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Environmental News

Centerra hopeful on Mongolia heap-leach OK, investment deal

By: Liezel Hill     24th February 2010 Canadian gold-miner Centerra Gold is hopeful that the ongoing shutdown of the heap-leach operations at its Mongolian mine will end soon, CFO Jeffrey Parr said on Wednesday. Authorities issued an order to suspend the Boroo mine's operating licences in June last year. The main operating licences... 

Patriot slides after W Virginia mine halted

By: Liezel Hill     23rd February 2010 Shares in US coal miner Patriot Coal were down 7,5% on Tuesday morning, after the firm announced on Monday evening that it had temporarily suspended mining at its Federal No 2 operation in West Virginia and was uncertain when operations will resume. Patriot said it discovered “potentially... 

Xstrata says tests show no excessive lead levels at Mount Isa

By: Esmarie Iannucci     22nd February 2010 Swiss-listed diversified miner Xstrata does not believe that its Australian Mount Isa mine had exceeded the regulatory limit for lead concentrate, but rather that data from an air-quality monitor might have been incorrect. The diversified miner on Monday responded to the Queensland Environment... 

SA Minister concerned over mining near Mapungubwe

By: Christy van der Merwe     19th February 2010 South Africa's Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Buyelwa Sonjica has voiced concern over the awarding of an "unconditional" new order mining right to emerging coal mining company Coal of Africa Limited (CoAL) for the Vele project near Mapungubwe, in Limpopo. The Department of... 

Queensland demands answers from Xstrata on lead emissions

By: Esmarie Iannucci     19th February 2010 The Queensland state government on Friday demanded answers from Swiss-based diversified miner Xstrata, after one of the Department of Environment and Resource Management’s site monitors, in Mount Isa, recorded levels of lead higher than those allowed under state legislation. Climate Change and... 

Teck's Red Dog operations uncertain after latest appeal

By: Liezel Hill     17th February 2010 Teck Resources may have to curtail operations at its Red Dog zinc mine, in Alaska, after environmental and tribal groups appealed a key permit issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency. If the appeal results in permitting delays beyond May, the company will probably halt production at Red... 

Acid mine drainage an ‘impending crisis’ - Aveng

By: Christy van der Merwe     15th February 2010 Increasing attention has been given to the "impending water crisis" caused by acid mine drainage (AMD) in the Witwatersrand gold fields area, with certain industry estimates stating that some 60-million litres of polluted AMD water could pour out into Johannesburg by 2011 if nothing is done to... 

Stornoway begins permitting for Renard diamond project

By: Liezel Hill     12th February 2010 Vancouver-based Stornoway Diamond Corp has filed a notice of intent for its Renard diamond project in north-central Quebec, which marked the initial step in the permitting process for the mine. The process is expected to take between 18 and 24 months, Stornoway said on Friday. 

Getting it Right

By: Shannon de Ryhove     12th February 2010 In the January 15-21, 2010, edition of Mining Weekly, we inaccurately stated that gold-mining company Newmont Ghana Gold Limited (Newmont) had caused a “massive spillage of deadly sodium cyanide into the Subri river” in October 2009, for which it was asked to pay compensation to communities in... 

SA govt, miners form PPP to tackle acid mine drainage

By: Christy van der Merwe     11th February 2010 A public private partnership (PPP) between South Africa's Department of Water Affairs (DWA) and mining companies has been established to formulate a collaborative solution to the acid mine drainage (AMD) problem in the Witwatersrand gold fields area, which is affecting the western, central, and... 

First Coal to apply for enviro approval on BC met coal mine

By: Liezel Hill     11th February 2010 First Coal Corporation (FCC) a privately-held company based in Vancouver, plans to begin a provincial environmental assessment (EA) process for its Central South metallurgical coal project, in northeast British Columbia. The company had planned to begin operations first under a 'small mine'... 

Xolobeni appeal hearings cancelled 

By: Christy van der Merwe     10th February 2010 The hearings involving interested parties appealing a decision to grant Transworld Energy Minerals (TEM) a licence to mine heavy minerals from the dunes near Xolobeni on the Wild Coast, scheduled to take place this week, were cancelled. The committee of four people, which was appointed by the... 

Red Dog permit concerns hang over Teck

By: Liezel Hill     10th February 2010 Canada's Teck Resources warned on Tuesday that it could halt production altogether from its Red Dog zinc mine in Alaska as early as October, if a successful appeal was launched to stay the company's permits for an expansion at the operation. The company has secured almost all the approvals it... 

SRK to open office in DRC, eyeing Ghana, Zimbabwe

By: Jonathan Faurie     5th February 2010 Diversified consulting engineers and scientists, SRK Consulting is in the process of positioning itself for an aggressive expansion into the African market. 

Canadian govt to start hearings on Taseko mine

By: Liezel Hill     3rd February 2010 The Canadian government will move ahead with public hearings on Taseko Mines' Prosperity gold/copper project, in British Columbia, the firm reported on Wednesday. "The decision represents the achievement of another important milestone in the development of Prosperity," said CEO Russell Hallbauer.  

Doe Run Peru, workers in dispute on delayed restart, salaries

By: Francisca Pouiller     30th January 2010 Doe Run Peru and employees at its shuttered La Oroya smelter have yet to reach an agreement on salary payments after a deadline for reopening the smelter passed this week. After two meetings held on Thursday between workers and company officials, and another emergency meeting among the staff,... 

Tighter enviro regulations will push energy prices higher – Consol

By: Liezel Hill     28th January 2010 Increased scrutiny in the US of water pollution by mining companies will result in higher domestic energy prices, Consol Energy CEO Brett Harvey said on Thursday. Pittsburgh-based Consol produces thermal and metallurgical coal from mines in the US, and also has a natural gas business. 

Mauritania grants Shield new exploration permit

By: Esmarie Iannucci     28th January 2010 ASX-listed gold and base metals explorer Shield Mining has been granted a new permit for exploration in Mauritania. The permit was granted to Shield’s 60%-owned subsidiary, Shield Saboussiri Mining Mauritania (SSMM), for group two minerals and became effective on January 21. 

Barrick seeks limited injunction on Cortez Hills

By: Reuters     26th January 2010 Barrick Gold said on Tuesday it has requested a U.S. court to issue a limited injunction that would allow work at its Cortez Hills mine in Nevada to continue while additional environmental assessments on the project are under way. In December, an appeals court in San Francisco ruled that the... 

Canada launches CSR website for extractive industries

By: Creamer Media Reporter      19th January 2010 The Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM), in partnership with the government and other stakeholders, has set up a website to help mining, oil and gas companies based in the country and operating abroad meet their social and environmental responsibilities. “This new... 

Appeal filed against Teck's Red Dog water permit

By: Liezel Hill     16th January 2010 A group of local tribal and environmental organizations, together with two nonprofit law firms, have appealed Alaska's approval of a water-discharge permit for an expansion at Teck Resource's Red Dog zinc mine, the company reported on Friday. The permit was issued recently by the US... 

Taseko gets BC enviro approval for Prosperity project

By: Liezel Hill     15th January 2010 Vancouver-based Taseko Mines has received an environmental assessment certificate for its Prosperity gold/copper project from the British Columbian provincial Ministry of Environment, the firm reported on Friday. The company will now apply for the necessary leases, licenses and permits needed to... 

New study to investigate possibility of turning AMD into useful products

By: Loni Prinsloo     15th January 2010 Research association Coaltech has recently awarded a significant water treatment project to Environmental and Remedial Technology Holdings (Earth). 

German firm to demonstrate mine water treatment system in South Africa

By: Loni Prinsloo     15th January 2010 German-based water solutions company Ankon Protec (APT) has developed a four-step acid mine drainage (AMD) treatment system, the Simon-Process. APT is currently finalising a partner or partners in South Africa to demonstrate the flexibility and simplicity of the system to local mining companies... 

BacTech settles on plan to split mining, reclamation units

By: Liezel Hill     12th January 2010 TSX Venture Exchange-listed bioleaching firm BacTech Mining has approved the spin-off of its mining assets, in a move aimed at increasing the appeal of the firm's other business – tailings remediation – to sustainability-sensitive investors. BacTech will create a new company, Goldco, which will... 

Eldorado Gold gets approval to reopen Chinese mine

By: Liezel Hill     12th January 2010 Eldorado Gold, which bought Australia's Sino Gold last year, has received the approvals it needs to reopen the White Mountain mine, in Jilin province, China. Production has now restarted at the underground mine, which Eldorado acquired through the Sino deal. 

Patriot granted W Virginia mine permit

By: Liezel Hill     6th January 2010 NYSE-listed Patriot Coal has been issued a Clean Water Act permit for its Hobet surface mine, in West Virginia, the company reported on Wednesday. The Hobet 45 permit was one of 79 surface-mining permits earmarked for a detailed review last year by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),... 

NovaGold expects new Galore Creek plan soon

By: Liezel Hill     6th January 2010 Vancouver-based NovaGold will publish a new mine plan for its 50%-owned Galore Creek project, in British Columbia, in the first quarter of this year, a company spokesperson said on Tuesday. The plan will include higher copper and gold prices and an optimised mine design, and will likely be... 

Consol can continue operating W Virginia mine

By: Liezel Hill     29th December 2009 A US district court judge has granted a motion for judicial relief of a previous ruling, and agreed that Consol Energy's Fola operations, near Bickmore West Virginia, can continue to operate beyond a previously imposed deadline of January 23. In November, Judge Robert Chambers found... 

Tightening legislation sees significant growth 
in waste handling sector

By: Loni Prinsloo     11th December 2009 The South African hazardous waste management market is experiencing rapid growth owing to tightening legislation related to waste collection, transportation and disposal. 

Argentina's Congress to vote on new glaciers protection law

By: Francisca Pouiller     9th December 2009 The Congress of Argentina is expected to vote this month on a proposed law that seeks to protect the country's glaciers, but could have implications for mining projects located thousands of metres above sea level, high in the Andes. The controversial bill was debated and approved by the Senate... 

WUC advancing towards implementation 
of planned acid mine drainage project

By: Loni Prinsloo     4th December 2009 Western Utilities Corporation (WUC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of AIM-listed Watermark Global, has made great strides towards the implementation of its proposed acid mine drainage (AMD) solution in the Eastern Western and Central basins. 

Terrane's Mt Milligan project gets key environmental approval

By: Liezel Hill     2nd December 2009 The federal government of Canada has approved the environmental assessment for Terrane Metals' Mt Milligan copper/gold project, in British Columbia, the firm announced on Tuesday. The company, in which Canada's second-biggest gold miner, Goldcorp, owns 60%, said that it hopes to start building... 

Western Copper receives Yukon reclamation award

By: Liezel Hill     25th November 2009 Vancouver-based Western Copper Corp was selected for the 2009 Robert R Lecjie award, for its reclamation programme on old abandoned workings at the company's Casino project, it reported on Wednesday. The award was created in 1999 to acknowledge innovative approaches to planned reclamation,... 

SA miners to face the strong arm of the law for rehab noncompliance

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     20th November 2009 On a continent blessed with a wealth of mineral resources, these riches also carry an underlying tone of blackness fraught with pollution, land degradation and health and safety risks. With over a century of mining history in South Africa, the debate continues as to whether government has... 

Study confirms viability of planned acid mine drainage initiative

By: Loni Prinsloo     20th November 2009 Watermark Global wholly owned subsidiary Western Utilities Corporation (WUC) has completed its definitive feasibility study (DFS) on the implementation of its solution to the threat posed by underground acid mine drainage (AMD) in the Witwatersrand Basin. 

Miners to face the strong arm of the law for rehab noncompliance, govt warns

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     20th November 2009 In a continent blessed with a wealth of mineral resources, these riches also carry an underlying tone of blackness fraught with pollution, land degradation and health and safety risks.  

Mexico orders New Gold mine halted

By: Liezel Hill     19th November 2009 Shares in Vancouver-based New Gold fell 13,4% on Thursday, after the company said it had suspended mining operations at the Cerro San Pedro mine, in Mexico. After a ruling by the Federal Court of Fiscal and Administrative Justice, Mexico's State environmental protection agency nullified the... 

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