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Environmental News

Report highlights enviro, financial risks of oil sands investment

By: Liezel Hill     17th May 2010 Oil sands companies need to move quickly to assess and respond to the growing challenges that face their industry, according to a report published on Monday, titled 'Canada's Oil Sands: Shrinking Window of Opportunity'. Investors in the sector will suffer, unless companies draw up and... 

Site-specific weather forecasting impacts on mine safety

By: Eleanor Seggie     14th May 2010 Weather forecast provider Weather Intelligence Systems (WIS) is providing site-specific, near-term, relevant weather forecasting to the mining industry through its WISPOP product, which enables mines to optimise production schedules and take safety precautions well in advance of inclement weather.  

Rand Uranium canvasses public’s views on planned Cooke tailings project

By: Jonathan Faurie     14th May 2010 Uranium mining major, Rand Uranium, has started the public consultation process for the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report relating to its Cooke mining facility, in Randfontein. 

Kinross aims to submit Lobo-Marte enviro statement in Feb 2011

By: Liezel Hill     13th May 2010 Toronto-based Kinross Gold plans to submit the environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) for its Lobo-Marte project, in Chile, by February next year, the company's Erling Villalobos said on Wednesday. Kinross completed a prefeasibility study in January this year for the project, which is... 

Don't just accept role of 'villain', miners told 

By: Liezel Hill     11th May 2010 The annual convention of the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy kicked off on Monday morning with a discussion on the vital issue of community relations, but not before a resounding pep talk from moderator and Canadian journalist and commentator Rex Murphy. From references to mining in... 

Teck, EPA discussing solutions on Red Dog permit

By: Liezel Hill     11th May 2010 Canadian diversified miner Teck Resources continues to hold talks with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about permitting requirements for the company's Red Dog zinc operation, CEO Don Lindsay said on Monday. “We remain in ongoing dialogue with the EPA and there are a number of... 

A closer look at the 
vegetative rehabilitation of opencast mines

By: Tracy Hancock     7th May 2010 For the past 41 years, specialist environmental rehabilitation and erosion control company Hydromulch has played an integral part in the rehabilitation of opencast mines. Through the development of its own specific equipment, products, methods of hydraulic seeding and vegetation restoration to... 

Victory Nickel files EIS for Minago project

By: Liezel Hill     5th May 2010 TSX-listed Victory Nickel has completed an environmental impact statement (EIS) for its Minago sulphide nickel deposit in Manitoba's Thompson Nickel belt, and submitted the document to regulators in the Canadian province, the firm said on Tuesday. "Completion of the EIS and submission of the... 

Doe Run given to end-July to reopen smelter

By: Francisca Pouiller     28th April 2010 Doe Run Peru been granted another 30 days to prepare for a restart of its La Oroya smelter, but the government of Peru warned that their would be penalties if the new deadline is not met. This would be the last extension the mining company would ask for, authorities said after a meeting held on... 

Xolobeni task team completes report, but process being questioned

By: Christy van der Merwe     26th April 2010 The task team established to advise the Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu on the proposed heavy minerals mine at Xolobeni on South Africa's Wild Coast has submitted its report and recommendations to the Director General and a final decision is now awaited. The report is meant to advise... 

C-300 MP makes his case to a room full of miners 

By: Liezel Hill     15th April 2010 It was a case of Daniel entering the lion's den in downtown Toronto on Thursday, as Canadian Liberal MP John McKay, who tabled the contentious Bill C-300, stood up to address a lunch gathering of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum. Canada's mining companies and their... 

Court allows Barrick to keep mining at Cortez Hills

By: Liezel Hill     14th April 2010 A US Distric Court has said Barrick Gold can continue mining at its Cortez Hills operation, in Nevada, while court-ordered environmental assessments are under way. Barrick had applied for a limited injunction to allow operations to continue, while the Bureau of Land Management completes a study... 

BacTech inks pact with Cobalt tailings owner

By: Liezel Hill     13th April 2010 Toronto-based BacTech Mining, which hopes to use its patented bioleaching technology to reprocess and neutralise historic arsenic-laden mine tailings, has signed an agreement giving it access to as much as 10-million tons of tailings in northern Ontario, the company reported on Tuesday. BacTech... 

Trade union to launch 'earnest cooperation' campaign in bid to tackle SA's water challenges

By: Petronel Smit     9th April 2010 The trade union United Association of South Africa (UASA) intends to approach the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) in terms of Section 77 of the Labour Relations Act, in an effort to rectify the poor state of local water affairs, partially issues related to acid mine... 

Argentina province mulls policy change to allow openpit mining

By: Francisca Pouiller     31st March 2010 Provincial officials and mining-sector representatives in Argentina's Chubut province are meeting to discuss potential changes in policy that would allow openpit mining in some areas. Although mining operations in the province’s Andes territory have been ruled out, discussions are under way on... 

EPA wants to veto Arch Coal mine permit

By: Liezel Hill     26th March 2010 The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed that a permit allowing mountain-top mining practices at Arch Coal's Spruce No 1 mine be vetoed under the Clean Water Act, the agency said on Friday. The West Virginia mine, one of the largest mountaintop removal operations ever proposed... 

Taseko could get Prosperity govt approval late Q3

By: Liezel Hill     19th March 2010 Vancouver-based Taseko Mines could get federal government approval for its Prosperity gold/copper project, in British Columbia, near the end of the third quarter this year, executives said on Friday. By that point, Taseko expects to have secured at least 75% of the C$800-million-plus project... 

New air quality monitoring 
system introduced into South African industry

By: Mary-Anne O’Donnell     19th March 2010 International environmental air quality monitoring specialists Aeroqual has launched its AQM 60 Air Quality Station in South Africa. The unit introduces compact and cost effective air quality monitoring for industries and urban areas. 

Mines get to grips with green issues

19th March 2010 For the mining industry in Southern Africa, environmental and social issues are no longer ‘nice to have’ items, but are key to developing and running sustainable businesses. 

Bioremediation - nature restoring nature 

19th March 2010 Environmental solutions company Procon Environmental Technologies has noticed that local coal mines are creating landfill sites where they undertake their own remediation on site to prevent excessive environmental damage. 

Environmental company assigned to power station project

19th March 2010 Environmental consulting company Golder Associates head of the ecology division Danie Otto has recently completed his third search and rescue project for State-owned power utility Eskom's new Kusile power station, where hundreds of protected and endangered plant species have been preserved. 

Wonderfonteinspruit in final decision phase

By: Mary-Anne O’Donnell     19th March 2010 The Mining Interest Group (MIG), an environmental management group within the mining industry, chairperson Phillip Jacobs tells Mining Weekly that extensive studies relating to pollution performed on the Wonderfonteinspruit (WFS), in the Gauteng and North West provinces, have contributed towards... 

Smokeless incinerators for enhanced environmental protection

19th March 2010 Engineering product manufacturer Ai-Tec’s manufacturing arm Macrotec, specialises in the production of a wide range of engineering and mining products that includes smokeless incinerators designed for efficient performance and enhanced care for the environment. 

SRK completes due diligence study into ‘complex copper-mining operation’

By: Jonathan Faurie     19th March 2010 Diversified engineering company and scientists SRK Consulting recently completed a comprehensive due diligence (DD) study on a complex mining operation in Southern Africa. 

Optimum Coal's water treatment plant to be completed next month

By: Petronel Smit     19th March 2010 Local black-owned and controlled mining and exploration company Optimum Coal anticipates that its water treatment plant, with a daily desalinating capacity of 15-million litres, will be completed by April 2010. 

SA miners get subsidy to treat acid-mine drainage

By: Loni Prinsloo     18th March 2010 South Africa's Department of Water Affairs (DWA) announced on Thursday that it had made a R6,9-million subsidy available to assist the mines with the toxic tide of acid mine drainage (AMD) currently decanting in the west rand of Johannesburg. Speaking at a media gathering at Rand Uranium's... 

Cerro San Pedro receives permits, full operations resume – New Gold

By: Liezel Hill     17th March 2010 Restrictions on the explosives permits for the Cerro San Pedro mine, in Mexico, have been lifted and operations will return to normal, Vancouver-based New Gold said on Wednesday. The restrictions were lifted after a ruling by a Federal District Court in San Luis Potosi, that overturned an... 

Aurora’s Grootvlei water issues resolved, may still face court action

By: Chanel de Bruyn     12th March 2010 The water treatment problems at Aurora Empowerment Systems’ Groovlei mine, on Gauteng’s East Rand, have been “resolved”, Aurora Mining CEO Dawid Stander said on Friday. He told Mining Weekly Online that the mine had procured the flocculant and lime it needed to treat water from the operation,... 

Ground engineering firm provides mining services to industry

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     12th March 2010 South African diversified mining group Exxaro Resources contracted ground engineering and environmental services company Golder Associates to carry out a resource reserve audit, which was completed in December 2009. 

Rare-earth elements play significant role in low-carbon energy

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     12th March 2010 Looming electricity shortages, the apprehensive predictions of depletion of natural resources and the search for alternative energy has sparked a debate on the use of thorium, an element occurring in heavy minerals sands, as an energy supplier. 

Urgent decisions necessary to avoid environmental consequences

By: Loni Prinsloo     26th February 2010 With the relentless downpour of rain experienced across Gauteng during the past couple of months, mines in the area have been battling to keep the toxic tide of acid mine drainage (AMD) beneath surface. 

First Uranium says approval restored, shares leap

By: Liezel Hill     25th February 2010 TSX- and JSE-listed First Uranium has had a key environmental approval reinstated for a tailings storage facility at its Mine Waste Solutions (MWS) operation in South Africa, the company announced on Thursday. The company's shares surged on the news, and were up 34,6% in Toronto, at C$1,75 a... 

Centerra hopeful on Mongolia heap-leach OK, investment deal

By: Liezel Hill     24th February 2010 Canadian gold-miner Centerra Gold is hopeful that the ongoing shutdown of the heap-leach operations at its Mongolian mine will end soon, CFO Jeffrey Parr said on Wednesday. Authorities issued an order to suspend the Boroo mine's operating licences in June last year. The main operating licences... 

Patriot slides after W Virginia mine halted

By: Liezel Hill     23rd February 2010 Shares in US coal miner Patriot Coal were down 7,5% on Tuesday morning, after the firm announced on Monday evening that it had temporarily suspended mining at its Federal No 2 operation in West Virginia and was uncertain when operations will resume. Patriot said it discovered “potentially... 

Xstrata says tests show no excessive lead levels at Mount Isa

By: Esmarie Iannucci     22nd February 2010 Swiss-listed diversified miner Xstrata does not believe that its Australian Mount Isa mine had exceeded the regulatory limit for lead concentrate, but rather that data from an air-quality monitor might have been incorrect. The diversified miner on Monday responded to the Queensland Environment... 

SA Minister concerned over mining near Mapungubwe

By: Christy van der Merwe     19th February 2010 South Africa's Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Buyelwa Sonjica has voiced concern over the awarding of an "unconditional" new order mining right to emerging coal mining company Coal of Africa Limited (CoAL) for the Vele project near Mapungubwe, in Limpopo. The Department of... 

Queensland demands answers from Xstrata on lead emissions

By: Esmarie Iannucci     19th February 2010 The Queensland state government on Friday demanded answers from Swiss-based diversified miner Xstrata, after one of the Department of Environment and Resource Management’s site monitors, in Mount Isa, recorded levels of lead higher than those allowed under state legislation. Climate Change and... 

Teck's Red Dog operations uncertain after latest appeal

By: Liezel Hill     17th February 2010 Teck Resources may have to curtail operations at its Red Dog zinc mine, in Alaska, after environmental and tribal groups appealed a key permit issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency. If the appeal results in permitting delays beyond May, the company will probably halt production at Red... 

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