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Environmental News

Prospective mining areas excluded from Limmen park

By: Esmarie Iannucci     16th March 2012 The Northern Territory on Friday announced that prospective mining areas would, initially, not be included in the proposed Limmen National Park and Limmen Bight Marine Park. Minister for Parks and Wildlife Karl Hampton said that it had been long acknowledged that the proposal included highly... 

Australia to probe impact of Rio expansion on Great Barrier Reef

By: Esmarie Iannucci     16th March 2012 Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke on Friday tightened the environmental supervision of diversified miner Rio Tinto’s proposed A$1.4-billion Weipa bauxite mine expansion, in Cape York. Burke said that after considering “significant” new information, he had determined that the assessment... 

Carbon capture could deal with energy-intensive mining industry’s challenge

By: Yolandi Booyens     16th March 2012 More than 90 % of South Africa’s electricity is generated from coal, resulting in the release of about 440-million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) a year.  

Environment-friendly cooling method suited to coal mines

By: Yolandi Booyens     16th March 2012 Water solutions provider IDE Technologies is now able to assist coal mines to improve their environmental impact while also saving capital 

Junior coal producer plans to move wash plant in 2013

By: Yolandi Booyens     16th March 2012 Junior coal producer South African Coal Mining Holdings (SACMH) upgraded its wash plant at its Umlabu colliery near the end of last year and plans to move this plant in 2013 to a more suitable area in response to environmental regulations. 

South African ferrochrome in meltdown, urgent intervention needed

By: Martin Creamer     16th March 2012 South Africa’s ferrochrome industry is speaking with one voice when it says that its in meltdown mode – but at least one trader is as vociferous that the proposed imposition of a temporary export tax will also cause economic hurt. It is the typical standoff between producer and trader that only... 

Search for coal leads to Canada's high Arctic

By: Matthew Hill     14th March 2012 Iron-ore mining on Baffin Island? Child's play. A newly floated company, Canada Coal, is hoping to build a coal mine on Ellesmere Island, the northernmost tip of which is just 800 km from the North Pole. “I firmly believe we have what could be a world class deposit up there,” commented CEO Braam... 

Minerals Council expresses concern over park boundary changes

By: Esmarie Iannucci     13th March 2012 The Minerals Council of Australia has renewed calls for an open and transparent decision-making process, after it was revealed that the Northern Territory government had revised the original boundaries of the proposed Limmen National Park, in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Boundaries for the proposed... 

CoAL confirms hard coking coal at Makhado, eyes Indian market 

By: Martin Creamer     12th March 2012 Product testing has confirmed hard coking coal at the Makhado project for which the Indian market is being eyed. 

‘Feed-in tariff’ would encourage private-sector treatment of AMD – Wits economist

By: Natalie Greve     9th March 2012 A feed-in tariff (FIT) framework, similar to that used to encourage the generation of electricity from renewable energy sources, could be used to encourage private sector companies to treat acid mine drainage (AMD) in the Witwatersrand basins. 

Tree distribution collaboration to result in sequestration of 36 476 t of carbon dioxide

By: Natalie Greve     9th March 2012 Major gold miner AngloGold Ashanti’s partnership with social enterprise developer Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) has, since 2006, resulted in the distribution of 13 460 trees to disadvantaged areas near their operations in the North West province, and will result in the sequestration of about 36... 

QRC-led delegation to meet with Unesco over Great Barrier Reef

By: Esmarie Iannucci     8th March 2012 The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) on Thursday said that it would emphasise the importance of the Great Barrier Reef’s world heritage site status to a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) monitoring mission. The Unesco team is in Australia owing to... 

Canadian uranium ownership policy to remain for now: Oliver

By: Matthew Hill     6th March 2012 Foreign-owned uranium companies hoping to build uranium mines in Canada, including diversified giant Rio Tinto and Australia’s Paladin Energy might be disappointed that the federal government still has no plans to change a policy that restricts production of the nuclear fuel to majority owned... 

Exxaro, Tata move power JV forward

By: Natasha Odendaal     5th March 2012 South African diversified resources company Exxaro and India-based power utility Tata Power Company, through its subsidiary Khopoli Investments, are expected to launch a 50:50 joint venture (JV) energy company next month. The initial project pipeline of Cennergi, which will be based in South... 

Smitspan development halted as Firestone brings in new investor

By: Henry Lazenby     1st March 2012 Coal development company Firestone Energy on Thursday said it had stopped all exploration and development work at its Smitspan farm coal project until the new parameters of the project had been finalised, following a multinational cornerstone investor coming onboard. The company said it was in... 

ERA to study surface water at Ranger

By: Esmarie Iannucci     1st March 2012 Uranium miner Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) has launched an independent surface water study at its Ranger mine, in the Northern Territory, and the decommissioning of an interim water management pond on the Jabiluka lease. The miner said on Thursday that the independent surface water study... 

Collaboration helping to mitigate impact of mining on Highveld grasslands

By: Natalie Greve     24th February 2012 An ongoing partnership between the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), key regulatory agencies, and major players in the mining industry is piloting the development of strategic management and rehabilitation programmes to protect the Highveld grasslands biome and key wetland... 

Coal miner Exxaro to submit five renewable energy bids 

By: Natasha Odendaal     23rd February 2012 South Africa’s second-largest coal miner Exxaro Resources moving ahead with plans to generate clean energy.  

Northern Dynasty sees consortium of majors developing Pebble as permitting approaches 

By: Matthew Hill     18th February 2012 The massive, and equally controversial, Pebble project in Alaska will most likely be developed by a consortium of major mining firms, a spokesperson for Northern Dynasty, the 50% owner, said this week. The TSX-listed company, which has Rio Tinto as a near-19% stake, has been keeping potential... 

Miners search for water in WA

By: Esmarie Iannucci     17th February 2012 Miners BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals, along with several other major industrial companies in the Port Hedland area would fund a A$6-million drilling investigation programme for a water supply scheme. Environment and Water Minister Bill Marmion said on Friday that the companies had joined... 

Vale OKs $2bn project to curb Sudbury emissions

By: Matthew Hill     17th February 2012 Vale, the biggest miner globally after BHP Billiton, has approved a $2-billion project to cut sulphur dioxide emissions at its Sudbury smelter by 70%, the company said on Thursday. The smelter will operate normally during the upgrade, expected to last from April to the end of 2015. 

Slow start, but Canada diamond ice road operators not panicking

By: Matthew Hill     14th February 2012 Above zero temperatures have set the 600-km ice road connecting diamond mines in Canada’s Northwest Territories with supplies slightly behind schedule since trucking began at the start of the month, but there is no reason to panic yet, the man in charge of the operation said on Tuesday. The road... 

$600m Dutwa on ‘aggressive’ project timeline

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th February 2012 London- and Johannesburg-listed African Eagle Resources said on Monday it was pursuing an “aggressive” development timeline for its flagship Dutwa nickel project, in Tanzania, which was currently expect to cost $600-million to develop. The company, which secured a 10% International Finance... 

Rio vows to protect freshwater crab species near mine

By: Esmarie Iannucci     13th February 2012 Mining giant Rio Tinto’s Alcan division on Monday announced the introduction of new environmental plans for its proposed expanded bauxite operations, in Cape York to protect a potential new species of freshwater crab. The Winda Winda Creek, where the crab was discovered, would be protected from... 

Energy efficient products high priority in mining industry

By: Yolandi Booyens     10th February 2012 Pumps manufacturer Grundfos has added two energy-efficient products to its heavy-duty dewatering pumps range for the mining industry, which complies with its aim of saving natural resources and reducing the impact of climate change. 

India set to map forest cover and ban mining in restricted areas

By: Ajoy K Das     6th February 2012 India’s Forest and Environment Ministry would start an initiative to map forest regions across the country in order to identify ‘inviolate areas’ where mining would be banned. “We are putting together all government notifications and circulars that have been issued over the years on forest and... 

Miners have strong appetite for M&A - report

By: Henry Lazenby     6th February 2012 Healthy demand fundamentals, strong balance sheets and an appetite for growth will drive a step-up in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the global mining and metals sector in 2012, Ernst & Young (E&Y) global mining and metals transaction leader Lee Downham said on Monday. Commenting on the... 

Water Affairs confirms movement on long-term AMD study

By: Terence Creamer     27th January 2012 South Africa’s Department of Water Affairs (DWA) has confirmed that a feasibility study has been initiated to assess longer-term solutions for South Africa’s acid mine drainage (AMD) problem. The investigation began in December and should be completed over a maximum period of 18 months.... 

Conservation opportunities presented to miners

27th January 2012 The International Council of Mining and Metals will be hosting two Sustainable Development in Mining sessions at this year’s Investing in Africa Mining Indaba, in Cape Town, which will focus on ways in which mining companies can effectively integrate the challenges of sustainability into their... 

Carbon dioxide a minor issue, says mathematician

By: Nomvelo Buthelezi     27th January 2012 Carbon dioxide (CO2) is not the main cause of global warming, states scientific modelling and mathematical research company Science Speak president Dr David Evans, who will deliver a keynote address at this year’s Investing in African Mining Indaba. 

Mining-heavy SA industry group issues carbon tax warning 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd January 2012 An industry lobby group comprising large mining groups and mineral processing companies is cautioning against the proposed introduction of a carbon tax in South Africa until South Africa has fully charted its abatement potential and the costs implications of implementing its renewable-energy... 

EIA submitted for Namibia marine phosphates project 

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th January 2012 ASX- and TSX-listed Minemakers has submitted a draft environmental-impact assessment (EIA) and draft environmental management plan (EMP) for the marine component of its proposed Sandpiper phosphate project, in Namibia. The report, lodged with the Namibian Ministries of Mines and Energy and... 

Mining group praises Oliver's open letter

By: Matthew Hill     11th January 2012 Predictably ruffling the feathers of some non-governmental organisations, Canadian Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver’s letter reviling “environmental and other radical groups” trying to “hijack” the country’s regulatory system, not all were irate. The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) on... 

Oliver stresses streamlined regulatory environment in open letter 

By: Matthew Hill     9th January 2012 Canadian Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver on Monday struck out at what he called “environmental and other radical groups” threatening to “hijack our regulatory system to achieve their radical ideological agenda”, delaying projects that cost the country jobs and economic growth. In an open... 

First Uranium climbs on water appeal's dismissal

By: Matthew Hill     5th January 2012 Shares in First Uranium surged 13% higher on Thursday morning, after the gold and uranium producer said the South African Water Tribunal dismissed an appeal an environmental group lodged against one of its major subsidiaries. The Toronto- and Johannesburg-listed company said the dismissal... 

KZN provincial govt rejects Fairbreeze mine basic assessment report

By: Natasha Odendaal     16th December 2011 Diversified miner Exxaro’s KZN Sands is expecting to release an amended basic assessment report (BAR) for comment for its proposed Fairbreeze mine, in the Mtunzini area, near Richards Bay, in January. 

Resgen secures water for Stage 2 of Limpopo mine

By: Henry Lazenby     9th December 2011 Coal junior Resource Generation (ResGen) has secured the water supply for developing the second phase of its Boikarabelo coal mine in Limpopo, the ASX- and JSE-listed junior the reported on Friday. The contract with the Lephalale local municipality (LLM) stipulated that ResGen must construct,... 

Carbon tax will have a huge impact on mining operations

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th December 2011 The introduction of a carbon tax in South Africa will have a significant impact on mining operations, particularly as operational costs are rising every year. “Companies are dealing with three significant factors in energy policies, namely, the cost of electricity, sufficient electricity supply... 

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