Monthly Archives: July 2016 - Page 2

Pit collapse at jade mine

At least 13 people have been confirmed dead and two are missing after a wall pit collapse at an illegal jade mine in Myanmar’s Hpakant, in the Kachin state, the heart of the country’s lucrative greenstone industry.

The accident occurred Monday evening, following heavy rain that lasted all day, Reuters reports.

It is the latest in a series of deadly accidents in recent months to hit Hpakant, where as much as 90% of the world’s jade is mined.

Deadly accidents are, unfortunately, not unusual in Hpakant, where as much as 90% of the world’s jade is mined.

Miners work under extremely dangerous conditions, particularly those who pick through churned up material from large-scale machinery on unstable hillsides.

Jade mining, which has been in the hands of Myanmar’s military and elites during the final years of junta rule, is not only a dangerous sector to work in.

report last year by rights group Global Witness showed the business remains a key driver of conflict between the government and ethnic Kachin rebels, funding both sides in a war that has killed thousands and displaced around 100,000 since 2011

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PM2.5 dust

Vietnamese scientists develop air-pollution warning software

vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, consumption tax, TPP, US President Obama, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, vn news, Vietnam breaking news, air pollution, APOM, University of Technology

The APOM (air pollution management) system is management software integrated with Google and run on The program uses WebGIS database which can provide information about pollution levels, indices about dust pollution, and density of fine dust in the air in each area. The information is shown on a map of Vietnam.

Utilizing the technology on collecting and processing remote sensing satellite images, this is the first research work in Vietnam that uses satellite imagery to give air pollution warnings.

According to, the system has several advantages. First, working online, it automatically collects and processes image data from remote sensing satellites Terra MODIS, Aqua MODIS and Suomi NPP VIIRS of NASA and the satellite receiving station of UET installed by eOsphere Limited, UK.

Second, it calculates the PM2.5 parameter (concentration of dust with size <2.5 micrometers in the air) for the entire territory of Vietnam, spatial resolution 10×10 km with a frequency of 4 times/day (based on Terra/Aqua MODIS image processing) and 6×6 km at 2 times/day (based on NPP VIIRS image processing).

Third, it applies the formula of transformation from PM2.5 to air quality index (AQI) according to Vietnam standards and international standards. Through separating data for 63 provinces/cities, the system supplies an image source of PM2.5 dust, AQI for the entire territory of Vietnam and provinces/cities from 2010 to present.

According to Dr Nguyen Thi Nhat Thanh, the head of the research team, in 2014, Hanoi National University developed a satellite data receiving station to serve scientific research.

She then thought of taking full advantage of satellite images the station collects to analyze the concentration of dust in the air and show information on maps associated with warnings.

Thanh and her students set about to work on the system in late 2014. The system was completed one year later, while the software trial went smoothly.

According to Thanh, information about dust pollution throughout the country has been provided from automatic monitoring systems operating in Hanoi, Phu Tho, Quang Ninh, Hue, Da Nang and Khanh Hoa.

Hanoi, which is believed to have the highest air pollution level, only has one monitoring station on Nguyen Van Cu street in Long Bien district.

The problem of the monitoring stations is that they only show the pollution indices in the areas where the stations are located.

Original article at

Uncovering the hidden nanoparticle dangers on dusty streets

Analysis of dust found on the streets of Shanghai, China has revealed higher than expected concentrations of toxic metals in the tiny particles inhaled by the city’s residents. Mapping pollution hotspots across the city with this technique identified sources of pollution and could provide a new way to monitor local air quality.

Managing air pollution and its effects on human health is a challenge facing the world’s most populated and polluted cities. The dust that gathers on city streets, which comes from a wide range of natural and synthetic sources, is resuspended by wind and passing traffic, releasing tiny particles back into the atmosphere. Particles smaller than 2.5μm (PM2.5), including nanoparticles, are of particular concern as they can be inhaled deep into the lungs.

A team from Virginia Tech, US and East China Normal University has identified street dust as a sink for hazardous nanoparticles. They collected 66 dust samples from across Shanghai and used a novel aerosolisation technique to mimic the effect of stirring up the dust, and then isolated the PM2.5 fraction. This sampling method is much simpler than previous techniques as it allows simultaneous collection across many sites and provides a snapshot of the immediate environment.

The size distribution and chemical composition of the isolated particles revealed some startling results. The aerosolised fraction contained many metals at higher concentrations than found in bulk dust, leading the authors to conclude that these metals are disproportionately concentrated in the PM2.5 particles. This finding indicates that analysis of un-aerosolised dust samples may underestimate the associated human health risk from street dust. Some specific pollution sources were identified by studying the pollutants’ geographical distribution, as authors Yi Yang and Michael Hochella explain: ‘We found an extremely high concentration of lead in one sample and this sample was taken on a road near an e-waste plant. The occurrence of elevated lead in dust and aerosolised dust could pose the potential for extremely high risk to the local population.’ Correlations were also found between vehicle emission particles and traffic black spots.

The authors believe that their work could help provide new ways to assess air quality in towns and cities. ‘Nanoparticle identification in urban dust could be a new measure of the level of environmental quality of an urban area,’ says Hochella.

Identifying such chemical signatures could help policymakers to cut pollution. ‘The geographic information systems plots of the various elemental species are key for highlighting the pollution hotspots and targeting the sources to control their emissions,’ says Prashant Kumar, who researches urban air quality and atmospheric aerosols and nanoparticles at the University of Surrey, UK.

Find the original article at

DustWatch – providing dust monitoring services to mining and industry

Engineering News Online

Creamer Media unveiled its new-look Engineering News Online website on May 9 – a re-boot that forms part of ongoing efforts to improve the website’s delivery of ‘real economy news in real time’.

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Illegal mining suspects arrested in Springs after shoot-out

NGS – Eight suspected illegal miners were arrested in Springs following a shoot-out with police, the Ekurhuleni metro police department said on Monday. Lt-Col Wilfred Kgasago said that police raided various informal settlements in the Springs area in the early hours of Friday morning following reports of criminal activities including illegal mining.   Read more…

Training in Pretoria 19 July to 21 July 2016

Please note that the training course for Pretoria is scheduled for 19, 20, 21 July 2016.

Avenues Guesthouse
881 Wekker Road
Moreleta Park
Pretoria East
South Africa

Contact Person for accommodation bookings:
Michelle Botha
Mobile no:082 826 9889

Please book accommodation if required independently at this venue or an alternative.

Please diarise those dates if you can make it, and RSVP by 11 July 2016.

If you would like to attend or to send a representative, then please email or call on 021 789 0847 / 082 875 0209 to reserve a place.

The costs for the training – R2645 per person per day, and the course runs for three days. You can also select which days to attend.

Below is a brief outline of the course, although the course will be customised to meet the specific needs of those attending.


The course has three main topics that will be covered over the three days.
1. Fallout dust monitoring theory
2. Fallout dust monitoring practical
3. Fallout Dust Monitoring Reporting
The fallout dust monitoring section of the course aims to train the trainees so that they are able to do the following.
1. Understand what fallout dust monitoring achieves and what is collected. This will include discussion around the legislative requirements and will also address the possible influences of dust sensitive areas like communities, hospitals, farms, and recreational areas.
2. Prepare buckets, transport buckets and change buckets in the Fallout Dust Monitoring units.
3. Filter the bucket contents using a filter bench and using the related equipment used in the filtering process. This includes advice on how to minimise the filtering time and what can be done when samples are taking very long to filter.
4. Understand how to calculate the fallout dust monitoring results in mg/m2/day and how to interpret these results.
5. Report writing and presentation options for the results will also be discussed.
6. Some computer training may also be included in the course if required.
7. Access to our software for processing of the fallout dust data will also be included after the course. This can be used to simplify the data collection and report writing and will also provide a database of the fallout dust levels over the years.
The course will be presented by Christopher Loans who is a Professional Chemical Engineer with a Masters in Occupational Hygiene focused on the Mining Industry.

Please do not hesitate to contact me regarding any queries.

Chris Loans

DustWatch CC – Precipitant Dust Monitoring
082 875 0209 or 021 789 0847 (Chris)
083 308 4764 (Gerry)
0866 181 421 (Fax)


RBC wants over $7 million for job they didn’t do

RBC wants over $7 million for job that didn’t do: Crew Gold

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), the country’s biggest bank, is suing former client Crew Gold, a subsidiary of Russian miner Nordgold, over a US$7.12 million fee the lender was supposed to obtain for selling all or a substantial portion of the gold producer to a third party in 2010.

In the trial, to begin late May in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Crew Gold representatives will claim the company has no obligation to pay the so call “success fee”, as RBC was not involved in the firm’s final sale.   Read more

Brexits impact on gold

Hedge funds held record bullish gold price bets before Brexit

Hedge funds held record bullish gold price bets before Brexit

On Monday, gold consolidated post-Brexit gains to settle on the futures market in New York at the highest price in two years.

In afternoon trade gold futures on the Comex market for delivery in August, the most active contract, was last exchanging hands for $1,327.80 an ounce up $5.40 from Friday’s close. On Friday , the metal hit an intra-day high of $1,362.60 the highest since July 2014. The metal is enjoying one of its best years in decades trading up 25% or more than $260 an ounce so far in 2016.

Gold’s allure as a safe haven asset has been burnished by the shock referendum result in the UK, a collapse in bond yields, and volatility on equity and currency markets.

Ahead of the Brexit vote large scale gold futures and options speculators or “managed money” investors such as hedge funds continue to position themselves for further gains in the gold price with bullish bets hitting a record high.

Hedge funds dramatically raised bearish bets on gold during the final months of 2015 pushing the overall market into a net short position – bets that gold could be bought back at a lower price in the future – for the first time since at least 2006, when government first started to collect the data.

The trend was thoroughly reversed this year however with investors steadily building long positions – bets on higher prices – pausing only briefly in May when gold’s 2016 rally appeared to run out of steam.

Hedge funds piled back in as the Brexit vote neared pushing net longs to all-time record number of contracts, surpassing the August 2011 tally when gold was peaking above $1,900.

According to the CFTC’s weekly Commitment of Traders data up to June 21 released on Friday speculators cut shorts and added  to longs for a net bullish position of 25.6 million ounces or just shy of 800 tonnes.

Speculators were also well positioned in silver with a record 375.8 million ounces or 11,686 tonnes in net longs. Silver futures were trading slightly lower on Monday at $17.81 an ounce following a spike to $18.37 on Friday, the highest since January 2015. Year to date silver is outperforming gold with a 27.8% rise.

This information was first found at

Brexit double whammy great for these gold miners

Gold has consolidated its post-Brexit gains this week hitting a two-year high on a closing price basis on futures markets in New York.

But the metal is down sharply from its intra-day high of $1,362.60, the highest since July 2014, struck on Friday.

While the pullback is somewhat disappointing, some gold mining companies are benefitting from the Brexit fallout not just from an appreciating gold price.

This information was first found at – follow this link to read more


Brexit could push gold price as high as $1 400/oz in coming weeks

Gold and silver prices on Friday surged above their 2016 highs in the wake of the outcome of the British referendum to leave the European Union (EU) – the so-called Brexit. Fitch Group research firm BMI on Friday said it expected additional gains for these precious metals over the coming weeks.

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Dust Monitoring Equipment supplies equipment, training and services to the mining industry – visit our site for more information

New Transnet chief prioritising diversification as commodity ‘meltdown’ bites

Speaking publicly for the first since his appointment as permanent Transnet CEO, Siyabonga Gama said this week that product diversification was a high priority for the group, given the fall in the price of coal, iron-ore and manganese; all key products transported by the utility. The plunge in prices of these bulk commodities had already forced a review of Transnet’s Market Demand Strategy (MDS), as mining companies indicated that various capital expansion programmes would be placed on hold until prices recovered.
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Power no longer major threat to Moma

Power supply challenges that have affected production at the Moma titanium minerals mine, in northern Mozambique, have been eased considerably with visibly improved power quality and consistency since December, enabling a production surge during the first quarter of the year. Titanium minerals and zircon producer Kenmare Resources on Friday said the installation and commissioning of additional power transmission infrastructure by Electricidade de Moçambique (EdM) led to a capacity increase of 50 MW, or 42%, in December.
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