Archive | Mining Environmental, Water Shortage and Land Reclamation/Revegetation Issues

AMC fights to save South China tigers from extinction – by Laura Cornish (Mining Review Africa – August 29, 2019)

Mining Review Africa

According to the World Wildlife Fund, South China tigers area “critically endangered” species and considered “functionally extinct” having not been sighted in the wild for more than 25 years.

The non-profit Laohu Valley Reserve near Philippolis in the Free State, South Africa, has dedicated its resources to growing the South China tiger population, with the ultimate intention of re-wilding them in their origin home in China.

LAURA CORNISH visited the reserve to learn about the project which one of South Africa’s major crushing contractors, African Mining & Crushing (AMC) is supporting. Continue Reading →

Trains deliver water to drought-affected NSW coal mines to keep production going and save jobs – by Kathleen Ferguson (Australian Broadcasting Corporation – August 7, 2019)

https://www.abc.net.au/

Trains carrying 725,000 litres of water a day are the latest weapon to keep a drought-affected mine in inland New South Wales in production and keep jobs secure.

The Southern Shorthaul Railroad [SSR] company has started carting water between Centennial Coal’s Charbon and Airlie mines near Lithgow on a 40-kilometre route.

The unorthodox mode of water supply is not only securing coal production, but also jobs. “That would have meant that they would have had to cease coal production in the mine and, for them, that would have meant laying off 140 full-time staff.” Continue Reading →

Sudbury’s mining expertise, regreening success story attract Latin American delegations – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – August 2, 2019)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Battery-powered mining equipment and Sudbury’s regreening efforts are attracting groups from Latin America to visit the Nickel City in August.

Sudbury’s growing mining expertise in the development and use of battery-powered electric vehicles (BEV) has attracted the interest of managers and engineers from Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer.

Representatives from Chile’s state-run mining company, arrive in Sudbury on Aug. 5 to begin a five-day tour of operations and suppliers in Sudbury and Kirkland Lake. The Aug 5-9 visit is organized by Sudbury and Area Mining Supply and Services Association (SAMSSA). Continue Reading →

How pulling frozen mud ‘Popsicles’ from N.W.T. lakes can help make mining cleaner – by Priscilla Hwang (CBC North – August 6, 2019)

https://www.cbc.ca/

An Ottawa researcher developing new technology to pull up and analyze frozen mud samples from N.W.T. lakes says it will give regulators and mining companies a better tool to do their jobs.

“It’s a technology that’s going to allow mining companies to … better plan how they’re going to use the area around the lake, and make sure that their work is done sustainably,” said Tim Patterson, professor of geology at Carleton University.

“That’ll allow them to do better to protect the aquatic ecosystems.” Currently, mining companies have to follow strict cleanup protocols when planning to mine in the N.W.T. Continue Reading →

Mineweb: Anglo’s seen the future of mining, and it looks a lot like farming – by Ciaran Ryan (Money Web.com – June 24, 2019)

https://www.moneyweb.co.za/

The sector has to clean up its act while still making a profit – and it’s a race the group intends to win.

Addressing analysts in London recently, Anglo technical director Tony O’Neill outlined a vision of the future where mines will be similar to farms.

Virtually all mining activity, including the extraction of minerals, leaching and processing will take place below ground. Rock cutting will be done without vibration and only material of value will be brought to the surface. No more convoys of trucks or surface conveyor belts delivering material to the processing plant, no more mechanical shovels scarring the countryside.

On the surface, you may see green fields, cows, and perhaps a wind turbine or two and some solar panels. Surplus power generated by the mines will be supplied to local communities. Exploration will be done by satellite and minimal use made of water. Perhaps even no water at all. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Vale Canada and Terrapure win Environmental Leader Award for innovative mine rehabilitation project

Teaming up to solve a municipal and mining problem with a sustainable, cost-saving approach has earned Vale and Terrapure recognition for Project of Year

SUDBURY, ONT., May 15, 2019 – Terrapure Environmental® (Terrapure) and Vale Canada received an Environmental Leader Award for Project of the Year for their new, sustainable option for managing biosolids during winter months, when farmland application is prohibited and storage is complicated.

Instead of incinerating or landfilling nutrient-rich organics, Terrapure worked with Vale to develop a program to apply treated biosolids to its Central Tailings Area for reclamation and revegetation. It was the first project of its kind in Ontario. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Nornickel invests $2.3 billion in cutting sulphur dioxide emissions (Tass.com – April 10, 2019)

http://tass.com/

ST. PETERSBURG, April 10. /TASS/. The Norilsk Nickel Mining and Metallurgical Company (Nornickel) plans to invest more than 150 billion rubles ($2.3 billion) in processing sulphur dioxide at its Polar Division’s facilities, the company’s Vice President Dmitry Pristanskov told the international Arctic forum on Tuesday.

“The Northern Project is absolutely non-commercial, it is a part of the national Ecology project,” the company’s representative said. “The company plans to attract more than 150 billion rubles in Russian technologies to cut sulphur dioxide emissions by 75%.”

TASS wrote earlier that under the Clear Air federal project, which is a part of the Ecology national project, Nornickel would invest in cutting emissions in Norilsk about 123 billion rubles ($1.9 billion). Continue Reading →

Canada failed at monitoring waste dumps from mining companies – by Carl Meyer (National Observer – April 2, 2019)

https://www.nationalobserver.com/

Canada’s federal environment and fisheries departments failed at monitoring unauthorized waste dumps by mining companies and did not always check if these firms were carrying out plans to save fish from lethal chemicals, Canada’s environment commissioner has found.

Julie Gelfand examined seven metal mine projects to figure out how Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) were fulfilling their duties to oversee the safe disposal and storage of the liquid sludge that comes from industrial chemicals used in mining to extract materials from crushed rock.

That process created a byproduct filled with harmful materials to fish like cyanide, zinc and selenium, which the industry calls “effluent.” Continue Reading →

EDITORIAL: Peterborough’s Innovation Cluster exemplifies ties that bind Canada, Brazil – by Examiner Staff (Peterborough Examiner – March 20, 2019)

https://www.thepeterboroughexaminer.com/

Water purification technology born here is used to help disaster victims

Canada has a complicated history with Brazil. Much of our shared experience is written in the language of commerce and has been controversial to the point of bitterness. But those are big-picture issues.

Scale the focus down and, as often is the case, smaller relationships create space for support and compassion. Peterborough is now part of just such a story, a reminder that people with open minds and hearts can find ways to cross international boundaries.

This story began in January when a huge tailing pond dam at Brumadinho in south-west Brazil collapsed. A torrent of mud and waste water from an iron mine swept away an entire section of rural Brumadinho, population 40,000. At least 300 people died. Continue Reading →

Sudbury Accent: Lots done, lots still to do, top biologist John Gunn (Living With Lakes Centre) says – by Donald Macdonald (Sudbury Star – January 12, 2019)

https://www.thesudburystar.com/

John Gunn is a fisheries biologist who has for the past 25 years studied the effects of acid rain, climate change, and a variety of other environmental factors on coldwater fish communities. As the director of the Living with Lakes Centre in Sudbury and Canada Research Chair in Stressed Aquatic Systems, he is now leading a team of researchers in the study of the effects of multiple stressors on Shield ecosystems.

He is also investigating the recovery processes that operate once stressors are removed. Lakes near Sudbury, are particularly important for the recovery studies. Emissions of air pollutants in this area have declined by about 90 per cent in recent decades and many aquatic systems are beginning to recover. Here, he takes time to answer The Star’s 10 questions.

Forests are often described as the lungs of the planet, and freshwater as its lifeblood. Sudbury has plenty of both, although the former was missing for quite a while. Can you talk a bit about the relationship between the two and how regreening has benefited our lakes and rivers? Continue Reading →

Explainer: SQM and Chile reach lithium deal, but Atacama water woes continue – by Dave Sherwood (Reuters U.S. – January 9, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Chile’s environmental regulator this week approved a $25 million compliance plan by lithium miner SQM (SQMa.SN), ending a multi-year investigation by authorities that found the Chilean miner had overdrawn lithium-rich brine from the Atacama salt flat.

The case, now resolved, raised questions about how much brine and fresh water was left beneath the Atacama, and how long it would last. Those concerns, and others, still linger. Here’s why:

WHAT IS THE SALAR DE ATACAMA?

The Salar de Atacama is a high-altitude desert basin in northern Chile that, in 2017, supplied more than one-third of the world’s lithium, a key ingredient in the batteries that power cell phones and electric vehicles. Continue Reading →

Coalition forms to reclaim abandoned coal mine lands across Appalachia and rebirth them – by Jake Flatley (West Virginia Metro News – November 14, 2018)

http://wvmetronews.com/

BOONE COUNTY, W.Va. — In an effort to clean up abandoned coal mine lands and give them new life, a coalition of groups in the Appalachian region has formed.

20 former coal sites stretching across four states were mentioned in the report authored by the Reclaiming Appalachia Coalition, “Many Voices, Many Solutions: Innovative Mine Reclamation in Central Appalachia.” A highlight in the report of the sites is a mixed agriculture and renewable energy project proposed on a former strip mine in Boone County.

“We are trying to find ways to not necessarily reinvent the wheel but take what we see as best practices in different areas that would be applicable in different sites such as abandon land mine sites,” Jacob Hannah, Conservation Coordinator with Coalfield Development Corporation, said. Continue Reading →

COLUMN-Like Silicon Valley? Miners face uphill slog in drive to go digital – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.K. – October 31, 2018)

https://uk.reuters.com/

In many ways the mining industry is losing the public relations battle
against environmental activists. Many of the latter fail to distinguish
between the various types of commodities being mined, the processes
being used in extraction and the usefulness of the resource in
helping, or hindering, action against climate change.

MELBOURNE, Oct 31 (Reuters) – The mining industry wants to shed its image as a low-tech shoveller of dirt and instead be seen as a cutting edge digital-savvy employer of choice. It’s a feat that could be compared to teaching an elephant to ballet dance.

While mining companies have been quick to adopt new technologies to drive costs lower, there is an increasing recognition that the industry needs to embrace the so-called digital revolution if it is to prosper in the future.

This means moving well beyond the driverless trains and trucks that have helped Australia’s major iron ore miners cut the cost of producing a tonne of the steel-making material by about two-thirds over the past decade. Continue Reading →

Mining and the environment: the biggest conservation projects in mining – by JP Casey (Mining-Technology.com – October 29, 2018)

https://www.mining-technology.com/

As the mining industry becomes more aware of the environmental damage large-scale extractive operations can cause, many are taking steps to reduce the harmfulness of their operations.

Often, this takes the form of extensive land rehabilitation projects, where companies set out long-term plans to redevelop land after a mine has been exhausted; however, many companies have adopted a more specific approach, engaging in operations to protect individual species of wildlife native to the lands where they mine. Here are five of the biggest conservation projects in mining.

Appalachian Wildlife Center, Kentucky, US

In July this year, biologist David Ledford announced the formation of the Appalachian Wildlife Center, a non-profit organisation that aims to construct a conservation area on former mining land in the US state of Kentucky. The area will cover 12,500 acres, a third of which will consist of plains and grassland built on former mine sites. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto completing the mining ‘circle of life’ – by Jasen Lee (KSL.com – October 23, 2018)

https://www.ksl.com/

SALT LAKE CITY — Nearly 30 years ago, the first gold was mined in Barney’s Canyon near the site of the world’s largest open pit mining operation.

Since then, the mine has completed its life cycle, and Rio Tinto Kennecott is restoring the site to resemble the state nature originally intended — at a cost of over $50 million.

Located on the east slope of the Oquirrh Mountains, 5 miles north of the Bingham Canyon Mine, the Barney’s Canyon Mine operated from 1989 to 2013 and produced more than 2 million ounces of gold, according to Steve Schnoor, reclamation manager for Rio Tinto Kennecott. Toward the end of the life cycle, the company began transitioning to the reclamation process, he said, in preparation for the eventual discontinuation of active mining. Continue Reading →