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Environmental News

Capital raising under way for Limpopo iron plant 

By: Martin Creamer     13th June 2012 The raising of R800-million capital is under negotiation for the next stage of the iron-from-waste plant in South Africa’s Limpopo province, where a prototype plant is on track to be operational in the first half of 2013. This follows a major breakthrough in the process used, which is now... 

Govt, industry should partner on AMD – CoM’s Sibiya

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     12th June 2012 If the South African government was “serious” about resolving the country’s acid mine drainage (AMD) problem, it would have partner with the mining industry to find a sustainable solution, Chamber of Mines (CoM) CEO Bheki Sibiya said on Tuesday. Discussing sustainable development at the first... 

‘No-go’ mining areas to be announced soon – Molewa  

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     11th June 2012 Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu would soon announce ‘no-go’ areas for mining, based on ecological sensitivity, Environmental and Water Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said on Monday. Speaking at a business briefing in Johannesburg, she said that the Department of Environmental Affairs... 

Orica denies Yarwun environmental misconduct allegations

By: Esmarie Iannucci     11th June 2012 Mining services provider Orica has hit back at allegations of environmental misconduct at its sodium cyanide facility in Yarwun, Queensland. Queensland Environment and Heritage Protection Minister Andrew Powell last week confirmed that Orica had been charged with 279 offences of willfully... 

EIA for proposed phosphate mine undertaken

By: Leandi Kolver     8th June 2012 Environmental-impact assessments (EIAs) for a proposed phosphate mine and processing plant in Nampula province, Mozambique, are being undertaken by consulting engineers and scientists SRK Consulting. 

CoAL, Coalition extend deadline for MoA conclusion

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th June 2012 Coal of Africa Limited (CoAL) and the Save Mapungubwe Coalition would work towards coverting their memorandum of understanding (MoU) into a memorandum of agreement (MoA) over the next few months, the South African emerging coal miner said late on Wednesday. The parties, which initially targeted... 

State environ policy requires greater cohesion

By: Natalie Greve     5th June 2012 A greater degree of State policy coherence is required for an effective short-, medium- and long-term strategy for environmental sustainability in the local mining sector. "At the moment, industry is receiving mixed messages from government," National Business Initiative CEO Joanne Yawitch has... 

Environmentalists black out websites in protest against C-38 Bill

By: Henry Lazenby     5th June 2012 The websites of more that 500 Canadian organisations and businesses were blacked out on Monday as part of the ‘Black Out, Speak Out’ campaign against the Harper government’s controversial 452-page “omnibus budget Bill”. The Bill is said to contain legislation that effectively rewrites the... 

Burke ‘stops the clock’ on A$6.4bn Alpha coal project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     5th June 2012 A political scuffle between federal Environment Minister Tony Burke and Queensland deputy Premier Jeff Seeney has erupted over the environmental approval of the A$6.4-billion Alpha coal project, in the Galilee basin. Burke said he was “stopping the clock” on the environmental approvals process... 

Universal Coal lodges application for Mpumalanga thermal coal project

By: Nomvelo Buthelezi     1st June 2012 Coal mining company Universal Coal has applied for mining rights for the proposed Brakfontein thermal coal project, in Mpumalanga’s Delmas district.  

Queensland vows to cut ‘green tape’

By: Esmarie Iannucci     30th May 2012 The Queensland government has vowed to cut ‘green tape’ in an effort to boost small businesses in the state. Environment and Heritage Protection Minister Andrew Powell said that following consultation with industry, it had become clear that businesses needed certainty to invest, and flexibility... 

Kirkland Lake power restored, resumes operations

By: Henry Lazenby     29th May 2012 TSX-listed Kirkland Lake Gold on Tuesday said power was restored to its northern Ontario mill and mining complex on Monday, and that production would restart on Thursday, after dozens of wildfires caused power outages last week. It asked day-shift employees to return to work in order for the... 

Seafloor phosphate mining in prospect off Namibia 

By: Martin Creamer     29th May 2012 The proposed seafloor phosphate mining project in Namibia will be undertaken in an environmentally responsible and sensitive manner, Namibian Marine Phosphate project GM David Wellbeloved assures. Technology is available to ensure minimal environmental interference and the phosphate mining... 

Qld pushes Burke for clarity on Rio's bauxite expansion

By: Esmarie Iannucci     24th May 2012 The Queensland government has called on Federal Environment Minster Tony Burke to deliver a timeframe for his decision on diversified miner Rio Tinto’s bauxite mine expansion plans, in Cape York. The state’s Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning, Jeff... 

Romarco says Haile EIS decision delayed to 2013

By: Henry Lazenby     23rd May 2012 TSX-listed Romarco Minerals on Wednesday said it would now only receive a decision on its Federal 404 Wetlands permit for the Haile gold project, in South Carolina, on August 16, 2013. In February, Romarco said it expected permitting at the end of this year, and as a result would move... 

EPA report ‘pure hubris’, says Northern Dynasty CEO as shares capitulate

By: Matthew Hill     23rd May 2012 Shares in Northern Dynasty dropped like a stone on Tuesday, after a US government draft environmental report raised concerns about the contentious Pebble copper project in Alaska, which it owns half of. The Pebble project, which the Vancouver-based company jointly owns with Anglo American, is... 

New programme to assist miners and environmental organisations to work together

By: Yolandi Booyens     11th May 2012 A major challenge faced by the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF) is the absence of scientific evidence to prove the effect that mining, especially opencast mines, have on heritage sites. 

Public-sector pension investment group encouraging miners 
to be more ecofriendly

By: Keith Campbell     11th May 2012 The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) is seeking to encourage mining companies, in which it is invested, in to adopt environmentally-friendly policies. The PIC has investments in both listed and unlisted miners.


Environmental impact weighs heavy on opencast mining operations

By: Yolandi Booyens     11th May 2012 Opencast mining has become increasingly unpopular with nongovernmental organisations and government authorities owing to its high environmental footprint, but the method is still the most economical option for mining houses, says minerals industry consultant Venmyn director Neil McKenna. 

AMD problem in SA not widely understood

By: Leandi Kolver     4th May 2012 The biggest challenge in the effective treatment of acid mine drainage (AMD) in South Africa is finding solutions that integrate the technical, financial, environmental and community aspects and that are accepted by all stakeholders, says global management consulting firm AT Kearney. 

Innovation the answer to SA’s mining-related water concerns

By: Leandi Kolver     4th May 2012 Environment-friendly methods should be implemented to improve mine water quality because, if the water quality is good, mine water can be used as an alternative water resource, reports North-West University (NWU) hydrogeologist Professor Ingrid Dennis. 

Miner evaluating renewable-energy generation for US mine

By: Nomvelo Buthelezi     4th May 2012 Canada-based American Vanadium has engaged engineering and construction management services supplier Hanlon Engineering to evaluate the installation of renewable energy generation for its Gibellini mine, in central Nevada. 

SA to unveil new mining, biodiversity planning tool this year 

By: Terence Creamer     2nd May 2012 The South African government will launch a new ‘National Mining and Biodiversity Guideline’ later this year, which will provide the mining sector with a tool for integrating biodiversity considerations into planning processes. Addressing lawmakers on Wednesday, Water and Environmental Affairs... 

Professor calls for coal mining moratorium in river catchments until viable AMD mitigation measures are in place

By: Natalie Greve     27th April 2012 Until an extensive regional impact study has identified viable acid mine drainage (AMD) mitigation measures, a moratorium on new coal-mining operations in the Vaal, Usutu and Komati river catchment areas should be imposed to avoid the irreparable pollution of Highveld river systems, argues... 

Mining major developing ten-year water strategy

By: Natalie Greve     27th April 2012 As a result of more than 80% of mining giant Anglo American’s international operations and planned projects being located in water-stressed basins, the company has developed a three-staged, ten-year strategy aimed at reducing its impact on scarce water resources, and ultimately realising ‘zero... 

Avalon may build $302m rare earths plant in southern US

By: Henry Lazenby     13th April 2012 TSX- and NYSE-listed Avalon Rare Metals is negotiating with landowners for two potential sites in the US for a rare-earth element separation plant to treat product from its flagship Nechalacho project, in Canada. CEO Don Bubar said that Avalon sees the Gulf Coast region of the US as an... 

Tungsten, rare earths, molybdenum prospecting halted as Cape High Court grants interim interdict

By: Natalie Greve     13th April 2012 The Cape High Court has granted an interim interdict against prospecting activities for tungsten, molybdenum and rare earths by local explorer Bongani Minerals, near Piketberg, along the Cape’s West Coast. 

Kenya rare earths hopeful’s exploration licence gazetted pending conversion to mining lease

By: Nomvelo Buthelezi     13th April 2012 Kenya-based mining company Cortec Mining Kenya (CMK), the holders of special property license 256, has announced the gazetting by the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) of the environmental impact study report for a proposed conversion to mining lease for niobuim and associated rare... 

Mines will have to deal with ‘too much or too little’ water as climate change intensifies – SRK

By: Nomvelo Buthelezi     6th April 2012 Climate change will make some areas of South Africa wetter and others drier, says global consulting engineering group SRK Consulting partner and hydrologist Peter Shepherd, who warns that mines will have to deal with having too much or too little water.  

Ontario junior gets C$3.5m settlement to cede controversial claims

By: Matthew Hill     30th March 2012 Against a backdrop of simmering tensions between aboriginal communities and exploration companies in Ontario, the government announced on Thursday it reached a C$3.5-million settlement with God’s Lake Resources, whereby the company agreed to cede its claims over a contentious area. The move... 

Environmental ‘guerrilla tactics’ threatening resources investments – Ferguson

By: Esmarie Iannucci     28th March 2012 Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson has lashed out at environmental bodies using “guerrilla tactics” to frustrate economic development and job creation, specifically in the resources sector. Speaking in Brisbane on Wednesday, Ferguson noted that the environment had to be protected and... 

$1.1m water treatment project complete

By: Gia Costella     23rd March 2012 Local engineering specialists, Procon, have completed the installation of a $1.1-million water separation system for international mining giant Vale’s $2-billion Moatize coal-mining project, in Tete, Mozambique. 

Firm assists companies in developing environment-friendly operations

By: Gia Costella     23rd March 2012 Consulting engineering and project implementation firm Hatch Africa says it has become increasingly important for the mining industry to mitigate environmental impact and confront other issues that go beyond compliance with legislated environmental standards, which the mining industry has had to... 

Effective lubrication and filtration lower environmental footprint

By: Gia Costella     23rd March 2012 Using the correct filtration and lubrication system will help mining companies lower their energy consumption, reduce their carbon footprint and decrease their environmental impact, while improving production capacities, advises wear control specialist Filter Focus South Africa chief operating... 

Greater intervention needed to tackle acid mine drainage  

By: Gia Costella     23rd March 2012 The environmental risks and hazards associated with acid mine drainage (AMD) and radioactivity within South Africa’s Witwatersrand goldfields are issues that need to be tackled more seriously, despite current initiatives by government, reports environmental protection group Federation for a... 

SA may turn to private sector for help with mine-water pollution  

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     22nd March 2012 The South African government is considering turning to the private sector to help it close the prevailing funding gap to implement projects to deal with the serious acid mine drainage (AMD) problem being experienced across the Witwatersrand basins, Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna... 

Minister says short-term AMD plan sufficient, but more needs to be done 

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     20th March 2012 There is sufficient dilution capacity to ameliorate the untreated acid mine drainage (AMD) and neutralised AMD decanting from basins in the Witwatersrand between now and the end of 2014, Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said on Tuesday. In response to a Parliamentary question... 

Anglo Zimele reports substantial interest in Green Fund

By: Natasha Odendaal     20th March 2012 Anglo American enterprise development arm Zimele reported on Tuesday an “overwhelmingly” positive response from small enterprises in its Green Fund, with over 100 responses since its launch in November last year. Zimele committed R100-million over seven years to its Zimele Green Fund – an amount... 

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