South African mining companies to pay for recycling of acid mine water
The Department of Water and Sanitation for South Africa has announced that mining companies across the continent will pay an estimated R12billion in recycling acid mine water, as part of a wider water drainage project.
The costs will go towards removing sulphates from the water disposed from local mines, cleaning Johannesburg’s water supply for commercial use.
Speaking at a launch for a long-term solution to acid mine drainage (AMD) at the AMD Central Basin, Germiston, Johannesburg, the Minster of Water and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane believes the project will ‘substantially’ meet the needs of SA’s economic hub.
“The long term solution [of AMD] will turn the acid mine drainage problem into a long term sustainably solution by producing safe water,” she said.
"If we had not intervened, the flow of acid mine drainage into the larger environment, including the natural river systems, would have caused widespread environmental pollution."
The announcement represents the end of Phase one, a five-year investment of R225million to control the flow of acid water from abandoned mines in Guateng. Phase two, will see the acid mine drainage turned into fully treated, drinkable, water.
End-users of the water, including businesses and residents, will pay around R3.6billion of the costs, 33 percent, with the mining companies representing the other 67 percent of all costs.
Read the May 2016 issue of Mining Global magazine
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.