Chamber condemns platinum murders, mining urged to mimic oil, gas methods, Botswana ropes in Dutch for gas plan

23rd May 2014

By: Martin Creamer

Creamer Media Editor


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The brutal murders of mineworkers in Rustenburg’s platinum belt have been condemned “in the strongest terms”. Read on page 9 of this edition of Mining Weekly that denunciation by the Chamber of Mines of the cold-blooded killings followed pleadings by South Africa’s three major platinum mining companies for the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) to show respect for the rights of those wanting to return to work during the strike, which has entered its seventeenth week. Innumerable acts of assault have been reported as Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin continue to appeal for “strong and responsible leadership”, following AMCU’s earlier ominous statement that direct worker engagement by the companies could lead “to something else”, which was interpreted to mean the acceptance of violence and intimidation.

The mining sector should adopt some of the advanced modelling techniques that are common in the oil and gas sector, says Venmyn Deloitte MD Andy Clay on page 12 of this edition of Mining Weekly, where he forecasts that advanced modelling methods will become more important in mining. The oil and gas sector modelling is so highly developed that three-dimensional visualisation rooms allow people to ‘walk through’ orebodies. Its integrated nature take into account detailed geological structure and is seen as being ideal for South Africa’s deep coalfields in the basins destined for shale-gas exploration. “You have to drill and do the same type of geological modelling that you would have to do for a coal project but you need oil and gas reservoir techniques to work out the volumes,” says Clay. To watch a video on the subject, scan the barcode on page 12 with TagReader (at on your cellphone, or go to ‘Video Clips’ on

Botswana’s Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources has retained the Netherlands consulting firm Sewell & Associates to develop a national strategy for the exploitation of 30-trillion to 40-trillion cubic feet of coal-bed methane gas deposits in the Southern African country. The roadmap being developed for the coal-bed methane gas sector will investigate suitable use of the gas for power generation and exports, as is reported on page 12 of this edition of Mining Weekly. The World Bank is funding the study and the Ministry is amending the Mines and Minerals Act to streamline gas development. Anglo Coal, Tlou Energy, Karoo Sustainable Energy and Nata Energy are among the companies prospecting for coal-bed methane gas in Botswana, where gas is poised to become a significant contributor to the energy mix.

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Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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