Monthly Archives: November 2018

New Botswana Coal Mine

New Botswana coal mine development under way – Minergy

Source – Mining Weekly



“Work is under way on the new Masama coal mine, which Botswana Stock Exchange-listed Minergy expects to commission in January, ahead of its primary listing on London’s Alternative Investment Market (Aim) in the first half of next year.

The 390-million-tonne Masama, located in the Mmamabula coalfield, 50 km north of the capital city Gabarone, has the potential to produce 2.4-million tonnes a year of thermal coal as Botswana’s only opencast low-strip mine.

The first saleable product is scheduled to be available from February 2019 for export to South Africa and mainly Asian markets. The Mmamabula coalfield is considered to be a western extension of the Waterberg coalfield in the Ellisras basin in South Africa.

“We’re are now able to break ground and invite contractors to start work immediately,” Minergy CEO Andre Bojé said in a release to Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly Online.

The 33% increase in the thermal coal price over the past 18 months has made the mineral one of the world’s five highest-performing commodities at a time when Botswana and Minergy have an opportunity to respond to Africa’s increasing demand for coal; the four-million tonnes exported from South Africa to the African continent in 2016 is forecast to grow to 38-million tonnes by 2030.

Masama is close to existing rail, road and water infrastructure, with distance advantages over competing suppliers to regional customers, and arising at a time when Transnet Freight Rail sees Botswana as a potential provider of additional rail traffic on its coal line.

“Investors looking to invest in coal have lots of opportunity now. The price of coal is rising, there is a deficit in supply and a strong demand, especially in the developing world, which is driving up the prices and keeping them high. In my experience, there’s never been a better time to invest in coal,” said Boje.

Minergy, which has raised an additional P26.9-million capital to meet its commitments, is engaging with local communities on job creation and upliftment programmes, including improving the school and the clinic at the Medie village, as well as bringing in electricity.

The mining contract has been awarded to Jarcon, a joint venture between South African company IPP and Botswana company Giant Plant, and the build-own-operate-transfer contract for the washing plant to Pentalin Processing. Contracts for the provision of site and bush clearing, civil works, power reticulation, water and waste management, road construction and weighbridges are in various stages of appointment.

Given the impending Aim listing, the granting of the mining licence to Minergy by the Botswana government further reduces the risk for any potential investors and underpins the investment case.

With the first phase of the development fully funded, the company could come to the market for its expansion.

Despite the global move away from using fossil fuels for energy in favour of cleaner sources, coal remains the world’s second most used fuel after oil, with many developing countries locked into its use.

A number of traders have already reportedly engaged Minergy on offtake agreements. Trading-savvy Boje, the founder and former CEO of Wescoal, has many years of experience in coal trading under his belt.”


Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.


Rare sandstorm hits Chinese city of Zhangye

Watch a video of this rare event that happened a few days ago – 

“A sandstorm hit Zhangye, Northwest China’s Gansu province, on Sunday, carrying strong winds.

Zhangye launched an emergency plan and the sandstorm gradually alleviated by the time of publication.”

Rare sandstorm hits Chinese city of Zhangye

Emergency Medical Equipment

Mining safety is of paramount impotrant.  Have a look at this article regarding emergency medical equipment.


Emergency Medical Equipment and Mining Safety

“Mining across the globe is under close scrutiny with regards to standards of safety. This has never been brought more under the spotlight than with the “2010 Chilean Mining Accident”. This well documented rescue effort highlighted the importance of cooperation between government, mining authorities, and medical response and rescue teams.

Most important in any mining operation is the protection of human life. It is however also not disputed that lives lost has a significant impact on the financial sustainability of a mine and even the ability to continue with mining operations.

This is why emergency medical response is such an important component in mining safety. Even with the best training and safety standards in place mining accidents will still occur. Underground tremors and other forces of nature can be devastating for those working 4,000m below ground. In the unfortunate event of these and other accidents it is of the utmost importance that miners will be able to receive the best possible treatment in the golden hour after the accident.

On the Mining Safety website we have also shared information on Emergency Medical Response and Mining Safety and would like to add to this discussion by sharing some information on the equipment required by paramedics for emergency medical response at our mines.

We decided to raise a few questions with ER24, one of the most professional emergency medical response providers assisting mines across Africa in Botswana, Zambia, South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Democratic Republic Congo and Liberia.

We wanted to focus on the analysis of emergency medical equipment required by the paramedics and the importance of these equiptment.

When ER24 is involved in the analysis of emergency medical response requirements at the Mines – does this also include deciding on the equipment required?

It is extremely important to analyse which equipment will be required on a specific site. Certain sites require paramedics to assist underground where others might only have a requirement towards a primary health care clinic.

Once a risk assessment is completed for the client, the Site Based Medical Services Manager – a Medical Doctor, will propose certain equipment in order to assist with emergency fast and efficiently. In certain cases the client provides the equipment on site. Should this be the case, the Site Based Team will evaluate the equipment to ensure that it is usable and in good order.

Who is responsible for the providing or availability of equipment? Does ER24 provide the equipment or does the mine have to provide for this?

As mentioned above, some clients prefer to supply their own equipment. However, ER24 also provides equipment related to the client’s needs. We have accredited suppliers that supply us with approved quality equipment. It is also important to understand which equipment will be used in order to ensure that the paramedic on site is trained in the specific item.

Does this requirement of the equipment required differ from mine to mine?

Yes, it depends on what type of mine it is. Certain mines may require the paramedics to be part of their proto team or have full control over the proto team. It also depends on the location of the mine and how soon the patient can be evacuated from the site.

Should there be a significant time delay before a patient can be evacuated; the paramedics will require extra equipment to assist with the patient’s basic life functions.

Does the nature of the mining activity – open pit, underground etc play a meaningful role in the decision of which equipment is required?

In most circumstances equipment are standard, but extra equipment based on the risk analysis might be required. The equipment will also be adjusted depending on the role the paramedic needs to play on the site.

Will the location of a mine and especially the distance from the nearest hospital play a role in the equipment needed on site?

As mentioned above the distance plays a big role in evacuating a patient as soon as possible. For example in a situation where a local ER24 ambulance can on site within a few minutes the patient can be evacuated to an appropriate facility without necessarily invasive equipment.

However, in certain areas where a patient needs to be evacuated with fixed wing or rotor wing, the paramedic might require ventilators as well as infusion pumps etc, until the medevac arrives.

What are the most important emergency medical equipment needed – if you could list approximately the 10 most important pieces/ types of equipment…?

The basic life support equipment are always the first prize as this saves lives. The paramedic needs equipment that can assist the patient in airway and breathing such as, oxygen, disposable oxygen masks, ventilators, endotracheal tubes, etc.

Circulation must also be maintained and a paramedic requires disposable stock to stop bleeding, CPR equipment, defibrillator, etc.

Obviously it depends on the paramedics protocol, but medical drugs ranging from basic life support oxygen up to advanced life support morphine may be required on site.”


For the full article, follow the link above.

Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.

Dust Control

Here is an interesting article on the controlling of dust.  It is quite intensive so only a brief portion has been posted below.  Please follow the link to read the full article.


Dust Control – Science Direct

“Handbook of Conveying and Handling of Particulate Solids
M.E. Fayed, in Handbook of Powder Technology, 2001

5.1 Technology
The solution of a dust control problem should be handled as an engineering problem. The successful solution of a dust control problem is achieved through knowledge and experience. The knowledge is not only related to the dust control methods and devices but also to the process in which the material is handled. The experience is usually gained in a specific industry in which the person is employed. For example the dust control in pharmaceutical and mining industries is a different experience. The experience may vary even between companies in the same industry.

The control of dust in powder handling and processing operations should not be treated as an isolated design problem. The solution of a dust control problem should include a thorough analysis of the parameters associated with the handled material, the main process and dust control equipment with the goal to achieve optimum results. Knowledge and experience are the most invaluable assets not only because they help achieve optimum solutions but also they maintain the interest and enthusiasm of company personnel committed to a long-term solution of any dust control problem.”


Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.

NASA Monitors Sand Flying From the Sahara to the Amazon

This amazing video from Time shows how NASA monitors sand blown from the Sahara Desert to the Amazon jungle.

Click the link here to see the original article and to watch the video.


“A NASA satellite has been monitoring the movement of sand from the Sahara Desert in Africa to the Amazon rainforest in South America.

The space agency’s Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) is tracking the massive plumes of dust particles that make the Atlantic crossing from the great African desert to the largest rainforest in the world, where the particles settle and aid plant growth. The phosphorus content of the African dust is an important nutrient in the Amazon.

On average, 182 million tons of dust leave Africa each year, of which 27 million tons is deposited in the Amazon basin, according to data collected since CALIPSO launched in 2006. The amount varies each year, however.

“Using satellites to get a clear picture of dust is important for understanding and eventually using computers to model where that dust will go now and in future climate scenarios,” NASA research scientist Hongbin Yu says.”

NASA Monitors Sand Flying From the Sahara to the Amazon

An Opportunity for students to attend a Dust fallout Training Course at no cost!

An Opportunity for students to attend a Dust fallout Training Course at no cost

Last one for 2018 Dust Watch cc is calling for students that are in their postgraduate level to attend a Dust fall out training course at no cost in Pretoria.

The course is scheduled as follow: Date: 13 – 15 November 2018

Venue: 570 Rutgers St, Morella Park, Pretoria East, Pretoria, South Africa

For more information contact Lutendo Ndou via text or on the contact details below: Cell: 072 688 7758 (Cell and Whatsapp) Email: cc: Feel free to visit our website: and our Facebook page: DustWatch cc

NB: There are limited seats

Veld Fire

Apart from the bucket, all was undamaged, even the fibre glass windshield!


Monitoring Respirable Crystalline Silica

At DustWatch we are always concerned about the health and safety of our clients.  Have a look at these articles regarding Monitoring Respirable Crystalline Silica.


Silver Membranes in Monitoring Respirable Crystalline Silica – Sterlitech 

“Crystalline silica, most commonly found in the form of quartz, is a basic component of the earth; it’s found in soil, sand granite, and other minerals. During many industrial processes, crystalline silica is released as particles that are 100 times smaller than beach sand.1 Due to their size, these mineral particles cannot easily be cleared by human lungs. Instead, they persist in the respiratory system and form scar tissue, contributing to serious health problems for those experiencing prolonged exposure. The associated silicosis and other forms of cancer are a threat to workers in mining, construction, and other industrial trades.2

There is a global awareness of this seriousness of this issue, and the World Health Organization has published assessment documents detailing the negative health effects of exposure. Here in the US, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released a Final Rule on Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica, to provide guidance for the safety of industrial workers.3 The ruling published in March 2016 puts the responsibility on companies to create a low-risk environment, with enforcement in the form of fines (potentially over $12,000 per day) going into effect for some industries starting in September 2017.3 Beyond recommending proper personal protective equipment, ventilation systems, and replacement of silica when safer materials can be used, this ruling establishes a permissible exposure limit (PEL) at 50 μg/m3. This means that only 1/5th of the previously allowed PEL is now considered safe in the workplace.2

To monitor levels of crystalline silica, employers can take routine samples and have them analyzed in a lab. A portable sampler is used to collect air from the worker’s respirable area during a full shift. The dust captured on the filter is then analyzed using a standard method, such as NIOSH 7500.4 In this method, the filter is then dissolved and redeposited on a 0.45 micron silver membrane for measurement using x-ray diffraction. Silver membranes have become the standard for x-ray diffraction analysis due to their high sample-load capacity and characteristically low background noise during analysis.

The results of these analyses help employers understand whether they need to be taking more action to protect their workers. OSHA estimates that the steps advised in their ruling will save 600 lives and prevent 900 cases of silicosis every year.5 For now, companies in regulated industries are developing control plans and training workers to ensure compliance with the new rules. It remains to be seen what the full impact of enforcement will mean for their employees and their business.”


Taylor & Francis Online – Crystalline Silica Dust and Respirable Particulate Matter During Indoor Concrete Grinding—Wet Grinding and Ventilated Grinding Compared with Uncontrolled Conventional Grinding

“The effectiveness of wet grinding (wet dust reduction method) and ventilated grinding (local exhaust ventilation method, LEV) in reducing the levels of respirable crystalline silica dust (quartz) and respirable suspended particulate matter (RSP) were compared with that of uncontrolled (no dust reduction method) conventional grinding. A field laboratory was set up to simulate concrete surface grinding using hand-held angle grinders in an enclosed workplace. A total of 34 personal samples (16 pairs side-by-side and 2 singles) and 5 background air samples were collected during 18 concrete grinding sessions ranging from 15–93 min. General ventilation had no statistically significant effect on operator’s exposure to dust. Overall, the arithmetic mean concentrations of respirable crystalline silica dust and RSP in personal air samples during: (i) five sessions of uncontrolled conventional grinding were respectively 61.7 and 611 mg/m 3 (ii) seven sessions of wet grinding were 0.896 and 11.9 mg/m3 and (iii) six sessions of LEV grinding were 0.155 and 1.99 mg/m3. Uncontrolled conventional grinding generated relatively high levels of respirable silica dust and proportionally high levels of RSP. Wet grinding was effective in reducing the geometric mean concentrations of respirable silica dust 98.2% and RSP 97.6%. LEV grinding was even more effective and reduced the geometric mean concentrations of respirable silica dust 99.7% and RSP 99.6%. Nevertheless, the average level of respirable silica dust (i) during wet grinding was 0.959 mg/m3 (38 times the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists [ACGIH] threshold limit value [TLV] of 0.025 mg/m 3 ) and (ii) during LEV grinding was 0.155 mg/m 3 (6 times the ACGIH TLV). Further studies are needed to examine the effectiveness of a greater variety of models, types, and sizes of grinders on different types of cement in different positions and also to test the simulated field lab experimentation in the field.”

For the full article, please follow the link above.


Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.