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Environmental News

Chilean regulators scrap lithium miner SQM's environmental plan

By: Reuters     3rd August 2020 Chilean regulators have rejected lithium producer SQM's $25-million environmental compliance plan for the Atacama salt flat, requesting the miner to start again from scratch, a filing showed. Chile's Environmental Superintendent (SMA) approved SQM's compliance plan early in 2019 after a... 

B2Gold launches North American gold bar campaign to support rhino conservation

By: Donna Slater     31st July 2020 Canada-based B2Gold has launched a Namibian Rhino Gold Bar campaign in North America to help support the conservation and protection of the critically endangered black rhinos, and the community-based rhino rangers and trackers who protect the rhinos, in Namibia. This announcement coincides with... 

Draft EIS for Lithium Americas’ Nevada project now open for comment

By: Simone Liedtke     31st July 2020 The draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for TSX- and NYSE-listed Lithium Americas’ Thacker Pass lithium project, in the US, is available for public comment. The release of the draft EIS marks another step in advancing the Thacker Pass project towards production, says CEO and president Jon... 

Autonomously connecting ecosystems can boost mine safety

By: Cameron Mackay     31st July 2020 Mining solutions provider Hexagon and its subsidiary, IDS GeoRadar, announced the release of the mining industry’s first straightforward integration of systems for safety and radar-based slope stability hazards last month. Hexagon’s Mining Division chief technical officer Rob Daw states that this... 

MINE SAFETY ECOSYSTEM
No-go zones are identified in IDS GeoRadar’s IBIS Guardian software, which creates geofenced zones and hazards maps, and is correlated with radar alarms
MINE SAFETY ECOSYSTEM No-go zones are identified in IDS GeoRadar’s IBIS Guardian software, which creates geofenced zones and hazards maps, and is correlated with radar alarms

World’s seeing widespread investment plans in hydrogen – Anglo 

By: Martin Creamer     30th July 2020 The broader portfolio of diversified mining and marketing company Anglo American is positioned to contribute an environmental-led new materials demand in a world that is seeing widespread investment plans in hydrogen, Anglo CEO Mark Cutifani said on Thursday. “We’ve seen the early evolution of... 

Anglo says hydrogen is a clean and abundant fuel with applications using PGMs
Photo by Anglo American
Anglo says hydrogen is a clean and abundant fuel with applications using PGMs

Operational agility underpins Anglo’s $3.4bn half-year earnings 

By: Martin Creamer     30th July 2020 The first half of 2020 has tested society to its limits, Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani said on Monday, when the company reported 39%-lower $3.4-billion half-year earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda). The interim dividend of $0.28 a share declared by Anglo is... 

Profit attributable to equity shareholders of $0.5bn compared with last half-year’s $1.9-bn.
Photo by Anglo American
Profit attributable to equity shareholders of $0.5bn compared with last half-year’s $1.9-bn.

Flight to quality favours South Africa – Kumba Iron Ore 

By: Martin Creamer     29th July 2020 The flight to iron-ore quality, driven by environmental concerns and the need for cleaner production and less air pollution, is a demand trend that favours South Africa’s high quality iron-ore. That is the view of Kumba Iron Ore executive head marketing and seaborne logistics Timo Smit, who was... 

Illustrated is Kumba Iron Ore's pit-to-port performance in the six months to June 30.
Illustrated is Kumba Iron Ore's pit-to-port performance in the six months to June 30.

Brazilian major Vale piloting electric locomotive

By: Mariaan Webb     29th July 2020 Diversified mining major Vale, in partnership with Progress Rail – part of US group Caterpillar – is developing a new 100% electric, battery-powered switchyard locomotive. The initiative forms part of the iron-ore miner’s strategy of reducing direct and indirect emissions (Scope 1 and 2). The... 

Risky business for Australian miners

By: Esmarie Iannucci     28th July 2020 Climate change and natural disasters, as well as commodity price risks were topping the list of concerns for Australian miners, a new report by KPMG has found. KPMG partner and mining risk specialist Caron Sugars said on Tuesday that profound changes had occurred since KPMG conducted its 2020... 

Risky business for Australian miners

PGM prices expected to remain robust in the short term   

By: Martin Creamer     27th July 2020 Platinum group metals (PGMs) prices are expected to remain robust in the short term, with demand and supply starting to balance. Covid notwithstanding, the average realised dollar basket price of Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) in the six-month to June 30 was 56% higher year-on-year at $1 956 a... 

Anglo American Platinum CEO Natascha Viljoen.
Anglo American Platinum CEO Natascha Viljoen is interviewed by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Fatality-free Amplats delivers higher earnings, declares dividend

By: Martin Creamer     27th July 2020 Platinum group metals (PGM) mining and marketing company Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) on Monday reported a robust set of financial results and a strong safety performance, illustrating the resilience of the business despite significant headwinds. The JSE-listed company delivered 6%-higher... 

Anglo American Platinum CEO Natascha Viljoen.
Anglo American Platinum CEO Natascha Viljoen.

Northern Dynasty's Pebble mine reaches key environmental milestone

By: Donna Slater     24th July 2020 The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) on July 24 released the final environmental-impact statement (EIS) for TSX- and NYSE-listed minerals exploration and development company Northern Dynasty Minerals’ Pebble copper/gold/molybdenum project in southwest Alaska. In its role as lead federal... 

Northern Dynasty's Pebble mine reaches key environmental milestone

Australia's Cabinet approves single-touch approvals for major projects

By: Esmarie Iannucci     24th July 2020 The National Cabinet on Friday agreed to move to single-touch environmental approvals underpinned by national environmental standards for Commonwealth environmental matters. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the government was also hoping to cut excessive waiting time for project approvals,... 

Australia PM Scott Morrison
Photo by Bloomberg
Australia PM Scott Morrison

US moves to streamline uranium extraction rules in bid to boost mining

By: Reuters     24th July 2020 The Trump administration on Thursday moved to streamline water rules on uranium mining, in a move environmentalists said allows the Environmental Protection Agency to give up authority on regulating water pollution. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed an initial agreement, or memorandum of... 

US moves to streamline uranium extraction rules in bid to boost mining

Sacred site destruction demonstrates industry's need to improve corporate citizenship

By: Mamaili Mamaila     24th July 2020 Diversified miner Rio Tinto's destruction of a 46 000-year-old sacred Aboriginal site in the Juukan Gorge in the Pilbara – which occurred in last month following a misunderstanding during the extension of the Brockman 4 iron-ore mine – demonstrates the adverse environmental and cultural impact... 

IN THE SPOTLIGHT 
Devastation left in the wake of a tailings dam burst owned by Vale and BHP Billiton in Mariana, Brazil
Photo by Reuters
IN THE SPOTLIGHT Devastation left in the wake of a tailings dam burst owned by Vale and BHP Billiton in Mariana, Brazil

Menar’s R250m cash-funded solar-served East Manganese project is under way  

By: Martin Creamer     23rd July 2020 Initial project activities are under way at the R250-million cash-funded East Manganese project in Hotazel, Northern Cape, where the hot sun will be harvested to provide solar power to the mine’s infrastructure. The development forms part of the company’s strategy of building a manganese... 

Menar MD and cofounder Vuslat Bayoğlu
Menar MD and co-founder discusses manganese project with Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Pan African does it again with exciting rich vein of gold at New Consort  

By: Martin Creamer     21st July 2020 London-, Johannesburg- and now also New York-listed Pan African Resources continues to demonstrate the resilience of its operations with an improved all-round performance, despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. In the last year, Pan African has taken strong steps to reduce all-in... 

Pan African does it again with exciting rich vein of gold at New Consort
Pan African CEO Cobus Loots interviewed by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

South32 shuts Metalloys temporarily, expects $7m restructuring costs  

By: Martin Creamer     20th July 2020 Diversified mining company South32 has placed the manganese alloys Metalloys smelter in Meyerton, Gauteng, on temporary care and maintenance. The Sydney- and Johannesburg-listed company stated in its June 2020 quarterly report on Monday that it had taken this decision after consideration of the... 

South32 Metalloys in Meyerton, Gauteng.
Photo by Creamer Media
South32 Metalloys in Meyerton, Gauteng.

‘Historic dumps’ do not appear to be MPRDA regulated – law firm 

By: Martin Creamer     20th July 2020 South Africa’s ‘historic dumps’­ – mine dumps created prior to the promulgation of the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) which took effect in 2004 – do not appear to be regulated under the MPRDA, and the common law owners of such dumps do not require a right under the MPRDA... 

Herbert Smith Freehills Patrick Leyden and Aobakwe Mametse.
Herbert Smith Freehills Patrick Leyden and Aobakwe Mametse.

Incentivisation, coronavirus, solar PV make headlines  

16th July 2020 Mining Weekly Editor Martin Creamer unpacks the ANC's call for the incentivisation for investors in mining exploration, the International Council on Mining & Metals convening knowledge-sharing sessions in response to the coronavirus and Pan African's approval of a 10 MW solar PV project at the... 

Incentivisation, coronavirus, solar PV make headlines
Incentivisation, coronavirus, solar PV make headlines

Platinum boosts hydrogen electrolyser performance exponentially – Hydrox   

By: Martin Creamer     16th July 2020 Platinum provides an exponential improvement in the performance of electrolysers used to produce green hydrogen, says Hydrox Holdings CEO Corrie de Jager, who describes platinum’s uplift as being “amazing”. “We tried a smattering of only 9% platinum and it provided a tremendous improvement in the... 

Hydrox Holdings CEO Corrie de Jager
Hydrox CEO Corrie de Jager tells Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer of the company’s hydrogen breakthrough. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Minerals Council develops mining-focused water conservation tool 

By: Natasha Odendaal     15th July 2020 The Minerals Council South Africa has developed a user-friendly water conservation and water demand management (WC/WDM) tool for the mining sector. The water conservation and water demand management self-assessment reporting tool (WSART) can be used by the mining industry to conduct a... 

Global mining sharing knowledge in response to Covid-19  

By: Martin Creamer     14th July 2020 The International Council on Mining & Metals (ICMM) has been convening many knowledge-sharing sessions in response to the coronavirus. Among ICMM’s 27 mining and metals company members and 36 association members are South Africa’s African Rainbow Minerals, Anglo American, AngloGold Ashanti,... 

International Council on Mining and Metals CEO Tom Butler
International Council on Mining and Metals CEO Tom Butler talks to Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer

Miners fear recession post Covid-19 - survey

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th July 2020 A survey by global law firm White & Case of senior mining and metals decision makers has revealed that the fear of a global recession was the top concern in the post Covid-19 economy. The survey, which included responses from a record 67 senior decision makers, also saw 39% of respondents citing... 

Nornickel dismisses Talnakh concentrator management for enviro violations

By: Mariaan Webb     13th July 2020 Russian mining company Nornickel has dismissed the management of the Talnakh concentrator for gross misconduct, after an internal investigation discovered two instances of unauthorised industrial water discharge. The world’s largest producer of palladium and high-grade nickel said in a statement... 

Nornickel COO Sergey Dyachenko has announced zero tolerance towards environmental violations.
Nornickel COO Sergey Dyachenko has announced zero tolerance towards environmental violations.

Investors in mining exploration should be incentivised – ANC’s ETC 

By: Martin Creamer     13th July 2020 Listings of mining companies on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange should be encouraged and South African retail investors willing to invest in mining exploration should be incentivised as is the case in other mining jurisdictions, the economic transformation committee (ETC) of the African National... 

ANC document says mining exploration should be incentivised.
Photo by Creamer Media
ANC document says mining exploration should be incentivised.

Nornickel suffers another fuel leak

By: Mariaan Webb     13th July 2020 Russian mining group Nornickel has suffered a fuel pipeline leak in the Arctic, a month-and-a-half after the company reported a major spill near the city of Norilsk. Nornickel said on Sunday that about 44.5 t of aviation fuel was spilled during the depressurisation of a pipeline belonging to... 

Nornickel brings equipment to Norilsk to pump out water and fuel mixture to clean up the May 29 fuel spill. The company has reported another fuel spill at the weekend.
Nornickel brings equipment to Norilsk to pump out water and fuel mixture to clean up the May 29 fuel spill. The company has reported another fuel spill at the weekend.

Pan African reports higher output, lower debt, upped guidance, intensified dividend intent 

By: Martin Creamer     10th July 2020 Despite the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, Pan African Resources on Friday reported higher gold production, lower debt, good safety, environmental progress, project advances and intensified dividend intent. In an operational update for the year ended June 30, the London-,... 

Hydraulic mining of Pan African's surface tailings.
Hydraulic mining of Pan African's surface tailings.

Pan African board approves development of 10 MW solar plant at Elikhulu  

By: Martin Creamer     10th July 2020 The board of gold-mining company Pan African has approved the development of a 10 MW solar photovoltaic project at the Elikhulu gold-from-tailings operation in Evander, Mpumalanga, the London-, Johannesburg- and now also New York-listed Pan African stated on Friday. Earlier this month, the... 

Gold pour at Elikhulu gold plant.
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Gold pour at Elikhulu gold plant.

South Africa’s July Ndlovu to chair World Coal Association 

By: Martin Creamer     9th July 2020 South Africa’s July Ndlovu has been appointed the chairperson of the World Coal Association (WCA), Mining Weekly can today report. Ndlovu, who heads Anglo American’s coal business in South Africa, takes up the position at a time when, in his words, “the role of responsible coal is front and... 

July Ndlovu and Michelle Manook.
Photo by World Coal Association
July Ndlovu and Michelle Manook.

Second iteration of Aameg Africa Awards to be hosted in November

By: Simone Liedtke     7th July 2020 The Australia-Africa Minerals and Energy Group’s (Aameg’s) premier event for recognising best practice in mineral exploration across the African continent will be having its second iteration on November 4 as part of the Africa Down Under (ADU) conference in Perth, Australia. The event was founded... 

Arctic diesel spill caused $2bn damage, Russia says

By: Bloomberg     7th July 2020 Russia’s ecological watchdog said the diesel spill from a tank owned by MMC Norilsk Nickel in May caused 148-billion rubles ($2-billion) of damage in the Arctic. The vast majority of the damage was to waterways that are linked to the Kara Sea, according to the report from the Federal Service for... 

A July 2 photo showing the area where Norilsk Nickel has cleaned up a major diesel spill.
A July 2 photo showing the area where Norilsk Nickel has cleaned up a major diesel spill.

Displacement continuing at copper mine where openpit give way is imminent 

By: Martin Creamer     6th July 2020 Vertical and horizontal displacement is continuing at the Nchanga Open Pit Cut 2 in Chingola in Zambia, where geo-technical assessments point to an imminent collapse of a portion of the open pit – but the anticipated slough had not happened by late Sunday when Mining Weekly spoke by phone to... 

Konkola Copper Mines CEO Chris Sheppard.
Photo by Creamer Media
Konkola Copper Mines CEO Chris Sheppard.

Epiroc aims to halve carbon dioxide emissions in operations as part of 2030 goals

By: Schalk Burger     3rd July 2020 Mining and infrastructure equipment multinational Epiroc this week released its 2030 sustainability goals, which include halving carbon dioxide emissions from operations, transport and major suppliers, as well as from customers’ use of Epiroc equipment. "These are challenging targets, but we will... 

Bigger, stronger filters advance tailings solution

By: Theresa Bhowan     3rd July 2020 Mining equipment manufacturer Metso has sought to advance its tailings management solution by launching the bigger and stronger VPX filter. 

OPTIMAL FILTRATION
The VPX filter treats slurry materials, thereby increasing economic efficiency and social responsibility
OPTIMAL FILTRATION The VPX filter treats slurry materials, thereby increasing economic efficiency and social responsibility

Mining will need long-term strategies to survive new normal 

By: Simone Liedtke     2nd July 2020 For the mining industry to be successful post-Covid-19, the industry will require long-term strategies to deal with its challenges, which includes the pandemic. In a webinar hosted by the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) on July 2, investment management firm Orion Resource Partners... 

Mining will need long-term strategies to survive new normal

Nornickel board sets up environmental task team in wake of Arctic spill

By: Mariaan Webb     2nd July 2020 Global palladium and high-grade nickel leader Nornickel has created an independent environmental task team of the board of directors to monitor progress in the Russian major’s environmental programmes. The management team included Andrey Bougrov as Nornickel’s senior VP, who will oversee the... 

Nornickel board sets up environmental task team in wake of Arctic spill

PGMs, battery metals market potential, De Beers' R10m Covid-19 lab make headlines  

2nd July 2020 Mining Weekly Editor Martin Creamer unpacks platinum group metals being in a great position to benefit from the fast-growing global decarbonisation momentum, SA and the global battery metals market; and De Beer’s R10-million coronavirus testing lab.   

PGMs, battery metals market potential, De Beers' R10m Covid-19 lab make headlines
PGMs, battery metals market potential, De Beers' R10m Covid-19 lab make headlines
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