Zwane Suspends South African Mining Charter

South Africa’s contentious mining law update, which increased mandatory black ownership, management participation and suppliers, has been suspended, the country’s Chamber of Mines said on Friday, July 14.

The new Mining Charter was introduced last month to the shock of the industry, which had not been consulted in its creation. Among the provisions were an increase of black ownership from 26% to 30%, and at least 70% of all suppliers were to be from black-owned firms.

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GE to Boost ENGIE Generation Capacity in Australia

ENGIE, one of Australia’s leading independent power companies, has selected GE’s Power Services to modernize generation equipment at its 1,056-megawatt (MW) Loy Yang B coal-fired power station in Victoria, Australia. GE will upgrade two Hitachi heavy-duty steam turbines, targeting to boost capacity by a combined 84 MW and reducing fuel consumption by approximately 5% for each MW generated.

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Consortium to Conduct Feasibility for Dighipara in Bangladesh

RPMGlobal has entered into an advisory services contract with Barapakuria Coal Mining Co. Ltd. (BCMCL) as a member of a three team consortium with Fugro Consult GmbH and Mibrag Consulting International GmbH to deliver a feasibility study for development of the Dighipara coalfield, located in Dighipara, Dinajpur, Bangladesh.

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India to Allocate Additional Coal Blocks for Alternative Fuel Production

Close on the heels of opening up coal mining to private miners, the Indian government has decided to allocate additional coal blocks for exclusive development of projects for production of alternative fuel, by domestic and foreign companies.

According to an official in the Coal Ministry, the government has started the process of identifying coal blocks that would be suitable for production of alternative fuels like coal-to-gas, coal-to-liquid and coal-to-polychemicals by domestic and foreign companies that have the required technologies for implementing such projects.

Such coal blocks, which would be amenable to production of such alternative fuels, would be allocated through the auction route to bidders who submit their required technical and financial experience. In the case of foreign investors, the Indian government would be open to such companies taking up projects in joint ventures with Indian partners, the official added.

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South Korea Considers Closing Coal-fired Power Plants

South Korea will temporarily shut down 10 coal-fired power plants that are more than 30 years old next month to mitigate air pollution, according to the Straits Times. New South Korean President Moon Jae In vowed during his election campaign to close the old coal power plants and to review a plan to increase coal power generation. He also advocated for increasing the share of renewable energy. The South Korean presidential office, or the Blue House, said it will temporarily suspend operations of the older coal power plants in June for one month to reduce the incidence of fine-dust pollution that they cause. Moon instructed his senior secretary for social affairs to set up a government body dedicated to tackling the fine-dust issue, which would act as a task force team inside the government. The temporary shutdown is likely to have little impact on South Korea’s power supply, an energy ministry official said, as they represent only 4% of the country’s energy supply.

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