Tag Archives: mining

How to get involved in the mining industry

Now that we’ve looked at various mining activities in South Africa, maybe you are keen to be involved.  Here’s how you can make a start.

How to get involved in the mining industry

Source: https://www.miningsafety.co.za/news/how-to-get-involved-in-the-mining-industry/

How to get involved in the mining industry
October 30, 2020

In the startup scene, few entrepreneurs will look to the mining sector. The industry is a giant and competes on the world stage. But because South Africa is so confident in its natural reserves this sector offers ample opportunity to innovators and self-starters.

South Africa has rich natural reserves

The mining industry in 2016 attributed to 8 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). And the mining sector is considered to be the fifth largest mining sector, in terms of GDP, globally. South Africa has the world’s largest reserves of manganese and platinum group metals and is home to some of the biggest reserves of gold, diamonds, chromite ore and vanadium.

The gold and diamond mining industries are one of the most important foreign exchange earners for the country and gold accounts for more than one-third of the exports. South Africa can also boast enormous coal and chrome production. And, there’s still potential for more exploration in some untapped areas thought to be deposits of more precious metals and types of minerals.

Now tapping into this industry may feel overwhelming

You can’t just simply begin mining and most entrepreneurs would believe that setting up a mining company is a capital-intensive exercise. Of course, if you’re planning on embarking on an exhaustive exploration mission then sure you’re going to need some serious funding to cover the excessive costs. But you don’t need to do that to be involved in this sector.

The mining industry makes use of advanced technologies

The mining sector cannot afford to reject new technologies and advanced processes. It is too big an industry to continue with old hat methods and if mining companies don’t embrace modern technology they are likely to fail. New technologies such as data collection, cloud-based networks, wearable technologies, and drones are all types of examples of products and industries assisting the mining sector. And if your company is aligned with this type of technology then becoming involved in the mining sector is easy enough.

Environmental concerns are a big deal in the mining sector

Reducing energy consumption and cultivating renewable energy sources is top of mind in just about every industry. In the mining industry, in particular, running an environmentally responsible operation results in cost savings as well as benefitting the planet.

By employing energy efficient technologies and automating various processes which optimise energy consumption mining companies are able to enjoy major savings. According to a report by Deloitte last year, some mining companies have seen a saving of up to 40 percent in expenses. An environmentally aligned startup can tailor their offering to the mining sector and enjoy major success.

Health and safety services are paramount to the mining sector’s performance

In South Africa, health and safety on mines are extremely important. HIV and TB are two diseases directly affecting mineworkers in South Africa. It is such a problem that this year the government introduced a National Strategic Plan to run a course of five years so that it may reduce the mortality rates. Mining companies must make provisions for people catching these diseases and face up to what is happening amongst its workers on site. Sex education and access to family planning and medication are crucial for the mines to be considered safe and secure work. This National Strategic Plan outlines the framework for a multi-sectoral partnership to be formed. This will specifically focus on accelerating the reduction of morbidity and mortality directly associated with TB, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Furthermore, occupational health and safety cannot be more important than in the mining industry. Mining companies are held to strict guidelines and legislation that’s in place to prevent workplace fatalities and injuries.

Health and safety practice, personal protective gear, clean up operations and critical training courses are all ways of getting your foot in the door of the mining sector as a small business. As an entrepreneur, if you decide to create a company that offers training or products and services that address either the concern around HIV and TB or you offer something that aligns with occupational health and safety, you’ll find yourself quickly entrenched in a dangerous sector.

Once you have an idea that fits in within the needs of the mining sector you will need to create a business plan. You’ll likely be able to get funding from a government grant if you are able to jump through the hoops supplied. Alternatively, you can apply for capital from the bank. Mining equipment funding is available to entrepreneurs who wish to enter the sector.”


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

Women in Mining

To continue our mining theme, let’s take a look at woman in this challenging industry.

Woman in mining - image from article source (see link)

SOurce: https://www.miningsafety.co.za/news/rosond-celebrates-its-incredible-team-of-women-in-mining/

Rosond celebrates its incredible team of women in mining
July 27, 2021

The mining industry has traditionally been a male-dominated environment. Nowhere is this more evident than in exploration drilling, where handling the drill rods alone requires substantial physical strength and dexterity, in addition to being able to load and unload heavy equipment from the drill rigs itself. However, when drilling technology solutions provider Rosond of Midrand designed and developed a next-generation drill rig that automates this arduous and dangerous process, an opportunity arose for several women to be deployed at Kumba Iron Ore in the Northern Cape. Recruiting and training this team formed part of the company’s tender with Anglo American, explains Rosond MD Ricardo Ribeiro.

“What I enjoy most about my job is that we always work as a team. This truly creates a family environment where everybody is there for each other. I feel empowered, because for many years only men were allowed to work in the mining industry. I would like to thank Rosond for giving me such a big opportunity. I know I still have much to learn, which is why I am so excited about this job and being part of women in mining,” says Bolokang Innocentiah Mere, who lives in Kathu. Her role as a Grade Control Drill Assistant is to ensure that all samples taken are labelled correctly, and to assist with set-up when relocating to the next exploration site.

Drill Assistant Lesogo Mavis Kanon, who works at Kuruman, agrees that women like herself are paving the way for increased gender equality in the mining industry. “What I enjoy most about my job is acquiring the knowledge to overcome the challenges I face on a daily basis. Rosond has taught me that people should not be judged on gender alone, but on skills and competency. I am blessed to be in my current position, as this opportunity has shown me that anything is possible, and that we can indeed bring about a positive change to the industry.”

Reabetswe Prudence Kaekae comments that her position as Drill Assistant has allowed her to not only operate the machinery itself, but also to think out-of-the-box and be more multitasked. “It is quite challenging yet interesting at the same time. It is a different working environment that you become used to as time goes by.” Her vision is to learn more about the mining industry so she can become an instructor herself one day, teaching the next generation of women about the latest drill rig technology being developed by Rosond.

Diamond Drill Assistant Agness Sethunya has a wide range of tasks, from washing core samples to general paperwork. “I enjoy learning new things each and every single day, but mostly I enjoy the challenges I have to tackle as a woman working with drill rigs and other heavy equipment.” Her future plan is to become a Safety Officer and ultimately a qualified engineer.

Mercia Monwe is an assistant on the Ros 8II EX drill rig, and says she enjoys learning from her fellow drill crew members, who are highly mindful of safety and efficiency while on the job. “At first it was a challenge, but at the end of the day I learned that even working in a male-dominated industry, I can achieve anything.”

Being able to work in the mining industry is an incredible achievement, says Drill Assistant Palesa Cheraldine Buneditte, adding that she now has access to opportunities for personal and career growth that were simply unavailable to her before. Even Letlhogonolo Moricho, who works as a cleaner at Kolomela, has been inspired by what her fellow female colleagues have achieved. “I am very excited to be a part of the mining industry, which has put me on a path to learn more and one day maybe even get to work on the drill rigs themselves.”

Rosond has supplied 28 next-generation drill rigs to the Kolomela and Sishen mines as part of a R2 billion, five-year tender to ensure Anglo American is up to date with the latest drilling technology as it modernises its geoscience operations. The drill rigs feature increased safety due to the fact that they are largely automated, and include control cabins with air-conditioning and ablution facilities attached.”



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


Mining South Africa

Here is a little summary of the mining activities in South Africa


Source: https://www.mineralscouncil.org.za/sa-mining

Economic activity in modern-day South Africa has been centred on mining activities, their ancillary services and supplies. The country’s stock exchange in Johannesburg was established in 1887, a decade after the first diamonds were discovered on the banks of the Orange River, and almost simultaneously with the gold rush on the world-famous Witwatersrand.

In many ways, South Africa’s political, social and economic landscape has been dominated by mining, given that, for so many years, the sector has been the mainstay of the South African economy. Although gold, diamonds, platinum and coal are the most well-known among the minerals and metals mined, South Africa also hosts chrome, vanadium, titanium and a number of other lesser minerals.

In 2018 the mining sector contributed R351 billion to the South African gross domestic product (GDP)
A total of 456,438 people were employed in the mining sector in 2018
Each person employed in the mining sector has up to nine indirect dependants
The mining sector has, for many years, attracted valuable foreign direct investment to South Africa

Mining in South Africa - Coal

Coal mining’s advent in South Africa can best be traced to the start of gold mining in the late 19th century, particularly on the Witwatersrand, with the first coal in appreciable tonnages extracted on the Highveld coal field close to the nascent Witwatersrand gold mines.

Mining in South Africa - Platinum
In South Africa the discovery of the first platinum nuggets dates back to 1924. The geologist Hans Merensky’s follow-up work resulted in the discovery of two deposits, each around 100km in length, which became known as the Bushveld Igneous Complex.

Mining in South Africa - Gold
The Witwatersrand Basin remains the world’s largest gold resource and has produced more than two billion ounces of gold to date. After 120 years of mining, operations in this area have reached depths of 4,000m, with the natural rock temperatures reach about 50°C.

Mining in South Africa - Diamond
While diamond mining has been taking in place in South Africa for almost a century and a half, the country’s diamond sector is far from reaching the end of its life. Developments at the country’s three largest mines are designed to expand their outputs and to extend their lives to anywhere between a quarter and a half a century.”



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.””




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

Top Mining Articles

ThermoFisher has published an article listing the 10 most read articles on their blog last year.  Interesting read!

Each week we will be publishing one of the top ten in full so make sure you come back next week!


Link to the original article – https://www.thermofisher.com/blog/mining/top-10-mining-articles-this-year/

ThermoFisher Scientific

Top 10 Mining Articles This Year
By Marlene Gasdia-Cochrane, Editor

“Here are the ten most read articles on this mining blog during the past year. Over a quarter of a million people viewed our mining blog this year. Surprisingly, the most read article, with over 47,000 views is a cement-related story. Take a look below and read the ones you missed. Some of them are a bit dated, but are still useful and tens of thousands found them still of great interest.

1. The Cement Manufacturing Process

Cement manufacturing is a complex process that begins with mining and then grinding raw materials that include limestone and clay, to a fine powder, called raw meal, which is then heated to a sintering temperature as high as 1450 °C in a cement kiln. In this process, the chemical bonds of the raw materials are broken down and then they are recombined into new compounds. The result is called clinker, which are rounded nodules between 1mm and 25mm across. The clinker is ground to a fine powder in a cement mill and mixed with gypsum to create cement. The powdered cement is then mixed with water and aggregates to form concrete that is used in construction. Learn about the various laboratory and online systems that can be employed to ensure process control and a quality product.

2. Pyrite: The Real Story Behind “Fool’s Gold”

Pyrite is called “Fool’s Gold” because it resembles gold to the untrained eye. While pyrite has a brass-yellow color and metallic luster similar to gold, pyrite is brittle and will break rather than bend as gold does. Gold leaves a yellow streak, while pyrite’s streak is brownish black. Learn about other reasons this Sulfide mineral is often mistaken for gold, and how XRF analyzers can help identify the real thing.

3. New to the Mining Industry? Make Sure You Know the Most Common Types of Mining Equipment

The most common types of mining equipment vary depending whether the work is being carried out above or below ground or mining for gold, metals, coal or crude oil. From drilling machines to excavators, crushing and grinding equipment – the mining industry comes complete with all the right tools. New to the job and want to find out what it all means? Here’s a few of the industry’s most common types of equipment and why they’re important for the job.

4. Where Will All the Lithium Needed for Electric Cars Be Mined?

There’s a growing demand for lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries to supply the electric car market. But lithium is a poorly concentrated mineral, so traditional hard-rock mining of lithium-bearing pegmatite and spodumene is a costly and time-intensive endeavor. The easiest and least expensive method of obtaining lithium is by the evaporation of highly concentrated lithium brine. Learn where it’s being found and mined.

5. Where Did Those Gemstones Come From?

Mining for precious colored gemstones is rigorous and time-consuming because the deposits are few and when found, tend to be characterized by small quantities of gems scattered throughout a large amount of rock. Modern mining techniques are of little value in these circumstances, and the deposits are often too small to be profitable for major mine outfits, who leave them to small, independent miners who rely on the same manual techniques they have been using for decades. Nevertheless, in recent years, several major mining companies have entered the gemstone market with new strategies for employing modern mining practice.

6. What Is Ambient Air?

Air quality is an important issue, especially in highly regulated industries such as coal mining, cement processing, and coal‐ and oil‐fired power generation. Rules such the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) and the Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) Standards are designed to protect the public and keep ambient air pollution-free. Ozone is another pollutant of ambient air that has been linked to global warming and health risks for children. The 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Ozone addresses primary and secondary ozone standard levels.

7. What You Need to Know About Mining Philippines

Mining Philippines, an international conference and exhibition organized by the Philippines Chamber of Mines, showcased the latest products that are advancing the interest of mining, quarrying and mineral processing. According to the show website, attendees learned about the latest technology that can help in “efficient exploration, development and utilization of minerals in consonance with sound economic, environmental and social policies etc. in the Minerals, Metals & Ores industry.

8. Mining and the Environment: What Happens When A Mine Closes?

Mining operations, however expansive and complex, are temporary. Eventually, once the most accessible and valuable materials have been extracted, the mine is closed, and the site must be restored back to its original state. This includes covering up mine entrances, replanting grass and trees, and testing surrounding water, soil, and air for contaminants.

9. Ubiquitous Industrial Minerals: Nature’s Most Popular Raw Materials

Industrial minerals are generally defined as minerals that are not sources of metals, fuel, or gemstones. 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.

10. Potash: A Look at the World’s Most Popular Fertilizer

Today, potash comes from either underground or solution mining. Underground potash deposits come from evaporated sea beds. Boring machines dig out the ore, which is transported to the surface to the processing mill, where the raw ore is crushed and refined to extract the potassium salts. When deposits are located very deep in the earth, solution mining is used as an alternative to traditional underground mining. Solution mining employs the use of water or brine to dissolve water soluble minerals such as potash, magnesium or other salts. Wells are drilled down to the salt deposits, and the solvent is injected into the ore body to dissolve it. The solution is then pumped to surface and the minerals are recovered through recrystallization.”


Top Mining Articles

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

Effects of Mining on the Environment

This informative article was found at https://www.environment.co.za/mining/effects-of-mining.html – please follow the link to read the full article.


“Effects of Mining on the Environment and Human Health

Effects of Mining
Coal mining, the first step in the dirty lifecycle of coal, causes deforestation and releases toxic amounts of minerals and heavy metals into the soil and water. The effects of mining coal persists for years after coal is removed.

Destruction and poison linger
Bad mining practices can ignite coal fires, which can burn for decades, release fly ash and smoke laden with greenhouse gasses and toxic chemicals. Furthermore mining releases coal mine methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. Coal dust inhalation causes black lung disease among miners and those who live nearby, and mine accidents kill thousands every year. Coal mining displaces whole communities, forced off their land by expanding mines, coal fires, subsidence and contaminated water supplies.

There are two widely used ways of mining: strip mining and underground mining.

Strip mining
Strip mining (also known as open cast, mountaintop or surface mining) involves scraping away earth and rocks to get to coal buried near the surface. In many cases, mountains are literally blasted apart to reach thin coal seams within, leaving permanent scars on the landscape as a result.

Strip mining accounts for about 40 percent of the world’s coal mines but in some countries, such as Australia, open cast mines make up 80 percent of mines. Even though it’s highly destructive, industry often prefers strip mining as it requires less labour and yields more coal than underground mining.

Impacts of strip mining:
*Strip mining destroys landscapes, forests and wildlife habitats at the site of the mine when trees, plants, and topsoil are cleared from the mining area. This in turn leads to soil erosion and destruction of agricultural land.
*When rain washes the loosened top soil into streams, sediments pollute waterways. This can hurt fish and smother plant life downstream, and cause disfiguration of river channels and streams, which leads to flooding.
*There is an increased risk of chemical contamination of ground water when minerals in upturned earth seep into the water table, and watersheds are destroyed when disfigured land loses the water it once held.
*Strip mining causes dust and noise pollution when top soil is disrupted with heavy machinery and coal dust is created in mines.

The result of all this is barren land that stays contaminated long after a coal mine shuts down.

Although many countries require reclamation plans for coal mining sites, undoing all the environmental damages to water supplies, destroyed habitats, and poor air quality is a long and problematic task. This land disturbance is on a vast scale. In the US, between 1930 and 2000, coal mining altered about 2.4 million hectares [5.9 million acres] of natural landscape, most of it originally forest. Attempts to re-seed land destroyed by coal mining is difficult because the mining process has so thoroughly damaged the soil. For example, in Montana, replanting projects had a success rate of only 20-30 percent, while in some places in Colorado only 10 percent of oak aspen seedlings that were planted survived.

In China, coal mining has degraded the quality of land of an estimated 3.2 million hectares, according to a 2004 estimate. The overall restoration rate (the ratio of reclaimed land area to the total degraded land area) of mine wasteland was only about 10–12 percent.

Strip Mining - image sourced from article

Underground mining
The majority of the world’s coal is obtained through underground mines. While underground mining, which allows coal companies to extract deeper deposits of coal, is viewed as less destructive than strip mining, the effects of mining widespread damage to the environment. In room-and-pillar mines, columns of coal are left to support the ground above during the initial mining process, then they are often taken out and the mine is left to collapse, which is known as subsidence. In longwall mines, mechanical shearers strip the coal from the mines. Support structures that enable the shearers’ access to the mine are eventually removed, and the mine collapses. It is these effects of mining that nobody sees but are the most troubling of all.

Impacts of underground mining
*Underground mining causes huge amounts of waste earth and rock to be brought to the surface – waste that often becomes toxic when it comes into contact with air and water.
*It causes subsidence as mines collapse and the land above it starts to sink. This causes serious damage to buildings.
*It lowers the water table, changing the flow of groundwater and streams. In Germany for example, over 500 million cubic metres of water are pumped out of the ground every year. Only a small percentage of this is used by industry or local towns – the rest is wasted. What’s worse is that removing so much water creates a kind of funnel that drains water from an area much larger than the immediate coal-mining environment.
*Coal mining produces also greenhouse gas emissions.

Common health threats posed by coal mining:
*Pneumoconiosis, aka black lung disease or CWP, is caused when miners breathe in coal dust and carbon, which harden the lungs. Estimates show that 1,200 people in the US still die from black lung disease annually. The situation in developing countries is even worse.
*Cardiopulmonary disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, lung disease, and kidney disease have been found in higher-than-normal rates among residents who live near coal mines, according to a 2001 US study.
*Toxic levels of arsenic, fluorine, mercury, and selenium are emitted by coal fires, entering the air and the food chain of those living nearby.
*Mine collapses and accidents kill thousands of workers around the world every year. Chinese coal mine accidents killed 4,700 people in 2006.”


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

Preventing Repeated Accidents at Mines

Miningsafety.com posted this interesting article regarding preventing repeat accidents at our mines – take a read:

Preventing Repeated Accidents at Mines

“How do we prevent repeat accidents at our mines?

Mining companies spend millions on safety equipment and safety training. Despite all the training some accidents are unavoidable. It is however the occurrence of repeat accidents that remains a nightmare to safety and health officials. We would like to share a few ideas and suggestions on how to prevent repeat accidents.

Suggestions to prevent repeat accidents.

  •  Make safety a top priority. Talk about safety, conduct safety audits, and encourage suggestions from employees for improving safety.
  • Set a goal to eliminate repeat accidents. Make sure all of your employees—not just those involved in an accident—understand the causes of prior accidents and the steps they need to take to avoid a repeat.
  • Train as if their lives depended on it—because they do! Your employees’ safety on the job depends on their skills, knowledge, awareness, and judgment. Training strengthens and develops all these safety essentials.
  • Reinforce safe behavior. Get out there among your employees every day and praise those who are working safely. Talk to those who are taking risks and redirect them into following safe procedures. Consider retraining those whose performance indicates a lack of requisite safety skills or knowledge.
  • Don’t use discipline without also offering help. You may need to resort to discipline when coaching and counseling fail to correct unsafe behavior. But don’t discipline without also providing support and feedback about safe performance.
  • Emphasize hazard detection and reporting. Just because something was OK yesterday doesn’t mean it hasn’t become a hazard today. Keep alert and make sure your employees keep their eyes open, too.
  • Investigate every incident. Whether it was a near miss or an accident that caused injuries and damage, investigate until you find the cause and correct it.

Safety attitude is the key to a safe workplace. But it doesn’t happen overnight.

The message needs to be repeatedly reinforced preferably in a variety of ways and formats:

  • Supervisors needs to be visible and talk to employees
  • Take action on close calls
  • Follow procedures
  • Adhere and obey Legislation

[Content kindly provided my Moolmans Mining]”


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

Mining in South Africa

Mining has played a huge part in the growth and development of South Africa – take a look at what The Minerals Council has to say about it – click the link to read more about the different mining sectors – Gold, Coal, Platinum and Diamonds.

Mining in South Africa

Economic activity in modern-day South Africa has been centred on mining activities, their ancillary services and supplies. The country’s stock exchange in Johannesburg was established in 1887, a decade after the first diamonds were discovered on the banks of the Orange River, and almost simultaneously with the gold rush on the world-famous Witwatersrand.

In many ways, South Africa’s political, social and economic landscape has been dominated by mining, given that, for so many years, the sector has been the mainstay of the South African economy. Although gold, diamonds, platinum and coal are the most well-known among the minerals and metals mined, South Africa also hosts chrome, vanadium, titanium and a number of other lesser minerals.

*In 2017 the mining sector contributed R312 billion to the South African gross domestic product (GDP)
*A total of 464,667 people were employed in the mining sector in 2017
*Each person employed in the mining sector has up to nine indirect dependants
*The mining sector has, for many years, attracted valuable foreign direct investment to South Africa”

South African Mining Charter

Some news on the progress of the new South African Mining Charter.  Hope you enjoy the articles and have a great day!  Please follow the links to the source of the articles.


South Africa aims to finalise mining charter in June, minister says – Mining.com
Reuters | May. 15, 2018, 11:18 AM |

“South Africa aims to finalise a third version of a hotly contested mining charter in June, mines minister Gwede Mantashe said on Tuesday, later than the government had predicted last month.

The government and miners have been locked in difficult negotiations over the charter, which lays out requirements for black ownership levels and other targets, after the industry opposed revisions proposed by Mantashe’s predecessor.

Agreeing a new version of the charter is seen as instrumental to securing further investment in the mining sector, which new President Cyril Ramaphosa has made a priority.

“We aim to finalise and gazette the mining charter in June, having taken on board inputs and concerns from stakeholders across the country,” Mantashe said in a speech to parliament, a copy of which was distributed by the communications ministry.

Mantashe said in April that he aimed to finalise the charter by May.

South Africa’s mining industry has been grappling for years with depressed prices, outbursts of labour and social unrest and policy uncertainty.

The charter’s controversial areas included raising the target for black ownership to 30 percent from 26 percent.

The industry had challenged the revisions in court but put that judicial process on hold after Ramaphosa appointed Mantashe in February. When the charter is finalised, the industry will be legally required to follow its targets and regulations.”

(Reporting by Alexander Winning; Editing by Dale Hudson)


Ramaphosa vows Mining Charter finalised ‘soon’ – Fin24
May 04 2018 07:56 Loni Prinsloo, Bloomberg

“New rules governing black ownership of South Africa’s mining industry will be completed “very soon”, President Cyril Ramaphosa said at a Japan-Africa trade forum in Johannesburg.

“The mining charter will be finalised very soon and we have set a deadline,” Ramaphosa said, without giving details of the timing.

Africa’s most-industrialised country will try to remove “blockages” to investment in a bid to attract as much as $100bn over the next five years, he said.”

Mining News

Below are some interesting articles regarding Anglo American’s commitment to sustainability and cleaning up mines…………..


Anglo commits to ambitious sustainability strategyhttp://www.miningweekly.com/article/anglo-commits-to-ambitious-sustainability-strategy-2018-03-14


“JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Diversified mining company Anglo American has outlined an innovative approach to three major areas of sustainability – the environment, community development, and driving greater trust and transparency across the mining industry.

Its ambitious goals include:

  • Creating five jobs off-site for every job on-site in its host communities;
  • Working with government to ensure every school in host communities performs amongst the top 20% of state schools in the country;
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30%;
  • Improving energy efficiency by 30%; and
  • Reducing freshwater abstraction by 50% in water-scarce regions.

“Delivering on these commitments will transform the way Anglo American does business,” said Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani in a release to Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly Online.

Presenting a different picture of the future of mining, the sustainability strategy commits to keeping people and the environment safe, supporting excellent education and using collaborative regional development to provide sustainable benefits for host communities.

“The financial benefits to our business by 2030 are expected to be significant, including from substantially reduced energy and water costs. At the same time, we expect our innovative approach and the technologies we are developing to open up new mineral resource opportunities for us over the medium term,” Cutifani added.

The sustainability strategy acknowledges metals and minerals as precious ingredients that enable and celebrate many aspects of modern life.

“If Anglo American is to play its part in creating a sustainable future for the world and improving the lives of all of us who live here, then we must be prepared to challenge our business and ourselves, by re-imagining mining,” he said.

Anglo American’s sustainability strategy is part of FutureSmart Mining™, a blueprint for a safer, more sustainable and efficient business that is better harmonised with the needs of host communities.

This strategy, which has been developed following a robust consultation process, is in alignment with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.”

Mining News

Anglo says cleaning up mining will earn it billions in profithttp://www.miningweekly.com/article/anglo-says-cleaning-up-mining-will-earn-it-billions-in-profit-2018-03-14/rep_id:3650


“LONDON – Mining is a dirty business, but Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani says it doesn’t have to be.

The miner of everything from copper to diamonds to iron ore is overhauling its sustainability targets, and predicts it can earn an extra $9-billion through 2030 by improving the way it mines and boosting relations with governments and communities.

In an industry that rips up massive areas of pristine landscape while consuming valuable water and pumping out dust and pollution, companies that don’t become better corporate citizens will face higher costs, mounting opposition and lose out on new deposits, Cutifani said in an interview.

“We need access to resources,” he said. “If you don’t have good relationships you don’t get access to ground; if you don’t have access to ground you can’t develop a mine.”

Companies around the world are facing increased pressure to improve, and not just from ethical investors. Cutifani was among CEOs who received an open letter from BlackRock’s CEO Larry Fink in January in which he called for companies to set out strategies for long-term, sustainable growth.

“To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society,” Fink wrote.

Anglo’s nine new targets range from reducing freshwater usage by 50% and cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 30%, to less tangible goals such as improving accountability and policy advocacy.

The company will spend about $200-million a year on the sustainability goals, which also include health, education and livelihood programs, such as creating five jobs in a region where it operates for every direct employee.

Anglo has worked hard to reposition itself in the past decades. Once the corporate face of apartheid South Africa, the company was the country’s largest conglomerate and owned everything from banks to paper factories. In recent years, it’s managed to avoid the type of controversy that embroiled rivals like BHP Billiton and Vale, which had licences to a Brazilian iron-ore project stripped after a dam rupture that killed 19, or Rio Tinto, which is facing corruption and fraud probes related to African mines.

Yet things still go wrong. Just yesterday, the company halted some operations at its iron-ore mine in Brazil after a pipeline rupture. Anglo says it’s trying to identify the cause of the spill and guarantee that it did not inflict serious environmental damage to the surrounding area and a nearby water supply.

Anglo also remains one of the world’s biggest producers of thermal coal, the dirtiest fuel, which has become a focus for many of the investors who are likely to be impressed by the company’s ambitious targets.

Anglo said during the depths of the last commodity slump in early 2016 that it would sell out of coal, but has reversed course after a dramatic rebound in prices. While production has fallen more than 20% in the past five years, including for steelmaking coal, the fuel was still the single biggest contributor to the company’s earnings last year, adding almost $3-billion.

“It’s an issue,” said Cutifani. “For many developing countries it remains an important source of energy. We will not be increasing our footprint, but you can’t just dump people who live and depend on thermal coal.””


Trust you enjoyed the read. Regards, Chris

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