Can mining and the natural environment live in harmony? This is a question that has been brought to the fore by the development of Coal of Africa Limited (CoAL)'s Vele coal mine on the banks of the Limpopo River, not far from one of South Africa's tourist jewels, the Mapungubwe National Park. The new mine has been fiercely opposed by an alliance of conservation groups who have proved to be a formidable thorn in the side of CoAL.
The good news, however, is that the various parties to the dispute have called a provisional truce and have committed themselves to working together "in the interest of sustainable development and the preservation and protection of the Mapungubwe cultural landscape." Our article Breakthrough for Vele? has the full details of the deal, which could lead to the current ‘Memorandum of Understanding' evolving into a permanent agreement.
Sustainability in mining is highlighted in an article entitled Umsizi spearheads sustainable projects. This looks at some interesting initiatives that have been implemented by Umsizi Sustainable Social Solutions at the Evraz Mapochs Mine (Mapochs) in Limpopo Province - one an indigenous plants nursery and the other an agricultural project. The two projects have breathed new life into communities living near the mine.
Manganese has received a great deal of attention in Modern Mining recently and this trend continues in this issue, where we look at Aquila's Gravenhage project in the Northern Cape. A DFS on the project has been completed. It proposes a 1,5 Mt/a run of mine (ROM) opencut operation, with subsequent underground mining by decline access from the open pit, which will produce oxide manganese ore over a total mine life of 17 years, inclusive of the initial ramp-up in production.
|This issue of Modern Mining is available for interactive "page-flip" viewing. You'll need the latest Flash Plugin, and an ADSL or 3G internet connection to view the magazine smoothly.||You need to register with Crown Publications to read the online version of this magazine.|
Continental progresses Penumbra and De Wittekrans
Fast emerging coal producer Continental Coal has provided an update on its developing Penumbra coal mine, which has a planned production of 750 000 tonnes of ROM coal a year. The company has also revealed the preliminary findings of a BFS on its De Wittekrans project, which is likely to be an opencast operation in its initial phase with underground mining following in year two.
Sandvik merges divisions to create ‘Sandvik Mining'
In the wake of the recent restructuring of the Sandvik's global operations, Sandvik Mining and Construction (SMC) split its business into two distinct areas. There will now be a Sandvik Mining and a Sandvik Construction Business Area (BA) in all countries that were covered by SMC, including South Africa, as our cover story explains.
Langer Heinrich's Stage 3 expansion comes on line
In its report for the September quarter (released in mid-November), Australia's Paladin energy says that its Langer Heinrich uranium mine in Namibia produced 849 067 lb of U3O8 during the reporting period. It adds that the Stage 3 expansion at the mine is now almost complete and that the ramp-up is going well with production running at 90 % of design capacity in October.
Blanket now producing at 40 000 ounces a year
The Blanket underground gold mine near Gwanda in Zimbabwe - one of the oldest mines in the country - is now producing at its targeted annualised rate of 40 000 ounces a year. Owned by Canada's Caledonia Mining, Blanket has now enjoyed six successive quarters of increased gold production (and profits), with ounces produced tripling since the first quarter of 2010.
Pumps distinguished by innovative design
Ease of maintenance and reducing the Total Cost of Ownership have been the two primary drivers in the design and development of Weir Minerals Africa's new Warman® MCR mill discharge pumps, Warman® WBH® slurry pump range and Warman® SLR pumps.