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Environmental News

Environmental management system standardised across operations

By: Darren Parker     1st May 2009 Platinum producer Anglo Platinum (Angloplat) engaged in March, 2009, the implementation of a standardised environmental management system standard that has been similarly applied across all holding company Anglo American's (Anglo's) business units and divisions, called the Anglo Environment Way... 

Now R5m from government for Pamodzi Gold water problem missing  

By: Martin Creamer     29th April 2009 A sum of R5-million said by government to have been paid over to Pamodzi Gold to solve its rising water problem is missing. Pamodzi Gold East Rand GM Graham Chamberlain told Mining Weekly Online on Wednesday that the money had still not been received but government spokespersons say that it has... 

Pamodzi Gold’s Grootvlei water problem now desperate – East Rand GM

By: Martin Creamer     24th April 2009 The mine water problem at Pamodzi Gold’s Grootvlei mine had reached desperate proportions, Pamodzi Gold GM East Rand Operations Graham Chamberlain told Mining Weekly Online at the weekend. Chamberlain, whose team has been fighting a rising mine water battle on a shoestring for months, told... 

Quelling the fire

By: Carla Thomaz     24th April 2009 When Grootegeluk coal mine, situated in the Limpopo province, began operating in 1980, all of the mine’s plant discards and inter-burden materials were stacked on discards dumps. The plant discards and inter-burden material with their high carbon content began to spontaneously combust. The safe... 

Indonesian ruling opens way for exploration on previously quarantined project area

By: Esmarie Iannucci     20th April 2009 ASX-listed minerals explorer Oropa Limited reported on Monday that an Indonesian High Court ruling had opened the way for the company to pursue work on the sensitive western portion Pungkut project in Sumatra. The decision went against a Forestry Minitries decree on a national park, which... 

Mapungubwe emerges as new theatre in tussle between mining and ecotourism 

By: Christy van der Merwe     17th April 2009 The consistently contentious question of whether or not mining, ecotourism and agriculture can co-exist, was once again highlighted during the public consultation process for Coal of Africa Limited’s (CoAL’s) Vele Colliery, near the Mapungubwe World Heritage landscape in Limpopo. The... 

New chemical manufacturing plant for the drilling environment

By: Beth Shirley     17th April 2009 Manufacturer of biodegradable drilling fluids and chemicals Samchem has constructed a plant to manufacture the partially hydrolysed polyacrylamide (PHPA) copolymer emulsion used to stabilise reactive clay and shale formations in the drilling environment. The product is also used as an injection... 

Environmental drilling 
services assist in acid mine drainage

By: Beth Shirley     17th April 2009 Drilling specialist company Environmental Drilling & Remediation Services (EDRS) manager Derek Whitfield says that the company is currently one of the few in Southern Africa offering services in environmental drilling and contamination remediation for the mining sector, particularly for acid... 

DME grants prospecting rights to White Rivers Explorations

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     17th April 2009 The Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) has, in terms of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, granted the application for prospecting rights around the Vredefort Dome, a world heritage site, to White Rivers Explorations (WRE).  

Entries sought for green mining awards

By: Christy van der Merwe     15th April 2009 The fourth yearly Nedbank Capital Green Mining awards would be held in October 2009, and organisers were seeking entries from sustainable mining projects across Africa. The purpose of the awards was to highlight those African mining and mineral beneficiation operators that were making... 

EIA report to determine the fate of tailings dam expansion

By: Beth Shirley     10th April 2009 A proposed expansion of the Dilokong mine's tailings dam, as part of increasing production for chrome producer ASA Metals, is undergoing rigorous environmental-impact assessment (EIA) before operations can proceed. The mine is located in Limpopo province. 

AngloGold Ashanti slashes fatalities by 57%, aiming to eliminate deaths

By: Loni Prinsloo     10th April 2009 Speaking at AngloGold Ashanti's six launch of its 2008 Report to Society the company's CEO Mark Cutifani reported that the company has experienced a 57% reduction in fatalities and a significant improvement in health performance.  

Positive results for mine tailings rehabilitation experiment

By: Loni Prinsloo     3rd April 2009 The first year of a novel mine tailings rehabilitation experiment is complete with positive results to show, states the Canadian-based Mining Innovation Rehabilitation and Applied Research Corporation (Mirarco). 

Legislation threatens ecological responsibility in mining

By: Lindsey Berry     27th March 2009 The National Environmental Management Amendment Act (NEMA) 2008, read with the draft regulations published in February, has reduced the minimum requirements for environmental responsibility in mining. Alterations to Section 24 of NEMA have created ambiguity about the need for an... 

US enviro agency has 'serious concerns' about mountain top mining

By: Liezel Hill     24th March 2009 The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has “serious concerns" about potential harmful effects on water quality caused by mountain top mining, the agency said on Tuesday. The EPA has informed the US Army Corps of Engineers that it is specifically concerned about two new coal-mining... 

Operation sets benchmark for mine water treatment

By: Carla Thomaz     20th March 2009 The eMalahleni Water Reclamation Plant, which tackles the environmental challenges associated with water discharge from operating and closed mines, has set a benchmark for treating mine water, with a similar project being investigated in South America. 

Energy efficient ice technology used at gold major’s operations

By: Carla Thomaz     20th March 2009 Gold major AngloGold Ashanti has installed an energy efficient cooling system at its Mponeng mine that will see the mine reduce its energy demand by as much as 10 MW of electricity during peak times and is expected to bring about a year electricity savings of about R2-million, about 2% of... 

Crystallisation plant for nickel project under way

20th March 2009 Water and wastewater treatment specialist VWS Envig is currently completing a turnkey project for the Ambatovy project, in Madagascar. The large nickel project includes the design and construction of an ammonium sulphate processing plant. 

Miner tackles dust emissions

By: Carla Thomaz     20th March 2009 Newly formed uranium company Rand Uranium continuing the good work started by Harmony, has conducted a successful experiment during the previous growing season to try and establish vegetation on the sandy side slopes of its slimes dams. 

Miner’s environmental efforts recognised

By: Carla Thomaz     20th March 2009 Platinum producer Lonmin has had its efforts in environmental protection recognised after it was awarded the environmental category winner of the Nedbank Capital Green Mining awards, for the rehabilitation of it’s Vlakfontein mine. The company was also the runner-up in the environmental category... 

Diamond-miner announces first insect ecotourism route

By: Carla Thomaz     20th March 2009 Inspired by the International Congress of Entomology, diamond-miner De Beers, with the support of Nicky Oppenheimer and ∫Strilli Oppenheimer, has announced that the De Beers Diamond Route plans to develop the world's first ‘Insect Route'. 

Olifants river still a hazard to wildlife

By: Leandi Kolver     20th March 2009 Crocodiles are dying off in large numbers in the Olifants river, which is being polluted by various hazardous chemicals such as acid mine drainage from the mining industry, agricultural chemicals from farms and sewage from urban settlements. 

Forced retrenchments could compound Africa’s poverty

By: Jonathan Faurie     13th March 2009 Forced retrenchments in the mining industry could compound Africa’s level of poverty owing to the high number of dependants living on a single mineworker’s salary. 

Mining body to zero in on climate change, effects of mine closures

By: Leandi Kolver     13th March 2009 Tackling climate change and water scarcity, as well as dealing with the evolving role of indigenous people and the effects of mine closures are some of the challenges the International Council on Mining & Metals (ICMM) will be focusing on this year. 

Gold-miner implements Clean Development Mechanism projects

By: Jacqueline Holman     6th March 2009 Gold mining company Gold Fields is implementing a number of clean development mechanism (CDM) projects at its South African operations. 

Ferrous miner works on two mainstream energy efficiency initiatives

By: Fatima Gabru     27th February 2009 South African ferrous-miner, Kumba Iron Ore, is working on two mainstream energy efficiency initiatives, based on the company’s two energy sources, diesel and electricity, Kumba principal electrical engineer Christo Oliver tells Mining Weekly. 

NGOs publish sustainability reporting guidelines for mining industry

By: Christy van der Merwe     27th February 2009 Draft guidelines on sustainability reporting specially tailored for mining and metals companies have been published by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), and public comments on the document are requested.

The guidelines have been several... 

Sustainable development after mine closure 
not always possible – expert

By: Leandi Kolver     27th February 2009 Sustainable development after a mine closure is sometimes impossible, says mine closures and safety expert, Professor Phillip Frankel, who is presently developing a mine closure toolkit for Coaltech 2020. 

Australian Minister approves Xstrata mine expansion

By: Esmarie Iannucci     20th February 2009 The Australian government has approved diversified miner Xstrata’s McArthur River nickel mine expansion, but has put in place new stringent monitoring requirements to protect the environment. Minister for the Environment, Heritage, and the Arts, Peter Garret, has now strengthened the original... 

RBM committed to the sustainable use of resources

By: Dennis Ndaba     20th February 2009 Richards Bay Minerals (RBM), a company that mines and beneficiates the minerals-rich sands in the coastal dunes of KwaZulu-Natal, and mining giant Rio Tinto are spending about R30-million from the planned budget for 2008/9 to continue all activities related to the rehabilitation of coastal dune... 

Expert calls for circumspection in deploying international mine closure toolkits

By: Leandi Kolver     20th February 2009 South African mining companies need to be careful when deploying international mine closure toolkits and must avoid simply transplanting ideas that might be relevant to another country, but are irrelevant to local circumstances, says the Centre for Sustainability in Mining and Industry’s... 

Scientists grow crops for biofuel feedstock on mine tailings

By: Liezel Hill     13th February 2009 After successful trials last year into the potential to grow crops that can be used as feedstock for biofuels on old mine tailings, scientists at Canada's Mining Innovation, Rehabilitation and Applied Research Corporation will widen the scope this year to include other crop types. The aim of the... 

Sustainable development held up by 6 arms

By: Darren Parker     13th February 2009 Diversified miner African Rainbow Minerals' (ARM's) sustainable development policy is underpinned by the notion that commercial business has a responsibility to turn the mineral wealth, with which ARM's operating countries are endowed, into tangible economic wealth. 

Agreement reached on closure plan for Yukon lead/zinc mine

By: Liezel Hill     9th February 2009 After more than five years of studies and consultations, a consensus has finally been reached on a closure plan for the 25 km2 Faro mine complex, in Canada's Yukon territory. A committee of senior officials from the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, the government of Yukon, the... 

Stakeholders aspire to the advancement of women in mining

By: Carla Thomaz     6th February 2009 Past constraints resulting from legislative exclusion as well as attitudes and opinions meant an absence of women’s participation in the mining industry. Today, stakeholders aspire to higher levels of inclusiveness and advancement of women in the mining sector, through employment, financing and... 

Brazilian miner spends R80m on rehabilitation project

By: Irma Venter     30th January 2009 By the end of this year, diversified miner Vale would have spent around R80-million on the rehabilitation of its former Brazilian iron-ore project, the Córrego do Meio mine. 

Ion-exchange technology being used to mining effluent

By: Leandi Kolver     30th January 2009 Water treatment company Ionex is using ion-exchange technology to treat effluents from mining and metallurgical operations. The technology was developed in 2005 and a basic form is still in use in the original remediation project undertaken in 2006.  

Implats envisions successful GHG emissions reduction with new strategy

By: Beth Shirley     23rd January 2009 Contention arising from the emission of sulphur dioxide (SO2) from Impala Platinum's (Impala's) smelting and refining operations in both South Africa and Zimbabwe has resulted in an emission reduction strategy. 

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