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Environmental News

Funding for mine closures inadequate – WWF-SA

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     15th August 2012 South African mining companies are not fulfilling their obligation to set aside money for mining cleanup operations before they are officially closed, a World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature report, published on Wednesday, stated. The report stated that ongoing concerns regarding environmental... 

New WA mine rehab fund to replace environmental bond system

By: Esmarie Iannucci     15th August 2012 The Western Australian state government on Wednesday announced that it would establish a new fund to replace the environmental bond system for mine rehabilitation. Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore said that the new Mining Rehabilitation Fund (MRF) would require operators to make yearly... 

Rio adds fuel to CCS fire

By: Esmarie Iannucci     14th August 2012 Mining giant Rio Tinto would devote A$3-million over the next three years to fund Australian research into carbon capture and storage (CCS) at the Cooperative Research Center for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC), which was launched in Victoria on Tuesday. The miner would spend a further... 

WA places ‘rigorous’ conditions on Magellan lead project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     27th July 2012 Western Australian Environment Minister Bill Marmion said on Friday that the state would impose strict conditions on the Magellan Metals project as lead carbonate transport restarted. The Magellan operation, owned by Canada’s Ivernia, ceased operations in April 2011 after lead was found in a... 

Decanting acid mine water could be an opportunity 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     26th July 2012 Decanting acid mine should be seen as an opportunity in the water-stressed Gauteng region, Professor Frank Winde from the North-West University said on Thursday. Speaking at the yearly Sustainability Week in Johannesburg, Winde, who headed a research study into acid mine drainage (AMD) in 2011,... 

Tarkwa heap leach suspended, Gold Fields building water treatment plants

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     26th July 2012 JSE- and New York-listed Gold Fields has commissioned the construction of two water treatment plants at its Tarkwa gold mine’s North and South heap leach facilities, in Ghana. The plants were being built to comply with a directive received from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Ghana... 

Anglo pledges to use power efficiently at its operations

By: Natalie Greve     20th July 2012 Mining major Anglo American’s intention to maximise energy savings at its operations has resulted in it committing to the Eskom-sponsored 49-Million (49M) initiative, which encourages the efficient use of electricity by the private sector, government and individuals. 

Mining companies urged to be ‘cautious’ when applying for enviro approval

By: Leandi Kolver     20th July 2012 Mining companies were advised to follow a cautious approach and apply for environmental authorisation for National Environmental Management Act- (Nema-) listed activities which are triggered by their mining activities, corporate law firm Bowman and Gilfillan partner Claire Tucker said at a... 

Lincoln to appeal water licence denial

By: Esmarie Iannucci     16th July 2012 Emerging iron-ore producer Lincoln Minerals would appeal against a decision by the South Australia Department for Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) to turn down a licence application for Stage 1 of its proposed Gum Flat iron-ore mine. The DEWNR advises Lincoln Minerals that under... 

Environmental service provider highlights challenges of working in Africa

By: Gia Costella     13th July 2012 It is imperative for mining companies in African countries to acknowledge the diversity and complexity of the people, the cultures and the environment in which they operate, says environmental and social services provider Digby Wells Environmental business development director Andries Wilke. 

SA betting carbon capture will make coal a clean energy source 

By: Keith Campbell     13th July 2012 South Africa’s support for the outcomes of the United Nations (UN) Conference on Sustainable Development does not mean the country is going to turn its back on coal. “As South Africa, we are not about to abandon our coal reserves,” assured Water Affairs and Environment Minister Edna Molewa in... 

Failure to nurture mining will fundamentally damage SA’s future – UNEP

By: Martin Creamer     12th July 2012 If the South African government failed to nurture the mining industry, it would fundamentally damage the country’s future economic prosperity, United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) executive director Achim Steiner said on Wednesday. Speaking in Johannesburg at the release of Mining... 

Teck Resources withdraws Chile SEIA application

By: Henry Lazenby     9th July 2012 Toronto-listed Teck Resources on Monday withdrew its social- and environmental-impact assessment (SEIA) application for the Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 expansion project. The company said it was reviewing regulatory comments on the previous application, before it would resubmit the SEIA. 

AMD feasibility study to be completed in 2013

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     9th July 2012 A feasibility study to find long-term solutions for acid-mine drainage (AMD) in the Witwatersrand would be completed in February next year, said Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa. In her response to a Parliamentary question posed by the Democratic Alliance’s Gareth Morgan, she... 

Miners wade into search for water

By: Esmarie Iannucci     9th July 2012 Miners in Western Australia, including diversified giant BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals, would fund a multi-million dollar programme in search of water in the West Canning basin. Water Minister Bill Marmion said that the drilling programme was aimed at establishing if the West Canning basin... 

Multistakeholder approach needed to solve SA’s AMD problem – report

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     6th July 2012 A multistakeholder partnership of companies, government and nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) may be the answer to solving South Africa’s acid-mine drainage (AMD) problem. This is according to a recent report by global management consulting firm AT Kearney.  

South Africa hopes carbon capture will make coal a clean energy source 

By: Keith Campbell     3rd July 2012 South Africa’s support for the outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, held in Rio de Janeiro from June 20 to June 22, and known as Rio+20 for short, does not mean the country is going to turn its back on coal. “As South Africa, we are not about to abandon our coal... 

SA committed to working with Unesco on Mapungubwe

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     29th June 2012 South Africa remained committed to working with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (Unesco’s) World Heritage Committee in ensuring effective implementation of the convention of the Mapungubwe Kingdom, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) said Friday.... 

Communities must drive CSR initiatives – Bench Marks Foundation

By: Leandi Kolver     29th June 2012 Mines’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes should be driven by the communities in the nearby areas of the mine and not the mining company itself to ensure it addresses the needs of the community, says corporate performance-monitoring organisation Bench Marks Foundation chief... 

Northern Dynasty slams EPA report on Pebble project

By: Natasha Odendaal     28th June 2012 TSX-listed Northern Dynasty Minerals has again criticised the recently published draft Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment (BBWA) report, stating that the report held narrow boundaries and restrictions for peer reviewers. The US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Region 10 office published the... 

CoAL to consider Unesco report on Vele

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     28th June 2012 ASX-, Aim- and JSE-listed Coal of Africa Limited (CoAL) said on Wednesday that it would, in consultation with the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), consider the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) report and its recommendations regarding its Vele... 

Comment sought on WA water guidelines 

By: Esmarie Iannucci     26th June 2012 Miners in Western Australia have been invited to comment on new state-wide guidelines clarifying water management regulations for the resources industry. The state’s Department of Water this week released a draft publication of the guidelines, which covers all areas of Western Australia and... 

Mine Restoration Investments lists on JSE’s AltX

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     25th June 2012 Mine Restoration Investments (MRI), a company established to tackle the challenges of acid mine drainage (AMD) in South Africa, made its debut on AltX on Monday. MRI CEO Jaco Schoeman said that listing formed part of a broader strategy for the business, focusing on deepening its capital base to... 

Centerra refutes environ allegations as Kyrgyz govt reviews report

By: Henry Lazenby     22nd June 2012 The Kyrgyz government on Friday reviewed a 300-page report about Canadian miner Centerra Gold’s Kumtor mine’s environmental compliance, alleging unsanctioned environmental damage – a claim which the miner refutes. Centerra said the Kyrgyz Parliament held a session to discuss a report released on... 

Company on the brink of proving solar energy benefits to industry

By: Yolandi Booyens     22nd June 2012 Energy and lifestyle solutions provider Optimum PM is on the brink of proving the viability of solar energy technology in the mining industry by running pilot programmes at mining operations across South Africa. This will silence the doubts regarding the use of this renewable technology in mining... 

WWF-SA welcomes prohibition of mining in ecologically sensitive areas

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     21st June 2012 World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa (WWF-SA) on Thursday said it welcomed Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu’s commitment to adopt an integrated licensing system and to prohibit mining in ecologically sensitive areas. The Minster indicated these intentions in her budget speech for... 

MAC elects Ian Pearce as chairperson

By: Henry Lazenby     21st June 2012 The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) has elected Xstrata Nickel CEO Ian Pearce as its new chairperson to serve a two-year term, replacing outgoing Teck Resources senior VP Doug Horswill. 

Wheatstone to pay for environmental research - Marmion

By: Esmarie Iannucci     21st June 2012 The planned $29-billion Wheatstone liquefied natural gas (LNG) project would contribute more than A$13-million in environmental offset capital, Western Australia Environment and Water Minister Bill Marmion said on Thursday. Marmion noted that state government conditions imposed on the proposed... 

Malaysian plant licence appeal dismissed – Lynas

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th June 2012 Malaysian Innovation, Science and Technology Minister Maximus Ongkili has backed ASX-listed Lynas’ development of its advanced materials plant (Lamp) by dismissing the appeal against its two-year temporary operating licence. “The decision by the Minister is the latest in a long line of rulings... 

Burke outlines issues with Alpha coal project

By: Esmarie Iannucci     18th June 2012 Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke has outlined his key concerns around the A$6.4-billion Alpha coal mine in Queensland, which Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Coal wants to develop. Burke said that his department had met with Hancock twice, and at the last meeting outlined further information... 

New agreement for Qld environmental approvals

By: Esmarie Iannucci     15th June 2012 The federal and Queensland governments have agreed to a new bilateral agreement for the environmental approval of major projects after a political skirmish developed around the A$6.4-billion Alpha coal project. Earlier this month, federal Environment Minister Tony Burke initiated a Commonwealth... 

Capital raising under way for Limpopo iron plant 

By: Martin Creamer     13th June 2012 The raising of R800-million capital is under negotiation for the next stage of the iron-from-waste plant in South Africa’s Limpopo province, where a prototype plant is on track to be operational in the first half of 2013. This follows a major breakthrough in the process used, which is now... 

Govt, industry should partner on AMD – CoM’s Sibiya

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     12th June 2012 If the South African government was “serious” about resolving the country’s acid mine drainage (AMD) problem, it would have partner with the mining industry to find a sustainable solution, Chamber of Mines (CoM) CEO Bheki Sibiya said on Tuesday. Discussing sustainable development at the first... 

‘No-go’ mining areas to be announced soon – Molewa  

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     11th June 2012 Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu would soon announce ‘no-go’ areas for mining, based on ecological sensitivity, Environmental and Water Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said on Monday. Speaking at a business briefing in Johannesburg, she said that the Department of Environmental Affairs... 

Orica denies Yarwun environmental misconduct allegations

By: Esmarie Iannucci     11th June 2012 Mining services provider Orica has hit back at allegations of environmental misconduct at its sodium cyanide facility in Yarwun, Queensland. Queensland Environment and Heritage Protection Minister Andrew Powell last week confirmed that Orica had been charged with 279 offences of willfully... 

EIA for proposed phosphate mine undertaken

By: Leandi Kolver     8th June 2012 Environmental-impact assessments (EIAs) for a proposed phosphate mine and processing plant in Nampula province, Mozambique, are being undertaken by consulting engineers and scientists SRK Consulting. 

CoAL, Coalition extend deadline for MoA conclusion

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th June 2012 Coal of Africa Limited (CoAL) and the Save Mapungubwe Coalition would work towards coverting their memorandum of understanding (MoU) into a memorandum of agreement (MoA) over the next few months, the South African emerging coal miner said late on Wednesday. The parties, which initially targeted... 

State environ policy requires greater cohesion

By: Natalie Greve     5th June 2012 A greater degree of State policy coherence is required for an effective short-, medium- and long-term strategy for environmental sustainability in the local mining sector. "At the moment, industry is receiving mixed messages from government," National Business Initiative CEO Joanne Yawitch has... 

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