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Health News

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... 

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

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

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

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

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

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... 

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

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

Centerra reports Kumtor mechanic killed

By: Henry Lazenby     12th April 2017 Canadian gold producer Centerra Gold has reported a fatality at the flagship Kumtor mine, located in Central Asian country Kyrgyzstan. The TSX-listed miner said a vehicle mechanic died in the field on Monday after he was fatally injured while inspecting a light vehicle pickup truck. 

LatAm water scarcity, pollution to drive more stringent enviro rules

By: Henry Lazenby     12th April 2017 New analysis by the research arm of the Fitch Group, BMI, forecasts water scarcity and contamination in Latin America will drive increasingly stringent environmental regulations in the region over the coming years. While increasing the costs for miners and delaying certain projects, the focus on... 

LatAm water scarcity, pollution to drive more stringent enviro rules

Digitalised mining can allow for deeper mining

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th April 2017 The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), in Johannesburg, will test its latest developments in digitalised mining technology in underground mining conditions in the next two months at the Sterkfontein caves, a World Heritage Site in Muldersdrift, near Krugersdorp.  

Digitalised mining can allow for deeper mining
Photo by Duane Daws
FRED CAWOOD Deeper mining will remain on hold until government can provide an effective national support system for mines

Electronic sensors to monitor explosive gases on deep mines

     7th April 2017 A Norwegian-African cooperative project aims to develop a communication network, which will wirelessly transmit and receive signals within deep-mine operations, where drilling, blasting and excavation take place to detect combustible gases before they explode.  

Preparing to keep top producer spot in S Africa

By: Robyn Wilkinson     7th April 2017 Gold producer AngloGold Ashanti has recommissioned a section of its Mine Waste Solutions operation, located in Stilfontein, in the North West, in order to maintain its current uranium production levels in anticipation of potential future upturns in the international market. 

Preparing to keep top producer spot in S Africa
MANAGING OPERATIONS The Great Noligwa mine was added to the Moab Khotsong operation in 2014, where uranium is produced as a by-product of gold production

Supplier working to improve service delivery, product offering

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th April 2017 To cater for increased demand for its products in the Steelpoort area, physical support systems supplier to the underground mining industry M and J Mining has expanded its Steelpoort depot, in Limpopo. Over the past two months, the area of the distribution depot has increased from 200 m2 to 1 000... 

Supplier working  to improve  service delivery, product offering
INDEPENDANT SOLUTION The Flexibolt allows for the installation of longer flexible support in high-risk mining areas without the need for secondary support screws

DMR to be more flexible with small-scale mining applicants

By: Ilan Solomons     7th April 2017 The Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) will “amend and relax” some of its conditions in issuing mining permits to small-scale miners, said Mineral Resources Deputy Minister Godfrey Oliphant last month. The Deputy Minister was speaking following the conclusion of a one-day workshop on illegal... 

DMR to be more flexible with small-scale mining applicants
Photo by Bloomberg
SHAFT SHUTTING CAMPAIGN The Department of Mineral Resources has spent a great deal of time and resources sealing and resealing old mining shafts used by illegal miners throughout the country

Firm says its ventilation solution will cut cost of ownership

By: Dylan Slater     7th April 2017 Ventilation systems provider TLT Actom is aiming its holistic Total Ventilation Solution at the domestic mining sector to provide its innovative ventilation fans as customised systems, which reduce cost of ownership and ensure working conditions are safe and that energy efficiency is enhanced.  

Firm says its  ventilation solution will cut cost  of ownership
GEARED FOR MINING The TLT Actom Total Ventilation Solution can be customised to deliver the required air at the required time

Platinum has best price improvement prospects – Major

By: Martin Creamer     6th April 2017 Platinum has better price improvement prospects than virtually any other commodity, Cadiz Corporate Solutions mining director Peter Major said on Thursday. Speaking at a breakfast to publicise the upcoming Junior Indaba on June 7 and 8, Major cast doubt on gold going much higher, said iron-ore... 

Platinum has best price improvement prospects – Major
Cadiz Corporate Solutions mining director Peter Major

Kusasalethu strike comes to an end

By: Natasha Odendaal     6th April 2017 After six days of ongoing industrial action at the Kusasalethu mine, near Carletonville, the striking workers have returned to work, Harmony Gold said on Thursday. Workers once again downed tools last week, prompting Harmony on Friday to seek an interdict from the Labour Court of South Africa to... 

Kusasalethu strike comes to an end
Harmony CEO Peter Steenkamp

Peak Mines ops suspended after worker dies

By: Henry Lazenby     4th April 2017 Operations at Canadian intermediate gold producer New Gold’s Peak Mines, in New South Wales, Australia, have been temporarily suspended after a contract worker died on Monday. The company reported that the worker had indicated he was feeling ill while working underground. The individual was... 

First load of rope handling equipment delivered

     31st March 2017 Mining equipment supplier Becker Mining South Africa has delivered the first load of winding rope attachments for a man and materials shaft winder to a client on the western limb of the Bushveld Igneous Complex, in the northern part of South Africa, which hosts the world’s largest reserves of... 

First load of  rope handling equipment delivered
ROPE REQUIREMENTS Four sets of head rope attachments and four sets of tail rope attachments are required for a 4.5-m-diameter drum of a Koepe winder

New drill logistically self-sufficient

By: Victor Moolman     31st March 2017 The new track-mounted VersaMobile KmN.8UM drill from mining equipment manufacturer VersaDrill Canada is self-sufficient to the point that it does not need mine vehicle involvement to facilitate its transportation when operating underground. 

New drill logistically self-sufficient
OPERATOR SAFETY To ensure that the operator is safe, the drill can be controlled remotely using a wired controller

Portable sanitation pioneer acquires hygiene company to spur growth

     31st March 2017 Portable sanitation company Sanitech, in its efforts to spur sustainable growth, successfully acquired Johannesburg-based hygiene cleaning company Gem-Care in January. Sanitech, which was the first portable toilet hire company in South Africa, has applied its experience and expertise to develop a... 

Portable sanitation  pioneer acquires hygiene company to spur growth
CLEANLINESS BREEDS PRODUCTIVITY Portable toilets and ablution facilities improve hygiene and consequently, productivity

Productivity at SA gold, platinum mines declined 49% from 1999 to 2014 – Chamber of Mines

By: David Oliveira     31st March 2017 Productivity in the platinum and gold mining sectors declined by 49% from 1999 to 2014, while labour costs increased by about 309% during the same period, Chamber of Mines (CoM) modernisation and safety intern Katlego Letsoalo noted earlier this month during The Southern African Institute of... 

Big boost for platinum as world's mayors tackle urban air pollution 

By: Martin Creamer     30th March 2017 The plans of the mayors of the world’s biggest cities to tackle urban air pollution head-on are a major plus for platinum, which catalyses the exhaust systems of vehicles and is the key metal in the emergence of emission-destroying fuel cells. The clean-air programme is being spearheaded by C40... 

Big boost for platinum as world's mayors tackle urban air pollution
World Platinum Investment Council CE Paul Wilson

Pallinghurst turns $45m profit, upbeat on 2017, mulling options

By: Martin Creamer     29th March 2017 Diversified mining company Pallinghurst, which made $45-million profit in 2016, is upbeat on 2017. The Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed company spoke of all three of its business platforms being well positioned for further growth and value-unlock. 

Pallinghurst turns $45m profit, upbeat on 2017, mulling options
Photo by Duane Daws
Pallinghurst CEO Arne Frandsen and chairperson Brian Gilbertson at JSE listing ten years ago this year.

Randgold hoists dividend 900% in ten years

By: Martin Creamer     28th March 2017 Gold mining company Randgold Resources on Tuesday reaffirmed its intention to increase its final dividend for the year ended December 31, 2016. Since its first dividend in its 2006 financial year, the yearly dividends have increased by 900% over the ten-year period. 

Randgold hoists dividend 900% in ten years
Photo by Duane Daws
Randgold Resources CEO Mark Bristow

Govt to ‘amend and relax’ laws for small-scale miners in bid to combat illegal mining

By: Ilan Solomons     24th March 2017 JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) –  The Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) will “amend and relax” some of its conditions in issuing mining permits to small-scale miners, Mineral Resources Deputy Minister Godfrey Oliphant said on Friday. The Deputy Minister was speaking following the conclusion... 

Govt to ‘amend and relax’ laws for small-scale miners in bid to combat illegal mining
Mineral Resources Deputy Minister Godfrey Oliphant

Greater demand for credible, local testing spurs growth

By: Johane Turkstra     24th March 2017 Local environmental laboratory X-Lab Earth Science plans to expand its support for air-quality testing companies servicing the mining and minerals industry as demand grows for accredited data analysis in this sector. X-Lab MD Quentin Hurt attributes the increasing demand for its services to... 

Greater demand for credible, local testing spurs growth
INTEREST GROWING There has been a substantial interest in air quality testing as there have been numerous high-profile issues that have developed around South Africa

Five PhD students graduate from Wits mining engineering school

By: Dylan Slater     24th March 2017 Building on its focus of high-level research and innovation for the mining sector, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) School of Mining Engineering has had another productive year with the graduation of five doctoral students.  

Five PhD students graduate from Wits mining engineering school
JANA JACOB Wits School of Mining Engineering student Jana Jacob researched how new methods of quantifying exploration risks can be developed in the absence of hard data

Digitalising underground drilling

     24th March 2017 Digitalisation will improve drilling accuracy and cycle times, and reduce operation costs by improving the efficiency of the drilling and bolting phase, says global engineering group Sandvik. “Drilling as planned, with accurate visual information, leads to continuous improvement across the whole... 

Digitalising underground drilling
DIGITAL DRILLING Sandvik AutoMine compatible underground offering allows customers to significantly upgrade their operations’ productivity and safety

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