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Environmental News

Arch not too excited after W Virginia permit approval

By: Liezel Hill     30th July 2010 The recent approval of an openpit coal-mining permit for Arch Coal's Pine Creek mine, in West Virginia, does not change the fact that it is almost impossible to get permits in Central Appalachia at the moment, Arch CEO Steven Leer said on Friday. The Environmental Protection Agency is cracking... 

Queensland allows Pisolite Hills bauxite EIS extension

By: Esmarie Iannucci     30th July 2010 The Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management has extended the environmental-impact assessment (EIS) deadline on ASX-listed Cape Alumina’s Pisolite Hills bauxite mine and port project. Cape Alumina now had until September 2011 to complete the EIS and submit it to the... 

Grootvlei gold mine will flood in five days – Dept 

By: Sapa     27th July 2010 The water treatment plant at the Grootvlei mine near Springs will flood with acid mine water in five days, closing down operations, if action is not taken, the Water Affairs Department said on Tuesday. "The plant is only pumping 40 megalitres of acid mine water a day, but it needs to pump 108... 

Parliament committee visits AMD sites in Witwatersrand basin

By: Christy van der Merwe     27th July 2010 The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee for Water Affairs on Tuesday started site visits to areas in the Witwatersrand basin affected by acid mine drainage (AMD). The portfolio committee would also visit the Hartebeespoort Dam to assess the extent of eutrophication in the dam. 

Mining companies criticise Argentina glacier law

By: Francisca Pouiller     20th July 2010 Mining companies in Argentina have expressed disappointment after the country's Chamber of Deputies last week voted in favour of a law to protect mountain glaciers and surrounding areas from mining and industrial activity. The Argentine Mining Companies Group (known by the acronym Gemera in... 

Argentina's Chamber of Deputies approves glacial protection law 

By: Francisca Pouiller     15th July 2010 After over 12 hours of debate, lawmakers in Argentina's Chamber of Deputies on Thursday approved a law aimed at protecting the country's glaciers by banning industrial activity in sensitive areas. The law for the protection of national glaciers was approved in the early hours of the morning by... 

Bauxite seeks enviro approval for 2Mt/y WA operation

By: Esmarie Iannucci     25th June 2010 ASX-listed Bauxite Resources on Friday reported that it would apply to the Western Australian Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to develop a two-million ton a year mining operation north of Bindoon. Bauxite Resources also said that it would withdraw its appeal on a previous EPA decision... 

Matla colliery implements enviro-friendly underground mining expansion project

By: Jonathan Faurie     18th June 2010 The Matla coal mine, owned by diversified South African resources group Exxaro Resources, is in the process of rolling out a wetland conservation project which enables it to expand its underground operations, while preserving one of the larger and ecologically valuable wetland systems on... 

Optimum Coal launches R600m water treatment plant 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     18th June 2010 With predictions indicating that South Africa will experience significant water shortages in the next 15 years, a number of companies are working to improve the management of their water resources. 

US suspends Appalachian permitting system

By: Liezel Hill     17th June 2010 The US Army Corps of Engineers has suspended a mine permitting system in six Appalachian states, in a move that will make it more difficult and time consuming for coal miners to permit new surface operations. Nationwide Permit 21 (NWP 21), which was introduced to streamline the permitting... 

Zim government finalising review of minerals law

By: Jonathan Faurie     11th June 2010 Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe says that the review of the country’s Mines and Minerals Act is progressing satisfactorily. 

Allegations against Guatemalan mine 'entirely without merit' - Goldcorp

By: Liezel Hill     10th June 2010 The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has asked the Guatemalan government to suspend Goldcorp's Marlin mine in the country, but the Vancouver-based company says the request is based on "environmental allegations that are entirely without merit". The government of Guatemala has... 

Argentine province launches mining enviro management programme

By: Francisca Pouiller     10th June 2010 The national government of Argentina and the province of Buenos Aires have formally agreed to start the first mining environmental management programme in the region, and have invested over $20-million to encourage the sustainable development of mining in the country. The agreement was signed by... 

Optimum Coal invests R600m in water reclamation plant

By: Creamer Media Reporter      9th June 2010 Black-empowered Optimum Coal on Wednesday opened a R600-million water reclamation plant, near Middelburg, in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province, which it said would add significant value to the water quality and availability in the area. The plant, which was located at its Optimum Collieries... 

Crystallex finds Chinese partner to 'unblock', fund Venezuela project

By: Liezel Hill     7th June 2010 Beleaguered Canadian junior Crystallex has agreed to sell two-thirds of its flagship gold project in Venezuela to a powerful new Chinese partner, and has secured the initial blessing of the Venezuelan government for the deal, the company announced on Monday. Crystallex, which has been trying for... 

Exxaro applies technology to expand coal mine under wetland

By: Loni Prinsloo     4th June 2010 South African-based resources group Exxaro said on Friday that it was rolling out a wetland conservation project at its Matla coal mine in Mpumalanga, which would enable it to expand its underground operations while preserving one of the larger and ecologically valuable wetland systems in... 

Queensland, miner at odds over enviro safeguards for bauxite project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     4th June 2010 Australian bauxite-miner Cape Alumina confirmed on Friday that it had placed its Pisolite Hills project under review, after the Queensland government declared the Wenlock river basin a wild river area, under the state’s Wild Rivers legislation. MD Paul Messenger said that the declaration... 

Glacier protection law debate heats up again in Argentina

By: Francisca Pouiller     4th June 2010 Opposition politicians in Argentina plan to seek approval at the next session of Congress - possibly nex week - for their version of a proposed law to protect the nation's glaciers and periglacial regions. The opposition bill was created by Miguel Bonasso, a national representative, and seeks to... 

'Greenification' is mining industry’s new global buzzword

By: Christy van der Merwe     4th June 2010 Highlighting the historical importance of the mining sector in South Africa, Minister of Mineral Resources Susan Shabangu emphasised that the sector must also play a role in the country’s socio-economic development in the future, and reiterated the need for the mining industry to “engage with... 

Mountain Province, De Beers make progress on Canada diamond project study

By: Liezel Hill     31st May 2010 Toronto-based Mountain Province Diamonds will probably complete a definitive feasibility study in August for its Gahcho Kué diamond project in Canada's Northwest Territories, CEO Patrick Evans said on Monday. Mountain Province owns 49% and De Beers Canada holds the balance of the project, which... 

Explosives firm signs up to carbon footprint reduction initiative

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     28th May 2010 Blasting solutions company AEL Mining Services has committed itself to an initiative to reduce the group’s carbon footprint at its operations. 

Smelters contribute to 
ongoing development

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st May 2010 With two aluminium smelters operating in South Africa, resources company BHP Billiton Aluminium South Africa believes that it contributes to community development and the establishment of sustainable partnerships with its host communities. 

SRK’s Congo office now fully operational, plans to set up 
Ghana operation advance

By: Jonathan Faurie     21st May 2010 The driving force behind the newly opened SRK Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) office, Susa Maleba reportes that the company holds high hopes for its growth in the country, particularly in terms of local ownership and participation. 

Crystallex 'actively pursuing' resolution on Venezuela permit

By: Liezel Hill     19th May 2010 Embattled junior Crystallex International is holding negotiations on potential deals that could help its stalled Las Cristinas project, in Venezuela, move forward, the firm reported on Wednesday. “Crystallex is actively pursuing a resolution to the Las Cristinas permitting dispute and believes... 

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... 

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