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Environmental News

Platinum has potential to be three-times-bigger $35bn-a-year industry – Minerals Council  

By: Martin Creamer     9th September 2020 Instead of being the $11-billion-a -year type industry that it is today, the platinum business has the potential to be a $35-billion-a-year industry by 2050, Minerals Council South Africa CEO Roger Baxter said on Wednesday. Baxter made this statement in response to a question put to him during a... 

Promoting hydrogen economy should be No1 priority – RBPlat’s Phiri 

By: Martin Creamer     9th September 2020 Promoting the hydrogen economy should be South Africa’s number one priority, Royal Bafokeng Platinum CEO Steve Phiri said on Wednesday. Speaking during a panel discussion on the current state of the platinum group metals industry at the virtual 2020 PGMs Industry Day, Phiri said that this... 

Promoting hydrogen economy should be No1 priority – RBPlat’s Phiri
Photo by Creamer Media
Steve Phiri, Andries Rossouw (from left top) and Natascha Viljoen, Nico Muller (from left bottom)

Prize potentially large in platinum fuel cell and hydrogen growth – prof   

By: Martin Creamer     8th September 2020 Significant growth in fuel cells and hydrogen is now almost certain and the prize for South Africa remains potentially large. That is the view of E4tech director Professor Dr David Hart of Switzerland, expressed in an address to a fuel cell webinar hosted by Nedbank CIB on Tuesday. (Also watch... 

Prize potentially large in platinum fuel cell and hydrogen growth – prof
Nedbank CIB fuel cell webinar covered by Mining Weekly's Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Possible special dividend on high-flying rhodium, palladium prices – Sylvania 

By: Martin Creamer     7th September 2020 High-flying rhodium and palladium prices are giving rise to a possible special dividend being paid to the shareholders of cash-flush Sylvania Platinum, the London Aim-quoted company that recovers platinum group metals from chrome tailings. The board of the company, which benefits from sizeable... 

Possible special dividend on high-flying rhodium, palladium prices – Sylvania
Sylvania Platinum CEO Jaco Prinsloo

Court finds in favour of PolyMet’s permit

By: Creamer Media Reporter      7th September 2020 A Ramsey county District Court judge has found that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) did not engage in any procedural irregularities in connection with the processing of the national pollutant discharge elimination system (NPDES) permit for the NorthMet copper/nickel/precious metals... 

Court finds in favour of PolyMet’s permit

Sasol seeks carbon-utilisation solutions for South African operations 

By: Terence Creamer     4th September 2020 Energy and chemicals group Sasol has initiated a process through which it aims to identify potential partners for the development and demonstration of technologies that can utilise the carbon dioxide (CO2) produced at its South African operations as part of a broader strategy to lower its... 

Sasol seeks carbon-utilisation solutions for South African operations

Lagging platinum being actively promoted – Implats  

By: Martin Creamer     3rd September 2020 Demand for platinum, the price laggard of the high-flying platinum group metals basket, is being actively promoted on several fronts, Implats reported on Thursday. Following the company’s presentation of stellar cash-generating and dividend-yielding financial results, which featured a gross... 

Lagging platinum being actively promoted – Implats
Implats virtual results presentation covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Kelly Creamer and Darlene Creamer.

Brazil Senate passes bill to limit, fine upstream mining dams

By: Reuters     3rd September 2020 Brazil's Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that tightens the safety rules and inspection for dams in the mining industry, setting fines of up to one-billion reais ($187-million) for failure to comply. The legislation reinforces the prohibition of the use of upstream dams for tailings ponds, like... 

Brazil Senate passes bill to limit, fine upstream mining dams
President Jair Bolsonaro

Bushveld advances electrolyte, solar, mini-grid projects 

By: Martin Creamer     2nd September 2020 London-listed integrated primary vanadium producer and energy storage provider, Bushveld Minerals, the owner of assets in South Africa, on Wednesday reported progress with the group’s electrolyte plant, solar and mini-grid power project. Bushveld Energy intends devising self-generation options... 

Bushveld advances electrolyte, solar, mini-grid projects
Photo by Creamer Media
Bushveld Minerals CEO Fortune Mojapelo

South Africa’s green revolution gathering momentum 

2nd September 2020 The Covid-19 pandemic has presented countries around the world with immense challenges, as the impact of the virus has affected every aspect of everyday life as we know it, write Dr Cosmas Chiteme, Dr Rebecca Maserumule and Prof Dmitri Bessarabov. (Chiteme and Maserumule are senior managers at... 

South Africa’s green revolution gathering momentum
Hydrogen fuel and containerised fuel cell installations at One Military Hospital in Pretoria.

Joburg’s political legacy mine dumps should come down to cut commute time – DRDGold  

By: Martin Creamer     1st September 2020 South Africa Inc should be doing much more to incentivise the recovery of precious metals from tailings dams for sound societal and environmental reasons that could free Johannesburg of its artificial ‘Berlin Wall’-type political legacy barriers that tilt commute times unfairly and block new-era... 

Joburg’s political legacy mine dumps should come down to cut commute time – DRDGold
DRDGold CEO Niël Pretorius talks to Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer

Analysts raise precious metals expansion opportunities for cash-flush Sibanye  

By: Martin Creamer     30th August 2020 Mining analysts last week raised local platinum and gold expansion opportunities for cash-flush precious metals mining company Sibanye-Stillwater, but Neal Froneman, the CEO of the superbly performing Johannesburg- and New York-listed company, expressed concern that South Africa’s current... 

Analysts raise precious metals expansion opportunities for cash-flush Sibanye
Sibanye-Stillwater half-year results covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Audio: Darlene Creamer.

Rhodium may turn out to be the metal of the decade – Northam 

By: Martin Creamer     28th August 2020 Rhodium may turn out to be the metal of the decade, Northam CEO Paul Dunne said on Friday. Speaking at the JSE-listed company’s presentation of outstanding results, which saw the company shrug off the Covid-19 pandemic to report a record financial year in the 12 months to June 30, Dunne said... 

Rhodium may turn out to be the metal of the decade – Northam
Northam Platinum results covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Kutlwano Matlala.

Company to provide energy storage for local mines

By: Cameron Mackay     28th August 2020 The local mining sector is becoming more open to implementing new technologies in terms of energy solutions, as they can make mining operations more efficient, productive and cost effective, states microgrid and energy solutions provider Hitachi ABB Power Grids MD Malvin Naicker. Hitachi ABB... 

Company to provide energy storage for local mines
CHANGING STATUS QUO The company is beginning to interact more with the mining industry to provide flexible, resilient and smart microgrid and energy storage solutions

Higher energy efficiency can save costs for miners

By: Cameron Mackay     28th August 2020 Local energy organisation the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) GM Barry Bredenkamp states that South Africa’s mining sector can continue to explore cost-saving measures through increased energy efficiency. Local miners face many challenges, including rising energy... 

Higher energy efficiency can save costs for miners
ENERGY EFFICIENCY GAINS With more environmental pressures being placed on miners, improving energy efficiency is one of the leading drivers to contribute to a reduction in harmful emissions

Logistics company branches out

By: Cameron Mackay     28th August 2020 Local logistics services supplier Mixcorp is including renewable-energy technology suited to the mining industry in the scope of its research and development (R&D) department to add renewables-related logistical services to its offering. Mixcorp special scientific adviser Dr Godfrey Gandawa... 

Logistics company  branches out
DR GODFREY GANDAWA We are in the process of setting up operations in Zambia and the DRC, working with mines that are considering investing in renewable energy technologies

Mining waste can boost alternative-fuels prospects

By: Cameron Mackay     28th August 2020 Certain wastes in the mining sector present an opportunity to create alternative fuels, which can alleviate the energy supply challenges in the local industry, says waste management solutions provider Interwaste. Repurposing waste for energy purposes can also reduce the reliance on landfills and... 

Mining waste can boost alternative-fuels prospects
REFUSE-DERIVED FUEL RDF is a solid fuel source recovered through the shredding and bailing of certain presorted dry industrial nonrecyclable waste

Camden power station resumes operations

By: Creamer Media Reporter      27th August 2020 Operations at the Camden power station resumed on August 27 after a four-month shutdown. The shutdown was implemented to relocate ash from an unsafe dam at the station. 

Accountability, good governance, participation key to rehabilitate sites for a ‘life after mining’

By: Simone Liedtke     26th August 2020 Across South Africa, and globally, affected locations should have the opportunity to have a “life after mining”, but Department of Science and Technology/National Research Foundation Research Chair Mineral Law in Africa postdoctoral research fellow Bernard Kengi laments that mine waste often... 

High-flying DRDGold expecting nigh sevenfold earnings rocket 

By: Martin Creamer     26th August 2020 Surface gold mining company DRDGold is expecting half-year earnings per share to rocket nearly sevenfold. In a trading statement released on Wednesday, the company, headed by CEO Niël Pretorius, indicated earnings per share of 82.5 c for the financial year to June 30, compared with 11.8 c for the... 

High-flying DRDGold expecting nigh sevenfold earnings rocket
Tailings dumps from which DRDGold recovers gold.

Master Drilling aligning with opencast mines going underground in changing world  

By: Martin Creamer     26th August 2020 South Africa-based drilling company Master Drilling, which is active in 23 countries, is aligning itself with the transitioning global requirement of opencast mines going underground. “As the world is changing, so are the mines,” said Master Drilling technology director Koos Jordaan at the... 

Master Drilling aligning with opencast mines going underground in changing world
Master Drilling technology director Koos Jordaan’s presentation covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer

Northern Dynasty stock tumbles further as doubts grow over Alaska's Pebble mine

By: Reuters     26th August 2020 Northern Dynasty Minerals shares fell more than 25% on Tuesday on rising doubts the company can clear regulatory hurdles for its Pebble mine project in Alaska, and prominent politicians said it would harm the state's salmon fishing industry. The US Army Corps of Engineers on Monday gave Northern... 

Northern Dynasty stock tumbles further as doubts grow over Alaska's Pebble mine

Third of labour force let go – Master Drilling  

By: Martin Creamer     25th August 2020 The Covid-19 crisis resulted in drilling company Master Drilling having to let go a third of its labour force in the world, Master Drilling CEO Danie Pretorius said on Tuesday. Fochville-based Master Drilling provides drilling services to the mining, civil engineering and building construction... 

Third of labour force let go – Master Drilling
Master Drilling half-year results covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Glencore part of giant leap to transform informal cobalt mining  

By: Martin Creamer     24th August 2020 Eight concerns, including diversified mining and marketing company Glencore, have joined forces to transform the informal mining of cobalt for the better. Full implementation would take five years and would begin in mines in Kasulu and Kamilombe in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), with the... 

Glencore part of giant leap to transform informal cobalt mining
The pit is excavated by a team of five to seven diggers, locally known as creuseurs.

Underground gold mines produce less emissions than openpit operations − S&P Market Intelligence

By: Donna Slater     21st August 2020 Last year, gold mines produced nearly 1 t of carbon dioxide (CO2) for every ounce of gold produced, says business intelligence company Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Market Intelligence research. To gather insight into greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions in the gold mining industry, the firm reviewed... 

Water treatment technology available but costly

By: Darren Parker     21st August 2020 Although the technology to treat and purify mine water to acceptable standards already exists, the main challenge for the mining industry and society is affordability, says water and environmental consulting firm GCS regional director and senior hydrogeologist Pieter Labuschagne. Currently, the... 

Water treatment technology available but costly
AN EXPENSIVE ENDEAVOUR Many factors involved in the treatment and purification of mine-impacted water make it a costly exercise

Industry welcomes new water management tool

By: Darren Parker     21st August 2020 The uptake of a tool to assist the mining sector in implementing the principles of water conservation and water demand management (WC/WDM), has been “overwhelmingly positive”, Minerals Council South Africa head of environment Stephinah Mudau tells Mining Weekly. The WC/WDM self-assessment... 

Industry welcomes new water management tool
Photo by Creamer Media
ACCURATE SELF-ASSESSMENT The new tool assesses water requirements and the level of water reuse and recycling required, thereby reducing treatment costs

New sewage treatment plants planned

By: Darren Parker     21st August 2020 Following the successful commissioning of a sewage treatment plant for coal mining company Canyon Coal’s Khanye colliery, in Gauteng, in early 2019, plans are under way to build similar plants at the company’s planned De Wittekrans and Palmietkuilen collieries. In a statement issued by the... 

New sewage treatment plants planned
WASTE NOT The sewage treatment plant at Khanye colliery is designed to treat up to 30 000 ℓ/d of sewage water for discharge into an adjacent wetland system

Kropz to present Elandsfontein water-use licence case

By: Donna Slater     20th August 2020 The Water Tribunal has given Aim-listed phosphate explorer and developer Kropz three days, starting on September 3, to present its case in an appeal against the integrated water-use licence (WUL) for its Elandsfontein mine on South Africa's West Coast. The miner’s Elandsfontein WUL came into... 

Alaska Republican Party backs Pebble mine

By: Mariaan Webb     20th August 2020 The Alaska Republic Party has thrown its weight behind the proposed Pebble copper/gold mine, arguing that responsible development of the mine will be a significant economic boost for the state. In a resolution dated August 9, the party urges Alaska leaders and the US Army Corp of Engineers... 

Alaska Republican Party backs Pebble mine

K+S Windsor Salt fined for illegal disposals

By: Creamer Media Reporter      20th August 2020 Salt miner Seleine Mines – a division of K+S Windsor Salt – has been fined C$400 000 for violating environmental laws in 2014. Environment and Climate Change Canada says Seleine Mines had disposed of dredged material on four occasions in 2014, outside of the disposal area authorised by its... 

More to zinc than what is commonly known

By: Mamaili Mamaila     14th August 2020 Baby bum cream, fertiliser and roof tiles all have one thing in common: the lesser-known, but incredibly pervasive mineral zinc. 

More to zinc than what is commonly known
HEALTHY COMPONENT Zinc is integral to human health as it boosts the immune system, with many zinc-based medicines, including tablets

South Africans must work together on an accelerated economic recovery plan – Exxaro  

By: Martin Creamer     13th August 2020 South Africans must work together on an accelerated economic recovery plan that focuses on inclusive growth and prosperity for all citizens, Exxaro Resources CEO Mxolisi Mgojo  said on Thursday. Speaking during the black-empowered resources company’s presentation of very strong dividend-yielding... 

South Africans must work together on an accelerated economic recovery plan – Exxaro
Exxaro CEO Mxolisi Mgojo interviewed by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Awesome new proudly South African face mask kindling international interest   

By: Martin Creamer     13th August 2020 An awesome new proudly South African face mask, with a replaceable filtration system at its heart, is attracting international interest. The innovative and timely Hudaco Air Mask is a lockdown-period product of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed Hudaco Industries group. (Also watch attached... 

Awesome new proudly South African face mask kindling international interest
Hudaco CEO Graham Dunford and Hudaco’s executive consultant Mike Allnutt discuss the new Hudaco face mask innovation with Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Exxaro pays dividend on 40%-higher half-year earnings 

By: Martin Creamer     13th August 2020 Black-empowered diversified resources group Exxaro Resources on Thursday declared an interim dividend on posting a 40% increase in earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation of R3.9-billion for the six months to June 30. In the face of global trade tensions, a challenging local... 

Exxaro pays dividend on 40%-higher half-year earnings
Photo by Creamer Media
Exxaro CEO Mxolisi Mgojo

Investors call for greater Rio accountability over destroyed ancient caves

By: Reuters     11th August 2020 British and Australian investment funds said on Monday that Rio Tinto's testimony last week over its destruction of ancient caves in Australia raised questions about the accountability of its senior leadership. Rio CEO Jean-Sébastien Jacques was grilled by an Australian Senate panel on Friday... 

Investors call for greater Rio accountability over destroyed ancient caves

Uncertain when Milnerton oil refinery will come back on stream ­ 

By: Martin Creamer     11th August 2020 Astron Energy’s oil refinery in Cape Town, where a fire broke out last month killing two people and injuring seven others, remains closed while a full investigation into the incident is carried out. The former Chevron 100 000 bbl/d Milnerton refinery – which with the Caltex brand now fall under... 

Uncertain when Milnerton oil refinery will come back on stream ­
Photo by Astron Wesbite
Cape Town refinery.

WA welcomes federal enviro agreements

By: Esmarie Iannucci     10th August 2020 The Western Australian government has welcomed confirmation of the federal government’s intent to enter into a landmark agreement with the state government to provide a single avenue for environmental assessments and approvals. The agreement is expected to result in the removal of duplication... 

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