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Health News

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 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

Eight miners dead after tremor hits Polish copper mine

By: Reuters     1st December 2016 The final death toll of an earth tremor causing rockfalls deep underground in Europe's largest copper mine in southwestern Poland rose to eight miners, the mine's operator KGHM said on Wednesday. The tremor hit the Rudna copper mine at 20:09 GMT on Tuesday, KGHM said, causing extensive damage,... 

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

Discredited DMR making ill-considered demands on struggling industry

By: Martin Creamer     25th November 2016 The Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) is making ill-considered demands that have little hope of being met. Instead of following the continent’s African Mining Vision and Zambezi Protocol, the DMR is going out on a dictatorial limb. 

Discredited DMR making ill-considered demands on struggling industry
Photo by Duane Daws
Chamber of Mines CEO Roger Baxter and Chamber of Mines Senior Executive Public Affairs and Transformation Tebello Chabana

Company promotes ecofriendly production processes

By: Sascha Solomons     25th November 2016 As a means of protecting the environment, nonwoven geotextile manufacturer Fibertex uses chemical-binder-free products and production processes to manufacture Fibertex geotextiles, which are made of virgin polypropylene (PP) material. Fibertex South Africa CEO Clive Hitchcock comments that virgin... 

Company promotes ecofriendly production processes
CLIVE HITCHCOCK Nonwoven geotextiles play an important role in diverse sectors

Drone solution offers built-in compliance features

By: Simone Liedtke     25th November 2016 Mining companies need to be able to track their daily operations and have full visibility of their sites in real time without having to worry about putting in place time-consuming administrative systems to comply with the complex regulatory regimen for commercial drones, says commercial drone... 

Drone solution offers  built-in compliance features
REAL-TIME VIEW By accelerating a previously manual process, we are giving quarry operators real-time visibility across their sites

Fraser Alexander’s structured funding offering well received by mining sector

By: Ilan Solomons     25th November 2016 Mining services and construction company Fraser Alexander’s Integrated Mining Service (IMS) structured funding offering has been very positively received by the mining industry, says CEO Velile Nhlapo. He informs Mining Weekly that the IMS offering has been particularly popular among emerging... 

Fraser Alexander’s structured funding offering well received by mining sector
WELL RECEIVED Integrated Mining Service offerings have been particularly popular among emerging mining companies and companies with coal-to-power projects

Industry recommits to ‘zero harm’ target as fatalities climb

By: Ilan Solomons     25th November 2016 The milestones that were agreed upon by all industry stakeholders at the 2014 Mine Occupational Health & Safety Summit are in danger of not being achieved in accordance with their timeline, warns Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) acting mines chief inspector Xolile Mbonambi. He was addressing... 

Industry recommits to ‘zero harm’ target as fatalities climb
RENEWED COMMITTMENT Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen signs mining industry pledge renewal on achieving health and safety milestones agreed in 2014

Lack of funds hampers rehabilitation of derelict, ownerless asbestos mines

By: Dylan Slater     25th November 2016 Randburg-based mineral and metallurgical innovation company Mintek is struggling to meet its mandate of rehabilitating derelict and ownerless asbestos mines and related workings owing to lack of funding required to tackle projects of increased risk, size and complexity.  

Lack of funds hampers rehabilitation of derelict,  ownerless asbestos mines
LASTING LEGACY An abandoned building built using asbestos shows the legacy of the cancer-inducing resource on the built environment

Science council heavily involved in mining research and development

By: Keith Campbell     25th November 2016 Although the new Mining Precinct (or Mining Hub) initiative has rightly attracted a lot of interest (see “Mining Weekly” October 7), the mining and minerals research and development (R&D) activities of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR – a key participant in the Mining... 

Science council heavily involved in mining research and development

Landslide kills 13 as diggers invade Freeport mine in Congo: governor

By: Reuters     22nd November 2016 A landslide killed at least 13 people last week in southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo after thousands of artisanal miners began invading a copper mine controlled by Freeport-McMoRan, the provincial governor said on Monday. Between 5 000 and 10 000 illegal miners have descended on the... 

Canada accelerates transition to clean power; to phase out coal-fired generation by 2030

By: Henry Lazenby     22nd November 2016 The Liberal Canadian federal government on Monday announced accelerated plans to transition the economy to renewable energy sources, saying it would aim to phase out coal-fired plants by 2030. According to Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna, coal-fired electricity... 

Canada accelerates transition to clean power; to phase out coal-fired generation by 2030

Didipio mine wins prestigious environmental award

By: Mariaan Webb     21st November 2016 The Didipio gold and copper mine, which the Philippines Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) mine audit team earlier this year recommended for suspension, has scooped a prestigious environmental award. Melbourne-based OceanaGold’s mine has been awarded the Presidential Mineral... 

Finnish firm gets funding to commercialise AMD solution in SA

By: Dylan Slater     18th November 2016 Following the July launch of water treatment technology for the treatment of acid mine drainage (AMD) and industrial hazardous waste water in South Africa, Finland-based company Global EcoProcess Services Oy (Epse) has been granted funding by the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation for the... 

Finnish firm gets funding to commercialise AMD solution in SA
Photo by Duane Daws
LASSE MUSAKKA Our technology can assist in achieving a sustainable and better future for South Africa

Importance of using lightning prediction networks emphasised

By: Kimberley Smuts     18th November 2016 Globally, every year there are about two recorded explosions at opencast mining operations due to lightning strikes during blasting activities, explosives firm BME blasting science director Tony Rorke tells Mining Weekly. He adds that if lightning strikes a blast area that has been charged, the... 

Importance of using lightning prediction networks emphasised
BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY Modern electronic delay detonators are equipped with effective protection barriers to prevent them from being initiated by the majority of nearby or direct lightning strikes

Mobile technology helps eliminate blasting obstacles

By: Kimberley Smuts     18th November 2016 Explosives firm BME explored how mobile technology and centralised data could provide mine managers with an edge to comprehensively eliminate potential blast problems, through among others management of blast inputs, thereby improving blast results, at its annual Drilling and Blasting Conference.... 

Rights NGO raises concerns about impact of mining on Malawi near-mine communities

By: Ilan Solomons     18th November 2016 Malawi’s government has failed to protect the rights and livelihoods of people living in nascent mining communities, states independent human rights organisation Human Rights Watch (HRW). The organisation alleges that families living near coal and uranium mining operations face “serious problems”... 

Rights NGO raises concerns about impact of mining  on Malawi near-mine communities
CONCERNING CONSEQUENCES Families living near coal and uranium mining operations, in Karonga district, face ‘serious problems’ with water, food and housing

Inspectorate criticised for irrational mine safety enforcement 

     17th November 2016 The Labour Court has criticised the mine safety inspectorate for acting “outside of the bounds of rationality” in enforcing mine safety legislation. Mining Weekly editor Martin Creamer joins senior deputy editor Tracy Hancock in studio to discuss this development. 

Inspectorate criticised for irrational mine safety enforcement
Inspectorate criticised for irrational mine safety enforcement

Claims lodged for compensation for asbestos-related diseases down, stabilising

By: Dylan Slater     15th November 2016 During the financial year to February 29, the Kgalagadi Relief Trust (KRT) paid out 35 claims, totalling R3.42-million, to persons who have contracted illnesses related to exposure to asbestos stemming from South African mines.  

Chamber welcomes Labour Court setting aside mine stoppage order

By: Martin Creamer     15th November 2016 The Chamber of Mines has welcomed the setting aside by the Labour Court of a Section 54 mine stoppage order that unjustifiably halted operations at AngloGold Ashanti’s Kopanang mine. The chamber said on Tuesday that the greater clarity that the judgment provided on the limits of the powers of the... 

Chamber welcomes Labour Court setting aside mine stoppage order
AngloGold's Kopanang mine at the centre of a welcomed Labour Court judgement

Court criticises inspectorate for irrational mine safety enforcement

By: Martin Creamer     14th November 2016 The Labour Court has criticised mine safety inspectors for acting “outside of the bounds of rationality” in enforcing mine safety legislation. Labour Court judge André van Niekerk used the quotation that “…one ought not to use a sledgehammer to crack a nut”, in granting a final suspension order... 

Court criticises inspectorate for irrational mine safety enforcement
Photo by Duane Daws
Department of Mineral Resources acting mines chief inspector Xolile Mbonambi

AngloGold free cash soaring

By: Martin Creamer     14th November 2016 The generation of free cash by gold mining company AngloGold Ashanti is soaring. Free cash flow of $161-million in the third quarter is 54% higher than the free cash flow generated in the six months to June 30. 

AngloGold free cash soaring
Photo by Duane Daws
AngloGold Ashanti CEO Srinivasan (Venkat) Venkatakrishnan

Santacruz suspends Rosario ops after worker dies

By: Henry Lazenby     12th November 2016 TSX-V-listed Santacruz Silver Mining on Friday reported the death of an employee at Level 4 of the Rosario silver/gold/zinc/lead mine, located in San Luis Potosi state, Mexico. Santacruz has temporarily suspended activities at the Rosario mine following the accident that took place on Wednesday,... 

S Africa behind global curve

By: Victor Moolman     11th November 2016 South Africa is behind the global curve when it comes to the integration of mine closure and rehabilitation in the mining life cycle with the historical approach of mining companies being to focus predominantly on driving production, state consulting engineers and scientists SRK Consulting. 

S Africa behind global curve
ABANDONED MINE A typical extraction at an abandoned and derelict asbestos mine
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