warwick Lorenz. Australian Pump Industries, located in Sydney’s Norwest “Silicon Valley” area, operates a... 

Company aims to solve Africa’s challenges with Aussie solutions
Photo by Bloomberg
CONTINENTAL COUPLING Australian Pump Industries believes its experience in Australia can be applied to projects in Africa

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