Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=0038-223X20140011&lang=es vol. 114 num. 11 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Journal Comment</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-223X2014001100001&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es <![CDATA[<b>President's Corner</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-223X2014001100002&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es <![CDATA[<b>ECSA, GDID, and UJ sign a Memorandum of Agreement</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-223X2014001100003&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es <![CDATA[<b>Committed to caring enough to make a difference</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-223X2014001100004&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es <![CDATA[<b>Tiger's eye in the Northern Cape Province - potential for employment creation and poverty alleviation</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-223X2014001100005&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es SYNOPSIS South Africa's Northern Cape Province houses a variety of gemstone minerals. Diamonds remain the primary gemstone in the province, but there are also tiger's eye, sugilite, rose quartz, jasper, amethyst, amazonite, tourmaline, and topaz deposits. This paper gives an overview of the tiger's eye (TE) mining sector in the Northern Cape, with the objective of assessing the potential of TE to contribute to job creation and poverty alleviation in the province. Mining of TE started in 1803, but gained momentum during the 1960s. Mining is conducted on a small-scale basis, and in most cases without any legal framework. The majority of the residents are not benefiting from TE. It has been reported that an estimated R700 000 to R800 000 worth of TE is leaving the country every week through illegal trading. The potential for TE mining to contribute to socioeconomic development is hindered by illegal operations, lack of technical skills and knowledge, exploitation by dealers, lack of market information, community rivalries, and absence of value addition. A multi-stakeholder approach is needed to formalize the sector and reap the benefits. Mintek is spearheading a TE project in the Prieska area of the Northern Cape, which aims to establish a gemmological centre where TE can be beneficiated into saleable and high-value products.. <![CDATA[<b>A quantitative method for selecting renewable energy projects in the mining industry based on sustainability</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-223X2014001100006&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Mining companies sponsor a range of non-core, corporate social responsibility projects to adhere to social and labour plans and environmental management prerequisites that form part of a mining licence application. Some companies go above and beyond such projects, sponsoring initiatives that generate renewable energy through solar power, wind energy, natural gas, etc. The challenge for these companies is to choose between a variety of projects to ensure maximum value, especially in times when the economic climate might be less favourable for such projects. The focus of this research was to analyse the concept of sustainability as it exists today, and to apply that to the triple bottom line accounting method in an attempt to quantify the sustainability of a project. Research was done on the methane burn-off project at Sibanye Gold's Beatrix Mine to establish how such projects are planned and financed, and what impact they have on the triple bottom line of a company. The financial bottom line is, by definition, one that executives understand. This paper also proposes a quantitative method for defining the social and environmental bottom lines as well. By considering the financial, social, and environmental values, the study attempts to determine a monetary value for a sustainable renewable energy project. This monetary value can be compared to similar values obtained for other sustainable renewable energy projects under consideration. The research suggests that monetary value alone is not enough to base a sustainable decision on, and qualitative measures are suggested for use in conjunction with quantitative methods. The selection method proposed should assist the board of a mining company to choose the most sustainable option and the project that will add the greatest value to the company across all three bottom lines. It will also provide increased justification for such renewable energy projects, even in periods of harsh or uncertain economic climates. <![CDATA[<b>Post-mining land use opportunities in developing countries - a review</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-223X2014001100007&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The origins of mine closure practice have influenced the way in which it is implemented by companies and regulators. Mine closure practices essentially started developing in the 1970s in countries with advanced economies and mature mining industries. In these settings, the emphasis was justifiably placed on restoration of the landscape and an attempt was made to return to the 'natural' pre-mining land cover. These practices continued to evolve and incorporated socio-economic and cultural aspects, especially after the Brundtland Report in 1987 and the subsequent Earth Summit in 1992. Today mining is increasingly occurring in remote parts of developing countries where there may be significant need for infrastructure such as roads, clinics, and schools. The costs of returning land to low (economic) value pre-mining use may be far greater than establishing a viable post-mining land use that could potentially add value to the community and take pressure off sites for greenfield development elsewhere. Furthermore, natural resource limitations (such as topsoil availability) may limit the degree to which the historical land cover can be re-established. Establishing post-mining land uses may aid in mitigating the loss of employment that is inevitable when mines close. Stakeholder participation in establishing post-mining land cover and land use options is critical for long-term success. Similarly, third parties must be identified to support the development of the post-mining land use. This paper draws on the experience of the authors in several developing countries and presents a case for maximizing re-use of mining infrastructure. The paper does not advocate the adoption of poor rehabilitation standards, nor or the wholesale destruction of land capability, but rather leaving key infrastructure in place for post-mining use that may support sustainable development. <![CDATA[<b>Translocation of an endangered succulent plant species from sandstone outcrops earmarked for coal mining</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-223X2014001100008&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Frithia humilis is an endangered succulent plant species. Its distribution range overlaps with the coal fields of Mpumalanga and it is therefore threatened by opencast mining activities in particular. One of the 11 known populations of F. humilis was translocated from a licensed coal mining site to three suitable receptor sites within the species' distribution range. A long-term monitoring programme was initiated to track the progress of the newly established populations. Temporal trends in population demography, size classes, and fecundity were recorded. Population numbers of size classes fluctuated annually. However, flower frequency increased over time and seedling recruitment contributed significantly to population growth. Receptor sites with similar geological conditions to the donor site had more persistent cohorts, which suggest that such sites should receive priority during the translocation of endangered edaphic specialists. This study not only confirms that a Frithia humilis population can successfully establish after a translocation, but also serves as an important baseline for future comparative purposes to gauge the long-term success of the translocation effort. <![CDATA[<b>Comparison between artisanal and small-scale mining in Ghana and South Africa: lessons learnt and ways forward</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-223X2014001100009&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) plays a fundamental role in the national and local economies of resource-rich countries in Africa. As such, more effort must be geared towards fostering this type of economic activity to sustain livelihoods in rural communities. Across Africa, efforts to operationalize ASM based on a sustainable development framework have been quite tedious and often ineffective. This is because most of these frameworks lacked context and an understanding of the continuum from the artisanal through small-scale and up to the junior miner, grouped under the general term 'ASM'. Driven by the need to contextualize some of the definitional issues in this niche sector, and gain a clearer understanding of their peculiar challenges, this paper aims to contribute to the debate on ASM by considering two of Africa's resource-rich countries - Ghana and South Africa. Since South Africa has made greater inroads in protecting the interests of small-scale miners, we thus draw comparisons from both countries' approach to ASM, outline the lessons learnt, and provide recommendations regarding the ways forward. <![CDATA[<b>Strategy towards a mining industry-wide Buy-and-Maintain Quiet initiative to reduce noise induced hearing loss</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-223X2014001100010&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) plays a fundamental role in the national and local economies of resource-rich countries in Africa. As such, more effort must be geared towards fostering this type of economic activity to sustain livelihoods in rural communities. Across Africa, efforts to operationalize ASM based on a sustainable development framework have been quite tedious and often ineffective. This is because most of these frameworks lacked context and an understanding of the continuum from the artisanal through small-scale and up to the junior miner, grouped under the general term 'ASM'. Driven by the need to contextualize some of the definitional issues in this niche sector, and gain a clearer understanding of their peculiar challenges, this paper aims to contribute to the debate on ASM by considering two of Africa's resource-rich countries - Ghana and South Africa. Since South Africa has made greater inroads in protecting the interests of small-scale miners, we thus draw comparisons from both countries' approach to ASM, outline the lessons learnt, and provide recommendations regarding the ways forward. <![CDATA[<b>Optimizing value on a copper mine by adopting a geometallurgical solution</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-223X2014001100011&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This paper describes how knowledge of the orebody morphology and ore morphology can be used to optimize the planning, mining, and metallurgical output from an open pit copper mining operation, such as to significantly increase the stability of the whole value chain process, and increase the reliability and value of the process outputs. In the case under consideration, the orebody contains both copper and cobalt. This in itself provides a challenge, in that the two metals do not occur in consistent ratios across the orebody as a whole. Furthermore, mineralogical differences within the orebody have a significant impact on plant performance in terms of throughput rates, acid consumption, and recoveries. In order to stabilize and optimize the plant performance, it is necessary to firstly have a complete understanding of the geometallurgical factors that affect performance, and then to have a sound knowledge of how these are distributed within the orebody. These models then inform the mine planning strategy that optimizes cash flow and NPV, and also allow the development of a stockpiling strategy that not only stabilizes the plant, but also allows variations in the plant feed according to ore type and grade in volatile price scenarios. Integral to the realization of these opportunities is the establishment of an appropriate measuring, control, and reconciliation system, customized to the optimization objectives. The paper describes how all of these factors and strategies can be integrated to produce optimal value from the orebody through to final dispatched product. It also shows the significant value that can be released through such an approach. <![CDATA[<b>Liquid-liquid extraction and separation of copper(II) and nickel(II) using LIX®984N</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-223X2014001100012&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The extraction of copper(II) from sulphate solution was investigated using LIX®984N in kerosene. The parameters that could affect the extraction, such as equilibrium pH, extractant concentration, salt concentration, various diluents, and temperature, were separately investigated. On the basis of slope analysis, the complex formed in the organic phase is proposed to be CuR2, where R is the anionic part of LIX®984N. The extraction equilibrium constant and Gibbs free energy (AG) of the extraction process were determined. The positive value of AH obtained from temperature variation studies showed that the extraction process is endothermic. The extraction of copper was lowest when chloroform was used as the diluent. Separation and recovery of copper from a synthetic copper-nickel solution containing 6.35 g/L Cu(II) and 0.58 g/L Ni(II) was carried out using 20%(v/v) LIX® 984N. The separation factor (β = ZWDmí) was found to be pH-dependent. A two-stage batch countercurrent extraction was carried out at an O:A ratio of 3:4 at equilibrium pH 1.05 for extraction of copper from copper-nickel solution, followed by copper stripping from the loaded organic phase with 15% H2SO4 at an O:A ratio of 3:1. <![CDATA[<b>Characterization and flocculation studies of fine coal tailings</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-223X2014001100013&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es The re-use of waste water from coal preparation plant tailings is always desirable, but is generally problematic in terms of solid-liquid separation. Dewatering and disposal of coal slurry at a high percentage of moisture poses a major technological and environmental challenge to mining and mineral processing industries world-wide. Characterization and floccu-lation of these coal tailings reveals that the separation of fine coal tailings depends on factors such as size distribution, slurry viscosity, zeta potential, pulp density, circuit design, plant operating parameters, and the behaviour of solid particles in an aqueous medium. The present study was carried out on -600 mm coal tailings collected from a coking coal preparation plant of Jharia Coalfield, India, using anionic flocculent. Characterization studies revealed that the zeta potential was highest (-44 mV) at a pH of 9.0, the size range of the particles was 1.1-700 μτη, and the average ash content was 62.57%. Flocculation studies were performed at different solid concentrations, pH values, and polymer dosages. The results indicated an efficient settling rate of 178.15 mm/min at 8% solid (w/w) at a flocculent dosage of 32.50 g/t solid. The turbidity of the clear liquid obtained was 7.42 NTU. <![CDATA[<b>Beneficiation of marble from Griekwastad, Northern Cape Province</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-223X2014001100014&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es This paper is based on a study to determine the potential beneficiation opportunities for marble from Griekwastad in the Northern Cape Province. The marble was characterized mineralogically by X-ray diffraction. Major and trace elements were determined using inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy. The sample was crushed, and the crushed material beneficiated by tumbling and polishing. The resulting beads were incorporated into a variety of jewellery and other decorative items. It is concluded that the beneficiation of Griekwastad marble presents a good opportunity for value addition and job creation, provided that an effective marketing strategy for the products can be developed.. <![CDATA[<b>Perceptions of the impact of board members' individual perspectives on the social and environmental performance of companies</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-223X2014001100015&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Large mining companies generally follow the distributed ownership corporate model, with a board of directors responsible for decisions that affect both shareholder value and stakeholders of the company. The board is simultaneously responsible for setting the culture and values of the corporation, which drive performance and priorities. Companies listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE) commit to sustainable development in various ways, either by virtue of implementing the King Code of Governance 2009 (King III) and/or through their own public reporting on social and environmental matters. Many mining companies make public statements regarding their support for environmental stewardship, ethical behaviour, and fair treatment of communities. It is a local, regional, and indeed, global phenomenon that companies fail to deliver on these statements. Research was carried out through the Institute of Directors of Southern Africa in 2007, and followed up in 2012, regarding directors' understanding of sustainable development issues, the relative priorities, what is needed for 'radical change' to effect sustainable development, and what enables or constrains the latter. Pertinent findings of both surveys are presented in this paper, and it is suggested that 'on-the-ground' performance may be indicative of the nature of leadership and decisions in the topmost ranks of the company. The results indicated that environmental concerns fall consistently below social issues. Financial capital ranked most important, and while environmental issues are recognized as being of strategic concern for the long-term, they ranked as being the lowest importance of all 'Five Capitals' (Financial, Manufactured, Social, Human, and Natural). Social capital ranked second lowest, with black economic empowerment being the only high-priority social issue. There is also evidence that certain companies within the mining sector fail to recognize their absolute dependence on natural resources. Much is made in academic and popular literature of the need for a new type of leadership for the radical shift to sustainable development: at company level this implies therefore a new type of director. The research found that only 14 per cent of directors felt that board decisions are consistent with their personal values; while intentions are strong to behave ethically and serve sustainable development, actions to give effect to these intentions lag significantly. Respondents indicated that the top impediments to courageous leadership for sustainable development related to personal issues of maintaining the image of being a director, fear of appearing weak, fear of being a lone voice, and bowing to board-colleague peer pressure.