Category Archives: News

Zero Harm at Carletonville

Well done Rosond!

Rosond celebrates one year Zero Harm at Carletonville operations

Source – https://www.miningsafety.co.za/news/rosond-celebrates-one-year-zero-harm-at-carletonville-operations/

Rosond celebrates one year Zero Harm at Carletonville operations
May 27, 2021 in Safety

“Drilling technology and services provider Rosond of Midrand recently celebrated a year of Zero Harm operations in Carletonville in Gauteng. This area-specific safety record, achieved on 28 February, is the latest in a series of occupational health and safety (OHS) accolades for the company, which recorded Zero Harm across the entirety of the business on 1 October 2019.

Rosond is currently undertaking core and exploration drilling, its two main areas of expertise for the mining industry, at six different mines and 11 associated shafts. A total of 300 employees are involved, with all safety-related activities overseen by Senior Safety Officer Eugene Barnard. “I wish to congratulate all Rosond employees working in the Carletonville area on one year of Zero Harm. This is an enormous achievement that the entire company can be extremely proud of.”

The OHS culture at Rosond is underpinned by the simple mantra of “We cannot drill if we cannot do so safely”, explains Barnard. From MD Ricardo Ribeiro right down to the drill assistants, safety is lived and breathed at the company. “The fact that this is underpinned right from top management all the way to ground level is critical.”

Adding another layer of complexity to Rosond’s OHS compliance in the Carletonville area is that it works for different mining houses at a range of mines, all with their own specific requirements and procedures and policies. These are often subject to amendment, which means that Barnard and his team have to be constantly alert to any changes that might impact on OHS.

From the outset of the lockdown in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Rosond committed itself to complying with all of the necessary government rules and regulations that were proscribed. “We also had to be cognisant that many mining houses themselves implemented additional measures, as mining is a high-risk activity with specific requirements in terms of ensuring worker safety during this difficult period,” adds Barnard.

In terms of OHS compliance in Carletonville specifically, Rosond had to carefully monitor the types of activities that needed to be undertaken in order to allocate the correct numbers of workers in accordance with social distancing protocols. The Covid-19 requirements for the mining industry also have a legal stipulation for specific OHS documentation to be completed daily, for example.

As part of its own OHS initiative, Rosond has quarterly safety drives based on a specific topic identified in the period under review. This information is then distilled into the form of safety posters and other awareness-raising to underscore essential OHS lessons and learnings.

Every site where Rosond is operational is also subject to a quarterly internal OHS audit to ensure compliance with the Mine Health and Safety Act and any other additional statutory requirements. Weekly safety meetings are conducted by site managers, supervisors and safety officers, in addition to an ongoing daily work risk assessment and hazard identification process to red-flag any OHS related issues to prevent incidents that may arise.

Barnard attributes Rosond’s significant OHS achievements to date to the fact that the safety system implemented by the company is both readily understandable to all employees, and flexible enough to take into account any contingencies. The company is also committed to constant innovation, which means that all drilling and related equipment is constantly upgraded to improve the level of risk management.”

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

 

National Day of Health and Safety in Mining

Read the media release from the Minerals Council South Africa as they launched the National Day of Health and Safety in Mining this year.

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Source – http://www.safetyandhealthinmining.co.za/

Media Release

“The Minerals Council South Africa today launched the National Day of Health and Safety in Mining 2021. This is the fourth annual commemoration demonstrating the mining industry’s commitment to achieving zero harm.

This year’s event was centred on a theme of Renewed Focus for our New Normal, which recognised the integration of health, safety and wellbeing, acknowledging the impacts of COVID-19 on the industry’s performance in 2020, and the consequent behaviour changes needed.”

“NATIONAL DAY OF HEALTH & SAFETY 2021:
RENEWED FOCUS FOR OUR NEW NORMAL
Johannesburg, 8 July 2021.

The Minerals Council South Africa today commemorated the
National Day of Health and Safety in Mining 2021, an event that underpins and supports the
Khumbul’ekhaya Health & Safety Strategy.

This year’s event is centred on a theme of Renewed Focus for our New Normal, which
recognises the integration of health, safety and wellbeing, acknowledging the regression in
fatalities in 2020 compared with 2019, the impacts of COVID-19 and the consequent
behaviour changes needed.

Roger Baxter, CEO of the Minerals Council noted: “The history of this day is rooted in our
Khumbul’ekhaya campaign initiated to remind us all, and particularly the leadership of our
industry, of the need to maintain an intense focus on the safety and health of our industry’s
employees. Any measure of the effectiveness and progress of our industry must look first at
progress towards ensuring that every employee returns home as healthily and safely as they
left home to head for their workplace.

“The last 18 months have confronted us with an additional and most profound health
challenge. I would like to thank everyone present for the remarkable role you have all played
in optimising lives and livelihoods – government, organised labour and industry. Together,
we have as an industry done a remarkable job of working together to protect our employees
from the ravages of COVID-19 as far as this has been possible – working hard to save lives
and livelihoods. And we will continue with this. But, the way forward for us, as an industry
and a country, is to achieve community immunity through vaccination.”

In her address, Nolitha Fakude, President of the Minerals Council noted: “COVID has been a
part of our lives for close on 18 months now, with its impacts on health, safety and wellbeing. And it is not going to leave us for some time to come. We saw in 2020 a deterioration
in mining’s safety performance in terms of fatalities. Worse still, thus far in 2021, we are
seeing a further deterioration in the fatality trend. This is not acceptable to us, as the
Minerals Council and the industry. For all these reasons, our CEO Zero Harm Forum has
decided that the theme for today, and for the year ahead, should be: Renewed Focus for our
New Normal.”

Chief Inspector of Mines David Msiza commended the Minerals Council’s initiative to hold
the event in that it gives all stakeholders “the opportunity to reflect on health and safety
issues. It was important that we worked together in dealing with COVID. We have made a
huge difference. I commend all of us – government, industry and organised labour for our
efforts,” he said.

He said that mine health and safety continues to be a government priority. “We are intent on
working to implement a culture of zero harm. We still believe zero harm is possible,” he
added.

Assessing the past year, Mr Msiza said he was pleased at the reduction in occupational
diseases. But the incidence of noise-induced hearing loss and occupational lung disease is
still a concern. There has been a 26% reduction in injuries. However, 60 fatalities, an
increase on the 51 in 2019, was very disappointing, he said.

AMCU Health and Safety chair Gabriel Nkosi reaffirmed AMCU’s commitment to the Mine
Health and Safety Council safety milestones. He said it was time to reinforce training of
safety representatives. He said he was delighted with the performance of the Masoyise
health programme’s efforts to reduce the incidence of TB and other diseases.

However, he added: “COVID-19 has interfered with efforts to address incidence of fatalities.
It worries us that the 60 lives lost in 2020 are higher than the 51 lives lost in 2019.
Operational discipline is a big concern.” On COVID, he added: “Let us adhere to nonpharmaceutical interventions until all mineworkers are vaccinated.”

NUM National Health and Safety head Mziwakhe Nhlapo spoke of the importance of culture
transformation in respect of health and safety, including the issues of risk management,
diversity management and building capacity for training. “Culture transformation needs to be
our bible. Traction needs to be re-established having been somewhat lost recently,” he said.
Mr Nhlapo applauded the Minerals Council for setting up the event. He urged all parties to
continue to engage in order to find solutions. Solidarity Deputy General Secretary, Paul Mardon commented: “Underpinning this recommitment to health and safety is our honest belief that health and safety at work is the foundation of the sustainability of mining in South Africa. In the long run, only safe production is sustainable.

“Solidary regards this event as evidence of the Minerals Council’s leadership and we
commend them for it. But we also want to recognise the leadership shown by trade unions in
mining and the DMRE with regard to health and safety.”
UASA Divisional Manager Franz Stehring said he hoped the day would lead to “a major
paradigm shift from reactive health and safety strategies and attitudes towards a
behavioural-based proactive culture among management and employees in the mining
industry.
“It is important to remember that health and safety can only be attained through teamwork,
healthy employer and employee relations in the workplace, total commitment and, most
importantly, by changing the behaviour of people to benefit themselves,” he added

Speaking in conclusion, Themba Mkhwanazi, Chair of CEO Zero Harm Forum said:
“We remain committed to our Khumbul’ekhaya strategy and the key leadership actions we
are undertaking as part of our drive to eliminate fatalities, change behaviour and transform
our safety culture, through ongoing collaboration with our tripartite stakeholders in
government and unions, in our quest for Zero Harm.””

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

National Day of Health and Safety in Mining

What Is Particulate Matter And How Does It Affect Your Health?

A very interesting article from ThermoFisher.  Enjoy the read!

What Is Particulate Matter And How Does It Affect Your Health?

What Is Particulate Matter? And How Does It Affect Your Health?
By Sandra J. Nason

Source – https://www.thermofisher.com/blog/mining/what-is-particulate-matter-and-how-does-it-affect-your-health/?kui=vTfMLEZ6Mxfnki03Vqv4zA#_ts=1500409586040

“Advancing Mining often discusses air quality issues related to industries including coal mining, cement processing, and coal‐ and oil‐fired power generation. These issues can affect both workers and the nearby population who breathe in the particulate matter that results from such industrial activities.

What is a particulate, or particulate matter? How can it affect us?

The U.S. EPA defines particulate matter (PM, also called particle pollution) as a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air. Particulate matter size is measured as PM10, inhalable particles 10 micrometers or less in diameter, and PM2.5, fine inhalable particles 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter.

Here are some facts about particulate matter from the EPA web site:

Some particulates can be seen with the naked eye while others can only be detected using an electron microscope. Some microscopic solids or liquid droplets are so small that they can be inhaled deep into the lungs, and possibly even the bloodstream, causing serious health problems.
Particulate matter can be made up of hundreds of different chemicals.
Particulate matter can be emitted directly from a source, such as construction sites, unpaved roads, fields, smokestacks, or fires.

Most particulate matter forms in the atmosphere as a result of complex reactions of chemicals such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, which are pollutants emitted from power plants, industries and automobiles.

Fine particles (PM2.5) are the main cause of reduced visibility (haze) in parts of the United States, including many of our treasured national parks and wilderness areas.
What preventive and protective measures have been put in place regarding particulate matter?

The EPA has issued particulate matter emissions monitoring requirements for future coal‐ and oil‐fired power plants under the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS). The MATS sets standards for all Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) emitted by coal- and oil-fired Utility Steam Generating Unit (EGU) with a capacity of 25 megawatts or greater. These standards are known as the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) or the Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) standards. MATS covers emission limits for mercury, particulate matter, SO2, acid gases, and certain metals. The new standards affect only coal‐ and oil‐fired power plants that will be built in the future and are expected to reduce mercury emissions from power plants by 90%, acid gas emissions by 88%, and SO2 emissions by 41% beyond the reductions expected from the Cross State Air Pollution Rule.

Particulate Matter Continuous Emissions Monitoring System (PM CEMS) for wet stack particulate matter emissions enables simplified compliance with U.S. EPA regulations for utility companies, cement manufacturers and organizations with industrial and commercial boilers. PE CEMS systems continuously monitor filterable particulate matter regardless of changes in particulate characteristics and provide true mass concentration traceable to NIST-standards.

Advanced technology is also available to monitor particulates in ambient air.”

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

What are toxins?

We hear so much about toxins and about de-toxing!  But what are toxins?

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What Exactly Are “Toxins,” Anyway?

Source – https://sciencing.com/what-are-toxins-13724903.html

Updated February 28, 2020
By Sylvie Tremblay

“If we had to pick one health buzzword from the past decade, it’d be “toxins.” From celebs selling “detox tea” on Instagram to “clean” cosmetics that claim to be free of harmful compounds, the concept of “cleansing away toxins” is everywhere.

But what does “toxin” actually mean?

On its most basic level, a toxin is any compound that can have a harmful effect on your body. And when you think of toxins, you probably picture poisons – like cyanide – that are dangerous and deadly, even in small doses.

But the truth is, you’re exposed to toxic substances every day. That’s because any compound can become toxic. Even water, in high enough doses, can be toxic. Sounds crazy, right? It’s strange but true, as this woman unfortunately found out when she entered a water-drinking contest and died.

Exposure to toxic substances can pose a serious risk to your health. So that means detox teas and cleanses are great for you, right?

Unfortunately, no. While “detox” products might not hurt you, they aren’t going to rid your body of toxins, either. Here’s why.

Your Body Can Already Deal with Toxins
That’s because your body already has a built-in system for filtering toxins out of your body. Your liver can help detoxify your body from turning harmful compounds into less harmful (or virtually harmless) ones. And your kidneys help detox your body, too. They continually filter your blood, and allow some harmful substances to leave your body via your urine.

Your lungs get in on the action, too. While they aren’t major detox organs, your airways are lined with molecular “oars,” called cilia, which help move any particles or toxins up and out of your body.

What Happens if Your Natural Detox Systems Fail?
Of course, if your body could handle every toxin perfectly, nothing would truly be poisonous. Some toxins can overwhelm your body’s built-in detox systems – if, for instance, your liver can’t process a toxin quickly enough, it can build up in your body. Other toxins dissolve in fatty tissue, so they can stay in your body, dissolved in your fat cells, and cause ongoing problems.

With that said, detox teas and cleanses won’t do a thing to remove toxins from your body. They can’t make your liver or kidneys work any better. They might make you lose a few pounds, but that’s about it – and that’s the best-case scenario.

As Rush University Medical Center explains, some detox products might actually harm you. Some common detox procedures, like enemas, can damage your intestines – ironically, making it harder to remove toxins from your body via your poop. Other detox practices, like juice cleansing, can leave you temporary malnourished, which could mean you’re more likely to get sick.

What’s more, relying on detox products might keep you from seeking medical attention if you have been exposed to a toxin. And delaying medical attention gives a toxin more time to harm your body, potentially putting you in danger.

So Should You Worry About Toxins?
Kinda, but you need to keep your nerves in check. Environmental toxins do exist, which is why it’s important to fight pollution and demand safer ingredients in your food, cosmetics and household products.

But you should pass on products that claim to help flush toxins from your body. They’re a waste of money because they can’t truly detoxify you. And, as you just read, they can cause more problems than they solve.

If you’re worried about the toxins in your environment, talk to your doctor. They can put your nerves in check – and offer proven treatments if you truly are exposed to too many toxins.”

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

The new smoking?

Breathing chemicals into our lungs is never a good idea.  What potential harm can scented cleaning products do to us?

Scented Cleaning Products: The New Smoking?

Scented Cleaning Products: The New Smoking?

Source – https://sciencing.com/scented-cleaning-products-the-new-smoking-13710351.html

Updated March 20, 2018
By Sylvie Tremblay

“It’s no secret that indoor air quality is a health concern; the Environmental Protection Agency notes that indoor air can actually be more polluted than outdoor air, even if you live in a large and industrialized city. Continued exposure to pollution, dust and other allergens can aggravate your lungs and airways, worsening asthma and even increasing your risk for cancer.

Clearly, it’s important to keep your place clean to remove as much dust as you can. But there’s a double-edge sword: many cleaning products are loaded with chemicals that can also harm your health, and manufacturers are not required by the Food and Drug Administration to prove that the ingredients in their products are safe. So when you’re planning your spring cleaning, it’s crucial to choose safe cleaning products to help keep your air clean.

The Health Impacts of Cleaning Products
It’s easy to shrug off the effects of cleaning products; out of sight, out of mind, right? However, they can be significant. Research from the American Thoracic Society found that women who often clean in the home or the workplace face significant lung issues. The 20-year study, which was published in the “American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine” in February 2018, found that frequent cleaners had a decrease in lung function that was comparable to the decline seen in smokers. Additional research has found that cleaning products can worsen asthma, providing further proof that these chemicals aren’t good for your airways.

Chemicals to Watch out For
While you may not know how every cleaning product ingredient affects your health, and many are likely completely harmless, there are a few big hitters to avoid. Steer clear of products containing parabens and phthalates, which are often added to scented products to help the scent linger, such as that laundry detergent that keeps your bedding smelling fresh for a week. These compounds may affect hormone levels and can trigger asthma. Look out for triclosan, often found in antimicrobial cleaners and soaps, because it might mimic the effects of estrogen, explains the University of Illinois Cancer Center.

How to Clean Safer
You’ll be able to avoid some harmful chemicals by opting for natural cleaners that are unscented, or scented with essential oils instead of synthetic fragrance. Your best option, though, is to make your own cleaning supplies. Everyday substances like vinegar, baking soda, salt, lemon juice, rubbing alcohol and borax are all you need to make all-purpose cleaner and glass cleaner, or even cleansing scrubs and drain cleaners. If your allergies are bad, consider investing in a HEPA air filter that will help remove dust, pollen and other allergens from the air 24/7.”

 

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

Natural Renewable Resources

We hope you enjoy this article today!  Have a great day.

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Natural Renewable Resources

Source – https://sciencing.com/natural-renewable-resources-13656581.html

Updated May 28, 2019
By Steffani Cameron
Reviewed by: Michelle Seidel, B.Sc., LL.B., MBA

“Natural renewable resources are big business as the planet’s resources deplete. Earth’s ever-growing population will peak and begin declining later in the 21st century, but that does little good today as the need for resources escalates.

The last four decades have been the greatest period of change in human history, during which time the population almost doubled from 4 billion in 1973 to 7.7 billion today, and the digital revolution transformed how we live and the resources (and energy) we require. Industry can radically improve the world by using naturally renewable resources in a sustainable way, but what’s renewable, and what’s not?

What Are Natural Resources?
The Renewable Resources Coalition describes natural resources as “materials and substances that occur naturally and can be used for economic gain. They include minerals, forests, fertile land, and water. Some natural resources, such as soil and water, are essential for the existence of life.”

There are both renewable natural resources and nonrenewable natural resources. The difference between them is whether the resource can be naturally replaced during our lifetime or if it’s gone for good once consumed. The struggle with renewability comes from the realization that many of our resources are being depleted too fast to recur naturally, as with forests in some regions or with resources like oil and minerals that take hundreds if not thousands or even millions of years to replenish.

Western society did not take the long view on resources for most of the industrial era, and current ecological realities are making sustainability a hot topic – one for which consumers have overwhelmingly shown a willingness to pay a premium.

A Natural Resources Glossary
Renewable resource: A natural resource that can be replaced or replenished within a few decades, such as timber. Typically, these are things like plants and animal-derived products.

Nonrenewable resource: When resources are unable to renew in a matter of decades or those that may be gone forever once harvested or utilized. These come from fossils, minerals or soils.

Organic renewable resource: When renewable resources come from living things, they’re considered organic, such as manure.

Inorganic renewable resource: These are nonliving resources like solar power, wind energy and hydroelectric energy.

Most-Used Natural Resources
Here’s a nonrenewable and renewable resources list, in no particular order, containing some of the world’s most-used resources.

Copper

One of the few metallic elements that naturally occurs in its native forms, copper has been used for thousands of years. Today, it’s big industry in America, which is its second-largest producer. Copper suffers no reduction in quality during recycling, making it as valuable when used as it is when new. It’s not a renewable resource, but it never deteriorates in quality.

Helium

The solar system’s second-most abundant element is a critical gas used for far more than just inflating party balloons. Used as a gas to cool the Large Hadron Collider and for making superconductor magnets in things like MRI machines, helium is a finite resource that plays an important role in today’s technologies.

Coal

This fossil fuel was used in heating for centuries but is now used in electricity production thanks to its low cost and high-energy output. Unfortunately, coal is nonrenewable, and mining for coal is also a highly destructive activity that results in toxic groundwater and air pollution.

Salt

Known as sodium chloride, only 20 percent of the planet’s mined salt winds up on tables or in food production. The other 80 percent is evenly split between industrial uses and road deicing. Salt can be extracted from the sea but is also mined as a mineral. It is nonrenewable.

Oil

Arguably the most important fuel powering our world today, oil is used in production of jet fuel, propane, diesel, asphalt and gasoline. It also makes the petrochemicals for making synthetic rubber, chemicals and even plastic.

A nonrenewable resource, discoveries of oil reserves are slowing down, while the population boom and increasing wealth means more cars and other fuel-guzzling machines in use than ever before. Based on the world’s known oil reserves, British Petroleum estimates that the 1.6 trillion barrels they believe exists will be enough to power the world at today’s consumption rates for another 50 years or so. Hence, this is why the race is on for renewable energy sources and the electric car.

Timber

Wood builds our homes and our furniture, and it plays a part in so many other products too, like paper. Technically, wood is a renewable resource, but it’s among the most exploited resources because it takes decades for forests to re-establish. Sustainable forestry happens in many regions, but ecosystem-destroying practices are common too. With sustainable practices and quick-growing varieties, forestry can be a renewable resource.

Soil

A nonrenewable resource, soil is critical for food production. As the Renewable Resources Coalition writes, “Soil is essential for the function of ecosystems providing nutrients, oxygen, water, and heat. Soil resources are being degraded by poor agricultural practices and chemical contamination. One of the most significant challenges facing current and future generations is the preservation of this irreplaceable natural resource from pollution and physical destruction.”

Renewable Energy Resources
The age of oil may still be here, but with the pollution from combustible engines and dwindling reserves, the rush for renewable energy has gone full throttle. Luckily, advances come so fast and furious that it’s hard to keep up with the renewable energy news. Renewable energy sources include:

Biomass

One of the biomasses in use is an incredible reinvention of garbage. “Municipal solid waste” is the product converted in the biomass sector, which is essentially household trash. In 2015, 262 million tons of trash were able to be converted into energy, compost and recyclables.

Food waste creates methane gas, a greenhouse gas 23 times more potent than C02, so composting is a huge part of reducing methane gases in the atmosphere, plus it enrichens soil, which is a threatened, nonrenewable natural resource.

Other biomasses include wood and wood waste, ethanol and other biofuels.

Solar

For a long time, harnessing the sun’s energy had limited appeal because it was unable to be stored. Some of today’s batteries allow for solar energy to be converted and stored, causing a boom in solar plants and use of solar panels on everything from street lamps to private homes. Solar has its drawbacks, as sunlight is not constant or predictable, but using other renewable energy sources in concert with solar has proven extremely successful in countries like Germany, where clean energy is booming.

Wind

Wind energy is harvested around the world now. Most people are surprised to learn that wind energy turbines need wind to blow only at an average of 9 miles per hour for energy to be harnessed. A single commercial wind turbine can power as many as 1,600 houses.

Geothermal

Geothermal energy uses the Earth’s internal heat to create energy and provide heat. This is especially useful in places with volcanic evidence, like Portugal’s Azores Islands, where they are 85 percent energy independent thanks to their geothermal stores.

Hydropower

Using energy from water’s flow has generated power on land for decades thanks to hydroelectric dams, which convert energy when river water drops from one level to another. At sea, scientists are capturing wave energy too. This technology hasn’t been realized to its full capacity, but the potential is phenomenal. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that the wave potential for the offshore U.S. could power 66 percent of the nation’s homes one day.”

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

 

Natural Renewable Resources

Nature’s most popular raw materials

Enjoy the article today – have a great day!

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Source – https://www.thermofisher.com/blog/mining/ubiquitous-industrial-minerals-natures-most-popular-raw-materials/?icid=CAD_blog_mining_2020Dec

Ubiquitous Industrial Minerals: Nature’s Most Popular Raw Materials
By Ali Somarin
06.03.2014

“Do you know what industrial minerals are? You may not know them, but they permeate nearly every aspect of our daily lives. Industrial minerals are used, either in processed or natural state, to make building materials, paint, ceramics, glass, plastics, paper, electronics, detergents, medications and medical devices, and many more industrial and domestic products.

According to the Industrial Minerals Association of North America, every American consumes about 24 tons of industrial minerals each year.

Industrial minerals are generally defined as minerals that are not sources of metals, fuel, or gemstones. So what are they? The most widely-used industrial minerals include limestone, clays, sand, gravel, diatomite, kaolin, bentonite, silica, barite, gypsum, potash, pumice, and talc. Some of the industrial minerals commonly used in construction, such as crushed stone, sand, gravel, and cement, are called aggregates.

Industrial minerals are extremely versatile; most have at least two, sometimes many more, applications and span multiple markets. Talc, for example, is used in cosmetics, paper, and plastics. Silica sand is used to make glass, ceramics, and abrasives. While industrial minerals are defined as non-metallic, there are a few that have metallurgical properties, such as bauxite, which is the primary source of aluminum ore and is also used to make cement and abrasives. Bentonite and barite are non-fuel industrial minerals that have an important application in oil and gas extraction as components in drilling fluids. Bauxite and kaolin are used in fracking operations.

Industrial minerals are valued for their physical and chemical properties that make them so useful for so many products, and their price is driven by market demand for these items rather than by commodities exchange markets. Manufacturing, agriculture, and in particular the recovering construction and housing markets, are contributing to market growth for these minerals. For an in-depth look at the role of industrial minerals in the U.S economy, read the 2013 U.S. Geological Survey Mineral Commodity Summaries.

Market demand for industrial minerals also influences how they are mined. Industrial minerals are extracted primarily by surface mining, which is less expensive than underground mining. However, even when a location is determined to have a potentially economically viable mineral deposit, the costs of drilling, extraction, and transporting the raw materials still must be considered and weighed against the current market demand for that particular mineral. Industrial minerals are typically mined from existing sites or areas that are close to infrastructure as their price usually doesn’t justify the cost of building up the infrastructure needed to explore a new site.

Before a mining plan is developed, geologists need to map out the mineral distribution of the deposit by evaluating the geological processes, also called mineralizing events, which formed them. Once it’s been determined that a sufficient quantity of minerals exists and cost-effective mining can begin, geologists study the lithology and other geochemical data to direct and control the mining process. This is where X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis can assist. XRF is one of the most advanced tools for exploration and mining of industrial minerals. Portable XRF analyzers are an emerging instrument of choice for in-quarry exploration and evaluating the composition of raw materials such as phosphate, potash, gypsum, and limestone for industrial use. Other useful applications for portable XRF analysis in industrial minerals mining include:

Determining penalty elements in limestone, Fe ore, and bauxite
Blending and sorting of raw materials
Flagging grade, sub-grade, and waste, and prevent taking ore to the waste heap.
Lab-based XRF is a complimentary technique for evaluating prepared mineral samples for quality control and to determine their suitability for specific applications. Please share your experiences with either a portable or lab-based XRF analyzer for industrial minerals applications. As always, we welcome your comments.”

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

 

Nature's most popular raw materials

World’s Third Largest Diamond Found in Botswana

What an amazing find in the Botswana diamond mines!

World's Third Largest Diamond Found in Botswana

Source – https://www.miningweekly.com/article/botswana-unearths-worlds-third-largest-diamond-2021-06-16/rep_id:3650

Botswana unearths world’s third largest diamond

16TH JUNE 2021

BY: REUTERS

“GABORONE – A 1 098 ct diamond believed to be the third-largest gem-quality stone ever to be mined, has been discovered in Botswana, according to a joint venture between Anglo American’s De Beers and the government.

The stone was presented to President Mokgweetsi Masisi on Wednesday by Debswana Diamond Company’s acting MD Lynette Armstrong. It is the third-largest in the world, behind the 3 106 ct Cullinan stone recovered in South Africa in 1905 and the 1 109 ct Lesedi La Rona unearthed by Lucara Diamonds in Botswana in 2015.

“This is the largest diamond to be recovered by Debswana in its history of over 50 years in operation,” Armstrong said.

“From our preliminary analysis it could be the world’s third largest gem quality stone. We are yet to make a decision on whether to sell it through the De Beers channel or through the State-owned Okavango Diamond Company,” Armstrong said.

Minerals Minister Lefoko Moagi said the discovery of the yet-to-be named stone, which measures 73 mm long, 52 mm wide and 27 mm thick, could not have come at a better time after the Covid-19 pandemic hit diamond sales in 2020.

The government receives as much as 80% of the income from Debswana’s sales through dividends, royalties and taxes.

Production at Debswana fell 29% in 2020 to 16.6-million carats while sales fell 30% to $2.1-billion as the pandemic impacted both production and demand.

In 2021, Debswana plans to increase output by as much as 38% to pre-pandemic levels of 23-million carats as the global diamond market recovers with the easing of travel restrictions and reopening of jewellers.”

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

Surviving an Apocalypse

Here is just something fun – find out which 6 creatures are most likely to survive an apocalypse!

Mummichog - Surviving an Apocalypse

Source – https://sciencing.com/creatures-that-would-survive-an-apocalypse-13725305.html

6 Creatures That Could Survive an Apocalypse

Updated March 18, 2020
By Elliot Walsh

“With all the concern about COVID-19, a lot of people have been thinking about what would happen in an even worse pandemic situation.

So … what creatures would survive a world apocalypse? What organisms might be able to survive a worldwide nuclear war, pandemic or another world disaster?

Here are six creatures with the best chance of being OK.

1. Cockroaches
Cockroaches are the classic apocalypse survivor. With over 4,000 species, these resilient little insects can survive high levels of radiation and are rapidly becoming resistant to most insecticides.

A study from Purdue University showed that when cockroaches are exposed to insecticides and toxin, they rapidly evolve resistance to those toxins (not unlike bacteria). Not only that, but they also pick up resistance to other insecticides along the way.

Besides their resistance to toxins that can harm humans, cockroaches can also eat and survive on almost anything. Even without access to their typical diet, they would be able to find sustenance in basically anything.

Also, another scary fact: A single female cockroach can give birth to 200 to 300 offspring in her 1-2 year lifespan.

2. Mummichog
The mummichog, also called the killifish or mud minnow, has evolved to survive in extremely polluted water. Not only can they survive in water that’s 8,000 times above the lethal dose of pollution and toxins for them in normal circumstances, but they’re “thriving” in that water, as scientists in the study reported.

The study found that these fish quickly evolved genetic mutations that allowed them to either deactivate or turn off chemical pathways that would normally cause damage from pollutants. Similar to the cockroaches, they can rapidly evolve to survive dire circumstances.

If these little fish can evolve to survive in these horribly polluted environments, it’s very likely that they’ll be able to survive an apocalyptic world.

3. Tardigrade
Tardigrades, also known as “water bears,” are one of the most resilient creatures on the planet. These microscopic animals can survive pretty much anything that an apocalypse would throw at them.

They can survive over 1,000 times the levels of radiation that a human can. They can survive 1,200 times above normal atmospheric pressure. They can survive 10 years without water. They can survive within a huge range of temperature: from absolute 0 (aka -460 degrees Fahrenheit) to over 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

They can also live almost anywhere. Bottom of the ocean? Fine. A small puddle? Yep! In a small patch of moss? Of course. In a space vacuum? No problem.

Scientists also say these little water bears could even survive a supernova and large asteroid impacts.

4. The Devil Worm
With a name like this, it’s scary to think that it could survive almost anything.

The Devil Worm is a species of nematode that’s known for its terrifying appearance under a microscope and for its ability to survive extreme pressure and temperatures – and no oxygen.

This creature was only discovered in 2011, and it was found existing 2.2 miles beneath the Earth’s surface. It lives in complete darkness under extreme pressure, eating only small bacteria. It’s currently the deepest living animal in the Earth’s surface.

If the world was ending, it’s doubtful that these worms would even know something was happening, much less be affected by the world disaster.

5. Ants
There are over 12,000 species of ants all over the world, in a range of environments and temperatures. This bodes well for their survival since there are so many organisms able to survive in a variety of different temperatures, pressures, weather events and more.

They also have evolved a unique ability to target diseased members of their colony. One study revealed that ants will “sacrifice” or kill members of their ant colony that they sense are diseased or infected. This helps stop the spread of disease throughout their colony, which can help them survive pandemics and serious illnesses.

6. E. Coli
So far, all of the organisms on this list have been animals. However, some of the organisms that are likely to survive world pandemics or disasters are microbes like bacteria and single-celled organisms.

E. Coli in particular is a hearty microbe. This is the bacteria that causes gastrointestinal upset and lives in the intestines of humans and other animals.

Besides finding a place to exist inside living and dead organisms, E. Coli can survive six times the radiation that humans can, which bodes well for this part of our gut microbiome. They can also build this resistance extremely quickly, meaning they would likely survive even a very sudden disaster.”

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

Mining and Deforestation

Trying to balance industry and the impact it has on the environment is an ongoing battle.  Let’s hear what Mining Technology has to say regarding mining and deforestation.

Mining and Deforestation

Source- https://www.mining-technology.com/features/mining-and-deforestation-the-unheeded-industry-challenge/

Mining and deforestation: the unheeded industry challenge?
Matthew Farmer
22 March 2021

“Since 2014, the New York Declaration on Forests has aimed to do for deforestation what the Paris Agreement has since done for climate change. More than 200 endorsers aim to stop mining and other industries from damaging forests, jungles, and biodiversity. But in this time, the situation has only worsened. So what more can miners do to stop deforestation?

The people behind the New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF) have kept an eye on global man-made deforestation. The declaration aimed to halve deforestation by 2020, and now aims to eliminate it by 2030. Most deforestation comes from agriculture, but the declaration’s third goal aims to protect forests from mining and other industries.

An analysis by the World Bank suggests that 44% of all operational mines lie in forests. This represents 1,539 mines, with another 1,826 in development or currently inactive. Mining activities have driven 7% of deforestation, according to a 2012 assessment.

A 2020 update by NYDF says extraction companies are “increasingly recognising their forest impacts”. However, report author Erin Matson told us: “This increase is unfortunately starting from a very low baseline, so the attention paid to deforestation by mining companies is not nearly sufficient yet.”

The report continues: “It is clear that important targets set by the declaration for this year have been missed. The outlook is also grim: forest loss has increased rather than halved since 2014, and success stories are a rare exception.

“Without dramatic shifts in economic development strategies – away from a reliance on extraction, exploitation, and consumption, and toward alternative pathways which value forests and people – the world will not meet its ambitious goals for sustainable development, climate, and forests.”

Where are the current deforestation problems in mining?
When picturing mining in forests, your first thought will likely go straight to the area with biggest issues. Brazil stands out as having many large-scale, pollution-intensive mines in its enormous tropical forest. While mines in Latin America generally see less impact on their forests than in Asia and Africa, Brazil stands out as an exception.

Destruction of the Amazon rainforest has sped up in recent years, as Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro dismantles environmental protections. He has cut environmental protections, saying the Amazon “belongs to Brazil, not to the world”. This has allowed companies to move into previously inaccessible areas, and the pandemic seems likely to accelerate this.

The NYDF report states: “Measures to mitigate negative impacts on forests, and people dependent on them, are often lukewarm at best. Policies and institutions set up to protect lands and communities from environmental harms have been weakened in many forest countries, especially under cover of the Covid-19 crisis.”

Despite Brazil’s reliance on mining, the Covid-19 pandemic has fuelled backlash against the industry. The #MinersOutCovidOut campaign has petitioned the Brazilian government to expel illegal miners. Using legitimate mining infrastructure, “artisanal miners” have brought the pandemic into their otherwise isolated communities.

The disproportionate impact of “artisanal” mining on forests
Artisanal mining relies on its ability to meet demand without engaging with regulations. While ethical regulations focus on the supply side, Matson told a recent panel that: “Demand for minerals produced in forests continues to rise and the countries that consume these commodities have so far taken few steps to limit the impact of that demand.”

A 2012 study by consultancy Levin Sources and WWF found that illegal artisanal mines operating in more than two-thirds of protected forests. Since then, artisanal mining has almost doubled in scale.

However, smaller mines generally cause less direct deforestation. Instead, these cause pollution to surrounding areas, degrading ecosystems and damaging biodiversity. One scientific paper found that artisanal mines often poison waterways with mercury, in turn killing trees and animals that rely on them. Another says that artisanal mines caused the loss of 100,000 hectares of forests between 1984 and 2017.

A 2016 Levin Sources study found that artisanal alluvial diamond mining disturbed 100 times more land per carat than industrial kimberlite mining. While places such as Ghana have used small-scale mining to encourage economic development, the lack of oversight leads to a disproportionate impact on the surrounding environment.

Mining in forests, and the consequences beyond the lease
Some minerals cause more issues than others. More than 60% of nickel, titanium, and aluminium mines lie in forested areas. However, gold, iron, and copper extraction bring the greatest volume of mining into forests.

The NYDF report urges miners to consider their impacts beyond just the site of the mine. For instance, exploration access roads cause direct logging, but also allow easier access deeper into forests. This increases access for rural communities, but also allows destructive agricultural practices, which are the leading cause of deforestation.

While this may seem tangential, a 2017 study in scientific journal Nature found that deforestation around mining leases was 12 times more prevalent than within them. This comes from development of airstrips, staff housing, and other developments directly stemming from projects. Examining mining leases in the Amazon, the study found that mining projects noticeably increased deforestation for 70km around them.

Miners cannot control “slash and burn” agriculture, but political leaders can. As such, the NYDF report authors suggest approaching environmental issues from a broader perspective.

In remote forested areas, mining can lead to game hunting and monocultural farming. Along with deforestation, this in turn leads to poor biodiversity. As a result of practices like these, the International Council of Mining and Metals (ICMM) set up standards to encourage best practice.

ICMM COO Aidan Davy told us: “Biodiversity is declining at unprecedented rates, so a more strategic approach is required. We should question current practices relating to the allocation of concessions and licences within forest areas and call on governments to prohibit all development – including forestry, agribusiness, or infrastructure activity – in forest areas of greatest conservation value, coupled with stronger protective measures.”

What questions should mining companies ask to decrease their impact on forests?
NYDF report author Matson told us: “Comprehensive Environmental and Social Impact Assessments should be standard before exploration begins in any new site. The assessments need to cover not just the expected environmental impacts within the direct footprint of the mine site, but also the indirect impacts of access infrastructure. Then, the company can apply a mitigation hierarchy to address these impacts.”

In some ways, mitigation hierarchies act similar to a risk assessment. They encourage companies to eliminate unnecessary impacts at the planning stage, and to take remedial measures for unavoidable effects. The report emphasises: “Restoration and offsetting options should only be used as a last resort.”

Both Levin and the NYDF report also support industry bodies making and enforcing practice guidelines. ICMM’s Davy continued: “We need mining and metals companies across the industry to commit to higher standards of performance on biodiversity, and other environmental, social, and governance areas, which is the purpose of ICMM’s Mining Principles.

“These principles require our members to neither explore nor develop new mines in World Heritage sites, respect legally designated protected areas, and ensure that any new operations or changes to existing operations are compatible with the value for which such areas were designated.

”They also require companies to assess and address risks and impacts to biodiversity and ecosystem services by implementing the mitigation hierarchy, with the ambition of achieving no net loss to biodiversity.”

Matson continues: “The uptake of standards like these has been quite small and slow compared to the size of the sector. Separately, many sector-wide principles that aim to mainstream sustainable mining practices do not make specific mention of forests, so this is not just a gap at the individual company level.”

“The most important step toward solving this problem is recognising it and understanding its scale. For this, we need to drastically increase transparency around the impacts, sustainability commitments, and actions of companies.

“Companies need to measure and publicly report their forest impacts, adopting commitments and targets to reduce the impacts, and disclosing progress toward these targets on a regular basis. In 2019, CDP introduced a mining-specific module in their forests questionnaire for mining companies to disclose against, which would be a good place to start for any company interested in being part of the solution.””

 

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