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Health News

Digital fixed gas monitoring system launched

By: Ilan Solomons     26th May 2017 Australian mining-refuge chamber manufacturer MineArc Systems has released its new Aura-FX digital fixed gas monitoring system, which it says provides a “more convenient” solution to internal refuge chamber gas monitoring. The company believes that it is a “vast improvement” on current digital... 

Mineral scanner to facilitate identification of reactive ground

     26th May 2017 In another step towards safer blasting practice, Johannesburg-headquartered explosives and services supplier BME is adapting its XRF Delta Pro mineral scanner to quickly identify reactive-ground conditions that could lead to blast site incidents. “This can give us real-time information that... 

Mineral scanner to  facilitate identification  of reactive ground
BOMBS AWAY There is potential for sulphides contained in rock to react with the nitrates in explosives – possibly causing the emulsion to deflagrate or detonate prematurely in the blast hole

Authorities 'rely heavily' on info from illegal miners after gas explosion

By: News24Wire      19th May 2017 Authorities say they have relied heavily on the information from illegal miners at Harmony Gold’s Eland mine in Welkom, Free State, after a gas explosion on Thursday last week. Major General Lerato Molale said on Friday that the search was still continuing. 

Alcohol, education longterm solution to abuse

By: Simone Liedtke     19th May 2017 Testing backed up by educational programmes is a tried and tested method, proven to reduce alcohol-related incidents, drive down absenteeism and improve overall productivity in the mining sector, alcohol detection technology and services provider Alco-Safe director Rhys Evans tells Mining Weekly. 

Alcohol, education longterm solution to abuse
EFFECTIVE TESTING Testing needs to be carried out every single day as part of the mine’s standard health and safety policy to be effective

AMCU to continue pressuring mining houses to pay ‘living wages’

By: Ilan Solomons     19th May 2017 Workers Day is a time when South African workers come together in solidarity with workers worldwide to celebrate the gains made, while also calling for more improvements to the livelihoods and working conditions of labourers around the world, said Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union... 

AMCU to continue pressuring mining houses  to pay ‘living wages’
RAISING THEIR VOICES AMCU will “intensifying the struggle” for the betterment of the working conditions of mineworkers in South Africa

Legislation plays ‘big role’ in uptake of healthcare services 

By: Simone Liedtke     19th May 2017 In many countries, health and safety legislation is either nonexistent or not effectively enforced and, therefore, greatly influences the number of mining-related work opportunities available for healthcare service providers, such as International SOS in Midrand, South Africa 

Legislation plays  ‘big role’ in uptake  of healthcare services
International SOS medical director Dr Charl van Loggerenberg speaks about 'Duty of Care' and the company's services and products. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva

New multigas detector sets benchmark – supplier

By: Simone Liedtke     19th May 2017 With the experience gained through the application of its Altair 4X multigas detector in the South African mining sector, safety equipment supplier MSA Africa believes that the mining industry could benefit greatly from its newly launched Altair 4XR. Meant for application in confined spaces in... 

New multigas detector sets benchmark – supplier
ALTAIR CONNECT The MSA Altair Connect application can immediately send alarm notifications to other users using text messages

New toolkit to help govts manage small-scale mining sector

By: Ilan Solomons     19th May 2017 Governments struggling to manage the complex and sometimes chaotic artisanal and small-scale mining sector have a new toolkit, which was developed by the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF). IGF is a Canada-based, international member-driven... 

New toolkit to help govts manage small-scale mining sector
Photo by BGR
GIVING GUIDANCE The guidance report provides direction on how to ensure effective, inclusive strategy development and implementation, as well as effective governance of ASM

Time to get PDS-ready is now

By: Simone Liedtke     19th May 2017 As of June, all new original-equipment manufacturer (OEM) trackless mobile machines (TMMs) bought by mining houses need to be proximity detection system- (PDS-) ready. 

Time to get PDS-ready is now
PROXIMITY DETECTION SYSTEMS The Booyco PDS warns when pedestrians enter the area around a machine

Search continues for more illegal miners trapped at Welkom mine

By: News24Wire      18th May 2017 The search for the bodies of more illegal miners is continuing at Harmony Gold’s Eland mine in Welkom, Free State, after a gas explosion on Thursday last week. Major General Lerato Molale said on Thursday that police believed there were more miners underground. 

Cosatu welcomes compensation for Lily mine victims’ families

By: African News Agency      17th May 2017 The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has welcomed payments to the families of Pretty Mabuza, Solomon Nyarenda and Yvonne Mnisi whose bodies are still trapped underground at the Lily Mine, in Mpumalanga, since a rockfall in February 2016. “We also welcome the payment of R10 000 to... 

Qld seeks to improve black lung screening with new standards

By: Esmarie Swanepoel     17th May 2017 The Queensland government has introduced new accreditation standards for people conducting the compulsory lung function test on the state’s 30 000 coal miners, as part of its reform to tackle black lung disease. “The new standards will ensure quality tests, so if a coal mine worker has lung... 

Qld seeks to improve black lung screening with new standards
QRC CEO Ian Macfarlane

13 more bodies pulled from Free State mine

By: African News Agency      17th May 2017 The search for more miners continues in a Welkom mine after 24 bodies were retrieved, Free State police said on Tuesday. “Thirteen more bodies have been retrieved, which brings the number to 24. The mine’s security company is busy retrieving the bodies. At this time we have no idea who the people... 

11 bodies pulled from Free State mine

By: African News Agency      16th May 2017 Police in the Free State are investigating the deaths of 11 people who were pulled from a mine in Welkom. Police spokesperson Colonel Thandi Mbambo said police were investigating a case of inquest following the retrieval of the 11 bodies from the mine. 

Mining resumes at Blanket mine following fatality

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     15th May 2017 Mining activities at a section of TSX- and Aim-listed Caledonia Mining’s Blanket mine, in Zimbabwe, resumed on Monday morning. All activities at the Eroica orebody, which contributed 10% of production in the first quarter, had been halted at the weekend, pending a full risk assessment and on site... 

Dust regulations hinder productivity

By: Simone Liedtke     12th May 2017 Regulations implemented by governmental authorities, including municipalities, and environmental bodies, are impacting significantly on productivity in the global mining industry at a time when opencast operations are running tight margins, says Johannesburg-based mining equipment manufacturer... 

Dust regulations  hinder productivity
IDEAL SOLUTION The T1255III Terrain Leveler surface excavation machine is ideal for use in surface mine applications with drill-and-blast restrictions

Dust-suppression specialist geared for growth in Africa

By: Simone Liedtke     12th May 2017 Environmental management company I-CAT Environmental Solutions continues to grow its market share in dust-suppression management and solutions, and intends to increase its market share in Africa this year. 

Dust-suppression specialist geared for growth in Africa
OPENCAST OBSTACLE Visibility on opencast mine roads is severely impaired by excessive road dust and is a major cause of on-site vehicle accidents

Evander shafts back in operation after R41.5m refurbishment

By: David Oliveira     12th May 2017 South African gold miner Pan African Resources has completed the R41.5-million stoppage and refurbishment programme for the 7 and 8 shafts at its Evander gold mine, in Mpumalanga. Normal production has resumed. Evander GM Tenda Tendaupenyu noted during a media briefing at the mine last month that... 

Huge tech rewards for SA opencast mines, but underground operations lag behind

By: David Oliveira     12th May 2017 The adoption of new technology, aimed at improving operational efficiency and lowering costs, is driving the future of the resource sector globally. However, South Africa’s deep-level underground platinum and gold mining, with its unique challenges, has proven to be slower in the adoption of new... 

Huge tech rewards for SA opencast mines, but underground operations lag behind

NUM marks 22 years since Vaal Reefs disaster

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     10th May 2017 The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on Wednesday remembered the 104 mineworkers that were killed in an accident at AngloGold’s Vaal Reefs mine in 1995. On May 10 that year, a locomotive broke through safety barriers and fell into a lift shaft, landing on a cage transporting people to the... 

Petrol vehicle demand growth boosting palladium price

By: Martin Creamer     10th May 2017 Palladium reached its most expensive price in 15 years last week, rallying to within $100/oz of the price of platinum. Speaking to Thomson Reuters' Jan Harvey, CPM Group MD Jeffrey M Christian attributed palladium’s storming 2017 start to its increased use in petrol-driven vehicles. 

Petrol vehicle demand growth boosting palladium price
CPM Group MD Jeffrey M Christian

Million-ounce-plus gold output well in reach – Harmony

By: Martin Creamer     9th May 2017 Gold-mining company Harmony Gold said on Tuesday that its forecast of 1.05-million-ounce production in the 12 months to the end of June is “well in reach”. In recent months, Harmony has lost production at its Kusasalethu gold mine in Carletonville owing to unprotected strikes. 

Million-ounce-plus gold output well in reach – Harmony
Harmony Gold CEO Peter Steenkamp

AngloGold sets new safety record, maintains guidance

By: Martin Creamer     8th May 2017 Gold mining company AngloGold Ashanti has achieved its first ever March quarter without a fatal accident, the company said on Monday when it reported production of 830 000 oz at an average total cash cost of $813/oz for the three months to March 31. The Johannesburg- and New York-listed operator... 

AngloGold sets new safety record, maintains guidance
Photo by Duane Daws
AngloGold Ashanti CEO CEO Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan (Venkat)

Ex-prof says new rock mechanics book will deal with ‘incompleteness’ of existing texts

By: Ilan Solomons     5th May 2017 The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM) has published a new rock mechanics textbook, which is entitled ‘Theoretical Rock Mechanics for Professional Practice’. Speaking at an event hosted by the SAIMM’s Johannesburg branch last month, author Matthew Handley elaborated that... 

Ex-prof says new rock mechanics book will deal with ‘incompleteness’ of existing texts
Photo by Duane Daws
NEW VIEWS REQUIRED The practice of rock mechanics has stagnated for the past 30 to 40 years within a reduced 2D view of what is very much ‘at the least’ a 3D problem

Miner ensuring skills base development on platinum belt

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th May 2017 With the workforce on South Africa’s platinum belt ageing and the attraction of high-calibre candidates for employment being a challenge, platinum miner Wesizwe Platinum plans to boost its training initiatives and start construction of an accredited training facility by the end of the year.  

Miner ensuring skills base development on platinum belt
SUSTAINABLE SKILLS Wesizwe training programmes are focused on making people employable in the mining industry as well as for life after mining has ended

More to mining’s water challenge than AMD

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     5th May 2017 With a range of water management challenges affecting the mining sector globally, industry needs to innovate solutions beyond its current focus on the treatment of acid mine drainage (AMD), says independent process industry consultant and chemical engineer Santosh Gunpath. He notes that during... 

More to mining’s water challenge than AMD
Photo by Megan van Wyngaardt
REPRESSED FOCUS Acid mine drainage has monopolised the industry’s focus because of its environmental impact

Settlement likely by year-end as parties in silicosis case pursue out-of-court option

By: Jade Davenport     5th May 2017 Mining companies facing a class action suit from mineworkers who developed silicosis on South Africa's gold mines, are anticipated to reach an out of court settlement before the close of the year. The class action, which was lodged in May 2016, comprises, according to attorney Richard Spoor, an... 

Settlement likely by year-end as parties in silicosis case  pursue out-of-court option

Water management strategy cannot be ignored

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     5th May 2017 With water scarcity and quality being fundamental risks to South Africa’s mines, necessitating that operations understand and develop water management strategies that ensure their viability, the comprehensive strategy of a North West platinum mine presents a level of management to aspire to,... 

Water management strategy cannot be ignored
Photo by Bloomberg
WATER INTENSIVE With mines requiring water in the majority of their processes, water management strategies are vital

Consulting engineering’s viability proportional to mining’s growth

By: Nadine James     28th April 2017 The consulting engineering industry’s sustainability and growth are largely dependent on and proportional to the mining industry’s sustainability and growth respectively, says industry body Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa). Cesa CEO Christopher Campbell notes that the success or decline... 

Consulting engineering’s viability proportional to mining’s growth
CHRISTOPHER CAMPBELL The current impasse between South Africa’s government and its mining industry needs to be resolved

Greater emphasis on ensuring sustainability

By: Nadine James     28th April 2017 Engineering expertise can be used to generate socioeconomic gains for mining companies, particularly in jurisdictions that are dependent on the finite business of mineral extraction, states global engineering and infrastructure advisory firm Aurecon, an adviser to the African mining sector.... 

Greater emphasis on  ensuring sustainability
ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION Engineering innovation could transform mining assets into new business opportunities

South Deep output 43% down, costs 56% up – Gold Fields

By: Martin Creamer     26th April 2017 Quarter-on-quarter gold production at the South Deep gold mine fell 43% in the first three months of 2017, when costs soared 56%, Gold Fields reported on Wednesday. All-in costs (AIC) at the mechanised mine, located 45 km southwest of Johannesburg, rose to a high level of $1 821/oz in the first... 

South Deep output 43% down, costs 56% up – Gold Fields
Photo by Duane Daws
Gold Fields CEO Nick Holland

Job losses loom at troubled Marula – Implats

By: Martin Creamer     26th April 2017 Despite ongoing engagement between all stakeholders to restore operational continuity and secure the financial sustainability of the Marula platinum operation, continued community protest action and persistently low metal prices have now necessitated a fundamental restructuring of the business to... 

Job losses loom at troubled Marula – Implats
Photo by Duane Daws
Acting Implats CEO Gerhard Potgieter

Anglo commits to innovative mining that’ll keep people out of harm’s way

By: Martin Creamer     25th April 2017 Keeping people out of harm’s way, extracting more precious ore and less waste rock, recycling all the required water and producing only dry tailings are among the innovative steps diversified mining company Anglo American is firmly committed to taking.  “The real future of mining lies in turning... 

Anglo commits to innovative mining that’ll keep people out of harm’s way
Anglo American Chairperson Sir John Parker

Strengthening fundamentals continue to bolster ‘new age’ metals outlook

By: Henry Lazenby     22nd April 2017 ‘Big money’ investors are increasingly looking to invest in the relatively small ‘new-age metals’ space, comprising metals such as lithium, graphite and cobalt, as strengthening fundamentals for these minerals and an unprecedented high-impact investment opportunity draw the potential for bonanza... 

Strengthening fundamentals continue to bolster ‘new age’ metals outlook

Digging deeper becoming more attractive, financially possible

By: Victor Moolman     21st April 2017 Developing a new shaft is regarded as a grudge purchase by mining companies and their shareholders because of the capital-intensive nature of such projects. However, 2017 Rapid Underground Mine & Civil Access Conference organising chairperson Murray Macnab avers that underground orebodies are... 

Digging deeper becoming more  attractive, financially possible
NEW SHAFT APPEAL New underground shafts can be expensive, but have larger returns on investment than opencast mines

Concentrator closed after supervisor killed at Codelco’s Salvador mine, Chile

By: Henry Lazenby     18th April 2017 A supervisor has died at Codelco’s Salvador mine, in Chile, following an accident at the flotation plant, the company reported Tuesday. The Chilean State-owned miner said its Salvador division immediately shut down the concentrator plan and started “rigorous” procedures such as informing the... 

Mines seeking to ensure safe, productive operations

By: Ilan Solomons     14th April 2017 Amid the scramble to acquire capital for reinvestment in the mining industry, a group of executives participated in a roundtable discussion at the recent 2017 Investing in African Mining Indaba, in Cape Town, to deliberate ways of escaping the ‘boom-and-bust’ cycle endemic to the mining industry.... 

Mines seeking to ensure safe, productive operations
SAFETY SPOTLIGHT Cultural changes within organisations are imperative to drive actual improvement in safety standards at mines

South Deep rebase plan paving way for healthier economics, safer mining

By: Dylan Slater     14th April 2017 The South Deep mine, in Westonaria, is set to steadily ramp up production using its fully mechanised deep-level underground fleet, allowing for operations to be conducted at increasingly greater efficiencies while improving the health and safety of personnel, as well as morale.  

South Deep rebase plan paving way for healthier economics, safer mining
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