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Environmental News

Alaskans keep the door open to mining industry

By: Liezel Hill     27th August 2008 Voters in Alaska this week appear to have voted against a clean-water initiative that could have threatened the future of the mining industry in the US's most northerly state. According to unofficial figures available on Wednesday, 57% of voters voted “no”to the measure, which proposed to block... 

Northam studies alternative power sources for Booysendal project 

By: Matthew Hill     25th August 2008 Precious metals producer Northam Platinum could produce at full capacity of some 400 000 t/m from its newly acquired Booysendal project from 2014/15, an official said on Monday. One feature that its bankable feasibility study (BFS) on the project, which is currently under way, would interrogate... 

Dwaf regulates water discharges at Olifants river

By: Rozanne Cloete     22nd August 2008 Resources giant Anglo American’s coal subsidiary, Anglo Coal, is regulating its water releases into the Olifants River catchment area, in the Mpumalanga province, following a directive set by the the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (Dwaf). 

Cleaner production strategies in mines

By: Jacqueline Holman     15th August 2008 Cleaner production means the continuous application of an integrated, preventative environmental strategy to processes, products and services to increase efficiency and reduce risks to humans and the environment. 

Gold producer to apply newly developed mine closure principles in Mali

By: Jonathan Faurie     8th August 2008 One of South Africa’s largest gold producing companies, AngloGold Ashanti, plans to use mine closure principles which will integrate the issues of environmental rehabilitation and social involvement in future mine closure programmes, including the forthcoming closure of a gold mine in Mali. 

New Act calls for stringent regulation

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     1st August 2008 The mining industry could possibly be regulated much more stringently under the new National Environment Management Air Quality Act than it was under the previous Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act. 

Illegal Congolese miners being abused in Angola – NGO

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     1st August 2008 There is growing concern that illegal Congolese migrants working on illicit diamond operations in Angola are being subjected to illicit diamond operations in Angola.  

Dundee gets approval for Bulgaria mine expansion

30th July 2008 TSX-listed Dundee Precious Metals marked the end of a lengthy wait on Wednesday, when Bulgaria's Minister of Environment and Waters signed the environmental impact assessment for the company's plans to expand its Chelopech gold mine in the country. The company is now completing a restated... 

Vexing complications prevent well-endowed Angola from reaching its enormous potential

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     25th July 2008 Despite Angola’s undoubted potential to host the world’s next big diamond mine, Royal Bank of Canada capital markets director and former South African mining analyst and journalist Des Kilalea recorded that Angola was seen by most at the bank’s conference in Canada as “one of the least preferred... 

Carbon capturing and storage processes set to reduce CO2 emissions  

By: Sylvester Haskins     25th July 2008 The Minister of the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME), Buyelwa Sonjica, speaking at the international Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum held in Cape Town earlier this year, announced that South Africa is considering its approach to carbon capture and storage (CCS), mentioning that a... 

Gold Hawk ordered to relocate Peruvian processing, tailings ops

21st July 2008 The government of Peru has issued an emergency decree declaring a state of emergency in the district of San Mateo, where Canadian miner Gold Hawk has its Coriancha gold and silver mine, ordering the company to move its processing plant and tailings area.  

Long road to climate change

By: Fatima Gabru     18th July 2008 The combustion of fossil fuels for power generation is a significant contributor to global carbon emissions. The International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) states in its World Energy Outlook 2007, the demand for electricity is expected to double from 2005 to 2030, with a total investment requirement... 

Ontario to protect large northern area, start mining law review

By: Liezel Hill     15th July 2008 The government of Ontario has announced that it will protect at least 225 000 km2 of forest in its northern boreal forest region from industrial development. At the same time, Premier Dalton McGuinty said that any new mining development in the rest of the province's far north will require “early... 

Mmamabula power plant will be carbon capture ready, CIC assures

By: Liezel Hill     14th July 2008 Although carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology is still some way from commercial implementation on a large scale, Toronto- and Botswana-listed CIC Energy, which plans to build a coal mine and power station at its Mmamabula project in Botswana, is taking steps to ensure that the plant will... 

Water retreatment at catchment area

By: Loni Prinsloo     11th July 2008 The world’s fifth largest gold miner, Harmony Gold, is working with the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (Dwaf) and the Department of Agriculture at the Sandvet catchment area in the Free State, to manage water resources in the area. 

Inmet investigates ground movement at Spanish copper project

By: Liezel Hill     10th July 2008 Toronto-based Inmet Mining expects an investigation into the cause of an “unexpected ground movement” at its Las Cruces copper project, in Spain, to take several weeks, the firm said. The incident occurred on Thursday at the new storage facility for dried residues from the mine's process plant. 

Spinifex Ridge moly project gets environmental thumbs-up

By: Liezel Hill     8th July 2008 TSX- and ASX-listed Moly Mines has received approval from the Western Australian Environment Minister for its Spinifex Ridge molybdenum/copper project, the company said in a statement.  

Acid mine drainage threatens important water resources

By: Leandi Kolver     4th July 2008 Environmental protection group Federation for a Sustainable Environment (FSE) is strongly opposing the opening of five new Xstrata Coal mines in the Mpumalanga escarpment, located northwest of Ermelo, where the Vaal, Olifants, Komati, Mpuluzi and Usuthu Rivers originates.  

Asbestos pollution still a big problem, says Kgalagadi Relief Trust

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     4th July 2008 While there has been significant improvement in dealing with the legacy of asbestos-mining in South Africa in the last ten years, since the national asbestos summit (NAS) of 1998, the environmental pollution caused by this fibre has been described by Brian Gibson, a trustee of the... 

Sustainable development body gets new leadership

By: Irma Venter     27th June 2008 Dr Anthony (Tony) Hodge has been appointed as the new International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) president, and will take up his position on October 1 this year. 

Environmental studies help minimise impact in Harmony’s Papua New Guinea project

By: Guy Copans     20th June 2008 Gold-mining company Harmony Gold has undertaken a number of environmental studies to ensure that the environmental impact of its Hidden Valley project in the Morobe province of Papua New Guinea, is kept to a minimum.  

Draft carbon capture and storage research road map released

By: Guy Copans     20th June 2008 While it is unlikely that a full-scale carbon-capture and storage project will be operational in South Africa within the next decade, as the technology advances worldwide, such an eventuality is likely, and it is, therefore, prudent to prepare and to configure a state of ‘country... 

Appeals court overturns earlier decision, confirms approvals for BC mine

By: Liezel Hill     16th June 2008 A Canadian appeals court has set aside an earlier decision by a lower court to block environmental approvals for Imperial Metals' Red Chris copper/gold project, based on a case brought by industry watchdog MiningWatch Canada, and has reconfirmed the government's environmental... 

Rewarding an effective environmental management system

By: Darren Parker     13th June 2008 Late last year, the second annual Nedbank Capital Green Mining Awards honoured platinum mining giant Anglo Platinum’s Amandelbult platinum mine for its efforts in environmental and social responsibility and sustainability. Amandelbult’s environmental management system (EMS) was... 

Fraser Alexander, Miwatek launch new AMD treatment technology

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     11th June 2008 Mining solutions company Fraser Alexander and water treatment company Mine Water Treatment Technologies (Miwatek) on Tuesday launched their acid mine drainage (AMD) treatment solution, in Randfontein, west of Johannesburg. Unlike traditional AMD treatment solutions, which generate high volumes of... 

Inmet warns of possible production delays at Las Cruces

By: Liezel Hill     10th June 2008 TSX-listed Inmet Mining believes it has come up with a solution to the Spanish water authority's concerns over a water system at its Las Cruces project in the country, but cautioned on Monday evening that the start-up of the processing plant, and first cathode production, could be delayed.... 

EMP for the tailings retreatment operation in Brakpan under way

By: Dennis Ndaba     6th June 2008 Ergo Mining says that the Environmental Management Plan (EMP) for the tailings retreatment operation in Brakpan is under way, and a number of previous reclamation sites, which were being rehabilitated by South Africa’s biggest gold-miner AngloGold Ashanti, are currently being worked on. 

Exxaro-sponsored climate change research initiative launched

By: Chanel de Bruyn     5th June 2008 JSE-listed diversified-miner Exxaro Resources on Thursday, which was also World Environment Day, launched the Exxaro Chair in Business and Climate Change (ECBCC) initiative, which aims to mitigate the effects of climate change. Exxaro was providing R3-million in funding over a three-year period. 

Forsys granted enviro approval for Namibia uranium mine

By: Liezel Hill     4th June 2008 Toronto-based Forsys Metals has received approval and clearance from Namibia's Ministry of Environment and Tourism for both the environmental-impact assessment and environmental management plan for its Valencia uranium project in the country. 

Teck Cominco working with officials after refinery spill, output unaffected

By: Liezel Hill     30th May 2008 US and Canadian government departments and agencies were monitoring potential human and environmental health effects on Friday, after diversified miner Teck Cominco reported that about 950 kg of lead in solution had spilled into the Columbia river, after a technical failure at its Trail lead and... 

Water management strategies implemented at KOSH mines

By: Rozanne Cloete     30th May 2008 South African gold producers AngloGold Ashanti, Simmer & Jack Mines (Simmers) and Pamodzi Gold have implemented a water management strategy in the Klerksdorp, Orkney, Stilfontein and Hartebeesfontein (KOSH) regions, after a dispute arose in 2005. 

Health implications of asbestos-mining are far from over

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     23rd May 2008 Although asbestos mining was banned in South Africa in 2001, and regulations prohibiting the use, manufacture and the import and export of asbestos and asbestos-containing materials was gazetted in March, this fibrous mineral still poses a major threat to communities, especially in areas where... 

Adopting health and safety best practice will ensure realisation of zero-harm aspiration

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     23rd May 2008 While the mining industry in South Africa has committed itself to a zero harm and a value based approach to health and safety, a critical ingredient needed to turn this commitment into action is the implementation of the mining industry occupational safety and health (MOSH) best practise adoption... 

Diversified miner focused on creating a carbon footprint benchmark

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     16th May 2008 JSE-listed, diversified miner, Exxaro, is focused on its vision of becoming a zero-carbon footprint company, which will create a benchmark for other South African companies. 

SA lagging behind in taking advantage of carbon credits system

By: Leandi Kolver     16th May 2008 South frica is far behind in using the benefits it can get from carbon credits,” says mine ventilation and refrigeration specialist Bluhm Burton Engineering group CEO Steven Bluhm. “There is a need for companies to start utilising carbon credits because it is a good business... 

Permitting hurdle delays Spanish mine – Inmet

By: Liezel Hill     14th May 2008 TSX-listed Inmet Mining expects delays in shipping the first ore from its Las Cruces copper project, in Spain, after the country's water authority withdrew a key permit. The company had been notified that its authorisation for a dewatering and reinjection system (DRS) at the project had been... 

Coal ash cleaning up

By: Fatima Gabru     9th May 2008 The rapid industrial expansion in South Africa during the late 1970s and early 1980s, created a surge in the demand for electricity. Given the vast coal reserves South Africa possesses, the additional capacity was provided by the erection of large, from 3 000 MW to 3 600 MW, pulverised coal-fired... 

Research makes inroads in dealing with acid mine drainage

By: Desislava Tzoneva     2nd May 2008 National research and development initiator, the Water Research Commission (WRC), is funding and undertaking a number of projects to provide solutions for dealing with acid mine drainage (AMD) in South Africa. 

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