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Environmental News

Self-generation threshold must be increased, respondents concur 

By: Martin Creamer     4th February 2021 Minerals Council South Africa, Business Unity South Africa and individual mining companies have applauded the support that Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter has given to the lifting of the licencing exemption threshold for electricity generation to 50 MW. During the ENSafrica webinar on February 2, De... 

Resources Watch  

3rd February 2021 De Beers adopts strategy to meet carbon-neutral ambition; Third consecutive year of coal export decline from Richards Bay Coal Terminal; And, Transitioning fossil-fuel labour forces into new sectors critical for ‘clean, just energy transitions’ 

Resources Watch
Resources Watch

Exxaro no longer investing in thermal coal as it strives for 2050 carbon neutral goal

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd February 2021 Diversified miner Exxaro Resources will no longer invest in thermal coal assets, as this forms part of the company’s transition to becoming carbon neutral by 2050 in terms of Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, CEO Mxolisi Mgojo said on February 2. Speaking during an environmental, social and... 

Exxaro CEO Mxolisi Mgojo
Exxaro CEO Mxolisi Mgojo

Energy multinational outlines South Africa’s $100bn green hydrogen export opportunity  

By: Terence Creamer     2nd February 2021 French energy multinational Engie says that South Africa is ideally positioned, by virtue of its solar and wind endowments, to emerge as a global leader in the production of green hydrogen and derivative carbon-neutral fuels and chemicals, which could generate domestic and export revenues worth... 

Energy multinational outlines South Africa’s $100bn green hydrogen export opportunity

Sibanye highlights importance of wetland preservation

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd February 2021 Precious metals miner Sibanye-Stillwater has highlighted the importance of preserving wetlands, as it celebrates World Wetlands Day on February 2. Sibanye operates in South Africa and the US, which have 26 and 41 Ramsar sites, respectively. In 1971, the Ramsar Convention for the protection of... 

Minister approves Lake Wells development

By: Esmarie Iannucci     2nd February 2021 The Lake Wells sulphate of potash (SOP) project has been granted full environmental approval by Western Australia’s Environment Minister Stephen Dawson. ASX-listed Australian Potash MD and CEO Matt Shackleton on Tuesday said the company was pleased with another significant milestone in the... 

Opinion: Good job, Minister Mantashe – now more of the same

2nd February 2021 Ahead of this year's virtual Investing in African Mining Indaba, law firm Webber Wentzel commends Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe and the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) for continuing to work tirelessly throughout the Covid-19-related lockdown but calls for further... 

Lower attendance but further reach for Indaba

By: Darren Parker     29th January 2021 This year’s two-day Investing in African Mining Indaba virtual conference is expected to host about half of the usual attendance figures at the seven-day event, held in Cape Town in years prior. A spokesperson for event organiser Hyve tells Mining Weekly that about 3 000 delegates are expected to... 

CYRIL RAMAPHOSA
The South African President will one of the keynote speakers at the virtual event
CYRIL RAMAPHOSA The South African President will one of the keynote speakers at the virtual event

Blockchain carbon tracing proof of concept released

29th January 2021 The World Economic Forum’s Mining and Metals Blockchain Initiative (MMBI) announced in December that it had released a proof of concept that uses distributed ledger technology to track embedded greenhouse gas emissions with a focus on end-to-end traceability. The initiative, a collaboration... 

PROVING THE CONCEPT
The blockchain carbon tracing proof of concept will improve the traceability of emissions from mine to final product
PROVING THE CONCEPT The blockchain carbon tracing proof of concept will improve the traceability of emissions from mine to final product

Export speed-up projects in spotlight at Richards Bay Coal Terminal  

By: Martin Creamer     28th January 2021 South Africa’s Richards Bay Coal Terminal is going all out to raise its export efficiency in a bid to counter ship queuing. With the R1.34-billion worth of stacker reclaimers and shiploaders provided in 2018 putting in solid performances, RBCT has now turned to debottlenecking conveyor projects... 

Five phases have resulted in a coal terminal with 91-million tons of export capacity
Richards Bay Coal Terminal’s presentation covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer

MCA welcomes EPBC Act reform suggestions

By: Esmarie Iannucci     28th January 2021 The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) has welcomed the final report of an independent review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act, saying it would help guide reforms to secure a better environment, more jobs and a faster economic recovery. The report,... 

Third consecutive year of coal export decline from Richards Bay Coal Terminal  

By: Martin Creamer     27th January 2021 Coal exports from South Africa’s Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) last year declined for the third consecutive year, with the 70.2-million tons exported to mainly Asia and single-digit percentages to Africa and Europe, taking exports back to what they were in 2013. In 2020, two-million fewer... 

Geographic spread of South African coal exports from Richards Bay Coal Terminal.
Richards Bay Coal Terminal’s presentation covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer

Four mining companies adopt Mining Local Procurement Reporting Mechanism

By: Donna Slater     27th January 2021 Mining Shared Value (MSV), a nonprofit initiative of Engineers Without Borders Canada, reports that four mining companies have, so far, adopted the Mining Local Procurement Reporting Mechanism (LPRM), with two more confirming their plans to do so shortly. Ivanhoe Mines became the first company... 

Green technology boost for African mining 

By: Martin Creamer     26th January 2021 The key to unlocking value of Kabanga Nickel and enabling the full beneficiation of new era metals in Tanzania is an environment-friendly hydrometallurgy process that eliminates smelting and thus slashes the need for electricity. The Kabanga Nickel Hydromet process – which takes ore to refined... 

President John Magufuli of Tanzania, seated, looks on as Tanzania's Chief Treasurer Athumani Mbutukwa receives share certificates from Kabanga Nickel vice chairperson Chris von Christierson (centre) and Kabanga Nickel CEO Chris Showalter (right).
President John Magufuli of Tanzania, seated, looks on as Tanzania's Chief Treasurer Athumani Mbutukwa receives share certificates from Kabanga Nickel vice chairperson Chris von Christierson (centre) and Kabanga Nickel CEO Chris Showalter (right).

Canada miners listed among world’s most sustainable corporations

By: Mariaan Webb     26th January 2021 Canada’s Agnico Eagle and Teck Resources have earned themselves places on the Corporate Knights’ latest index of the world’s most sustainable corporations, garnering recognition as leaders in sustainability on a global stage. With an overall score of 60.6%, Agnico Eagle placed seventy-third and... 

Canada miners listed among world’s most sustainable corporations

Forrest paves the way for green steel

By: Esmarie Iannucci     22nd January 2021 Mining magnate Andrew Forrest has pledged iron-ore major Fortescue to a green energy future, unveiling plans for green steelmaking in the Pilbara. In the first ABC Boyer Lecture for 2021, which will be aired over the weekend, Forrest in a recorded message stated that Fortescue would build... 

Fortescue founder and chairperson Andrew Forrest
Photo by Bloomberg
Fortescue founder and chairperson Andrew Forrest

Lake Wells EPA issues cleared

By: Esmarie Iannucci     22nd January 2021 The Western Australian Minister for Environment has resolved an appeal against the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA’s) approval of ASX-listed Australian Potash’s Lake Wells sulphate of potash (SoP) project. Australian Potash told shareholders on Friday that the Minister was satisfied... 

Family men or forest destroyers? Meet the miners living off the Amazon's gold

By: Reuters     21st January 2021 One man working deep in Brazil's Amazon said he knows how to stop the illegal logging, gold mining, deforestation and fires plaguing the region: let President Jair Bolsonaro carry out his plans to develop the rainforest. "If people listen to him and believe in his ideas ... many of the... 

Platinum group metals demand set to overwhelm supply balance – Davis  

By: Martin Creamer     21st January 2021 Long-serving precious metals consultant Dr David Davis has reached the conclusion, after a comprehensive study, that the demand for platinum group metals (PGMs) is poised to outstrip stagnant supply. Davis, who has spent several months carrying out a ‘deep dive’ into the future of PGMs for... 

Precious metals consultant Dr David Davis, who believes that platinum will be next to board the price rocket.
Precious metals consultant Dr David Davis, who believes that platinum will be next to board the price rocket.

Elandsfontein water use licence hearing postponed again

By: Donna Slater     20th January 2021 The hearing into Aim-listed phosphate explorer and developer Kropz’s Elandsfontein project’s integrated water-use licence (WUL) has been rescheduled for February 1. Kropz notes that the Water Tribunal will be resumed in February following a number of postponements since March 2020 owing to... 

New Century's rehab costs decline

By: Esmarie Iannucci     20th January 2021 The Queensland Department of Environment and Science has agreed to a A$14.1-million reduction of the estimated rehabilitation cost (ERC) for the New Century zinc mine. ASX-listed New Century Resources on Wednesday told shareholders that the ERC has now been reduced to A$183.9-million, following... 

Raising distributed-generation licensing threshold to 50 MW would unlock at least 5 000 MW in five years, survey shows  

By: Terence Creamer     20th January 2021 Lifting the licensing threshold for distributed-generation projects to 50 MW or higher could unlock an estimated 5 000 MW of additional capacity in five years and go a long way to rapidly easing South Africa’s debilitating power supply constraints. This is the conclusion of a Meridian Economics... 

Raising distributed-generation licensing threshold to 50 MW would unlock at least 5 000 MW in five years, survey shows

Vedanta agrees to settlement with Zambian villagers over pollution claims

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th January 2021 UK-based law firm Leigh Day has confirmed in a statement that global diversified miner Vedanta Resources has agreed to pay a settlement for all claims brought against it by Zambian claimants related to alleged pollution around the Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) operations. Without admission of... 

Midas Gold to start Stibnite cleanup, plans Nasdaq listing

By: Donna Slater     18th January 2021 TSX-listed Midas Gold reports that, after three years of extensive discussions, federal agencies have authorised and directed it to perform immediate clean up actions in the Stibnite mining district, addressing legacy contamination issues that are impacting on water quality. The administrative... 

Coal price expected to average $100/t as China turns to South Africa for coal 

By: Martin Creamer     15th January 2021 China is buying South African coal at a time when analysts are forecasting a buoyant average coal price of $100/t for the first half (H1) of 2021. The purchase of South African coal by China follows Chinese relations with Australia deteriorating last year and imports of coal from Australia being... 

Richards Bay Coal Terminal, from which South African coal is exported.
Richards Bay Coal Terminal, from which South African coal is exported.

BHP puts up wind fence in WA

By: Esmarie Iannucci     15th January 2021 Mining major BHP plans to construct a wind fence at Finucane Island, as part of its Pilbara Air Quality Program. The fence would be the first of its kind in Australia, and would be designed for the Pilbara’s unique weather conditions, said BHP Port GM Nilson Davila. “We recognise we have a... 

More sales of South African coal to China expected as prices rise

By: Martin Creamer     14th January 2021 About 600 000 t to 700 000 t of South African coal have already moved to China since the Asian giant ceased accepting coal from Australia and more South African coal sales to China are expected “for sure”, a top trader said in an interview with Mining Weekly. China’s power plants have been... 

Richards Bay Coal Terminal, South Africa's world-class coal export port.
Richards Bay Coal Terminal, South Africa's world-class coal export port.

China buying South African coal ‘could be game-changer but we shouldn’t be complacent’ 

By: Martin Creamer     13th January 2021 Normally, China does not import coal from South Africa, but 2021 has seen a shift. Shipments to mainland China were reported on Monday by the African Source Markets’ Weekly Coal Index Report. 

Richards Bay Coal Terminal, the port from which South African coal is exported
Richards Bay Coal Terminal, the port from which South African coal is exported

Native Americans sue Trump administration over Arizona copper project

By: Reuters     13th January 2021 Members of the San Carlos Apache tribe in Arizona on Tuesday said they have sued the Trump Administration to block a pending land swap that would give Rio Tinto the land it needs to build its Resolution Copper project. Apache Stronghold, a non-profit organisation that filed the lawsuit in the US... 

Native Americans sue Trump administration over Arizona copper project

The essential role of platinum group metals in ‘greening’ the world needs highlighting 

By: Martin Creamer     12th January 2021 The ‘greenness’ that South Africa can help bestow on the world needs hard sell now, Mining Weekly can today report. While South Africa’s amazing platinum group metals (PGMs) continue their decades-long task of cleaning the air of the world’s cities in the autocatalytic convertors of vehicle... 

'Green' hydrogen and fuel cells named by Lux Research as two of top-five energy technologies.
Photo by Hyundai Truck & Bus
'Green' hydrogen and fuel cells named by Lux Research as two of top-five energy technologies.

New ‘green’ platinum project leaps out of starting blocks, will use 82% less electricity  

By: Martin Creamer     11th January 2021 The innovative new platinum group metals mining and processing project that slashes 82% off electricity use and elevates platinum to a new high level of greenness, leapt out of its starting blocks in North West province on Monday. “We’ve commenced. The tanks are rolling,” Pallinghurst managing... 

Arne Frandsen
Pallinghurst managing partner and co-founder Arne Frandsen is interviewed by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Teck, First Nation ink agreement to conserve 7 000 ha of land

By: Simone Liedtke     8th January 2021 The Ktunaxa Nation and TSX-listed Teck Resources have signed a joint management agreement for the conservation of more than 7 000 ha of land bought by Teck in 2013. The lands are part of Teck’s steelmaking coal operations in southeast British Columbia. 

Earth’s margin for error narrows after another year of record heat

By: Bloomberg     8th January 2021 Another year of record-high heat punctuated a decade-long increase in global temperatures that has placed the Earth’s economies dangerously close to climate tipping points. Those are the conclusions published Friday by European Union scientists. Despite pandemic-induced lockdowns of the global... 

US company planning at least 500 hydrogen fuelling stations in next 3 to 5 years  

By: Martin Creamer     7th January 2021 The creation of a minimum of 500 fuelling stations to provide hydrogen to mainly trucks powered by platinum-catalysed hydrogen fuel cells is planned by a US company in the next three to five years. “We believe that everyone will be within a couple of miles of a hydrogen fuelling station in the... 

Plans under way to develop hydrogen fuelling stations for platinum-catalysed fuel cell vehicles.
Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly interviews RAGHU KILAMBI, the CEO of PowerTap, a company that provides crucial hydrogen fuelling infrastructure for fuel cell electric vehicles.

Brazil state eyes at least $5.3bn Vale deal after dam burst, official says

By: Reuters     7th January 2021 The Brazilian state of Minas Gerais is hoping to win at least 28-billion reais ($5.3-billion) from a compensation deal with miner Vale after the 2019 Brumadinho deadly dam burst, a senior state official said on Wednesday. State and Vale officials will meet on Thursday, when it is expected talks... 

Brazil state eyes at least $5.3bn Vale deal after dam burst, official says

Cornish Lithium awarded lithium exploration right off Cornwall coast

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th January 2021 The Crown Estate has announced the outcome of its Minerals Licensing Round, granting Cornish Lithium rights to explore for lithium within geothermal waters in areas off both the north and south coasts of Cornwall, England. The Crown Estate manages the seabed and much of the foreshore around... 

Net-zero emissions commitments hold benefits, but also downsides, for miners 

By: Simone Liedtke     6th January 2021 Miners are targeting massive carbon reductions over the next 10 to 15 years on the path to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, with equity research company Jefferies warning that this implies higher costs and capital expenditure (capex), but also a trend of less supply, higher commodity prices,... 

Nouveau Monde expects govt authorisation for Québec project in first quarter

By: Simone Liedtke     5th January 2021 TSX-V-listed Nouveau Monde Graphite expects to obtain governmental authorisation for its Matawinie graphite project, in Québec, early in the first quarter of this year, thereby enabling the construction of its commercial facilities. The company also expects to complete the construction and... 

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