Botswana Chamber of Mines follows Canada’s lead in sustainable mining
The Botswana Chamber of Mines (BCM) today announced that it will adopt the Towards Sustainable Mining® (TSM) initiative, a corporate social responsibility program developed by the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) to improve environmental and social practices in the mining industry.
This is first time that TSM has been adopted by a mining association in Africa, and the third to do so outside of Canada. FinnMin, the Finnish Mining Association, adopted TSM in November 2015 and the Cámara Argentina de Empresarios Mineros (CAEM), the Argentinean Chamber of Mining Entrepreneurs, adopted the initiative in October 2016.
MAC and its members launched TSM in 2004. Implementation of the program is mandatory for all MAC members' Canadian operations, but many voluntarily apply it to their international sites. MAC freely shares TSM with other countries seeking tools to improve the environmental and social performance of their mining industries, including engagement with civil society and enhanced transparency and accountability.
"Botswana Chamber of Mines members subscribe to the principles of responsible mining and extraction of minerals from the earth. The adoption of TSM will enable the industry to demonstrate adherence to sound and sustainable minerals development practices and strive towards continual improvement," said Charles Siwawa, CEO, BCM.
TSM requires mining companies to annually assess their facilities' performance across six important areas, including tailings management, community outreach, safety and health, biodiversity conservation, crisis management, and energy use and greenhouse gas emissions management. The results are freely available to the public and are externally-verified every three years to ensure what has been reported is accurate. While BCM will tailor its performance areas so that they reflect the unique aspects of its domestic mining sector, they will be at a similar level to those of Canada's.
To ensure TSM reflects the expectations of civil society and industry stakeholders, it was designed and continues to be shaped by an independent, multi-interest advisory panel. As part of its implementation, BCM will implement a similar advisory body to provide this valuable oversight function.
"With Botswana's adoption of Towards Sustainable Mining, the program is now in four countries on four continents, clearly establishing TSM as an emerging global standard. It is our privilege to share our tools and expertise in sustainable and responsible mining practices with a country that is making important strides in sustainable mining development," said Pierre Gratton, President and CEO, MAC.
"Canada is very pleased that the Mining Association of Canada and the Botswana Chamber of Mines are working together on the Towards Sustainable Mining initiative. This initiative reflects Canada's strong relationship with Botswana and our commitment to support the sustainable development of Botswana's mining sector," said His Excellency Kumar Gupta, Ambassador of Canada to Zimbabwe, Botswana and Angola.
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Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.