Pollution From Florida Mining a Concern With Hurricane Ian – by Curt Anderson (Associated Press – September 28, 2022)


Environmental groups say the polluted leftovers of Florida’s phosphate fertilizer mining industry are at risk for leaks or other contamination triggered by Hurricane Ian.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The polluted leftovers of Florida’s phosphate fertilizer mining industry, more than 1 billion tons in “stacks” that resemble enormous ponds, are at risk for leaks or other contamination when Hurricane Ian comes ashore in the state, environmental groups say.

Florida has 24 such phosphogypsum stacks, most of them concentrated in mining areas in the central part of the state. About 30 million tons of this slightly radioactive waste is generated every year, according to the Florida Industrial and Phosphate Research Institute.

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Southern cattail highly effective for rehabilitation of areas affected by iron mine tailings – by Staff (Mining.com – September 26, 2022)


A recent study conducted by Brazilian researchers and reported on by the São Paulo Research Foundation demonstrated the potential of Southern cattail for use in the sustainable rehabilitation of areas affected by iron ore mine tailings.

In a paper published in the Journal of Cleaner Production, the researchers explain that their experiments showed that the plant can scavenge up to 34 times more manganese from contaminated soil than other plants found in similar environments.

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The World Got Diamonds. A Mining Town Got Buried in Sludge. – by John Eligon and Lynsey Chutel (New York Times – September 23, 2022)


Waste from a diamond mine in South Africa grew ever higher as the ownership changed from De Beers to a billionaire to a Dubai-based retailer. The mining town paid the price.

JAGERSFONTEIN, South Africa — The dirt wall holding in mucky waste from diamond mining grew over the years to resemble a wide, towering plateau. Suspended like a frozen tsunami over neat tracts of Monopoly-like homes in the rural South African mining town of Jagersfontein, the dam alarmed residents who feared it may collapse.

“We saw it long time, that one day this thing will burst,” said Memane Paulus, a machine operator at the dam for the past decade. The worst fears of residents came true this month when a section of the dam crumbled, sending a thunderous rush of gray sludge through the community that killed at least one person, destroyed 164 houses, and turned a six-mile stretch of neighborhoods and grassy fields into an ashen wasteland.

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Residents blame billionaire for Jagersfontein disaster – by Manyane Manyane (Sunday Independent – September 18, 2022)


Johannesburg – Billionaire Johann Rupert has been accused of intimidating and bribing residents and employees after they raised concerns regarding the dam wall which collapsed at Jagersfontein Development. At least four people were killed and more than 70 others injured following the collapse of the dam last Sunday, leaving scores of people homeless.

Jagersfontein Development employees and residents said Rupert could have stabilised the dam long before it collapsed, but opted to do nothing. Instead, he allegedly bribed community leaders who raised concerns regarding the potential danger to the community. They said the dam had been leaking for years.

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Burst mining dam in South Africa: what must be done to prevent another disaster – by Charles MacRobert (The Conversation – September 14, 2022)


Jagersfontien, a small town in the middle of South Africa with over a century of mining history, awoke to a tragic failure of responsibility on 11 September 2022 when torrents of muddy water cascaded over the embankments that were meant to hold it back. The flood killed one person and devastated many homes.

The muddy water was the residue left over from the extraction of diamonds. The Jagersfontein mine traces its origins to a 50-carat diamond discovery in 1870. Mining began in earnest shortly after that and continued until 1971. Notable diamonds uncovered included the Excelsior and Reitz diamonds.

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What Do Electric Cars Really Cost? – by Bob Davis (Foreign Policy – September 4, 2022)


Clean cars drive some very dirty businesses and grubby regimes. That’s the main takeaway from Henry Sanderson’s fine new book Volt Rush: The Winners and Losers in the Race to Go Green.

Among the winners he describes are copper miners exploiting child labor, nickel miners dumping tons of waste into the sea, corrupt businesspeople paying off venomous African politicians, and a host of Chinese billionaires. It’s a far cry from the sanitized vision sold to Tesla owners.

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Who will clean it up?: ​Alberta put a pause on coal. But its footprint remains – by Rob Easton and Joel Dryden (CBC News Calgary – August 25, 2022)


It’s quiet in Coleman, Alta., a historic coal town located within the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass, a cluster of five communities along Highway 3 in southwestern Alberta. The downtown brims with symbols of this town’s past. Many historic buildings are boarded up, their futures plainly uncertain. The ruins of the town’s coal plant and coke ovens are still visible a short walk away.

The residents here are used to seeing reporters, given how much coal has been in the news over the past two years, but many are done talking about it. Business owners hesitate to take a public side lest they alienate potential customers.

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Glencore to invest $383 million to fix Horne smelter emissions – by Staff (Mining.com – August 22, 2022)


Glencore plans to invest more than C$500 million ($383m) in its Horne smelter located in Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, with the aim of improving air quality to reduce its arsenic emissions to 15 ng/m3 within the next five years.

“This transformative project shows that our number one priority is to ensure our teams’ safety et security, as well as that of our neighbouring communities,” said Claude Bélanger, COO of Glencore’s North American copper assets.

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‘Right material’ to efficiently remove mercury from water shows promising results – by Staff (Mining.com – August 17, 2022)


Researchers at Drexel University have found the right material to efficiently catch mercury —even at low levels— and clean up contaminated bodies of water. According to lead researcher Masoud Soroush, adsorption —the process of chemically attracting and removing contaminants— seems to be the most promising technology for removing mercury from water, due to its relative simplicity.

“Modern adsorbents, such as resins, mesoporous silica, chalcogenides, and mesoporous carbons, have higher efficiencies than traditional adsorbents, such as activated carbon, clays, and zeolites that have a low affinity toward mercury and low capacities,” Soroush said in a media statement.

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Pope worried about pollution of rivers with mercury used by gold miners in the Amazon – by Bruno Kelly and Anthony Boadle (Mining.com/Reuters – August 9, 2022)


Pope Francis will install the first cardinal of Brazil’s Amazon region this month in a sign of his concern for the rainforest and its indigenous inhabitants, the man whom he picked for the role said.

Dom Leonardo Steiner, archbishop of the Brazilian city of Manaus, said in an interview that Francis, the first pope from Latin America, is worried about deforestation, threats to indigenous cultures and pollution of rivers with mercury used by gold miners in the Amazon.

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Glencore Takes Heat in Quebec for Smelter That Spits Out Arsenic – by Mathieu Dion (Bloomberg News – August 10, 2022)


(Bloomberg) — Quebec’s public health director took aim at Glencore Plc for toxic emissions at a copper smelter in the province’s northwest, saying the level of pollution must be brought down quickly because of evidence it’s causing increased risk of cancer and other health problems.

The Horne Smelter in Rouyn-Noranda, a remote city about 600 kilometers (373 miles) northwest of Montreal, is emitting 165 nanograms of arsenic per cubic meter of air on site, according to a recent study by public health authorities in the Canadian province. That’s 55 times the standard safe level of 3 nanograms.

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Toxic mine pollution has turned Ohio rivers orange. Now it’s being made into paint. – by Chelsea Lee (CNN.com – August 2, 2022)


(CNN)With rolling hills, forests and hiking trails, Southeast Ohio is a haven for lovers of the outdoors. Yet cutting through the landscape are countless orange-stained streams, colored by the iron oxide pollution that has seeped into them from abandoned coal mines.

These streams are contaminated with a toxic sludge known as acid mine drainage (AMD) — the overflow of highly acidic wastewater from underground mines, created when water comes into contact with exposed mining rocks.

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Glencore’s 95-year-old copper smelter in Quebec is a prized asset. It should pay to clean up its act – by Konrad Yakabuski (Globe and Mail – July 19, 2022)


Any Canadian who grew up in a mining town knows of the trade-offs that come with relying on a single major employer involved in the metals business. For residents of Rouyn-Noranda, Que., the ups and downs of the commodities cycle have defined their town’s existence since prospector Edmund Horne staked the first copper claims in the region a century ago, leading to the 1922 founding of Noranda Inc.

The mining colossus, whose rise was intricately tied to Canada’s economic development, was eventually absorbed by Swiss-based multinational Glencore in 2013. But its name lives on in the town where it got its start.

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Federal funding now available to 20 states & Navajo Nation for abandoned mine clean up – by Shondiin Silversmith (Tucson Sentinel- July 22, 2022)


More than 20 states and the Navajo Nation can now apply for $725 million in funding for abandoned mine lands projects to help communities that have suffered environmental hazards and pollution caused by coal mining.

“Through this program, we are investing in coal communities through job creation — including for current and former coal workers — and economic revitalization, all while addressing harmful environmental impacts from these legacy developments,” Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland said in a press release.

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American environmentalists take aim at B.C. mines – by Nelson Bennett (Business In Vancouver- July 14, 2022)


Environmental groups want tailings ponds in B.C. banned

American environmental groups are taking aim at B.C.’s “industrial gold rush” and calling on President Joe Biden to call on the Canadian government to ban tailings dams.

Four American environmental groups are pointing to a report commissioned by the BC Mining Law Reform and SkeenaWild Conservation Trust that analyzes the risks of tailings pond failures in B.C. They are zeroing in on two mines in particular – one already in operation, Copper Mountain in southern B.C., and one proposed, the KSM mine in northwestern B.C.

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