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Health News

New laboratories opened based on demand

By: Kimberley Smuts     20th January 2017 Oil and fuel analysis expert WearCheck has shown considerable growth in Africa in 2016 establishing three new laboratories around the continent’s mining hotspots, a move largely driven by demand from mining operations looking to cut operational costs. As a result of this expansion, the company... 

Wits, Chinese university in partnership to boost research

By: David Oliveira     20th January 2017 The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and the China University of Mining and Technology (CUMT) established the Joint International Research Laboratory of China–Africa Mining Geospatial Informatics in November last year at a ceremony in Xuzhou, China, to further the mining research of the two... 

Zambian copper mine to receive upgraded refuge chambers

By: Kimberley Smuts     20th January 2017 A Zambian copper mine is set to receive delivery of 12 MineSAFE underground refuge chambers from manufacturer and supplier MineARC, incorporating its new System Intelligence package, including the GuardIAN remote monitoring system, compressed air management system and Aura-FX digital gas... 

Zambian copper mine to receive upgraded refuge chambers
Photo by Duane Daws
ENHANCED SAFETY The GuardIAN secure online interface is hosted on an internal server within the refuge chamber so that no client software installation is required

Mine safety a casualty of too many distractions, say unions as 2016 statistics show marginal improvement

By: Natasha Odendaal     19th January 2017 South Africa’s mining stakeholders need to “go back to the drawing board” and refocus efforts on bringing down the number of fatalities in the sector, trade union Solidarity's deputy general secretary for occupational health and safety and sustainable development Advocate Paul Mardon said, as a... 

Mine safety a casualty of too many distractions, say unions as 2016 statistics show marginal improvement
Photo by Duane Daws
Mineral Resources Minister Mosebezi Zwane

Rockfall claims one life at Implats’ 20 shaft

By: Natasha Odendaal     18th January 2017 A rockfall at Impala Platinum’s (Implats’) 20 shaft, in Rustenburg, on Wednesday claimed the life of one mineworker and injured another. Implats spokesperson Johan Theron confirmed the incident to Mining Weekly Online, noting that the shaft has been shut down pending investigation. 

Despite expecting further delay to RoF development, Noront exploration guns for gold

By: Henry Lazenby     18th January 2017 Despite reporting progress with discussions between stakeholders, the largest landholder in the emerging Ring of Fire (RoF) mining camp of Northern Ontario, Noront Resources, said Tuesday that it expected further delays to the development of its cornerstone Eagle’s Nest mine. The precious and... 

Solidarity cautious on Barbrook mine business rescue promises

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th January 2017 Trade union Solidarity on Friday vowed to do all it can to prevent the embattled Barbrook mine, in Mpumalanga, from following in the footsteps of its sister mine as it heads into business rescue. However, the union was hesitantly cautious on the commitments made by the business rescue... 

Kusasalethu employees end 48-hour sit-in – Harmony

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th January 2017 With the 1 700-odd employees who staged a 48-hour wildcat underground sit-in at the Kusasalethu mine, near Carletonville, safely back on surface on Friday, JSE-listed Harmony Gold has initiated an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the workers’ actions. Production at the... 

Kusasalethu employees end 48-hour sit-in – Harmony
Harmony Gold CEO Peter Steenkamp

In Peru, a smelter's future stirs fears of its toxic past

By: Reuters     13th January 2017 Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski's efforts to revive a nearly 100-year-old smelting complex could overcome a crucial hurdle at a coming auction where five companies have shown interest in placing bids. But celebration is far from universal given the sprawling smelter's toxic legacy and... 

Harmony’s Kusasalethu workers stage underground sit-in, no demands made

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th January 2017 Around 1 700 workers at Harmony Gold’s Kusasalethu mine, in Carletonville, have staged an illegal sit-in underground, with no demands or grievances yet forthcoming. Harmony Gold on Thursday said the employees had refused to return to surface on Wednesday after the end of the morning shift, with... 

Harmony’s Kusasalethu workers stage underground sit-in, no demands made

BC agrees Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion meets 5 prerequisites

By: Henry Lazenby     12th January 2017 British Columbia has issued an environment assessment certificate for Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion project, adding its own 37 specific conditions. These conditions are based on the National Energy Board's (NEB's) project report on May 19, 2016, recommending to the federal government... 

BC agrees Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion meets 5 prerequisites
Photo by British Columbia Government
British Columbia Premier Christy Clark

Fire breaks out at Vale fertiliser unit, production halted

By: Reuters     6th January 2017 A fire broke out on Thursday at a Vale fertiliser unit in Sao Paulo state, the company confirmed. It was not immediately clear what, if any, damage, there was, but production at the facility halted. G1, the website for Globo TV, reported that an explosion was heard just before the fire broke out... 

Indian coal mine death toll rises to 16, some still trapped

By: Reuters     3rd January 2017 The death toll in an Indian coal mine collapse rose to 16 on Saturday and could rise further, officials said, as some people are still feared trapped at a coalfield run by state-owned Coal India Limited. The accident occurred in Jharkhand state on Thursday evening at the Lalmatia mine, one of the... 

Indian coal mine death toll rises to 16, some still trapped

Qld introduces new health reforms to combat black lung

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     16th December 2016 The Queensland government has introduced a suite of health and safety reforms to protect coal miners from black lung disease. Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthonly Lynham said on Friday that coal health and safety laws will see dust levels made public, compulsory health checks for... 

Qld introduces new health reforms to combat black lung

Contract miner dies at Agnico Eagle’s Kittilä mine, Finland

By: Henry Lazenby     16th December 2016 A contractor has died in a mining accident at TSX- and NYSE-listed Agnico Eagle’s Kittilä mine, in northern Finland. The miner said Thursday that the accident occurred underground on level 325 of the mine, however, details and exact cause are not yet known. 

Electronic incident reporting, management system touted as best practice

By: Ilan Solomons     16th December 2016 For many years line managers and safety staff in the South African mining industry have tried to understand the relationship between incidents, minor injuries, lost-time injuries, serious injuries and fatal injuries. In the early 1980s, ‘loss control’ was the buzzword in mine safety and the Frank... 

Electronic incident reporting, management system  touted as best practice
RISK AWARENESS Any manager that knows of a hazard and the associated risk, as a reasonable person, will act to avert the harm that will result if this risk materialises

Latin American miners expected to persist with cost-cutting and disinvestment strategies

By: Henry Lazenby     16th December 2016 The end of the commodities super cycle continues to have a dampening effect on several South American economies, especially those that previously relied on high hydrocarbons prices to achieve high rates of growth. As well as hitting government earnings and rates of economic expansion, the... 

Latin American miners expected to persist with cost-cutting and disinvestment strategies

Mintek demonstrates new tailings treatment process

By: David Oliveira     16th December 2016 State-owned research organisation Mintek earlier this month demonstrated its Retreatment Flowsheet for Au and Uranium Tailings, or Reflaut, tailings treatment process at gold miner Gold Fields’ South Deep mine, in Johannesburg. Reflaut has been used at South Deep since last month, and removes... 

Mintek demonstrates new tailings treatment process
Photo by Duane Daws
REFLAUT RETREATMENT Mintek’s Reflaut demonstration plant at South Deep retreats about 200 kg/h worth of tailings, producing about 2 g of concentrate for every ton of tailings

Sibanye Gold’s tailings project launch likely 'in next six months'  

By: Martin Creamer     14th December 2016 Sibanye Gold will probably launch its West Rand Tailings Retreatment Project (WRTRP) in the next six months. The WRTRP, which aims to recover 11-million ounces of gold, 170-million pounds of uranium, as well as sulphuric acid from 1.3-billion tonnes of tailings, offers 35 years of mine life, 5... 

Sibanye Gold’s tailings project launch likely 'in next six months'
WRTRP team at Sibanye Gold.

Platinum fuel-cell plant being built in Korea by Implats project supplier

By: Martin Creamer     13th December 2016 The company that is building South Africa’s first multi-megawatt platinum-catalysed fuel-cell power plant in South Africa is simultaneously building an even larger fuel-cell power plant in Korea under a renewable energy classification. Doosan Fuel Cell America, which is laying on an eventual 20... 

Platinum fuel-cell plant being built in Korea by Implats project supplier
Photo by Duane Daws
Doosan Fuel Cell America VP Eric Strayer

Atlatsa reports fatality at Bokoni mine

By: Creamer Media Reporter      13th December 2016 Dual-listed Atlatsa Resources on Tuesday reported a fatality at the Brakfontein shaft of its Bokoni mine, near Polokwane. The employee, a miner’s assistant, was fatally injured last week in what the company described as a water-related incident. 

Platinum marketing needs collaboration – Sibanye

By: Martin Creamer     12th December 2016 Platinum marketing is in urgent need of the correct coordination, collaboration and cooperation with immediate consideration needing to be given to encouraging, igniting and catalysing own-requirement growth. With gross metal demand having seen no growth in the last ten years, pressure on the... 

Platinum marketing needs collaboration – Sibanye
Photo by Duane Daws
Sibanye VP strategic marketing Anthea Bath

Gold miner intends to do away with diesel

     9th December 2016 Canadian gold miner Goldcorp is looking to eliminate diesel consumption at its mine sites, explaining that this will hugely improve working conditions by removing diesel particulate and other gases such as nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide from the workplace.  Goldcorp has started implementing... 

Gold miner intends to  do away with diesel
BATTERY OPERATED Goldcorp will introduce an electrical underground mobile fleet at the Borden gold mine to improve health and reduce its environmental footprint

Gold One GM reveals how company nearly lost entire mine in fall-of-ground incident

By: Ilan Solomons     9th December 2016 An almost disastrous fall-of-ground (FoG) took place on the night of April 21, 2015, at gold mining company Gold One International’s Modder East Operations (MEO), in Springs, on the East Rand, it revealed recently. The FoG covered an area of about 63 m on dip by 43 m on strike, in the back areas... 

New automatic system safeguards equipment

By: Nadine James     9th December 2016 Early detection is critical to combat electrical fires in confined spaces and mitigate the risk of injuries and fatalities while limiting high-value equipment damage and system downtime, says environmental solutions provider I-CAT. To eliminate the difficulties associated with fire detection in... 

New automatic system safeguards equipment
DOUSING AGENT The cylinder is filled with a nonconductive extinguishing agent called CLEAVOS 1230

Platinum miner advancing safety initiatives

     9th December 2016 Safety is a priority at all Impala Platinum’s (Implats’) operations, emphasises the South African platinum miner, which will roll out front-drive technology and proximity detection on track-bound equipment in 2017 as part of its safety strategy. The company describes the initiative as a “major... 

Platinum miner advancing safety initiatives
SAFE AS HOUSES Impala Platinum’s safety strategy entrenches the belief that mining can be conducted without causing injury and harm

Tackling increased alcohol consumption during festive season

By: Nadine James     9th December 2016 The festive season can put companies at risk, as employees are more likely to drink alcohol not only more often but also to the point of excess, says drug and alcohol testing equipment provider Alco-Safe.  Alco-Safe director Rhys Evans notes that based on first-hand reports by safety managers,... 

Tackling increased alcohol consumption during festive season
RHYS EVANS At mining companies the number of people that report to work under the influence of alcohol over December increases to between 200 and 300 people a day

Teck, Fort Chipewyan Métis ink participation agreement for Frontier oil sands project

By: Henry Lazenby     8th December 2016 Canadian diversified miner Teck Resources has signed a formal participation agreement with the Fort Chipewyan Métis Local 125, identifying several economic benefits while creating opportunities for meaningful engagement and communication with the indigenous group, as the proposed Frontier oil... 

Lily Mine probe escalated to inquiry

By: SANews, SA government news service     7th December 2016 The Department of Mineral Resources says the investigation into the tragic Lily Mine disaster, which left three mineworkers trapped underground, will be converted into an inquiry. Xolile Mbonambi, the Acting Chief Inspector of Mines, said this when the department appeared before the Portfolio... 

Las Bambas claims a life

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     7th December 2016 Metals miner MMG has reported a fatality at its Las Bambas copper operation, in Peru. A contract worker was fatally injured on Tuesday by an uncontrolled release of pressurised water while working in the tailings thickener area of the concentrator plant. 

Las Bambas claims a life
Photo by Reuters
MMG CEO Andrew Michelmore

ICMM commits to new tailings dam measures

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     6th December 2016 The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) has adopted a range of new measures to manage tailing dams, following the Samarco disaster in 2015, which claimed the lives of 19 people in Brazil. The ICMM in December last year launched a review of the global tailings management of its... 

ICMM commits to new tailings dam measures

Poverty led to Marikana tragedy, says Mahumapelo

By: African News Agency      5th December 2016 Poverty was the root cause of the Marikana tragedy four years ago, North West premier Supra Mahumapelo said on Sunday. “Poverty forced people to work in the mines, some come from Zimbabwe, Lesotho, the Eastern Cape and other provinces, and neighbouring countries to work in Rustenburg mines,” he... 

Poverty led to Marikana tragedy, says Mahumapelo

Copper mining offers growth opportunity to dust suppressant supplier

By: Nadine James     2nd December 2016 Johannesburg-based nanotechnology provider Cruze Holdings expects to secure more work from African copper mining operations as its products generate savings by ensuring companies spend less on their existing road dust suppression measures. The company may double its mining revenue within the next... 

Copper mining offers growth opportunity to  dust suppressant supplier
DOWN WITH DUST Cruze Holdings dust palliatives are extremely effective, simple to apply and cost-effective

Enforcement of Section 54 stoppages ‘unclear, inconsistent’ – lawyer

By: David Oliveira     2nd December 2016 While the mining industry has acknowledged the need to continuously improve health and safety to achieve its goal of ‘zero harm’, the application of Section 54 of the Mine Health and Safety Act (MHSA) is often unclear and inconsistent. International law firm Hogan Lovells partner and mining head... 

Importance of artisanal mining increases in DRC

     2nd December 2016 The stagnation of the formalised mining sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has led to an increase in artisanal mining activity, says the mining representative body DRC Chamber of Mines (CoM). “Artisanal mining in the DRC has become a widespread activity of significant economic... 

Importance of  artisanal mining increases in DRC
SUBSISTENCE MINING Artisanal mining in the DRC has become a widespread activity of significant economic importance

Scientist proposes using automated mineralogical analyses to monitor acid mine water

By: Ilan Solomons     2nd December 2016 The formation of acid mine drainage (AMD) is currently one of the largest environmental problems facing the South African gold mining industry, warns local State-owned mineral and metallurgical innovation company Mintek senior scientist Veruska Govender. She points out that mining operations have... 

Scientist proposes using automated mineralogical analyses  to monitor acid mine water
SERIOUS CONCERN AMD may place ‘undue stress’ upon the country’s economy and water-strained environment, potentially undermining both the agricultural and industrial sectors

Crude pipeline approvals attract reaction straddling both sides of argument

By: Henry Lazenby     1st December 2016 Tuesday's approval by the federal Liberal government of Kinder Morgan’s C$6.8-billion Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) project and Enbridge’s C$7.5-billion Line 3 Replacement project has drawn equally strong praise and criticism from Canadian business and civic organisations. Gathering almost... 

Crude pipeline approvals attract reaction straddling both sides of argument
Photo by Reuters
Protesters walk down Robson Street in opposition to Canada's decision to approve Kinder Morgan's pipeline from the Alberta oil sands to the Pacific coast, in Vancouver

Trudeau govt approves Trans Mountain, Line 3 pipelines, rejects Northern Gateway

By: Henry Lazenby     30th November 2016 Canada’s Liberal federal government under leadership of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has approved two out of three contentious crude oil pipelines in the country, critical infrastructure needed to get Canada’s vast oil reserves to new markets. In a landmark decision, the Trudeau government has... 

Trudeau govt approves Trans Mountain, Line 3 pipelines, rejects Northern Gateway
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