The Briefing on Mining

The latest news, trends and data from the mining industry

In Data:

Mining in Numbers


The percentage of South African mining fatalities this year that have occurred at Sibanye-Stillwater’s operations. Accidents at this company’s projects accounted for 21 out of the 47 deaths recorded in the country this year, putting 2018 on track to be a deadlier year than 2016 and 2017.


The amount of money generated by Argentinian extracting and processing operations in 2016. Last week some results of a mining census conducted two years ago were made public, which included the news that 90% of operations take place at open pit mines. 


The percentage of metrics used to measure developments in infrastructure and industry that have improved in mining-dependent countries.


96.755 million tonnes 

The volume of iron ore produced by Brazil’s Vale in the second quarter of this year, despite a trucker strike over rising diesel prices.


Rio Tinto’s investment in an autonomous delivery train project. The company's special service train has made its first delivery, transporting 28,000t of ore 174 miles across Australia.

New technologies are a blast 

Blasting programmes require in-depth planning but softwares can help avoid the worst

Simulated Training Solutions (STS3D) has developed a software solution to help miners plan and prepare for blasting events. The world's first virtual reality blast wall was installed at Glencore's Mopani Copper Mines in Zambia in 2016, followed by two more walls in South Africa, with a third currently under construction.

In a darkened training room, the image of a rock face is projected onto a life-size interactive canvas. Trainees use an electronic ‘spray can’ to mark out their measured blast holes, practise detonating explosives in the right sequence and watch how the rocks fracture and react. 

Read the original article on the BBC

In the News

Top Projects Kicking Off ­this Month 

Newmont starts commercial production at Twin Creeks project 

Newmont Mining has started commercial production at its Twin Creeks underground expansion project in Nevada, US. The development will add higher grade gold at lower production costs to the company’s Twin Creeks operation. Newmont expects the underground mine to add a gold output in the range of 30,000oz-40,000oz per year at $650- $750 per ounce during the first five years of production.

Hummingbird begins drilling to extend mine life in Mali

Hummingbird Resources has started an exploration drilling campaign on its mining permit in Mali to extend the life of the Yanfolila gold mine. The new exploration drilling will focus on the conversion of resources to reserves, while extending the life of the mine to more than ten years. The objective of the exploration programme is to infill the currently defined resources at the six deposits in the 2.2Mozs resource base.

Tasmanian tailings worth $1bn for miner 

Hellyer Gold Mines' ­operation on Tasmania's west coast will come back to life ­­­after ceasing production, with work set to start on extracting gold, silver, lead and zinc from tailings. Higher prices for the metals means the miner will be able to reprocess previously discarded materials, with up to $1.5bn in gold, silver, lead and zinc to be recovered from the tailings dams.

Mining Chatter:

This Month's Top Comments

Mining Supports Economic Growth

“Evidence suggests that social progress in mining-dependent countries over the past 20 years has been stronger than in other countries. This report will help sharpen the debate about the potential development contribution of mining within the international development community.” ICMM COO Aidan Davy on debunking ­misconceptions in the ICMM's latest report. 

Source: ICMM

US Tariffs to Hit Own Critical Metal List 

“The Chinese mine the rare-earths, they separate them, they refine them. This is the long-term trend and a 10% tariff will not do anything to stir any domestic production in the US.” Jack Lifton of the rare earth consulting service Technology Metals Research, on the effectiveness of US President Donald Trump’s tariffs on imported rare earths from China.


Prospects for Future Reserves and Resources

“It’s true that natural resources, especially mining resources, are to some extent finite. What I take issue with is how some have tried to cause panic using overly simplistic and misleading estimates of remaining mineral resources. We’re pretty damn good at brownfield expansion,” said Simon Jowitt, associate professor of economic geology at the University of Nevada, US.


Cheating the Info on Black Lung Outbreaks

“At the end of the day, those that want to cheat in a complex industry like that will always attempt to cheat. The best witnesses, the best sources of information, are the miners themselves,” said lawyer Russell M Coleman, on US coal company Armstrong Energy tampering with dust monitoring devices to conceal the spread of black lung disease among its workers.

Source: WKU 

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