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More miners seeking contractor support for short-term planning

By: Bruce Montiea An increased number of mining companies are seeking support from contractors for short-term tactical planning, as opposed to only long-term, strategic and life-of-mine planning, says opencast and underground mining consultant Sound Mining. However, Sound Mining director Vaughn Duke warns against... 

More miners seeking contractor support for short-term planning
Photo by Bloomberg
PLANNING A MINE An increased number of mining companies are seeking support from contractors for short-term tactical planning

State miner developing new projects, eyeing acquisitions

By: Ilan Solomons Leveraging off the ongoing success of its existing Vlakfontein colliery, near Ogies, in Mpumalanga, State-owned mining company African Exploration Mining and Finance Corporation (AEMFC) plans to expand its project portfolio, AEMFC corporate strategy and planning GM Sicelo Sikakane informed Mining... 

State miner developing new projects, eyeing acquisitions
Photo by Duane Daws
ASSET AUGMENTATION African Exploration Mining and Finance Corporation is developing its underground torbanite and thermal coal T-project, north-west of Kinross, in Mpumalanga

Fatigue-monitoring COP welcomed

By: Pimani Baloyi Fatigue-management advocacy company Fatigue Sharks and technology developer Prism Services have welcomed the Department of Mineral Resources’ (DMR’s) code of practice (COP) on risk based fatigue management, which requires miners to compile and implement a code to monitor and take fatigue into... 

Fatigue-monitoring COP welcomed
Photo by Duane Daws
ADVOCACY Doug Potter and Jeff Sease maintain fatigue is a real health hazard for workers

Chamber reveals plan to get South Africa’s ‘great mining industry’ back on front foot

By: Martin Creamer The Chamber of Mines of South Africa on Wednesday revealed a strategic plan to get South Africa’s “great mining industry” back on the front foot. Speaking at the well-attended 125th annual general meeting (AGM) of the historic organisation, chamber president Mike Teke – who was re-elected for a... 

Chamber reveals plan to get South Africa’s ‘great mining industry’ back on front foot
Photo by Duane Daws
Chamber president Mike Teke (right) having a word with his vice-president Graham Briggs.

South32 shares rise on JSE debut, BHP Billiton shares fall

By: Martin Creamer Value generation from the assets of South32 in the months ahead of its debut on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) is indicative the upside potential of the triple-listed BHP Billiton spin-off company, which saw its shares end up well in the money at the JSE's close on Monday and those of BHP... 

South32 shares rise on JSE debut, BHP Billiton shares fall
Photo by Duane Daws
Mike Fraser (left) with Martin Creamer at South32 listing.

3M aiming to increase sales to mining sector

By: Ilan Solomons Mining forms an important part of all Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries’ economies, and diversified technology company 3M aims to increase sales volumes in this sector by continuously improving its product offering, says 3M South Africa and SADC MD Ismail Mapara. The company... 

3M aiming to increase sales to mining sector
CONTINUOUS INNOVATION 3M introduced a range of new products to the mining sector, including safety glasses and respiratory support equipment, in the fourth quarter of 2014

AEMFC aiming to increase output from 1.6Mt to 2.2Mt by end of current fiscal year

By: Ilan Solomons State-owned mining company African Exploration Mining and Finance Corporation’s (AEMFC’s) Vlakfontein mine’s current run-of-mine (RoM) production output averages about 1.6-million tons a year, which the company aims to increase to about 2.2-million tons by the end of the current financial year,... 

AEMFC aiming to increase output from 1.6Mt to 2.2Mt  by end of current fiscal year
Photo by Duane Daws
VLAKFONTEIN MINING PIT To meet the target of increasing production output, Vlakfontein is undertaking a R155-million Phase 2 expansion project

A premium should be placed on reputational risks to diamond sector – Debswana security chief

By: Ilan Solomons Buying diamonds is a highly discretionary procedure and their value depends entirely on peoples’ perception of their worth, Botswana-based diamond mining company Debswana security head Mpho Kewakae said during his presentation at business-to-business events organiser Fleming Gulf’s 2015 African... 

A premium should be placed on reputational risks to diamond sector – Debswana security chief
SECURING THE DIAMOND DREAM Debswana places a significant emphasis on security and governance assurance, as well as security systems and technical solutions

Brazil’s Vale stresses importance of community engagement

By: Ilan Solomons Community engagement is critically important to ensure the safety, security and sustainability of any mining operation, stresses Brazilian mining major Vale corporate security and crisis manager Ademar Barros Moura Filho. “Community protests are currently the greatest challenge for our mining... 

Brazil’s Vale stresses importance of  community engagement
Photo by Fabiola Ortiz/IPS
PROTEST PROBLEMS Vale’s mines in Brazil were affected by 14 community-led protests, which resulted in losses of $400-million for the company in 2014

Stonewall aiming to mine 36 000 oz/y from Mpumalanga tailings in next ten years

By: Ilan Solomons Gold miner Stonewall Resources aims to produce 36 000 oz/y of gold during the next ten years from premined residue at its Transvaal Gold Mining Estate (TGME) complex, in the Sabie-Pilgrim’s Rest goldfield, in Mpumalanga. Stonewall CEO Lloyd Birrell told Mining Weekly during a visit to the... 

Stonewall aiming to mine 36 000 oz/y  from Mpumalanga tailings in next ten years
IN SITU GOLD RESIDUE Transvaal Gold Mining Estate’s stopes stopes contain about 36-million tonnes of gold-bearing premined residue

Threat of a fire ever present at mines – consultant

By: Ilan Solomons The risk of a fire occurring at a mine is a significant threat that South African mines are well aware of and try to prevent from occurring, states industrial risk solutions provider Collaborative Risk Applications CEO Schalk Willem Lubbe. “It is clear that all fires cannot be prevented. We are,... 

Threat of a fire ever present at mines – consultant
CAULDRON CONUNDRUM Large surface drilling machines and mobile mining plants are some of the equipment that are most at risk of catching fire

South32 set to hit ground running after 98% BHP 'yes' vote 

By: Martin Creamer The demerging South32 mining company, which is set to hit the ground running after receiving an overwhelming 98.05% yes vote from BHP Billiton shareholders on Wednesday, is at an advanced stage of planning a global shared service centre in South Africa, which will create 200 new quality jobs.... 

South32 set to hit ground running after 98% BHP 'yes' vote
Photo by Bloomberg
Andrew Mackenzie

Sasol nears tail end of R15.3bn mine replacement project in Secunda 

By: Natalie Greve A sweeping R15.3-billion project that will replace three of petrochemical group Sasol’s ageing coal mines across the Secunda coalfields of Mpumalanga continues to advance within budget and will, once fully completed in 2016, supply the group’s nearby Synfuels complex with 42-million tons of coal... 

Sasol nears tail end of R15.3bn mine replacement project in Secunda
Photo by Duane Daws
Sasol Mining senior VP Peter Steenkamp

Simulation enhances preparation of mining learners

By: Dylan Slater Using simulation facilities, such as mining environment mock-ups, coupled with electronic-learning (e-learning) techniques, holds significant benefits when training mining personnel, says mining services company Murray & Roberts Cementation. Murray & Roberts Cementation risk manager Tony... 

Simulation enhances preparation  of mining learners
Tony Pretorius (far right) instructs trainees at the academy at Bentley Park

Conference to focus on sustainable reporting, transparency

By: Ilan Solomons Sustainable reporting organisation Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI’s) Africa regional conference will bring together hundreds of experts and provide a platform for enhancing the value of sustainability reporting and encouraging greater levels of corporate disclosure and accountability, GRI... 

Conference to focus on sustainable reporting, transparency
DOUGLAS KATIVU IN CONVERSATION WITH MINING WEEKLY ONLINE

Mining companies advised to invest in the future

By: Bruce Montiea Despite tough conditions currently, mining companies should still invest in building their operations for the future, as “the cycle will eventually turn”, says consulting engineers and scientists SRK Consulting chairperson and corporate consultant Roger Dixon. He adds that it is important for a... 

Mining companies advised to invest in the future
Photo by Bloomberg
ORCHESTRATING SURVIVAL Consuting engineers can assist mining companies in surviving difficult conditions by reviewing their plans and providing realistic advice

SA mines not resting on their laurels despite 2014 fatality figure being the lowest ever

By: Ilan Solomons The South African mining industry has made significant strides in the past 50 years to improve health and safety standards, with 2014 culminating in the lowest fatality figure ever recorded. Nonetheless, the 281 dependants of the 84 miners who were fatally injured last year remained without a... 

SA mines not resting on their laurels despite 2014 fatality figure being the lowest ever

DRDGold records higher Q3 profit, production and sales

By: Ilan Solomons JSE- and NYSE-listed surface gold miner DRDGold’s operating profit increased by 16% quarter-on-quarter to R97.6-million for the quarter ended March 31, reflecting higher gold production and sales, as well as a stronger average rand gold price. Gold production for the third quarter of the 2015... 

DRDGold records higher Q3 profit, production and sales

New dust buster initiative sounds potential death knell for silicosis scourge

By: Martin Creamer A spectacular new dust control system announced at a Chamber of Mines (CoM) of South Africa conference on Monday is described as the closest the industry has come to a silver bullet to put an end to the curse of silicosis and other lung diseases that have plagued the South African mining industry... 

New dust buster initiative sounds potential death knell for silicosis scourge
Photo by Duane Daws
Terence Goodlace

Brown moves to stabilise Eskom leadership with appointment of Molefe as acting CEO 

By: Terence Creamer Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown announced that Transnet's Brian Molefe had been seconded as acting CEO of Eskom, with immediate effect. Brown said the appointment formed part of government efforts to stabilise the Eskom leadership, following the suspension of four senior executives,... 

Brown moves to stabilise Eskom leadership with appointment of Molefe as acting CEO
Photo by Duane Daws
Minister Lynne Brown (in foreground) with Brian Molefe (far left) and Deputy Minister Bulelani Magwanishe at the Eskom announcement

Bakubung shaft sinking remains on track

By: Kimberley Smuts Shaft-sinking activities at platinum miner Wesizwe Platinum’s Bakubung mine, in the North West, remain on track, with the main and ventilation shafts now having reached a depth of 770 m. Shaft sinking started in 2012, following the receipt of $600-million in financing from the China Development... 

Bakubung shaft sinking remains on track
EVENED OUTOwing to additional development work done on the ventilation shaft, both shafts are now at the same depth

New system streamlines granting of licences, slashing lead times

By: Ilan Solomons The One Environmental Management System for granting prospecting and mining rights materialised as a result of the Department of Mineral Resources’ (DMR’s) strategy of ensuring sustainable growth and competitiveness in the local mining industry, says DMR mine environmental management deputy... 

New system streamlines granting of licences,  slashing lead times
CLEAR TIMEFRAMES The issuing of permits, licences and authorisations must be completed within 300 days for mining rights and within 197 days for prospecting rights

Uncontrolled, illegal sand mining has increased ‘dramatically’ in last five years

By: Ilan Solomons Illegal sand mining forms a significant part of the $200-billion global environmental crime challenge, says Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning environmental compliance and enforcement director Dr Eshaam Palmer. Palmer was addressing black-owned training and... 

Uncontrolled, illegal sand mining has increased ‘dramatically’ in last five years
A MUDDY MESS Illegal sand mining can result in soil erosion, sinkhole formation and the loss of biodiversity, as well as the contamination of soil, groundwater and surface water

Cash-fixated Gold Fields cleans up on marginal mining 

By: Martin Creamer South African mining company Gold Fields has cleaned up on marginal mining and wired itself for cash generation. Gold Fields’ three-year effort to put an end to marginal mining is backed up by strong filters to ensure that mining always generates cash, Gold Fields group competent person Tim... 

Cash-fixated Gold Fields cleans up on marginal mining
Photo by Duane Daws
Tim Rowland

South Deep’s problems should ease in second half – Gold Fields

By: Martin Creamer The problems hampering the South Deep gold mine, which represents 70% of Gold Fields gold reserves, should ease in the second half of 2015. Gold Fields CEO Nick Holland said at the company’s presentation of 2014 mineral resources and reserves on Tuesday that every effort was being made to... 

South Deep’s problems should ease in second half – Gold Fields
Photo by Duane Daws
Nick Holland and Tim Rowland

R450m outstanding benefit claims paid to ex-mineworkers

By: Megan van Wyngaardt In the past year, R450-million in claims have been paid to former Southern African miners to compensate them for unpaid pension, provident fund and service-award benefits. Given that this made only a small dent in the estimated R6-billion that was owed by the Mineworkers Provident Fund (MPF),... 

R450m outstanding benefit claims paid to ex-mineworkers
Photo by Duane Daws
Bhekinkosi Moyo

Power problems offering platinum huge demand opportunity 

By: Martin Creamer The electricity crisis is offering South Africa’s demand-hungry platinum mining companies a major opportunity to stimulate the offtake of platinum. State power utility Eskom’s loadshedding programme is elevating power-generating fuel cell technology - with platinum at its heart - to a new... 

Power problems offering platinum huge demand opportunity
Photo by Duane Daws
Kaya Ngqaka

Call for 1 000 MW platinum fuel cell commitment at chamber unveiling

By: Martin Creamer A call for platinum-rich South Africa to commit to 1 000 MW of platinum fuel cell-generated electricity by 2020 was made on Tuesday evening during the unveiling by Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies of Africa’s first platinum fuel cell baseload power unit, which has been installed at the... 

Call for 1 000 MW platinum fuel cell commitment at chamber unveiling

Champion of local PGMs exchange cites vested interests, lack of understanding as key impediments to its establishment

By: Ilan Solomons As more than 80% of the world’s known platinum group metals (PGMs) reserves are situated in South Africa, it is imperative that a PGMs exchange be established locally to ensure that the country receives maximum benefit from its mineral wealth, avers investment company Pan-African Investments &... 

Champion of local PGMs exchange cites vested interests,  lack of understanding as key impediments to its establishment

Eskom targeting 975 MW in savings as it restarts DSM schemes

By: Terence Creamer State-owned power utility Eskom, which halted its demand-side management (DSM) interventions last year owing to funding uncertainties, reports that some of the programmes will be restarted this year and that a savings target of 975 MW has been set. Speaking at a Fossil Fuel Foundation conference... 

Eskom targeting 975 MW in savings as it restarts DSM schemes
Andrew Etzinger

Early signs of another good year for diamond jewellery – De Beers

By: Martin Creamer Early signs that 2015 will be another positive year for the diamond industry are being given by Valentine’s Day demand in the US and Chinese New Year sales in China. De Beers strategy director Bruce Cleaver, who spoke to Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly Online in a video interview following 2014's... 

Early signs of another good year for diamond jewellery – De Beers
Photo by Darlene Creamer
Bruce Cleaver
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