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Photo of Week

SUSTAINABLE SUN POWER

By: Martin Creamer     15th January 2016 Australia's age-old mining city Broken Hill – which in 1885 gave the world’s biggest mining company BHP Billiton the first two letters of its name – is tapping the energy of the sun and no longer mining the now-ebbed silver–lead–zinc deposit that originally attracted miners to the New South Wales... 

SUSTAINABLE SUN POWER

BOHEMIAN COAL RHAPSODY

By: Martin Creamer     11th December 2015 The Czech government has granted the Bilina opencast lignite mine permission to access an additional 150-million tons of brown coal. The reprieve follows last year’s 5.5% fall to 38.3-million tons – half of the 1990 level – of the production of the mineral used to generate half of Czech’s... 

BOHEMIAN COAL RHAPSODY

GETTING GAS GOING

By: Martin Creamer     4th December 2015 Sasol executive VP energy Maurice Radebe, above, led the team that provided a vision of the potential way forward for the use of more gas in the generation of power in South Africa. With coal, the dominant fuel, and being in abundant supply, gas is seen as blazing a lower-carbon trail. To... 

GETTING GAS GOING

MORE IRON-ORE

By: Martin Creamer     27th November 2015 Hancock Prospecting chairperson Gina Rinehart is seen addressing the International Mining and Resources Conference in Melbourne, Australia. The remote operations centre of her new Roy Hill iron-ore mine, located near Perth airport, is able to control drills and trucks thousands of kilometres away... 

MORE IRON-ORE

‘DON’T GO TALKING TOO LOUD, YOU’LL CAUSE A LANDSLIDE’

By: Martin Creamer     20th November 2015 These words of the Bee Gees on mining disasters point to need for regular inspections of high-risk mine tailings dams, as a Brazilian prosecutor now says he emphasised ahead of the bursting of a slimes dam wall at the Germano iron-ore mine of the Samarco mining company, near the town of Mariana... 

‘DON’T GO TALKING TOO LOUD, YOU’LL CAUSE A LANDSLIDE’

COPPER CAPER

By: Martin Creamer     13th November 2015 Diversified mining and marketing major Glencore is to invest $950-million to expand operations at its Mopani Copper Mines as part of a plan to lower production costs at the Zambian copper mine, where a child is having fun on a tree swing in a field near the South Ore Body Shaft, in Kitwe. On... 

COPPER CAPER

DESIGNING OUT THE RISK

By: Martin Creamer     6th November 2015 A working group of South African gold mining companies last week showcased a host of engineering measures aimed at “designing out” the risk of workers contracting silicosis, the dreaded lung disease for which former mineworkers are now seeking compensation through the courts. The engineering... 

DESIGNING OUT THE RISK

WORKING IN HARMONY

By: Martin Creamer     30th October 2015 New Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane last week undertook his maiden mine visit as a member of the Cabinet. His choice was to call on the Doornkop gold mine, west of Johannesburg. Shadowing the Minister in this picture is Graham Briggs, the CEO of Harmony Gold, which owns the historic... 

WORKING IN HARMONY

MINI MINER

By: Martin Creamer     23rd October 2015 Precious metals mining company Sibanye Gold sprung a surprise on the industry last week when in unveiled this mining machine to the 440 registered attendees of the Joburg Indaba. Having put up his hand to be South Africa’s next diversified mining champion, Sibanye CEO Neal Froneman has become the... 

MINI MINER

SHALE SHUTS SOCK SILICA SAND

By: Martin Creamer     16th October 2015 When shale oil boomed, so did the silica sand that makes fracking possible. But when shale bust, it took the sand business down with it. Some US Midwest sand operations cut staff and halved outputs and many smaller on closing entirely, as prices tanked to below $40/t. This picture shows a winter... 

SHALE SHUTS SOCK SILICA SAND

PLATINUM POWER

By: Martin Creamer     9th October 2015 Platinum mining company Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) last month unveiled a R150-million cogeneration plant that turns waste heat into 5 MW of electricity at its Waterval Smelting Complex, in Rustenburg. The project, which has cut the smelter’s reliance on State power utility Eskom and... 

PLATINUM POWER

EXPANSIVE ERTSBERG

By: Martin Creamer     2nd October 2015 In 1939, a Dutch geologist filed a report on the Ertsberg, Dutch for ore mountain, in Indonesia, which later prompted Freeport mining company to develop what is today the world’s largest gold mine and the third largest copper mine, near Papua’s highest Puncak Jaya mountain. The picture shows dump... 

EXPANSIVE ERTSBERG

NUCLEAR FALLOUT

By: Martin Creamer     25th September 2015 Areva CEO Philippe Knoche is seen at this month’s World Nuclear Association Symposium in London outlining what he intends doing to prop up Areva’s remaining uranium mining and fuel treatment operations in the wake of the State-controlled Electricite de France already relieving it of its reactor... 

NUCLEAR FALLOUT

SILVER SIT-IN

By: Martin Creamer     18th September 2015 An activist wrapped in a Berber flag walks on a hilltop above a silver mine, where dozens of unemployed young villagers have been holding the world’s longest ‘ecological sit-in’ near the town of Imider, in southeastern Morocco. They have cut off the flow of water from a well that supplies one of... 

SILVER SIT-IN

JAPAN IN CHILE

By: Martin Creamer     11th September 2015 Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, centre, is seen at a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Santiago to mark the opening of the Caserones copper mine, which is located 4 000 m above sea level in the Chilean Andes. The mine will supply copper concentrate to Japanese copper smelter Pan Pacific Copper,... 

JAPAN IN CHILE

CRACKDOWN ON ILLEGAL MINING

By: Martin Creamer     4th September 2015 Smoke rises from a fire after police detonated motorcycles, generators and supplies during a raid on an illegal gold mining camp inside the Amazonian National Reserve buffering zone of Tambopata in Puerto Maldonado, Peru. Destruction of illegal gold mining camps in this remote area have been... 

CRACKDOWN ON ILLEGAL MINING

STRONG STRATEGY

By: Martin Creamer     28th August 2015 Dr Mark Bristow, chief executive officer of Randgold Resources, who is finding it no problem to generate free cash through the current gold price slump. “You build businesses in the troughs and you make money in the peaks”, is Bristow’s long-standing business philosophy, which is producing... 

STRONG STRATEGY

YELLOW METAL

By: Martin Creamer     21st August 2015 George Fang, executive director and vice president at Zijin Mining Group, the world's biggest gold producer by market value, is also the new executive chairperson of the Zijin-controlled Norton Goldfields of Western Australia, where Chinese executives are on the hunt for more in the belief that... 

YELLOW METAL

THINK ZINC

By: Martin Creamer     14th August 2015 This first blast at the $630-million Gamsberg zinc project in the Northern Cape last month signalled the start of the building of a 250 000 t/y opencast zinc mine, concentrator plant and associated infrastructure as part of an integrated three-year $782-million Southern African development by the... 

THINK ZINC

PERU PROTEST

By: Martin Creamer     7th August 2015 A Potosi mineworkers attend a protest march in La Paz. Hundreds of demonstrators from Potosi demanded to have a meeting with President Evo Morales to discuss about the industrialisation of their region on the eighth day of their protest in La Paz, according to local media. 

PERU PROTEST

IRON-ORE PRICE WIPES THE SMILE

By: Martin Creamer     31st July 2015 Last year’s broad smile had left the face of Kumba Iron Ore CEO Norman Mbazima when this picture was taken at last week’s presentation of results, which saw the Anglo American group company’s earnings plunge, dividends jettisoned and 1 772 jobs put on the chopping block. Only two years ago Kumba... 

IRON-ORE PRICE WIPES THE SMILE

COAL FOR POWER GENERATION

By: Ilan Solomons     24th July 2015 The opencast Brakfontein coal mine, above, near Delmas in Mpumalanga, is owned and operated by Tegeta Exploration and Resources. The mine, which has been supplying coal to Eskom since March, has a contract to provide 100 000 t of coal a month to the State electricity company. An extension to the... 

COAL FOR POWER GENERATION

INVESTMENT SEEKER

By: Martin Creamer     17th July 2015 Mongolia is planning to sell shareholdings in its biggest coal mine and in ten State enterprises as it seeks to revive growth and boost foreign investment in one of the world’s tiniest stock exchanges. Mongolia gets 90% of revenue from mining and Mongolian Prime Minister Chimed Saikhanbileg,... 

INVESTMENT SEEKER

INFORMATION CUSTODIANS

By: Martin Creamer     10th July 2015 Former Xstrata Alloys executive director Mike Rossouw wants mining companies to use the valuable information they have to persuade the government to simplify mining policy and collaborate towards less regulation and greater implementation. in his keynote address to the Renewables & Mining Summit... 

INFORMATION CUSTODIANS

QUARRY QUERIES

By: Martin Creamer     3rd July 2015 A worker stacks bricks at a quarry in the desert of Minya governorate in Egypt. In the limestone quarries of Minya province south of Cairo, labourers in sandals and makeshift masks use unsheathed rotor blades to gouge the white, fossil-rich rock into house bricks. The workers in the snow-white... 

QUARRY QUERIES

THE SCHOOL THAT COAL BUILT

By: Martin Creamer     26th June 2015 Seen in the library of the new R75-million school in the Mpumalanga coalfields, which coal-miner Glencore handed over last week, are Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, left, and Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg, foreground second left. The London-, Hong Kong- and Johannesburg-listed Glencore... 

THE SCHOOL THAT COAL BUILT

BIG WOOING SMALL

By: Martin Creamer     19th June 2015 Chamber of Mines of South Africa president Mike Teke says the door of the chamber is wide open to emerging mining companies. Seen at this month’s Junior Indaba conference in Johannesburg, Teke called for opportunities to be created for juniors by unlocking of the Waterberg coal field and... 

BIG WOOING SMALL

DISASTER MEMORIAL

By: Martin Creamer     12th June 2015 The 29 West Virginian coal miners, who lost their lives five years ago, have been honoured by local residents, who decorated this headgear in their memory. The Upper Big Branch Mine disaster occurred on April 5, 2010, 300 m underground in Raleigh County, West Virginia at Massey Energy's Upper Big... 

DISASTER MEMORIAL

SOUTH32 LISTING

By: Martin Creamer     5th June 2015 South32 president and COO Africa Mike Fraser is about to blow the kudu horn to signal the official listing of South32 on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. The five-country BHP Billiton spinoff intends making the most out of it suite of cash-generative aluminium, coal, manganese, nickel, silver,... 

SOUTH32 LISTING

SASOL'S OIL

By: Martin Creamer     29th May 2015 Shaft headgear at petrochemical group Sasol’s Impumelelo mine, near Secunda, stands sentinel as development work continues to advance a sweeping R15.3-billion project that will replace three of the company’s ageing coal mines across the Secunda coalfields of Mpumalanga. The project continues to... 

SASOL'S OIL

UPPING THE ANTE

By: Martin Creamer     22nd May 2015 Plans are afoot to increase output volumes significantly at State-owned mining company African Exploration Mining and Finance Corporation’s Vlakfontein colliery, near Ogies, in Mpumalanga. African Exploration corporate strategy and planning GM Sicelo Sikakane and Vlakfontein mine surveyor Mxolisi... 

UPPING THE ANTE

GOLDEN STAND OFF

By: Martin Creamer     15th May 2015 The owners of this US gold mine in Oregon are seen in a land-use dispute with the federal government, during which armed former and current law enforcement Oath Keepers personnel patrolled this surface area of Sugar Pine Mine near Medford. Tensions ran high after the Bureau of Land Management... 

GOLDEN STAND OFF

ESTEEMED ENDORSEMENT

By: Martin Creamer     8th May 2015 The commander-in-chief of the world’s biggest investment bank last week remarked favourably on the high standing of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in having a market capitalisation that is twice the value of South Africa’s gross domestic product. Seen here speaking at the Gordon Institute of... 

ESTEEMED ENDORSEMENT

DEATH TO THE SILENT KILLER

By: Martin Creamer     1st May 2015 Silicosis, that silent killer of mineworkers, may at last be facing its own demise. A promising new real-time dust monitoring system is described as the closest the industry has come to a silver bullet to put an end to the curse of silicosis and other lung diseases. Impala Platinum CEO and... 

DEATH TO THE SILENT KILLER

IRON WILLED SWEDCES

By: Martin Creamer     24th April 2015 A model of Kiruna town in the Swedish Arctic shows the expected expansion of the iron-ore mine on the town's outskirts. Undaunted by falling iron-ore prices, a Swedish company will start dismantling and moving the historic Arctic town of Kiruna this month to make way for the expansion of Europe's... 

IRON WILLED SWEDCES

COAL PAYBACK

By: Martin Creamer     17th April 2015 Black-controlled JSE-listed Exxaro Resources has spent R250-million on a water treatment plant at its Matla coal-mine in Mpumalanga, which turns 10-million litres (Mℓ) of polluted underground mine water into clean drinking water every day. Seen at last week’s opening are Exxaro Coal finance... 

COAL PAYBACK

COPPER CAPER

By: Martin Creamer     10th April 2015 While London-listed Chilean mining company Antofagasta is cautious on 2015 macro-economics, it remained steadfast on 2014 dividend payouts, which totalled $212-million for the 12 months to December 31. Although Antofagasta CEO Diego Hernandez, above, reported 17.8%-lower 2014 earnings before... 

COPPER CAPER

TAINTED LITHIUM

By: Martin Creamer     3rd April 2015 The glistening brine pools of this large lithium mining operation in the Atacama desert of northern Chile belie the storm that is rocking Chilean mining company Soc Quimica Y Minera de Chile (SQM) for allegedly syphoning off SQM funds to a right-wing party linked to the disgraced 1973-to-1990... 

TAINTED LITHIUM
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