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Environmental News

Minnesota court orders fresh review of PolyMet mine permits

By: Reuters     29th April 2021 The Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered state regulators to reconsider some permits needed by PolyMet Mining Corp to build an openpit copper mine in the state's rural north, handing a win to environmentalists and delaying the project. The ruling from the state's top court comes as the... 

Ghana sends in army to enforce mining ban near rivers and lakes

By: Reuters     29th April 2021 Ghana's military has launched a nationwide operation to clear illegal miners out of its water bodies, the West African country's lands minister said in on Wednesday. Two hundred soldiers were deployed on Wednesday morning to lakes, rivers and waterways in the country's central and western regions... 

Mining robot stranded on Pacific Ocean floor in deep-sea mining trial

By: Reuters     28th April 2021 A seabed mining robot being tested on the Pacific Ocean floor at a depth of more than 4 km (13,000 ft) has become detached, the Belgian company running the experimental trial said on Wednesday. Global Sea Mineral Resources (GSR), the deep-sea exploratory division of dredging company DEME Group,... 

Northern Dynasty releases ESG for Pebble project

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     28th April 2021 TSX- and NYSE American-listed Northern Dynasty Minerals has completed an environmental, social and governance (ESG) report for its Pebble copper/gold/molybdenum/silver/rhenium project, in Alaska. The company notes that report addresses a range of progressive principles, practices and commitments... 

Northern Dynasty releases ESG for Pebble project

Tackling climate change could not be more urgent – Anglo American 

By: Martin Creamer     26th April 2021 Tackling climate change could not be more urgent, Anglo American said on Monday when it presented its biannual sustainability performance update. “For the emissions that we control in our business, we have come a long way, delivering our 2020 target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 22% a... 

Tackling climate change could not be more urgent – Anglo American
Photo by Creamer Media
From left, clockwise Mark Cutifani, Anik Michaud and Stephen Pearce

Anglo explores PGMs-based tech to simplify hydrogen storage in electric vehicles 

By: Martin Creamer     26th April 2021 Diversified mining and marketing company Anglo American, through its platinum group metals (PGMs) business Anglo American Platinum, is partnering with Umicore to research and develop technology that has the potential to transform the way hydrogen can be stored and used to power fuel cell electric... 

Anglo explores PGMs-based tech to simplify hydrogen storage in electric vehicles
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Anglo American executive head of PGMs market development Benny Oeyen

Battery metal rush pits miners against marine biologists

By: Bloomberg     26th April 2021 Controversial plans to mine the ocean floor face a key test this year when a United Nations body unveils rules that could spur the exploitation of hundreds of billions of dollars of battery metals. The International Seabed Authority is preparing to pass regulations in July that could trigger a... 

Battery metal rush pits miners against marine biologists

Newmont-Barrick miner in Chile says to continue despite legal setback

By: Reuters     26th April 2021 A partnership between miners Newmont and Barrick in Chile said on Friday it will to work with local communities to boost development of its Norte Abierto gold-copper project despite a setback in the courts this week. An environmental court ordered a new evaluation of exploration at Norte Abierto... 

Mining industry not expected to oppose third draft of Financial Provisioning Regulations – Webber Wentzel

By: Donna Slater     23rd April 2021 The April 22 publication of an intention by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) to again amend the transitional arrangements contained in the National Environmental Management Act (Nema) Financial Provisioning Regulations provides “more breathing room” for mining... 

Exxaro climate change specialist appointed vice-chair of industry task team

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd April 2021 Diversified miner Exxaro Resources has elected the group’s climate change specialist Dr Lerato Khumalo as vice-chairperson for the Industry Task Team on Climate Change (ITTCC). The voluntary, nonprofit association comprises several local energy-intensive companies across different business... 

Exxaro climate change specialist appointed vice-chair of industry task team
Exxaro climate change specialist Dr Lerato Khumalo

BHP invests in maritime decarbonisation center

22nd April 2021 Diversified miner BHP will invest S$10-million to support the establishment of a maritime decarbonisation centre in Singapore. The miner this week reported that it had signed a memorandum of cooperation (MoC) with Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) to become one of the founding... 

BHP invests in maritime decarbonisation center

Platinum use in vehicle emissions control systems increasing as new regulations kick in – WPIC 

By: Simone Liedtke     21st April 2021 Automotive demand for platinum is expected to grow by 25% year-on-year to reach almost three-million ounces this year, the World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) reports. The three-million-ounce demand forecast will be 5% higher than pre-pandemic levels. 

Platinum use in vehicle emissions control systems increasing as new regulations kick in – WPIC
Photo by Johnson Matthey
Gasoline three-way catalyst.

Rio trials new technology at Alma smelter

By: Esmarie Iannucci     21st April 2021 Major Rio Tinto’s Alma smelter, in Quebec, has been tapped for the first installation and demonstration of an inert anode technology developed by the ELYSIS joint venture (JV), at a commercial size. The demonstration plant would have a capacity of 450 kiloamperes (kA), which is a common... 

Australia invests A$540m in hydrogen and CCS

By: Esmarie Iannucci     21st April 2021 The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (Appea) has welcomed the federal government’s A$540-million investment into new hydrogen and carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects, saying it was a massive boost for the Australian oil and gas sector and would help to further... 

Australia invests A$540m in hydrogen and CCS
Photo by Bloomberg
Australian Prime Minster Scott Morrison

Arizona mining fight pits economy, EVs against conservation, culture

By: Reuters     20th April 2021 Early last year, Darrin Lewis paid $800 000 for a hardware store in a tiny Arizona town where mining giant Rio Tinto hopes to build one of the world's largest underground copper mines. Rio buys materials from Lewis's Superior Hardware & Lumber for its Resolution mine site, accounting for a third... 

Wescoal looking to possibly becoming broader energy company  

By: Martin Creamer     19th April 2021 The JSE-listed coal-mining company Wescoal is looking to possibly becoming a broader energy company in which coal remains a substantial but reducing component alongside other energy pursuits such as renewables, Wescoal interim CEO Robinson Ramaite said on Monday. Outlining the company’s major... 

Wescoal looking to possibly becoming broader energy company
Wescoal interim CEO Robinson Ramaite interviewed by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Nicholas Boyd. Pictures: Donna Slater.

Gas is the new coal with risk of $100bn in stranded assets

By: Bloomberg     19th April 2021 Natural gas is falling out of favor with emissions-wary investors and utilities at a quicker pace than coal did, catching some power generators unaware and potentially leaving them stuck with billions of dollars of assets they can’t sell. Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are among the... 

A$1bn emissions deal inked in South Australia

By: Esmarie Iannucci     19th April 2021 he Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (Appea) has welcomed the A$1.08-billion emissions reduction agreement between the federal and South Australian governments. The State Energy and Emissions Reduction Deal is expected to deliver secure, reliable and affordable energy... 

White House considers methane-busting vow before climate summit

By: Bloomberg     16th April 2021 The Biden administration is considering singling out methane for significant reductions as part of a pledge to cut greenhouse gases in advance of a climate summit next week, according to two people familiar with the matter. President Joe Biden is already expected to unveil an ambitious goal for... 

Gold, exploration and coal contracts make headlines  

16th April 2021 Mining Weekly Editor Martin Creamer unpacks Barberton’s potential to get South African gold mining going again, South Africa’s exploration industry's deadline to comment on controversial draft regulations and Treasury being asked to cancel coal contracts and replace them with new ones at double... 

Gold, exploration and coal contracts make headlines
Gold, exploration and coal contracts make headlines (Camera: Nicholas Boyd)

DRC exploration ongoing

16th April 2021 Global mining house Ivanhoe Mines co-chairpersons Robert Friedland and Yufeng “Miles” Sun announced in February that the company plans to commence an expansive 2021 exploration programme on its 100%-owned Western Foreland exploration licences. The exploration programme will include about 2 550... 

DRC exploration ongoing
EXPLORE MORE Ivanhoe Mines has begun its expansive 2021 exploration programme in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Consortium established to promote hydrogen mobility for mining industry 

By: Donna Slater     15th April 2021 Mining research and innovation company Mining3 and power utility Engie have started with the development of the Hydra Consortium, which is now actively working on validating the business case of using a hydrogen fuel-cell-based powertrain for heavy-duty mobility within the mining sector. This... 

Consortium established to promote hydrogen mobility for mining industry

Anglo American secures 100% renewables across its South American operations

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     15th April 2021 Diversified miner Anglo American has delivered on its commitment to source 100% renewable energy for all its operations in Brazil, Chile and Peru. The miner previously secured renewable energy to meet all of its power requirements for its iron-ore and nickel operations in Brazil from 2022, as... 

Anglo American secures 100% renewables across its South American operations
The Quellaveco copper operation, in Peru, will be powered by renewable energy.

BHP's biofuels test a success

By: Esmarie Iannucci     15th April 2021 Mining major BHP on Thursday announced that along with German shipping company Oldendorff Carriers, and advanced biofuels pioneer GoodFuels, the company had successfully completed the first trial of sustainable biofuel on an ocean-going vessel bunkered in Singapore. As part of the trial, a... 

'Deeds, not words': mining firms reshape boardrooms as investors demand sustainability

By: Reuters     13th April 2021 Under fire after a string of high-profile disasters, mining firms are shaking up their boardrooms in response to criticism that they are failing to meet their own environmental, social, and governance standards. Shareholders are demanding change from an industry whose reputation has been... 

'Deeds, not words': mining firms reshape boardrooms as investors demand sustainability

Environmental efforts offering resource opportunities - BHP

By: Esmarie Iannucci     13th April 2021 Diversified major BHP believed that global de-carbonisation efforts would hold significant opportunity for the resources sector. BHP’s Minerals Americas president Rag Udd told the World Copper Conference, in Chile, that the push across the world to decarbonize would require substantial... 

House GOP planning climate package to counter Democrats

By: Bloomberg     9th April 2021 House Republicans plan to unveil their own plan to fight climate change later this month, according to three people familiar with the matter, a reflection of the pressure on the party to come up with solutions to a problem it had previously denied or ignored. The legislative package, being... 

Barrick raises its GHG reduction target to 30% by 2030 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     8th April 2021 Gold major Barrick Gold Corporation has raised its greenhouse-gas emissions target to 30% by 2030, from 10% previously, its 2020 Sustainability Report, published on April 8, shows. CE Mark Bristow notes that the company's ultimate aim is to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. 

Barrick raises its GHG reduction target to 30% by 2030
Photo by Bloomberg
Barrick Gold CEO Mark Bristow

Investors call on EPA, Congress to protect Alaska’s Bristol Bay from mining impact

By: Simone Liedtke     8th April 2021 Fifty investors, managing $105-billion in assets, released a letter on April 8 calling for the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Congress to permanently protect Alaska’s Bristol Bay, and the world’s largest wild salmon fishery, against large-scale mining. While recognising the... 

Investors call on EPA, Congress to protect Alaska’s Bristol Bay from mining impact

Anglo American to demerge South African thermal coal assets 

By: Martin Creamer     8th April 2021 Diversified mining and marketing company Anglo American is to demerge its South Africa thermal coal operations, the company said on Thursday. The demerger is subject to the approval of Anglo’s shareholders on May 5. Anglo American Coal South Africa CEO and World Coal Association chairperson July... 

Anglo American to demerge South African thermal coal assets
Anglo thermal coal head July Ndlovu named as CEO of Thungela Resources.

Washington legislators call on BC to better protect transboundary watersheds

By: Mariaan Webb     7th April 2021 Washington state legislators have called on British Columbia to undertake reforms to improve the regulation of mining operations in the headwaters of their shared river basis, stressing that upstream mining operations could have major negative impacts on Washington. In a March 23 letter, 25... 

Washington legislators call on BC to better protect transboundary watersheds

Govt launches A$1.3bn MMI fund

By: Esmarie Iannucci     7th April 2021 The hydrogen technology, specialised batteries are expected to benefit from the government’s A$1.3-billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI). The MMI will help manufacturers to scale-up production, commercialise their products and operations, and integrate into domestic and global supply... 

Qld miners eye emission reduction technologies - survey

By: Esmarie Iannucci     7th April 2021 A survey undertaken by the Queensland Resource Council (QRC) has shown that its member companies were actively looking at new technologies, such as hydrogen to reduce emissions and grow business. “More than two-thirds of the CEOs surveyed said they were thinking about hydrogen-related... 

Value of iridium in electrolysis could top R90bn mark in years ahead – HySA 

By: Martin Creamer     7th April 2021 The value of iridium for proton exchange membrane (PEM) water electrolysis technology alone could exceed R90-billion in the next ten to 20 years. This is the view of Professor Dmitri Bessarabov, the director of the Department of Science and Innovation's National Centre of Competence: Hydrogen... 

Value of iridium in electrolysis could top R90bn mark in years ahead – HySA
Value chain as outlined by Professor Dmitri Bessarabov, the director of the Department of Science and Innovation's National Centre of Competence.

Canadian underground mining likely to take hydrogen ventilation lead – HySA 

By: Martin Creamer     6th April 2021 Canadian and Australian mines are big on wanting hydrogen ventilation in underground mining operations, and Canada will likely lead in the use of hydrogen underground. This is the view of Professor Dmitri Bessarabov, the director of the Department of Science and Innovation's National Centre of... 

Canadian underground mining likely to take hydrogen ventilation lead – HySA
Hydrogen South Africa hydrogen ventilation research site in North West.

Industry changes support trend towards sustainable mining

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     2nd April 2021 There have been several changes globally as well as in West Africa’s mining industry, with the industry steadily embracing a more sustainable approach to mining, highlights SRK associate partner principal resource geologist and country manager Ivan Doku.  Previously, mining in the region was... 

Industry changes support trend towards sustainable mining
EXPLORING NEW OPPORTUNITIES SRK Ghana is at the phase where young engineers will be drawn into multidisciplinary projects

Investment hindered by illegal mining, other challenges

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     2nd April 2021 While Ghana has benefited from significant long-term investment, it has also faced significant challenges over the years, the most notable being the significant and justifiable concerns regarding illegal mining operations, as well as regional security and stability, says law firm Beech Veltman... 

Investment hindered by illegal mining, other challenges
WARREN BEECH West Africa, and its institutions, such as the Economic Community of West African States, will need to continue relying on the cooperative, regional approach that has resulted in substantial benefits

Rio signs up for Japanese carbon network

By: Esmarie Iannucci     1st April 2021 Mining major Rio Tinto has joined Japan’s Green Value Chain Platform Network (GVC Network) to engage on innovative approaches to reduce Japan’s carbon footprint. The GVC Network is a collaboration established by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment to lead transparent decarbonisation efforts... 

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