29 September

The European Commission (EC) is expected to give consent to a plan to gradually close mines owned by Poland-based coal producing company PGG and provide more public aid for the industry. The spread of Covid-19 among mining workers is said to have added to problems facing the country’s mining industry as demand for coal declines and costs increase. Poland’s government signed an agreement with PGG’s trade unions to gradually close its coal mines by 2049, putting an end to weeks of negotiations on the company’s restructuring. The agreement is pending approval from the EC. Deputy Assets Minister Artur Sobon told radio station TOK FM: “I would be surprised if the European Commission, considering the social approval for phasing out mining, said no.”

United Nations human rights expert David Boyd said that Colombia needs to suspend some of the operations of coal mining company Cerrejon, citing health as well as environmental concerns. Boyd’s statement comes following a request by a British barrister alleging that mining has damaged the health of local Wayuu indigenous people. Reuters quoted Boyd as saying in a statement: “I call on Colombia to implement the directives of its own Constitutional Court and to do more to protect the very vulnerable Wayuu…against pollution from the huge El Cerrejon mine and from Covid-19.” Boyd further added that people living with higher levels of air pollution face increased risk of death from the virus.

Global Atomic has submitted the mining permit application for its Dasa Uranium Project in Niger, as planned. President and CEO Stephen Roman said that despite the challenges thrown by the Covid-19 pandemic this year, the company was able to make considerable progress on the Dasa Project. Recently a development and operating plan, an environmental impact statement, as well as a hydrogeological study were completed, all of which are key components of its mining permit application.