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Wits unveils oldest hominid fossil Wits unveils oldest hominid fossil
Published: 19 Jan 18
The oldest and most complete fossil of an Australopithecus prometheus, named Little Foot owing to the 1994 discovery of four small foot bones by University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) Evolutionary Studies Institute Professor Ron Clarke, in the Sterkfontein caves, was unveiled in December. The fossil has been dated about 3.67-million years old. Its discovery is expected to add a wealth of knowledge about the appearance, full skeletal anatomy, limb lengths and locomotor abilities of one of the species of early ancestral relatives, called hominids.
Launch of new fire suppression solution in Africa slated for 2018 Launch of new fire suppression solution in Africa slated for 2018
Published: 19 Jan 18
Fire-suppression solutions supplier Fire and Security Techniques is eager to introduce the African mining industry to a new fire-suppression solution, Tunnel Safe, which will allow for safer evacuation of mineworkers underground during a fire, to the African mining industry.  CEO Neil Hughes tells Mining Weekly that Tunnel Safe was developed over the past three years in Denmark, in conjunction with the Danish Institute of Fire Technology, and is due to undergo approval testing for use as a fire-suppression solution in very challenging tunnel environments. The company has recently acquired distributorship for the technology in Africa, with the target to begin distributing it to mining and other operations in Africa in late 2018.
Opencast mining tyre safety increased with use of up to 98% pure nitrogen Opencast mining tyre safety increased with use of up to 98% pure nitrogen
Published: 19 Jan 18
On-site nitrogen generator supplier NitraLife has supplied numerous opencast mines across Southern Africa with nitrogen generators, and has noticed increased nitrogen use to inflate large off-the-road (OTR) tyres of mining vehicles. The company has established its client base in the region over the past 22 years, servicing the opencast mining sector both locally and in Africa from its offices in Kyalami, Johannesburg.
S Africa may lose out to other African gas sectors S Africa may lose out to other African gas sectors
Published: 19 Jan 18
Several major international independent power producers and power generation developers are interested in South Africa’s gas-to-power programme (GPP), for which direction in the form of request for quotations and request for proposals from the Department of Energy (DoE) is keenly awaited. However, developers may focus their attention on other parts of Africa or other parts of the world where similar opportunities exist if South Africa does not speed up its drive forward in its gas economy, says engineering consultant WSP power generation director Wayne Lindecke.
Up to ten midtier mineral deposits can still be discovered  in South Africa – resources consultant Up to ten midtier mineral deposits can still be discovered in South Africa – resources consultant
Published: 19 Jan 18
There is no reason why South Africa cannot build an exploration and junior mining sector, says resources consultant Dr John Bristow, who notes that while the country has vestiges of this sector, it is hampered by regulatory policy, and a preoccupation with a “Sunset” mining industry. Speaking at the the Geological Society of South Africa’s Exploration Showcase, held in Johannesburg, in November, he went so far as to suggest that, as the country’s old orebodies are becoming depleted within the vacuum of a lack of new visible potential, this has led to a zero-sum game which is detrimental to all stakeholders and, subsequently, a surfeit of reasons for the replacement of mined-out orebodies.
Envoy urges SA, Brazil to share ideas on improving mining Envoy urges SA, Brazil to share ideas on improving mining
Published: 19 Jan 18
With the mining sector having played a significant role in the history and development of South Africa and Brazil, it is “natural and appropriate” that the two countries come together to discuss and exchange ideas about how to improve the mining sector in both countries, says Ambassador of Brazil Nedilson Jorge. Speaking at a seminar hosted by the Embassy of Brazil, in Johannesburg, last month – during which perspectives relating to the two countries’ mining and legal frameworks were shared by industry stakeholders – he emphasised that the government of Brazil was committed to continuing proposing measures to encourage the growth of its mining industry.
Bakubung Koepe rope-up procedure successfully completed
Published: 19 Jan 18
South Africa’s first locally designed and built mobile rope-handling system, engineered for installing both head and tail ropes onto a four-rope Koepe friction winder, was successfully used at Wesizwe Platinum’s Bakubung mine in the North West. The system was designed and manufactured by the Tech Edge Group, based in Johannesburg, in conjunction with lead consulting engineers for the project WorleyParsons. 
Ethical leadership, good governance and favourable policies will see mining investors flocking to SA – chamber
Published: 19 Jan 18
The findings of a December-2017 released survey conducted by the Chamber of Mines (CoM) indicate that if South Africa’s mining industry shifts its focus to create an attractive policy, regulatory and governance environment – through ethical leadership, good governance and the adoption of competitive, stable and predictable policies – considerable new investment in mining could take place.
South African company building new smelter in Zimbabwe South African company building new smelter in Zimbabwe
Published: 19 Jan 18
Foundry and engineering company Thos Begbie is working in the Great Dyke of Zimbabwe, close to the town of Shurungwi, where it is helping to construct the Unki platinum smelter, adjacent to a mining operation owned by platinum mining company Anglo American Platinum (Amplats). Thos Begbie was awarded the contract for the new smelter last year by Amplats, owing to a government regulation set out in 2015, which replaces the Mines and Minerals Act of 1963, restricting the exportation of raw minerals from Zimbabwe. The new regulation – the Mines and Minerals Development Bill – was approved in 2016 by then President Robert Mugabe, who was replaced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in November 2017.
Miner prioritises zinc production in strong market Miner prioritises zinc production in strong market
Published: 19 Jan 18
Canadian miner Nevsun Resources has ensured improved zinc recoveries at its zinc/copper/gold Bisha mine, in Eritrea, through its decision in August to allocate additional capital to the mine and delay the delivery of the prefeasibility study (PFS) for its Serbia-based Timok copper/gold to the first quarter of 2018.
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