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Environmental News

Nickel pig iron market contributes to Indonesian nickel mining growth

By: Cameron Mackay     19th April 2019 The growth of the nickel pig iron (NPI) market in Indonesia has led to the rapid increase of nickel mining operations in the country, says international metals and minerals consultancy Roskill senior analyst Olivier Masson. Nickel pig iron, a low-grade ferronickel, was created in China as a... 

Zinc inventories continue to fall

By: Cameron Mackay     19th April 2019 The poor performance of Chinese smelters and the closure of major zinc mines in the past two years have led to global and refined zinc inventories continuing to fall, says international commodities consultancy Core Consultants MD Lara Smith. “Many smelters last year chose not to buy expensive... 

Zinc inventories continue to fall
Photo by Bloomberg
REDUCED OUTPUT Many Chinese smelters last year chose not to buy expensive concentrate and instead cut down on consumption rates and production

China’s scrap regulations important factor in copper market

By: Cameron Mackay     19th April 2019 New legislation and regulations by the Chinese government for the import of scrap materials could be a significant factor in the copper market this year, suggests international metals and minerals consultancy Roskill associate consultant Jonathan Barnes. China announced plans in April last year... 

China’s scrap regulations important factor  in copper market
Photo by Bloomberg
RESTRICTED REGULATIONS As a result of regulations and a trade war, China will need to replace copper scrap units with imports of more refined copper

Africa will struggle to keep up with lead-producing countries, says Fitch

By: Cameron Mackay     19th April 2019 Africa will struggle to keep up with major lead-producing countries, such as China and Australia, owing to a lack of new projects in the pipeline, says credit and macro intelligence solutions provider Fitch Group commodities industry expert Diego Oliva-Velez. There are currently only four new... 

Africa will struggle to keep up with lead-producing countries, says Fitch
Photo by Bloomberg
ENVIRONMENTAL RESTRICTIONS As a highly polluting and toxic metal, global lead production will remain under pressure over the coming years

Bolsonaro says Brazil rainforest reserve may be opened to mining

By: Reuters     15th April 2019 Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Friday the country could open a vast reserve in the Amazon rainforest to mining, a move that his predecessor attempted before backtracking due to an international outcry by environmentalists. The National Reserve of Copper and Associates (Renca)... 

Exxaro reaffirms health, safety goals at Sustainability Summit

By: Simone Liedtke     12th April 2019 Empowered diversified miner Exxaro Resources on Friday reaffirmed its safety, health and environmental goals at its yearly Sustainability Summit, held in Lephalale, Limpopo. The summit is being held soon after the group celebrated a 24-month fatality-free milestone. 

Mantashe urges continued investment in clean coal tech   

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     12th April 2019 Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe on Friday commended Sasol for the “good work” it was doing and the opening of its new Impumelelo Colliery. He said it was notable that the opening of the mine came at a time when coal is under siege and that it should counter the narrative that coal is... 

Mantashe urges continued investment in clean coal tech
Sasol executive director and joint president and CEO Stephen Cornell provides details of the new Impumelelo colliery. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Minerals Council calls for delay of at least five years in carbon tax implementation

By: Rebecca Campbell     12th April 2019 The Minerals Council South Africa (Minerals Council), the representative body for the mining industry in the country, has called on government to delay the implementation of the new carbon tax. “The Minerals Council would like to see a delay of at least five years for the implementation of the... 

Minerals Council calls for delay of at least five years in carbon tax implementation

Hydrogen and platinum at centre of climate change solution – Anglo    

By: Martin Creamer     11th April 2019 Hydrogen is at the centre of the solution to climate change and platinum, in turn, is at the centre of hydrogen, London-based Anglo American executive head of market development Benny Oeyen emphasised when he spoke to Mining Weekly Online on the sidelines of this week’s Platinum Group Metals... 

Hydrogen and platinum at centre of climate change solution – Anglo
Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer speaks to Anglo American executive head of market development Benny Oeyen. Video: Nicholas Boyd. Photographs: Dylan Slater.

Nearly 2 000 Zambian villagers can sue Vedanta in English courts – Supreme Court

By: Reuters     10th April 2019 Nearly 2 000 Zambian villagers have the right to sue mining company Vedanta in the English courts, London's Supreme Court said on Wednesday, raising the prospect other companies could face legal action in England related to their activities abroad. India-listed Vedanta, which delisted from London... 

EPA clears Beyondie for development

By: Esmarie Iannucci     8th April 2019 The Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has granted environmental approval for the development of the Beyondie sulphate of potash (SOP) project. Kalium Lakes MD Brett Hazelden said on Monday that achieving EPA approval for the Beyondie project was another first for the... 

ERG joins UN Global Compact

By: Creamer Media Reporter      4th April 2019 Diversified natural resources group Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) has joined the United Nations Global Compact – the world’s largest voluntary corporate citizenship initiative. ERG has also undertaken to implement the compact's ten principles in the areas of human rights, labour the environment... 

Anglo hopes to run truck on hydrogen in 12 months – O’Neill 

By: Martin Creamer     3rd April 2019 Diversified mining company Anglo American hopes to have a truck running on hydrogen in the next 12 months, Anglo American technical director Tony O’Neill said on Wednesday, when he spoke of foreseeing the company’s installed diesel fleet one day being replaced by an electrical alternative.   To... 

Anglo hopes to run truck on hydrogen in 12 months – O’Neill
Photo by Anglo American
Graphic showing how sun can provide electricity to produce hydrogen that powers mine fleets.

Exxaro unveils new ultramodern headquarters 

By: Martin Creamer     28th March 2019 South Africa’s largest coal producer and black-empowered coal company Exxaro has unveiled its new ultramodern headquarters. The conneXXion, in Centurion, has e-parking bays for employees to charge their electric or hybrid vehicles while they work, and attractive central staircases to encourage... 

Exxaro unveils new ultramodern headquarters
New Exxaro headquarters

Canavan announces enviro regulation changes for oil and gas project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     26th March 2019 Recent changes to the Australian environmental regulations will require all environment plans for offshore oil and gas activities to be published, and draft environment plans for offshore seismic and exploratory drilling activities to be opened for public comment. Federal Resources Minister Matt... 

Gold surface tailings re-treater increases environmental spend

By: Thabi Madiba     22nd March 2019 South African gold producer DRDGOLD is continuing its progress on environmental initiatives, having increased its environmental spend by 23% to R51.6-million for the 2018 financial year. Total spending of R24.9-million in the first six months of the 2019 financial year was 28% higher than the... 

Gold surface tailings re-treater increases environmental spend
HARD AT WORK DRDGOLD reclaims and retreats gold mining waste – mine dumps – of previous miners

EIA recommendations essential for new mining projects

By: Thabi Madiba     22nd March 2019 It is crucial for mining companies to consider the recommendations of all the environmental impact assessments (EIAs) before the start of any new mining projects, says waste management solutions provider Interwaste business development and marketing director Kate Stubbs. Her statement follows the... 

EIA recommendations essential  for new mining projects
Photo by Bloomberg
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION Mining has a large environmental impact that affects not only the health and wellbeing of mining communities

Recovery process aiding cyanide detox

By: Thabi Madiba     22nd March 2019 To assist mining companies in managing and recovering cyanide, engineering consultancy AZMET Technology & Projects developed the AZMET cyanide recovery process (AZ-CRP) to provide an alternative to cyanide detoxification. AZMET’s focus is to provide a simpler and more cost-effective solution for... 

Industry adopting more sustainable approaches to mining activities

By: Thabi Madiba     22nd March 2019 As water balances are being calculated more precisely, the principles of reducing, reusing and recycling water are being adopted more strictly, as is the separation of clean from dirty water on mines. Consulting engineering firm WSP environment and energy senior associate Karen King states that... 

Industry adopting more sustainable approaches to mining activities
Photo by Creamer Media
WASTE REDUCTION Using cleaner production techniques, environmental control technologies and process re-engineering can further reduce waste output of mines

Company secures Canadian government funding for final process testwork

15th March 2019 Canadian rare earth elements (REE) exploration company Medallion Resources will receive up to $50 000 in funding from the Canadian federal government, through small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) assistance programme the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance... 

Company secures Canadian government funding for  final process testwork
Photo by Bloomberg
BY-PRODUCT MONAZITE Monazite sand is available as a by-product of heavy mineral sands mining operations and is recognised as an important commercial source of REEs

Global alliance looks to tackle tailings challenges

By: Nadine James     15th March 2019 Given the global challenges around mine waste, particularly around tailings, the Global Mineral Professionals Alliance (GMPA) –  a multinational collaboration between professional organisations for minerals – officially announced that it will undertake the Global Action on Tailings initiative.... 

Global alliance looks to tackle tailings challenges
Photo by Reuters
TAILINGS DEVASTATION Brazilian miner Vale has had two tailings disasters in four years, at the Mariana dam in 2015 and the Brumadinho dam in 2019

Coal will continue to be key resource for decades

15th March 2019 In its annual World Energy Outlook 2018, the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts that coal will remain the largest single source of electricity generation through to 2040, at 26% of global electricity.  Renewables will have a role to play as future energy sources for the country, region... 

WA EPA withdraws contested emission guidelines

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th March 2019 The Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has withdrawn its revised guidelines on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, saying that consultation with companies had revealed uncertainty on the technical aspects and practical implementation of the guidelines. The EPA last week... 

WA EPA withdraws contested emission guidelines

New EPA emission rules could scupper three Woodside projects

By: Esmarie Iannucci     13th March 2019 Australian oil and gas major Woodside has called for government intervention in the new greenhouse guidelines put forth by the Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), warning that the guidelines could jeopardise a 2020 investment decision on the Browse, Scarborough and Pluto... 

New EPA emission rules could scupper three Woodside projects

'No tomorrow' for many unless consumption falls – UN

By: Reuters     13th March 2019 Global exploitation of natural resources – from water, sand and timber to oil, coal and gemstones – has more than tripled in 50 years, the United Nations (UN) said on Tuesday, warning of devastating environmental impacts unless demand is reduced. Surging consumption of natural resources –... 

Eskom reform urgent to restore ferrochrome potential 

By: Martin Creamer     12th March 2019 The demise of State power utility Eskom has caused South Africa to lose its optimal position in the lucrative ferrochrome business. Because of Eskom’s decline, unbeneficiated chrome ore exports from South Africa to China have enabled the Asian giant to ascend up the ferrochrome production ladder. 

Eskom reform urgent to restore ferrochrome potential
Photo by Merafe
South African chrome underpins China's ferrochrome dominance.

Acacia designing new TSF at North Mara to prevent spillage into environment 

By: Simone Liedtke     8th March 2019 Gold miner Acacia Mining on Friday assured its shareholders that it was working on a solution to prevent any seepage from its tailing storage facility (TSF) at the North Mara mine, in Tanzania. The government of Tanzania had also directed the mine to resolve a spillage of water at its polishing... 

New emissions guidelines from WA watchdog raise concerns

By: Esmarie Iannucci     8th March 2019 The Western Australian government on Friday said that it would consult with the state’s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) after the release of new guidelines to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The EPA said that the revised guidelines would help proponents of significant proposals in the... 

New emissions guidelines from WA watchdog raise concerns

Multibillion-dollar Zim PGMs project making progress

By: Natasha Odendaal     8th March 2019 In the heart of the Great Dyke of Zimbabwe, within the world’s second-largest known platinum group metals (PGMs) deposits, exploration has started on the 23 903 ha mining area of the Karo platinum project. One year after Cyprus-based Karo Mining signed the $4.2-billion deal to develop the latest... 

Multibillion-dollar Zim PGMs project making progress

Energy solutions crucial to the future of mining

By: Mamaili Mamaila     1st March 2019 Renewable energy has become a very important part of the conversation in mining, says energy solutions provider MD for Africa John Lewis who attended the 2019 Investing in African Mining Indaba, held in Cape Town, last month. 

Energy solutions crucial to the  future of mining
ENERGY SOLUTIONS Power is central to an effective mining operation and constitutes a key investment decision for management teams, governments and investors

Freight rates drop as more ships become available – Assore 

By: Martin Creamer     27th February 2019 Freight rates have dropped quite substantially since the iron-ore tailings dam tragedy in Brazil ,with more vessels becoming available, Assore CEO Charles Walters reports. Since the Brumadinho dam disaster, some 30-million tonnes of iron-ore supply have been withdrawn from the market. 

Freight rates drop as more ships become available – Assore
Photo by Creamer Media
Assore CEO Charles Walters

Namibian uranium industry prepares for uptick

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     22nd February 2019 Amid a depressed market and low uranium prices, the Namibian uranium industry is streamlining operations through process optimisation and undertaking additional exploration, to overcome these challenges and be prepared for when the market improves, says Namibian Uranium Institute (NUI) executive... 

Namibian uranium industry  prepares for uptick
AWAITING BETTER DAYS Any development during 2019 depends entirely on and how quickly the uranium price continues its upward trend.

Microgrid hybrid solutions spark interest from mining companies

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     22nd February 2019 Although the development of microgrid hybrid power solutions in South African mines is still in its infancy, multidisciplinary engineering consulting firm WSP Africa director Dinesh Buldoo says there is growing interest from mining companies to offset the risks to their business that power supply... 

Microgrid hybrid solutions spark  interest from mining companies
IMPACT OF MINES Mines should create projects that are designed and constructed to feed into the surrounding areas and communities and that reduce the impact of their operations on the natural environment

Waste-to-energy viable option for mining operations

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     22nd February 2019 With the Germiston-based facility of waste management company Interwaste benchmarked to provide a consistent supply of up to 1 000 tons a month of waste-derived fuel, Interwaste CFO Jason McNeil says there is opportunity to develop such projects and supply alternative fuel to mines. “The facility... 

Consultancy implements responsible, sustainable practices for tailings facilities

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     22nd February 2019 Multidisciplinary engineering and environmental consultancy Knight Piésold aims to improve project sustainability this year and lower the possible risks that can arise from tailings facilities. This includes regular inspections, geotechnical investigations  and necessary slope analysis, says... 

Consultancy implements responsible, sustainable practices for tailings facilities
TESTS AND MORE TESTS CPTu Style tests measuring friction and pore pressure during the sounding enables the company to interpret how consolidated the material is

UG2 outperforms as Sibanye positions for new world ­  

By: Martin Creamer     21st February 2019 The soaring prices of rhodium and palladium have put new focus on the upper group two (UG2) reef, for long the poor cousin of Merensky reef in the hierarchy of platinum group metals (PGMs) mining. Merensky's predominant platinum content has made it the preferred reef for decades but UG2 is... 

UG2 outperforms as Sibanye positions for new world ­
Sibanye-Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman's results presentation reported on by Mining Weekly Online's Martin Creamer. Photograph: Creamer Media's Dylan Slater. Video: Creamer Media's Darlene Creamer.

Glencore auditing 140 slimes dams 

By: Martin Creamer     20th February 2019 Diversified mining and marketing company Glencore is auditing 140 slimes dams, 65 of them active and 75 of them closed. The company has been undertaking detailed assessments and audits of all material tailings storage facilities (TSFs) over the past three years, after accumulating a TSF... 

Glencore auditing 140 slimes dams
Photo by Glencore
Fifty-one percent of Glencore's tailings storage faciities are upstream dams.

Coal capped at 150 Mt/y – Glencore 

By: Martin Creamer     20th February 2019 Diversified mining and marketing company Glencore has capped its coal capacity at 150-million tonnes of coal a year, a figure that it is close to and which it will not exceed. The company has been working on the cap with its investors since 2016 in the interests of the transitioning to a low... 

Coal capped at 150 Mt/y – Glencore
Photo by Glencore
Glencore is using wind turbine generated energy in Canada and Australia
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