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Environmental News

US Ex-Im Bank urged to deny funding to South Africa’s Kusile  

By: Martin Creamer     19th January 2011 An environmental group is urging a US government-funded bank to deny finance to South Africa’s coal-fired Kusile power project, Milwaukee’s Journal Sentinal reports. Milwaukee hosts two giant mining machine companies – Bucyrus International and Joy Global – which have asked the bank to provide... 

University of Pretoria outfit joins enviro campaigners’ bid to stop mining at CoAL’s planned Vele colliery

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     14th January 2011 South Africa’s Centre for Child Law (CCL), which is run by the University of Pretoria, has now joined nongovernmental organisations and the Save Mapungubwe Coalition Group (SMCG) in seeking an interdict to stop planned mining and to protect the World Heritage Site. 

Sierra Leone grants London Mining enviro permits for iron-ore mine

By: Jonathan Faurie     14th January 2011 UK mining junior London Mining has been issued its environmental permits for the development and operation of its Marampa iron ore mine in Sierra Leone by the Sierra Leone Environmental Protection Agency (Slepa). 

Orocobre gets key govt approval for Argentina lithium/potash project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     4th January 2011 ASX- and TSX-listed lithium developer Orocobre has received environmental approval from the Jujuy provincial government for the development of its Salar de Olaroz lithium/potash project, in Argentina. The provincial Director of Mines and Energy Resources approved the project late last month,... 

Bridging the gap

10th December 2010 Civil engineering and construction company Esorfranki Civils is expecting to complete the construction of bridges at diversified miner Xstrata’s Arthur Taylor colliery opencast mine (Atcom) East upgrade project, at the end of the year. 

Moore defends proposal to hike WA mine-rehab bonds

By: Esmarie Iannucci     3rd December 2010 Western Australia Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore has called for public to comment on the proposed reforms to the state’s environmental bonds system, amendments that are meant to ensure that mine sites are adequately rehabilitated after closure. Moore argued on Friday that the bonds... 

Samancor opens five-million-litre-a-day wastewater treatment plant

By: Jonathan Faurie     3rd December 2010 Chrome-focused mining major Samancor Tubatse Ferrochrome has officially opened its new 5-million-litre-a-day (5 000-m3/day) integrated wastewater treatment plant, near Steelpoort, Limpopo.


Environmental code for WA explorers launched

By: Esmarie Iannucci     30th November 2010 The Association for Mining & Exploration Companies (Amec), in collaboration with the Chamber of Minerals and Energy (CME) of Western Australia, on Tuesday launched an environmental code of practice for explorers in Western Australia. “The code has been drafted in order to provide practical and... 

Barrick says business as usual at Argentine ops 

By: Liezel Hill     26th November 2010 Barrick Gold's Veladero mine and Pascua Lama development project have not been affected by the new glacier-protection law passed in Argentina, said spokesperson Andy Lloyd. The company filed a legal action in the province of San Juan earlier this month asking for certainty that the approvals... 

BC regulator confirms review of Taseko trades

By: Liezel Hill     25th November 2010 The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) confirmed on Thursday is reviewing a referral made to it by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) regarding trading in the shares of Taseko Mines. Taseko shares plunged more than 30% in just a few hours on October 14,... 

Metal nitrates extracted from AMD used in explosives test

By: Christy van der Merwe     19th November 2010 Environmental solutions developer Earth Metallurgical Solutions (EMS), through its proprietary acid mine drainage (AMD) treatment process, has used the metal nitrates extracted from mine effluent to produce a stabiliser used in emulsion explosives. EMS CEO Richard Doyle said that the company has... 

Mooiplaats precompliance notice withdrawn – CoAL

By: Chanel de Bruyn     11th November 2010 The environmental pre-compliance notice against junior mining company Coal of Africa Limited’s (CoAL’s) Mooiplaats colliery has been withdrawn, the company reported on Thursday. CoAL CEO John Wallington said that the Mpumalanga Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (MDEDET)... 

Exxaro denies report of environmental-related Mooifontein closure 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     5th November 2010 Diversified miner Exxaro on Friday denied that its Arnot mine had been ordered to close over alleged environmental compliance issues, saying that it would continue to supply Eskom with about one-million tons a year of coal from the Mooifontein pit. Beeld newspaper reported that the Mpumalanga... 

Political leadership essential to mitigate acid mine drainage problem 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     5th November 2010 A much anticipated report on acid mine drainage (AMD) has been referred back to the panel of experts by the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) for further work on options and cost implications. The report was tabled on October 21 but not made public. 

Mooiplaats complies with DMR requirements – CoAL 

By: Chanel de Bruyn     4th November 2010 Junior mining company Coal of Africa Limited (CoAL) does not believe the closure of its Mooiplaats colliery, in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province, is warranted, CEO John Wallington said on Thursday. He told shareholders in a statement that the company would pursue all available legal and... 

Banking group honours mining houses’ 
sustainability initiatives

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     29th October 2010 Acknowledging the contribution that responsible mining and mineral beneficiation makes to the economic development of Southern Africa, financial services company Nedbank has honoured mining companies’ efforts in promoting sustainability in industry at its yearly Nedbank Capital Green Mining Awards. 

Canadian lawmakers vote down controversial Bill C-300 

By: Liezel Hill     28th October 2010 The controversial Bill C-300 was defeated in a vote of 140 to 134 in the Canadian House of Commons on Wednesday. Bill C-300, a private members bill tabled by Liberal Member of Parliament John McKay, proposed giving the government authority to investigate complaints against resources companies... 

Alberta probes more duck landings on Syncrude tailings pond 

By: Liezel Hill     26th October 2010 The government of Alberta is investigating waterfowl landings on a Syncrude Canada tailings pond north of Fort McMurray, the province said on Tuesday. An undetermined number of ducks landed on the Mildred Lake Settling Basin on Monday evening and some are "heavily oiled", the government said. 

Cement firm’s carbon reduction efforts acknowledged

By: Creamer Media Reporter      22nd October 2010 Cement group AfriSam's carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction efforts, dubbed ‘Project Green Cement‘, were recognised during the 2010 Nedbank Capital Green Mining Awards, which took place on Thursday evening, where the company scooped the award in the environmental category. Between 2000 and 2009,... 

Report on acid water presented to Ministers

By: Creamer Media Reporter      22nd October 2010 The team of experts compiling a report on the acid mine drainage (AMD) situation in the Witwatersrand has completed the report, and on Thursday presented it to the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC). The Ministers discussed the findings with the experts, and asked the team to identify more... 

Cape Alumina mine ‘unviable’ under Wild Rivers law

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th October 2010 Queensland Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Minister Stephen Robertson said on Monday that the state government would not be amending its Wild Rivers law, despite an announcement by ASX-listed Cape Alumina that the legislation had made its Pisolite Hills bauxite mine “unviable”. Cape Alumina... 

Xstrata Copper completes closure, rehabilitation of Quebec smelter

By: Liezel Hill     8th October 2010 Xstrata Copper has completed a five-year demolition and rehabilitation programme at the site of its closed Gaspe copper smelter, in Murdochville, Quebec, the firm said on Friday. Xstrata said it spent $130-million to complete reclamation and rehabilitation work at the Gaspe site and nearby Sandy... 

Water project funded by Anglo Coal, BHP Billiton 
a boon for Mpumalanga community

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     8th October 2010 Five years after the inception and three years after the opening of the eMalahleni Water Reclamation Plant, situated in Mpumalanga province, the community surrounding the plant has experienced a substantial improvement to its quality of life. 

Despite widespread ban on asbestos, several countries continue to produce the mineral fibre

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     8th October 2010 While 52 countries worldwide have banned the use of asbestos, as of March 2010, Canada, Brazil, Columbia, Zimbabwe, China, Kazakhstan and Russia are some of the leading producers, with Asia and the Middle East showing increasing production and use of the fatal mineral fibre.  

Bateman making inroads into India’s minerals sector

By: Jonathan Faurie     8th October 2010 South African engineering company Bateman Engineering, through its business unit Bateman India, which is based in Bangalore, is making increasing inroads into the Indian minerals sector, having recently received a number of contract awards for processing projects, as well as making good progress... 

EMS completes trials to convert AMD to potable water

By: Christy van der Merwe     4th October 2010 Environmental solutions developer Earth Metallurgical Solutions (EMS) said it had completed trials proving that acid mine drainage (AMD) and AMD brines could be converted to potable water and saleable by-products, including fertiliser, explosives and the thermal salts for concentrated solar power... 

Canada names panel to study oil sands water concerns

By: Liezel Hill     30th September 2010 Canadian Environment Minister Jim Prentice has appointed an independent advisory panel of scientists to look into the environmental management systems of oil sands operations in Alberta. The panel was appointed in response to concerns about industrial pollution in the Athabasca river and... 

Sonjica expects AMD report by mid-October

By: Christy van der Merwe     30th September 2010 South Africa's Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Buyelwa Sonjica expects the acid mine drainage (AMD) report, being compiled by a team of experts, to be delivered on or around October 15. She stated that the InterMinisterial Committee (IMC) that had been appointed by Cabinet to address... 

Debate continues on law to protect Argentina's glaciers

By: Francisca Pouiller     23rd September 2010 Another debate took place this week on Argentina's proposed glacier protection law, on which on which senators are scheduled to vote on September 30. The current version is partly a merged version of two competing laws proposed by Deputy Miguel Bonasso and Senator Daniel Filmus. 

No resolution yet on Argentina glacier bill

By: Francisca Pouiller     16th September 2010 Voting by lawmakers on a proposed law to protect glaciers in Argentina continues to face delays, and there is doubt from several sides whether an agreement can be reached. The bill aims to protect the country's glaciers by banning industrial activity in sensitive areas. 

SA needs R1,46bn to deal with abandoned mines

By: Loni Prinsloo     15th September 2010 South Africa's Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) assured Parliament on Wednesday that it would swiftly decide on the appropriate solutions to tackle problems posed by ownerless and derelict (O&D) mines, as well as acid mine drainage (AMD). DMR director general (DG) Sandile Nogxina told the... 

Doe Run smelter closure leaves local economy devastated

By: Francisca Pouiller     13th September 2010 More than 70% of the 3 500 people who were employed by Doe Run Peru in the region of Junin have returned to their home towns or gone seeking work elsewhere, according to local newspaper El Comercio. General economic activity in the city of La Oroya, where life has revolved around metallurgical... 

Newly launched atlas identifies viable sites for SA carbon storage  

By: Christy van der Merwe     10th September 2010 South African Energy Minister Dipuo Peters on Friday launched the South African Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Atlas for the geological storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) deep underground. The Atlas highlighted, at a theoretical level, that South Africa had about 150 Gigatons (Gt) of storage... 

Alberta govt charges Suncor over water runoff violations

By: Liezel Hill     10th September 2010 The government of Alberta has laid charges against Suncor Energy for alleged violations related to the company's responsibility to manage stormwater run-off at its Voyageur upgrader site, about 20 km north of Fort McMurray. “The charges relate to non-compliance with Suncor’s Water Act licence... 

New drilling system uses 60% less water 
than existing systems – manufacturer

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     10th September 2010 Water hydraulic drilling systems manufacturer Peterstow Aquapower has developed an environment-friendly drilling technology, which could save mining companies exponential capital and operational costs, while also reducing the industry’s environmental effect. 

Miners willing to assist in finding AMD solution – Chamber

By: Christy van der Merwe     8th September 2010 South Africa's Chamber of Mines (CoM) was prepared to assist the government in finding acid mine drainage (AMD) solutions that would deal with underground flooding and eliminate potential harm to people, in a sustainable way. "We wish to express our support and commitment to the Minister and her... 

Experts to compile report on extent of AMD problem 

By: Christy van der Merwe     6th September 2010 South Africa has appointed an InterMinisterial Committee (IMC) to address the acid mine drainage (AMD) issue in the Western and Central basins of the Witwatersrand, Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Buyelwa Sonjica said on Monday. The IMC, which held its first meeting last week, has... 

Govt-halted CoAL 'left no choice' but to lay off 596, unions march 

By: Martin Creamer     1st September 2010 The directive of the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) to halt mining at the Vele colliery has left Coal of Africa Limited (CoAL) "with no choice" but to reduce its workforce by 596 people, CoAL CEO John Wallington said on Wednesday. CoAL's plans involve mining and rehabilitation taking... 

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