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Environmental News

Hyundai, green aluminium and the Coal Index Report make headlines  

11th June 2020 Mining Weekly Editor Martin Creamer unpacks Hyundai's new ultra-clean fuel cell electric car, green Aluminium and African Source Markets’ Weekly Coal Index Report and how it is providing pricing transparency.   

Implats chair Gancho to retire following October AGM

By: Martin Creamer     10th June 2020 Platinum group metals (PGM) mining and marketing company Implats on Wednesday announced the planned retirement of Dr Mandla Gantsho as an independent non-executive director and chairperson of the board of directors of Implats. His retirement will take effect on conclusion of the scheduled annual... 

Dr Mandla Gantsho
Dr Mandla Gantsho

Public Investment Corporation increases investment in Exxaro 

By: Martin Creamer     8th June 2020 The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has increased its shareholding in coal and renewable energy company Exxaro Resources to just over 15%, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed Exxaro stated in a stock exchange news service announcement on Monday. South Africa's State-owned PIC is Africa's... 

Mxolisi Mgojo
Photo by Creamer Media
Mxolisi Mgojo

Aluminium in spotlight as LME opts for low-carbon trading platform 

By: Martin Creamer     8th June 2020 Aluminium may find itself with an officially recognised ‘green’ tag when a low-carbon version of the metal is given new trading platform next year. FT Weekend and Aluminium International Today have reported that the London Metal Exchange (LME) will next year launch a platform to trade low-carbon... 

Hillside Aluminium in Richards Bay.
Hillside Aluminium in Richards Bay.

Giant spill in Russia offers a glimpse of the Arctic’s future

By: Bloomberg     8th June 2020 Investigators have determined that the leakage of of 20 000 t of diesel (about 150 000 barrels) from a reservoir at a power plant in Russia’s Far North was caused by damage from thawing permafrost—just the latest sign of the catastrophic effects climate change is having in the Arctic. “Entire... 

Giant spill in Russia offers a glimpse of the Arctic’s future

Zambia Chamber of Mines says govt tensions with power firm CEC bad for investment 

By: Reuters     5th June 2020 Zambia's attempt to force Copperbelt Energy Corp (CEC) to open up its infrastructure to other power producers has dented the country's image as an investment destination, the Chamber of Mines said on Friday. Energy Minister Matthew Nkhuwa issued a decree last Friday compelling CEC to allow others... 

Trump plan could make air pollution curbs tougher to justify

By: Bloomberg     5th June 2020 The Trump administration is seeking to overhaul the way it calculates the costs and benefits of environmental regulation, a move that could make it harder to justify air pollution curbs. The Environmental Protection Agency is set to formalise the new approach, said two people familiar with the... 

Sector ahead of the sustainability curve, challenges remain

By: Mamaili Mamaila     5th June 2020 With many local diamond mining operations reaching their end of life, the rehabilitation and remediation of such sites – in a closure and liquidation context – has been a particular focus in recent years, says law firm Bowmans partner Wandisile Mandlana. 

LEADING THE PACK
The sector is a few years ahead of other mining subsectors locally in terms of closure
LEADING THE PACK The sector is a few years ahead of other mining subsectors locally in terms of closure

Covid, diesel, substitution nudging platinum into sweeter spot 

By: Martin Creamer     4th June 2020 Depressed platinum is being nudged into a sweeter spot by a combination of the Covid-19 pandemic, new focus on diesel vehicles, trickling substitution of platinum for palladium and worsening supply constraints, Mining Weekly can report. Covid-19 funding demands are delaying the planned rollout of... 

New solution for monitoring tailings dams 

By: Martin Creamer     2nd June 2020 The tragic tailings dam breach in Brazil that killed more than 270 people has focused the world of mining on making tailings dams safe. Earlier this year, and environmental organisation Grid-Arendal launched the world’s first publicly accessible global database of mine tailings storage facilities... 

Tailings dam.
Photo by Creamer Media
Tailings dam.

New natural diamond council launched  

By: Martin Creamer     2nd June 2020 A natural diamond is made from carbon and is the hardest natural known substance on earth. Natural diamonds are created over a period of one to three billion years, many kilometres below the earth's mantle under natural conditions of very high pressure and high temperature. But unlike champagne,... 

Natural Diamond Council supports United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Natural Diamond Council supports United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Ukwazi launches sustainable mining, environmental and mine closure management division

By: Schalk Burger     1st June 2020 Mining service specialist company Ukwazi on June 1 launched a new division to provide solutions for environmental and closure liability management, including post-closure plans. New approaches in environmental and social governance are required to successfully manage complex country, market and... 

This year's Electra Mining cancelled

By: Donna Slater     29th May 2020 Organisers of Southern Africa’s mining, manufacturing, automation, electrical and power trade exhibition Electra Mining Africa, Specialised Exhibitions, reports that the 2020 edition of the trade fair has been cancelled as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This year’s show had been scheduled to... 

South Africa’s biggest emitters to be exposed to public scrutiny 

By: Martin Creamer     29th May 2020 South Africa’s emission levels are as high as those of the eight-times-larger UK economy, EDS Systems business development head Eckart Zollner pointed out on Friday, when he also drew attention to the mounting pressure on South Africa’s biggest polluters to curb their greenhouse-gas (GHG)... 

Eskom's coal-fired Duvha power station.
Eskom's coal-fired Duvha power station.

Australian emissions falling - report

By: Esmarie Iannucci     29th May 2020 Greenhouse gas emissions in Australia fell by 0.9% in 2019, or 50-million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Co2-e) to 532.5-million tonnes CO2-e, the federal government’s latest National Greenhouse Gas Inventory has found. Emissions are now 13.7% below 2005 levels, which is the baseline year... 

Australian emissions falling - report

Mining investment, the economy, Covid-19 opportunities make headlines 

28th May 2020 Mining Weekly editor Martin Creamer unpacks the mining industry's hopes to attract investment, the call for the urgent restoring of the country’s economy and Covid-19's in-country, self-sufficiency opportunities for South Africa. 

Mining investment, the economy, Covid-19 opportunities make headlines
Mining investment, the economy, Covid-19 opportunities make headlines

Vale ordered to set aside $1.48bn for Brumadinho dam damages

By: Reuters     27th May 2020 A judge in Brazil's Minas Gerais state partially granted an injunction sought by prosecutors ordering iron-ore miner Vale to deposit 7.9-billion reais ($1.48-billion) for payment of potential fines related to a dam disaster last year. Vale faces multiple legal battles after a tailings dam it... 

South Africa’s potential to export green hydrogen boosted   

By: Martin Creamer     26th May 2020 South Africa, which has been examining its competitiveness as a potential supplier of green hydrogen to Japan, is also being courted by Europe as a potential supplier in a world that is taking steps to decarbonise, Mining Weekly can report. Clean hydrogen is enjoying unprecedented political and... 

Japan, Europe, California creating demand for production of green hydrogen in South Africa.
Japan, Europe, California creating demand for production of green hydrogen in South Africa.

Mining becoming significant corporate buyer of renewable energy ­– ICMM 

By: Martin Creamer     21st May 2020 The mining industry has started to become a significant corporate buyer of renewable energy in regions where these technologies have become reliable and cost-competitive compared with fossil fuel-based electricity, says the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM). These regions include... 

Wind turbines at Gold Fields’ Agnew gold mine in Western Australia.
Wind turbines at Gold Fields’ Agnew gold mine in Western Australia.

Miners welcome low emissions technology paper

By: Esmarie Iannucci     21st May 2020 The federal government on Thursday released the Technology Investment Roadmap discussion paper, which is aimed at bringing a strategic and system-wide view to future investments in low emissions technologies. Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said that investment in low... 

Miners welcome low emissions technology paper

Australia commits A$2bn to climate change battle

By: Esmarie Iannucci     19th May 2020 The Australian resources and oil and gas sectors have welcomed the recommendations made in the King Review as well as the government’s commitment to a A$2-billion Climate Solutions Fund. The King Review which was commissioned in October of last year to identify new opportunities to unlock low... 

Platinum group metals prices fall but markets tight – Johnson Matthey 

By: Martin Creamer     18th May 2020 Platinum group metals (PGM) supply and demand will be severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, as national lockdowns hit auto production as well as South African mine output, Johnson Matthey said on Monday. Autocatalyst use was expected to fall by at least 15% to 20% and PGM supply by more... 

Johnson Matthey principal analyst Alison Cowley
Photo by Creamer Media
Johnson Matthey principal analyst Alison Cowley

Sunrise publishes enviro assessment for public comment

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th May 2020 Aim-listed Sunrise Resources has published its environment assessment and supplemental environmental reports for the CS pozzolan-perlite project for public comment. The project is based in Nevada, US.  

Glencore beats emissions target, sets out to deliver safety step change 

By: Martin Creamer     14th May 2020 Diversified mining and marketing company Glencore significantly surpassed its emission target in 2019 but described its safety performance as being unacceptable. In announcing the publication on its website of its 2019 Sustainability Report as well as its environment, social and governance (ESG)... 

Glencore’s head of sustainable development Anna Krutikov
Glencore’s head of sustainable development Anna Krutikov

Power station switch from coal to hydrogen sets new global example 

By: Martin Creamer     14th May 2020 The transitioning of a US power station from coal to renewable hydrogen is leading the way in a world urgently in need of meaningful action to combat climate change. The ground-breaking transition by Intermountain Power Agency of Utah, is being facilitated by Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems,... 

Renewable hydrogen stored underground.
Photo by MHPS
Renewable hydrogen stored underground.

Hydrogen, climate change, exploration make headlines  

14th May 2020 Mining Weekly editor Martin Creamer unpacks AP Ventures' optimism around Hydrogen and its applications, the commitment to climate change solutions through the International Council on Mining and Metals & the Council for Geosciences mapping the country to find exploration hotspots for after... 

Hydrogen, climate change, exploration make headlines
Hydrogen, climate change, exploration make headlines

Hydrogen gaining increasing levels of interest – AP Ventures 

By: Martin Creamer     13th May 2020 Hydrogen and the applications that it can enable are gaining increasing levels of interest and traction, says AP Ventures LLP. “We’re very optimistic about the role that fuel cells and hydrogen will play in decarbonising key sectors of the economy,” says AP Ventures in a written response to... 

Platinum-using hydrogen fuel cell.
Photo by Bloomberg
Platinum-using hydrogen fuel cell.

World’s top mining companies committed to climate change solutions – ICMM 

By: Martin Creamer     13th May 2020 Twenty seven of the world's leading mining and metals companies and 36 associations are committed to climate change solutions through their membership of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), Mining Weekly can today report. The ICMM is an international organisation dedicated to a... 

International Council on Mining and Metals  CEO Tom Butler
International Council on Mining and Metals CEO Tom Butler

Anglo delivering through volatile times with $14.5bn liquidity  

By: Martin Creamer     12th May 2020 How Anglo American is ‘delivering through volatile times’ was outlined on Tuesday  at Bank of America’s virtual global metals, mining and steel conference, where it reiterated its strong liquidity position of $14.5-billion, made up of $6.9-billion in cash and $7.6-billion in undrawn committed... 

Anglo American's FutureSmart MiningTM is an innovation-led approach to sustainable mining.
Photo by Anglo American
Anglo American's FutureSmart MiningTM is an innovation-led approach to sustainable mining.

Climate-smart mining tech even more important in a Covid-19 context – World Bank

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th May 2020 The production of minerals such as graphite, lithium and cobalt could potentially increase by 500% by 2050 to meet the growing demand for clean energy technologies, the World Bank reports. In a report, titled 'Minerals for Climate Action: The Mineral Intensity of the Clean Energy Transition',... 

Australian miners calling for reform of EPBC Act

By: Esmarie Iannucci     11th May 2020 A number of resources industry bodies have called for a reform of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act, as an independent review into the legislation continues. “Reforms to the Act are long overdue, and numerous reviews over the past decade have repeatedly... 

Australian miners calling for reform of EPBC Act

Lion ferrochrome smelter, Eastern Chrome mines restart – Merafe 

By: Martin Creamer     8th May 2020 Operations at the Lion ferrochrome smelter and Eastern Chrome mines of the Glencore Merafe Chrome Venture have recommenced, but the Boshoek, Rustenburg, Wonderkop, Lydenburg smelters and Kroondal mine will remain on care and maintenance until the macroeconomic environment improves, Merafe... 

The Lion ferrochrome plant, which uses 37% less electricity.
Photo by Creamer Media
The Lion ferrochrome plant, which uses 37% less electricity.

Water cleaning system modified for SA’s AMD

By: Theresa Bhowan     8th May 2020 Following its attendance at the Investing in African Mining Indaba in February and, having previously conducted research on the country’s acid mine drainage (AMD) problem, Finland-based company EPSE is now involved in several mine water purification projects in South Africa. “The mining industry... 

TESTING 1, 2
Lab-scale tests are constructed and the chemical recipe is adjusted
TESTING 1, 2 Lab-scale tests are constructed and the chemical recipe is adjusted

Water-related planning essential for mines

By: Theresa Bhowan     8th May 2020 As mining operations are extremely water-intensive and -dependent, it is important to have a good understanding of water sources, movement and discharge at the mine, say engineering consultants WSP, adding that the funding to treat and transfer water is equally important. “Maintaining an accurate... 

KAREN KING
Maintaining an accurate process flow diagram and water balance are key to mine water planning
KAREN KING Maintaining an accurate process flow diagram and water balance are key to mine water planning

Active efforts to conserve water resources

8th May 2020 It is commonly accepted that South Africa is a water-stressed country but, as a developing country, the balance between growth and the exploitation of natural resources is a sensitive matter, says mining investment company Menar. The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) noted that the 2017... 

Dredging unit shows its versatility

8th May 2020 A recent two-week trial at a mine on South Africa’s West Coast has reaffirmed the value of specialist pumps supplier Integrated Pump Rental’s (IPR’s) SlurrySucker dredging unit – even in saltwater and high-volume conditions. The mine’s main process water pond offered a significant challenge, as... 

KEEPING IT CLEAN
The SlurrySucker dredging equipment could quickly dredge the sewage pond before there was any danger of overflow
KEEPING IT CLEAN The SlurrySucker dredging equipment could quickly dredge the sewage pond before there was any danger of overflow

Long-term treatment vital for water supply

By: Theresa Bhowan     8th May 2020 With the delay in the long-term treatment or desalination of acid mine drainage (AMD) in the integrated Vaal river system and the delay in the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) Phase II, interventions are required to reduce the risk of water restrictions, states mining environmental activist... 

TOO SALTY
Additional salinity, owing to the current rate of treatment, creates water security risks
TOO SALTY Additional salinity, owing to the current rate of treatment, creates water security risks

Spillway gates increase dam capacity

By: Theresa Bhowan     8th May 2020 Increasing the capacity of return water dams results in additional water for mine use, particularly when considering the water-intensive nature of mining activities, and the consumption of water by staff and residential communities in and around a mine. Automatic water control equipment supplier... 

FREE FLOWING
A dam can be raised up to 6 m and can double its capacity with the addition of spillway gates
FREE FLOWING A dam can be raised up to 6 m and can double its capacity with the addition of spillway gates
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