MINE digital magazine: issue 53

In this issue: Canada’s foreign human rights record, prospecting in Ecuador, finding new minerals, neutralising mine acid waste, tracing Australia’s METS sector journey, airborne medics in Africa, and more.


Canada is seriously reviewing whether it needs to appoint a human rights ombudsman following growing allegations of violations in overseas operations. With controversy rife amongst some Canadian mining firms, we assess how an independent international ombudsman could affect the industry and workers.

Also, we speak to Med Air Africa founders to hear how they provide emergency medical assistance to operations in the most hostile regions, see how major companies’ interest in Ecuador has highlighted this region as an option for exploration, and look into the finer details of Australia’s plan to reinvigorate its METS sector.

Plus we find out what it takes to unearth and identify new minerals and their uses, speak to Terra CO2 Technologies about its pilot plant technology to reduce acid rock drainage and carbon emissions, and catch up with Wealth Minerals on the position of demand for lithium in Chile.

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In this issue

On the Brink: Ecuador’s Investment Explosion
Ecuadorian officials are reportedly in talks with major mining firms over a potential entry into exploration projects. This seemingly simple action has highlighted Ecuador as an investment opportunity, but will it spark interest from other companies?  
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An Inspector Calls
Canada is ‘seriously reviewing’ the idea of appointing a human rights ombudsman to monitor and investigate its mining companies operating abroad. With seemingly endless controversy for some Canadian miners’ foreign operations, how could an international ombudsman improve the situation?
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Microscopic Curiosities and Finding New Minerals
Scientists are still pouring over the tiny silver-grey philaments of Merelanite - a newly identified mineral from the Merelani Mining District in Tanzania. This begs the question, what other minerals remain undiscovered, what are their uses and how do we find them? We find out.
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Waste Not, Want Not
Terra CO2 Technologies has created a solution to reduce or eliminate the effects of mine acid rock drainage using captured carbon dioxide. With a pilot plant scheduled for July this year, we profile this promising environmental technology.
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Igniting Australia’s METS Sector
Australia’s industry and government are working to strengthen the global competitiveness of Australia’s mining equipment, technology and servicies (METS) industry across five programme areas. We examine METS Ignited’s ten-year Sector Competitiveness Plan.
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Flying in Medical Support
Set up to provide essential medical support for remote locations across Africa, Med Air Africa provides doctors and emergency assistance to mining operations in hostile regions. We spoke to the founders to find out just what it takes.
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A Wealth of Opportunity for Lithium
Wealth Minerals is embarking on a new lithium project in the Atacama Salar of Chile. Lithium demand is growing and Atacama seems promising. Wealth Minerals CEO Henk Van Alphen talks lithium.
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In the next issue

NASA is working on automated mining technologies that could help a potential Mars colony sustain itself using local resources and has built a robotic digger prototype, while SpaceX founder Elon Musk has discussed the need for tunnelling robots to uncover pressurised industrial spaces. We examine the tech behind the dawn of the space age.

Also, as microbes can play a vital role in mining operations but also cause havoc, such as acid rock drainage, we ask which are the ones to look out for.

Plus, with diamond miners pushing back against synthetic diamond technology we see if progress be halted, we profile the top ten risks facing the industry according to Ernst & Young, find out how Pakistan plans to restart its mineral after repealing an eight-year ban on legal miners, and take a look at the new technologies helping achieve safe and successful site shutdowns.

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