29 November 2011Fiscal austerity during the current straitened economic times is no excuse for countries not delivering on their aid commitments, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, calling for a united front from the international community to help the poor. Speaking to journalists in Busan, Republic of Korea, where he will address the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness tomorrow, Mr. Ban said it was vital that the meeting send an “unequivocal message” that the world remains committed to making the social and economic targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) a reality.The forum, which began today and runs until Thursday, brings together representatives of governments, the private sector and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from around the world to discuss how to make aid more effective and helpful to those in need.Mr. Ban described the forum as important to shaping how aid will be delivered through 2015, the target year for achieving the MDGs, which range from slashing maternal mortality and extreme poverty to halting environmental degradation.Noting that the forum is taking place at a time when the world is experiencing a severe economic crisis, he said that austerity must not be used as an excuse for not delivering on existing aid commitments.The Secretary-General also told reporters that the results of the Busan forum will help inform discussions at the global summit on sustainable development, known as Rio+20, which will be held in Brazil next June.
Minerals Down Under is working closely with mining companies, SMEs and mining technology service providers to develop technology-based solutions to address the challenges of increasing production costs, declining ore grades, complex ores with higher levels of impurities and increasing pressure from regulators to improve environmental performance. It is seeking expressions of interest in improving tailings management.With increasing production rates and declining ore grades the volume of tailings is rapidly increasing, making their management one of the big challenges facing the minerals industry.Recent developments in the understanding of flocculation, gravity thickening, slurry pipeline transport, conveying and tailings stack design, present an opportunity to significantly improve the design and operation of tailings storage facilities (TSF).CSIRO, ATC Williams and the University of Western Australia (UWA), through AMIRA International, propose a multidisciplinary research initiative to improve the economic and environmental performance of TSFs. Through the P1087 Integrated Tailings Management project researchers intend to:Develop a reliable and integrated suite of measurement and modelling tools to assess and design tailings preparation systems for both brownfield and greenfield sitesDevelop tools to assess the stability and seepage behaviour of deposited paste and thickened tailingsBuild and share a comprehensive knowledge base of ‘best practice in design and operation’ across the minerals industryIdentify opportunities for new configurations of dewatering, tailings transport and storage with the intention of facilitating a step change improvement in tailings managementAssist sponsors to apply the project outcomes for their specific needsMake key tools developed available to sponsors using proven technology transfer processes.