All articles by Heidi Vella

Heidi Vella

“Shocked and appalled”: ending sexual harassment and bullying in Australian mining

Two distressing reports have made clear the extent of bullying and sexual harassment in the Australian mining sector. As the industry reckons with their findings, Heidi Vella asks: what can – and is – being done about it?

The $13tn question: Will Uganda’s newest gold deposit change the face of mining?

New gold discoveries in Uganda, valued at close to $13tn, are set to ”make waves in the global market”. Heidi Vella finds out more.

Marine mining: lessons from Namibia

The seabed is considered one of the last mining frontiers. Yet offshore Namibia, De Beers has been commercially prospecting the sea since 2002. But how does marine mining for diamonds in Namibia’s shallow waters compare to plans for deep sea mining for rare earth minerals, and can the latter replicate the former’s success? We investigate.

Can South Africa’s new leader reinvigorate its battered mining sector?

South Africa’s mining industry is struggling amid falling commodity prices, legislative uncertainty, union unrest and energy insecurity; yet the industry is hopeful the newly elected president, Cyril Ramaphosa, a former mining company director and union leader, will save the day. But can he deliver? Heidi Vella investigates.

When funding fuels fire: the ins and outs of responsible mining finance

The World Bank’s Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) is currently considering a complaint made by Guinean villagers against the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a sister organisation of the World Bank, for funding the expansion of a controversial bauxite mining project. Such grievances are not uncommon; which begs the questions, is CAO powerful enough to hold organisations, including its own, to account when grievances occur? Heidi Vella investigates.

Mining safety by changing cultures: Actions to overcome worker fatigue

As part of an ongoing series produced in association with Carroll Technologies examining health and safety best practice and innovation at mining and industrial sites, Todd Dawson, project manager of fatigue services at Caterpillar Inc, discusses how to mitigate fatigue-related accidents and injuries. 

MinEx: the hunt for tech to turn around mineral discovery

The new A$218m MinEx Cooperative Research Centre has been launched in Australia to boost the country’s declining mineral discovery rates. With most of the low-hanging fruit already extracted, its ambition is to develop next-generation drilling for faster, more efficient exploration.

Rwandan miners want to scrap traceability fees, but are they justified?

The Rwandan Mining Association is calling for a locally implemented due diligence and traceability system to be scrapped, claiming it is too expensive and unnecessary, as Rwanda is a conflict-free country. Are they right? Heidi Vella investigates.

Talking mining safety with Hudbay Minerals: ‘Keep your mind on the job’

As part of an ongoing series produced in association with Carroll Technologies examining health and safety best practise and innovation at mining and industrial sites, Ian Cooper, the manager of health and safety at Hudbay Minerals, discusses why advances in underground Wi-Fi and other technologies can ‘lift the lid on underground mines.’

Giant mining vessels: how high-quality gems are exploited from the sea

While most mining is done on dry land, off the coast of Namibia, a De Beer’s co-owned venture is searching for high-grade diamonds by dredging the seabed with giant mining vessels. To scale up its operation, the company recently signed a refitting deal with Wärtsilä and last year invested in the largest diamond mining vessel ever built. Heidi Vella discovers more about marine mining technology.