New research highlights geotechnical issues when decommissioning coalmines

With international policies pushing for the reduction of carbon emissions around the world, large-scale exploitation of surface lignite (brown coal) mines is gradually becoming uneconomical. As a result, many countries around the world are requiring coal mining companies to plan for the entirety of a mining operation’s life cycle, which includes developing a plan to decommission and close mines when they are no longer profitable. Surface coal mining poses a…

Million-dollar flag

The South African Government is facing criticism after earlier this year proposing to spend $1.3 million US to construct a 100-metre tall ‘monumental flag’ – with US$300,000 proposed for geotechnical studies alone. The government’s plans have been met with outrage and criticism from citizens, political parties, and other groups following the department’s budget vote speech in May where the costs were revealed. The department was criticised for spending exorbitant amounts…

News that is out of this world

NASA’s InSight Mars lander has detected the strongest quake ever detected, not only on Mars but on any planet besides Earth. The temblor had an estimated magnitude 5 and on 4 May 2022. This adds to the catalog of more than 1,313 quakes InSight has detected since landing on Mars in November 2018. The largest previously recorded quake had an estimated magnitude 4.2 and was detected on August 25, 2021.…