02/05/14 – Opencast colliery rehab in a jiff, ‘exceptional’ Limpopo pig iron, emissions mission’s carrot not stick

Can ugly mined-out collieries now be rehabilitated in one season? That seems to be the message from Anglo American Thermal Coal, which reports on page 15 of this edition of Mining Weekly that it has developed and patented a bioconversion technology that can do in six months what Mother Nature takes 60 years to do. The new technology has been piloted at four Anglo American coal mines and is said to be able to rehabilitate in a way that areas can be returned to communities for economic activity almost immediately after mining activity has ended. It is said to reduce the need for scarce and costly top soil. Engagement with regulators will take place as the project moves closer to the commercial phase, the company says.

A definitive feasibility study (DFS) at pig iron developer Ironveld’s Limpopo pig iron and ferrovanadium project confirms an “exceptionally” high-grade 99.5% high-purity product that attracts a price premium. Read on page 14 of this edition of Mining Weekly of the DFS also confirming a scalable project that has the ability to deliver a yearly turnover of £26.4-million and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of £8.1-million a year for the Aim-listed junior. Capital expenditure is projected at £36-million, a proportion of which will be funded from the project’s own early cash flow. Some 20 MW of power will be available on site by year-end from a nearby Eskom substation.

Australia will focus on using the carrot rather than the stick in its rejigged emissions mission, according to a government paper out- lining a new climate policy that is earmarked for implementation in 2014. Read on page 17 of this edition of Mining Weekly of Australia’s new emissions reduction fund offering as much as $2.6-billion to help firms lower Australia’s greenhouse-gas discharge levels, which are said to be the developed world’s highest on a per capita basis. Moreover, penalties are not proposed for excessive emitters, and government will wait until next year to start defining pollution benchmarks for the nation’s 130 largest offenders. The policy is thus designed to lick climate change without the use of a carbon-tax stick. Its modus operandi is to induce the private sector to improve energy efficiency by making use of waste coal gases and also landfill gases and it has the likes of Rio Tinto and Chevron in full cheer. However, the Australian government now faces the challenge of making sure that its action is sufficiently full-bodied to achieve the country’s promise of reducing emissions by 5% before 2020.

Source – MiningWeekly.com