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Environmental News

Inmet investigates ground movement at Spanish copper project

By: Liezel Hill     10th July 2008 Toronto-based Inmet Mining expects an investigation into the cause of an “unexpected ground movement” at its Las Cruces copper project, in Spain, to take several weeks, the firm said. The incident occurred on Thursday at the new storage facility for dried residues from the mine's process plant. 

Spinifex Ridge moly project gets environmental thumbs-up

By: Liezel Hill     8th July 2008 TSX- and ASX-listed Moly Mines has received approval from the Western Australian Environment Minister for its Spinifex Ridge molybdenum/copper project, the company said in a statement.  

Acid mine drainage threatens important water resources

By: Leandi Kolver     4th July 2008 Environmental protection group Federation for a Sustainable Environment (FSE) is strongly opposing the opening of five new Xstrata Coal mines in the Mpumalanga escarpment, located northwest of Ermelo, where the Vaal, Olifants, Komati, Mpuluzi and Usuthu Rivers originates.  

Asbestos pollution still a big problem, says Kgalagadi Relief Trust

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     4th July 2008 While there has been significant improvement in dealing with the legacy of asbestos-mining in South Africa in the last ten years, since the national asbestos summit (NAS) of 1998, the environmental pollution caused by this fibre has been described by Brian Gibson, a trustee of the... 

Sustainable development body gets new leadership

By: Irma Venter     27th June 2008 Dr Anthony (Tony) Hodge has been appointed as the new International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) president, and will take up his position on October 1 this year. 

Environmental studies help minimise impact in Harmony’s Papua New Guinea project

By: Guy Copans     20th June 2008 Gold-mining company Harmony Gold has undertaken a number of environmental studies to ensure that the environmental impact of its Hidden Valley project in the Morobe province of Papua New Guinea, is kept to a minimum.  

Draft carbon capture and storage research road map released

By: Guy Copans     20th June 2008 While it is unlikely that a full-scale carbon-capture and storage project will be operational in South Africa within the next decade, as the technology advances worldwide, such an eventuality is likely, and it is, therefore, prudent to prepare and to configure a state of ‘country... 

Appeals court overturns earlier decision, confirms approvals for BC mine

By: Liezel Hill     16th June 2008 A Canadian appeals court has set aside an earlier decision by a lower court to block environmental approvals for Imperial Metals' Red Chris copper/gold project, based on a case brought by industry watchdog MiningWatch Canada, and has reconfirmed the government's environmental... 

Rewarding an effective environmental management system

By: Darren Parker     13th June 2008 Late last year, the second annual Nedbank Capital Green Mining Awards honoured platinum mining giant Anglo Platinum’s Amandelbult platinum mine for its efforts in environmental and social responsibility and sustainability. Amandelbult’s environmental management system (EMS) was... 

Fraser Alexander, Miwatek launch new AMD treatment technology

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     11th June 2008 Mining solutions company Fraser Alexander and water treatment company Mine Water Treatment Technologies (Miwatek) on Tuesday launched their acid mine drainage (AMD) treatment solution, in Randfontein, west of Johannesburg. Unlike traditional AMD treatment solutions, which generate high volumes of... 

Inmet warns of possible production delays at Las Cruces

By: Liezel Hill     10th June 2008 TSX-listed Inmet Mining believes it has come up with a solution to the Spanish water authority's concerns over a water system at its Las Cruces project in the country, but cautioned on Monday evening that the start-up of the processing plant, and first cathode production, could be delayed.... 

EMP for the tailings retreatment operation in Brakpan under way

By: Dennis Ndaba     6th June 2008 Ergo Mining says that the Environmental Management Plan (EMP) for the tailings retreatment operation in Brakpan is under way, and a number of previous reclamation sites, which were being rehabilitated by South Africa’s biggest gold-miner AngloGold Ashanti, are currently being worked on. 

Exxaro-sponsored climate change research initiative launched

By: Chanel de Bruyn     5th June 2008 JSE-listed diversified-miner Exxaro Resources on Thursday, which was also World Environment Day, launched the Exxaro Chair in Business and Climate Change (ECBCC) initiative, which aims to mitigate the effects of climate change. Exxaro was providing R3-million in funding over a three-year period. 

Forsys granted enviro approval for Namibia uranium mine

By: Liezel Hill     4th June 2008 Toronto-based Forsys Metals has received approval and clearance from Namibia's Ministry of Environment and Tourism for both the environmental-impact assessment and environmental management plan for its Valencia uranium project in the country. 

Teck Cominco working with officials after refinery spill, output unaffected

By: Liezel Hill     30th May 2008 US and Canadian government departments and agencies were monitoring potential human and environmental health effects on Friday, after diversified miner Teck Cominco reported that about 950 kg of lead in solution had spilled into the Columbia river, after a technical failure at its Trail lead and... 

Water management strategies implemented at KOSH mines

By: Rozanne Cloete     30th May 2008 South African gold producers AngloGold Ashanti, Simmer & Jack Mines (Simmers) and Pamodzi Gold have implemented a water management strategy in the Klerksdorp, Orkney, Stilfontein and Hartebeesfontein (KOSH) regions, after a dispute arose in 2005. 

Health implications of asbestos-mining are far from over

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     23rd May 2008 Although asbestos mining was banned in South Africa in 2001, and regulations prohibiting the use, manufacture and the import and export of asbestos and asbestos-containing materials was gazetted in March, this fibrous mineral still poses a major threat to communities, especially in areas where... 

Adopting health and safety best practice will ensure realisation of zero-harm aspiration

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     23rd May 2008 While the mining industry in South Africa has committed itself to a zero harm and a value based approach to health and safety, a critical ingredient needed to turn this commitment into action is the implementation of the mining industry occupational safety and health (MOSH) best practise adoption... 

Diversified miner focused on creating a carbon footprint benchmark

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     16th May 2008 JSE-listed, diversified miner, Exxaro, is focused on its vision of becoming a zero-carbon footprint company, which will create a benchmark for other South African companies. 

SA lagging behind in taking advantage of carbon credits system

By: Leandi Kolver     16th May 2008 South frica is far behind in using the benefits it can get from carbon credits,” says mine ventilation and refrigeration specialist Bluhm Burton Engineering group CEO Steven Bluhm. “There is a need for companies to start utilising carbon credits because it is a good business... 

Permitting hurdle delays Spanish mine – Inmet

By: Liezel Hill     14th May 2008 TSX-listed Inmet Mining expects delays in shipping the first ore from its Las Cruces copper project, in Spain, after the country's water authority withdrew a key permit. The company had been notified that its authorisation for a dewatering and reinjection system (DRS) at the project had been... 

Coal ash cleaning up

By: Fatima Gabru     9th May 2008 The rapid industrial expansion in South Africa during the late 1970s and early 1980s, created a surge in the demand for electricity. Given the vast coal reserves South Africa possesses, the additional capacity was provided by the erection of large, from 3 000 MW to 3 600 MW, pulverised coal-fired... 

Research makes inroads in dealing with acid mine drainage

By: Desislava Tzoneva     2nd May 2008 National research and development initiator, the Water Research Commission (WRC), is funding and undertaking a number of projects to provide solutions for dealing with acid mine drainage (AMD) in South Africa. 

Alternative fire lighting reduces pollution, ups energy savings

By: Desislava Tzoneva     2nd May 2008 Coal mining company Anglo Coal won the second annual Nedbank Capital Green Mining socioeconomic award last year for implementing the Department of Mineral’s and Energy (DME)-endorsed alternative fire-lighting method, Basa Njengo Magogo (BNM), in the Vosman township.  

Mine water treatment plant under way

By: Desislava Tzoneva     2nd May 2008 The wastewater treatment demonstration plant to be built at Anglo Coal’s operations in the Emalahlehi municipality using the GypSLiM process, is under way, and product recovery as well as industrial waste recycling company Sulphide Tech process engineer Shaan Oosthuizen says that plant... 

Legislation protecting mine environment standards

By: Desislava Tzoneva     2nd May 2008 Diversified law firm for commerce, environment and finance in mining, Bell Dewar and Hall, environment senior associate Justine Sweet says that two pieces of legislation could boost local environment responsibility in mining operations, with particular reference to mine water treatment. 

Companies join forces to address mining-related water pollution 

By: Guy Copans     2nd May 2008 To arrest the problem of acid mine drainage (AMD) in the Witwatersrand Basin area, a state-of-the-art water -treatment plant capable of processing 75-million litres of AMD to industrial ‘grey-water’ quality, has been established at the Harmony, eight shaft, in Randfontein.  

Anglo cutting energy 15%, carbon 10%, CEO announces

By: Martin Creamer     2nd May 2008 Diversified miner Anglo American, which has operations in 45 countries and employs 100 000 people, aims to cut its energy consumption by 15% and the amount of carbon it produces per unit of output by 10%. 

Initial certification audit at South Deep planned for mid-2008

By: Sylvester Haskins     25th April 2008 Gold mining conglomerate, Gold Fields, has made a policy decision to certify all of its operations according to ISO14001, which is an internationally recognised environmental standard for an environmental management system. 

Randfontein remining EIA to be completed next month

By: Leandi Kolver     25th April 2008 The environmental impact-assessment (EIA) of its proposed re-mining and processing of gold and uranium at the tailings facilities at its Randfontein operations will be completed by the end of May. The project is part of a larger project, comprising the re-mining and processing of 56 historic... 

No delay down under for clean coal

By: Keith Campbell     18th April 2008 Australia emains committed to the development of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) as a means of maintaining the environmental viability of coal as a source of energy, and thus protecting the long-term future of the country’s coal industry.  

Gem Diamonds halts Indonesia mine to investigate govt 'concerns'

By: Liezel Hill     11th April 2008 LSE-listed Gem Diamonds has temporarily suspended mining at its Cempaka diamond mine in Indonesia, the firm said on Friday. 

‘Toxic’ lake gets a green makeover

By: Loni Prinsloo     11th April 2008 South Africa’s fifth-largest gold-miner, Harmony Gold, is spearheading a water treatment plant at its Evander mine’s No 8 shaft, which aims to improve the quality of water and rehabilitate the Robinson Lake. The lake is indicated to have elevated levels of uranium of more than 40 000... 

Managing safety, health, environment central to business success, says Exxaro

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     11th April 2008 Managing safety, health and environment (SHE) is central to the success of business and is an important aspect in establishing suitable mitigation measures that are integral to achieving zero harm, says diversified miner Exxaro in its latest annual report. 

BHP’s aluminium projects go green

By: Leandi Kolver     4th April 2008 Under the wing of global resource group BHP Billiton’s Bayside/Hillside Corporate social investment (CSI) department, two nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) are currently managing its ongoing ‘green’ projects. 

New system analyses environmental, physiological risk factors for mineworkers

By: Brindaveni Naidoo     4th April 2008 Electronic research and development house Netshield South Africa has developed a system that monitors and analyses environmental and physiological risk factors for mineworkers. 

Mercury-free gold extraction process makes African footprint 

By: Jonathan Faurie     28th March 2008 The iGoli mercury-free gold extraction process has made a significant impact in Tanzania and is widening its footprint in Africa, reports mineral-focused company Mintek. 

JSE-listed DRDGold using Ergo to strike strategic balance between consistent surface gold, volatile underground assets 

By: Martin Creamer     28th March 2008 Having a good balance of consistent surface gold operations and high-potential but volatile underground mines is a vital component of the strategy of DRDGold South Africa, says CEO Niel Pretorius. 

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