EPA Provides Updates on MNG Gold Mine Incident

first_imgMr. Goll addresses the media at EPA head office in SinkorA crisis management team (CMT) set up by the government to investigate the recent chemical spill incident that affected 34 persons at the MNG Gold Mines in Kokoya, Bong County, is making efforts not just to unveil what might have gone wrong, but also institute stringent measures that would ensure that such an unfortunate incident doesn’t happen again.It may be recalled that there was a chemical spill when a section of the geo-membrane of the Tailing Storage Facility (TSF) ruptured at the MNG Gold facility, affecting the victims who were taken to Phebe Hospital in Suakoko for immediate medical examination. The situation has since been greeted with angry reactions across the country—and the government, through the CMT, has since taken steps to remedy it.The rupture resulted in an uncontrolled discharge of ‘slurry’ containing a high concentration of cyanide into the Sein Creek and the surrounding environment.At a press conference on Tuesday, the CMT, led by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), availed its findings by technicians who visited the site from October 5-7.EPA Deputy Executive Director Urias Goll, who addressed the press conference, said: “No free cyanide (a deadly chemical used to extract gold) was detected in the nearby Sein Creek which had a concentration level of 0.310ppm during the first trip.”All six hand pumps in the community, Mr. Goll said, were assessed but found no cyanide concentration, thus no impact on groundwater at the moment.Compared to the previous assessment, Mr. Goll noted that the free cyanide levels have decreased by 44 percent from 0.966ppm to 0.540ppm within the TSF. “It can be accepted considering the limit is 50mg/L in TSF according to International Cyanide Management Code,” he said.As a temporary measure to remedy the crisis, the EPA and CMT have authorized MNG to take some immediate actions. One of these is for the company to de-water the TSF that holds about 300,000 cubic meters of water under strict compliance with IFC standards and the Water Quality Guidelines of Liberia.“A third party has been hired to conduct compliance testing and monitoring during the de-watering process. This de-watering process is intended to access the full damage of the TSF in order to ensure comprehensive rehabilitation and repair,” Goll noted.MNG will construct a mini-dam (TSF) as an interim measure to continue its operations while the current TSF is being adequately repaired. However, the mini-dam is already part of the expansion plan developed by MNG.The CMT also indicated that out of the 34 persons hospitalized at Phebe Hospital, only 6 have required further examination and the rest have been discharged without any complication. “We have not received the latest medical report from the 6 persons but will inform the public once the doctor submits the details of the examination,” he indicated.MNG has provided food items (300 bags of rice, 4 cartons of chicken, 3 cartons of beef) and 4 poly tanks to supply clean and safe drinking water to the community for the month of October.MNG–Gold is a Turkish Mining company working in several parts of Kokoyah District in Bong County. The company took over from the American-Liberian Mining Company (Amlib) in 2013 following a mutual agreement between the two companies.The government, immediately upon the occurrence of the incident, organized the CMT, which has been working with MNG Gold and the community to amicably remedy the situation.The CMT is also responsible to ensure that the impact of the disaster does not leave any side effects, long or short-term, on the affected communities, especially their sources of water. The CMT also wants to ensure that such a situation does not happen again.The CMT will again visit the site on October 19 to continue its investigation. MMG-Gold suspended its operations since the incident on September 23.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Sudafrikas Wetter und Klima

first_imgEin subtropischer Standort, vom Ozean von drei Seiten des Landes und der Hohe des inneren Plateaus gestaltet, sind fur warmen Temperaturen und Bedingungen von Sudafrika verantwortlich, die so typisch sind – und so beliebt bei auslandischen Besuchern.Sudafrika ist fur seinen Sonnenschein beruhmt. Es ist ein relativ trockenes Land mit einem durchschnittlichen jahrlichen Niederschlagsmenge von (mit einem Weltdurchschnitt von etwa 860 mm verglichen) etwa 464 mm. Wahrend das Westkap im Winter den meisten Regen abbekommt, ist der Rest des Landes im allgemeinen ein Sommer-Regen Gebiet.Gleichzeitig tendieren die Temperaturen in Sudafrika dazu, hauptsachlich aufgrund der hoheren Erhebung uber dem Meeresspiegel, niedriger zu sein als in anderen Landern auf ahnlichen Breitengraden – wie z.B. Australien.Auf dem inneren Plateau halt die Hohe – Johannesburg liegt bei 1.694 Metern – die durchschnittlichen Sommertemperaturen unterhalb 30°C. Im Winter konnen nachtliche Temperaturen aus demselben Grund bis zum Gefrierpunkt, an einigen Stellen sogar darunter, fallen.Sudafrikas Kustenregionen sind im Winter deshalb am warmsten. Es gibt jedoch einen erheblichen Kontrast zwischen den Temperaturen der ostlichen und westlichen Kusten den Landes, respektive aufgrund der warmen Agulhastrome und der kalten Benguelastrome, die and den Kustenlinien entlangschiessen.In der sudlichen Hemisphare sind unsere Jahreszeiten entgegengesetzt zu denen Europas und Nordamerikas; und ja, wir verbringen tatsachlich Weihnachten am Strand.SommerIn den meisten Teilen Sudafrikas ist der Sommer (Mitte Oktober bis Mitte Februar) von heißem, sonnigem Wetter mit haufigen Nachmittagsgewittern charakterisiert, die schnell aufklaren und einen warmen, erdigen, eindeutig afrikanischen Geruch in der Luft hinterlassen.Das Westkap bildet mit seinem Mittelmeerklima die Ausnahme, hier regnet es im Winter.HerbstDer Herbst (Mitte Februar bis April) bietet in Sudafrika auf eine Art das beste Wetter. Es fallt sehr wenig Regen im ganzen Land und es ist warm, aber nicht zu heiß, wobei es mit fortschreitender Jahreszeit kalter wird.In Kapstadt ist der Herbst mit heißen sonnigen Tagen und warmen, laue Nachten, die viele Leute in Cafes im Freien verbringen, phantastisch.WinterDer Winter in Sudafrika (Mai bis Juli) ist in den hoher gelegenen Bereiche des inneren Plateaus charakterisiert von Trockenheit, sonnigen frischen Tagen und kalten Nachten. Also ist es eine gute Idee, warme Kleidung mitzubringen.Sowohl die heiße, schwule KwaZulu Kuste, wie auch das Lowveld (tiefer liegende Gebiete) der Mpumalanga und Limpopo Provinzen, bieten phantastisches Winterwetter mit sonnigen, leicht warmeren Tagen und praktisch ohne Wind oder Regen.Das Westkap bekommt im Winter den meisten Regen mit ziemlich viele Tagen des bedeckten, regnerischen Wetters ab. Jedoch wird diese Zeite immer wieder von wunderbaren Tagen unterbrochen, die sich mit den Besten eines britischen Sommers messen konnen.In den hohen Bergen des Kaps und auf dem Drakensberg in KwaZulu Natal schneit es im Winter normalerweise.FruhlingNirgends in Sudafrika ist der Fruhling (August bis Mitte Oktober) spektakularer als in den Provinzen des Kaps. Hier ist der graue Winter vergessen, wenn tausend kleine, sonst unscheinbare Pflanzen die Ebenen mit einem schillernden Blumenteppich bedecken.Viele Sudafrikaner begeben sich auf eine alljahliche Wallfahrt, um die Blumen vom Namaqualand am West- und Nordkap zu sehen.Wann ist die beste Jahreszeit zum Reisen?Es kommt darauf an, was Sie tun mochten. Die Blumen sind offensichtlich am schonsten im August und im September. Die beste Zeit zur Wildbeobachtung ist im spaten Fruhjahr (September und Oktober). Die richtigen Wale aus dem Suden treiben von Mitte Juni bis Ende Oktober an unsere Kusten herum.Tauchen tut man in weiten Teilen des Landes am besten jenseits der Sommermonage (d.h. von April bis Ende September) und das gleiche gilt fur das Surfen – aber das beschrankt diese beiden Aktivitaten bestimmt nicht auf jene Zeiten.Flussrafting ist besser am Kap gegen Ende des Winters und in KwaZulu Natal in der Hohe des Sommers (Spatnovember bis Mitte Februar). In Mpumalanga und Limpopo ist es weniger jahreszeitabhangig.Die “Schulter”-Jahreszeiten – Fruhjahr und Herbst – sind am besten geeignet fur Wandern, weil der Sommer in großen Teilen des Landes heiß sein kann. Am Drakensberg sind Sommergewitter gefahrlich, wahrend es im Winter gute Chancen auf Schnee gibt. Am Kap sind die Winter nass und das Wandern somit gelegentlich knallhart.Fur den Fall, dass Sie Vogelliebhaber sind: die palaoarktischen Zugvogel kommen um den November herum und die innerafrikanischen Zugvogel normalerweise bis Mitte Oktober an.Wenn Sie naturlich lieber an den Stranden herumfaulenzen wollen, ist der Hochsommer die beste Zeit – obwohl dann auch alle anderen dort sind. Und – großer Bonus – die Strande von NordkwaZulu Natal sind sogar Mitte Winter warm und sonnig.SAinfo reporter, mit Material von South African Tourismlast_img read more

Indians ‘helped build the new SA’

first_img Source: BuaNews 16 November 2010 The positive role that Indians played in South Africa’s reconstruction and development was an example of how immigrants could help build a country, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said at a dinner marking the arrival of the first Indian indentured labourers in South Africa 150 years ago. Addressing a gala dinner hosted by the 1860 Legacy Foundation in honour of the Indian labourers who came to South Africa exactly 150 years ago on Tuesday, Motlanthe said the country’s Indians had played a huge role in the struggle against apartheid.Chose to side with black South Africans Though under apartheid they were considered as second to whites in the racial hierarchy, Indians had consciously chosen to support blacks and coloureds and had played a critical role in the struggle for a non-racial society. He pointed to the formation of the Transvaal and Natal Indian Congresses and the African Peoples’ Organisation, which predated the formation of the ANC and played a vital role in the struggle against colonialism. The first discriminatory legislation directed at Indians, Law 3 of 1885, was passed in the Transvaal and was aimed at demarcating certain areas to Indians and ensuring that Indians did not own fixed property outside of these areas.Gandhi and his successors Motlanthe commended the role that Mahatma Gandhi, who lived in South Africa for 20 years, had played in the struggle against oppression in the country, particularly through his philosophy of passive resistance. Gandhi’s views on the upliftment of all people and castes, of the equal treatment of women and of building bridges between peoples and religions, remained as relevant today as ever, he said. He noted Gandhi’s role in the stretcher bearer corps in helping the wounded Africans during the Bambatha rebellion of 1906. When Gandhi returned to India, his work in South Africa was taken up by other Indian leaders, such as Yusuf Dadoo, Farouk Meer, Ahmed Kathrada and Billy Nair. “There were those who joined Umkhonto weSizwe, like Mac Maharaj and Laloo Chiba, and still others incarcerated on Robben Island for their roles, like Indres Naidoo,” he said.Towards a shared South African-ness Motlanthe was optimistic that South Africans would one day be able to develop a common identity not based on ethnicity or race. “We can reach a point of maturity in our national consciousness where it is second nature to think of oneself as a South African first and a black or white person after,” he said. Motlanthe said that the country’s recent history, which spanned decades of non-racial struggle, should be an “unlimited resource” to moving South Africa forward. “Based on this rich history, thrown up by the act of the arrival of the Indian indentured labourers, we would do well to define the direction we are taking as a country today,” he said. Racism in South Africa, he said, was a conscious effort at social engineering and could equally be defeated by conscious efforts. He said justice, equality and economic well-being for all South Africans were critical in expanding and deepening a non-racial future for the country. “We must reach a point where this diversity in our collective life is not a mechanical practice or a contrived outcome, but an instinctive exercise that comes naturally.”last_img read more

May beef exports shatter value record while pork exports trend lower

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest U.S. beef exports set a new value record in May while also increasing significantly year-over-year in volume, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). May pork exports were lower than a year ago, though January-May totals for U.S. pork remained ahead of last year’s pace.Beef export volume was 117,871 metric tons (mt) in May, the sixth-largest on record, valued at a remarkable $722.1 million, which surpassed the previous monthly high (March 2018) by a healthy 4% and was 24% higher than a year ago. Through the first five months of 2018, beef exports were up 10% in volume to 547,157 mt while export value was $3.32 billion, 21% above last year’s record pace.Exports accounted for 13.6% of total beef production in May, up from 13% a year ago. For muscle cuts only, the%age exported was 11.1%, up from 10% last year. For January through May, exports accounted for 13.5% of total beef production and 10.9% for muscle cuts – up from 12.8% and 10%, respectively, last year.Beef export value averaged $313.39 per head of fed slaughter in May, up 18% from a year ago. The January-May average was $317.69 per head, also up 18%.Following a record performance in April, May pork export volume was 217,209 mt, down 2% from a year ago and reflecting smaller exports of variety meats. Export value was $562.5 million, down 3.5%. For January through May, pork export volume was still 3% ahead of last year’s record pace at 1.08 million mt, while value increased 6% to $2.85 billion.Exports accounted for 27.8% of total pork production in May, down from 29.5% a year ago, while the percentage of muscle cuts exported fell about one percentage point to 24%. For January through May, the percentage of total production exported was slightly below last year at 27.5%, while the percentage of muscle cuts exported increased slightly to 23.7%.May pork export value averaged $55.05 per head slaughtered, down 6% from a year ago. The January-May per-head average was $55.57, up 2% from last year.Exports of U.S. lamb were 998 mt in May, up 57% from a year ago and the largest volume since December 2015. Export value was up 10% to $1.8 million. For January through May, exports increased 43% in volume (4,455 mt) and 15% in value ($9.1 million). While much of this growth was driven by larger variety meat exports to Mexico, muscle cut exports increased year-over-year to the Caribbean, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Singapore, the Philippines and Taiwan.last_img read more

Ranching in the Cloud

first_imgRanching in the CloudIn our system, the rancher, and only the rancher, decides that he wishes to tag his cattle. If rustling is a problem and the rancher decides the expense is worthwhile vs. losing X number of cattle at $1,000.00 a head, he sets himself up. The expenses will include buying the chips, tag inserter and scanner (we do not endorse any manufacturer), and maintaining a personal computer and Internet connection.The RFID tags are inserted on the rancher’s property, by either a ranch employee or a vet. The frequencies that the RFID chips produce are set by the rancher. Those frequencies are recorded by the rancher on his own computer, temporarily. The lists of “correlations” (I term we’re using that means which cow belongs to which frequency) will not reside on the rancher’s personal computer, nor on a government server or a commercial server. It will, instead, reside in “the cloud.” When using cloud computing, the rancher saves data onto, and only he can call that information back out of, the Internet. A protocol decides which servers will contain which packets of data. These packets are not like paragraphs or discrete pieces of information like a given RFID frequency, but rather the coding that eventually comes together to make a word or a number appear on your screen. Cloud computing is analogous to an electrical grid. When you flick a light switch, the electricity that lights your kitchen does not necessarily come from the nearest source, nor all from the same source. A variable set of instructions decides on the spur of the moment – and with no way to tell beforehand – which sources are free to hand you your power. Imagine the same thing with your information. Can someone “download” or otherwise capture your information? No more than they can capture the light that comes out of your nightstand lamp.You may be buying online storage from a specific company, much in the same way that you buy electricity from a single electrical company, but they do not have your data in boxes where they could be seized or otherwise compromised. This will make it impossible for a rancher’s information to be seized or intercepted by anyone. Self-RFID vs. RustlingLet’s say a rancher has 500 head of cattle. He injects each cow, sets the frequency and scans it. He attaches a description of the cow to the frequency, enters this correlation in a spreadsheet and uploads it into the cloud. Additionally he positions RFID wands at the pinch-points on his spread the closest to access necessary for the trailers a rustler might use or a trailer a rustler would have to use to herd the cattle out of the rancher’s area. Several months go by and the rancher notices several dozen cattle are nowhere to be found. He suspects rustling. He checks the stats on his pinch-point wands [tech]. He investigates possible places that cattle might be. If his own investigation does not turns up the missing head, he sends a list of RFID frequencies that belong to the missing cattle to people of his choosing. He is the agent of the sharing of this information and he sends it only to the people he trusts. These may include local law enforcement, cattleyard administrators and buyers. If anything turns up on the wands, he might also communicate the possible point of egress for the cattle.The most likely people for a rancher to contact would be local law enforcement, cattleyards and fellow ranchers. If a law enforcement authority found an individual engaged in suspicious actions, loading up cattle in an odd place for instance, normally the person would direct the officer’s attention to the brands. Brands, however, prove nothing. They are easy to fake. But if the officer knows an area rancher has been rustled, he can scan the cattle in question. If the RFID scans match, the officer has the stolen cattle and probably the rustler. The same thing can be done by a yard owner when the cattle seem off. A fellow rancher can scan stray cattle or scan cattle being offered to him for sale. Again, if the RFID frequencies match, the cattle are found. In the event that the information becomes part of a court case, it is merely the frequency, and the record the rancher made of that frequency’s relationship to a certain cow, that is in possession. The rancher can go straight home after recovering cattle, change the frequency and upload the correlation into the cloud. Even people who had access to the previous correlations could make no use of it to identify specific cattle, again, until the rancher who owns the data makes that decision.Preservation of individual initiative and data ownershipThis system ensures a number of things. • No one but the rancher owns and can manipulate cattle data• The data cannot be seized• Cooperation with anyone else is at the discretion of the rancher• The information the rancher records is decentralized • The rancher can keep track of his cattle and use that information to catch rustlersAn experienced computer security expert once said that if a party has infinite time and never-ending money, they can crack anything. The key idea there is infinite and never-ending. No party, including a government, has time and money in those proportions. But all they really need is enough of them to defeat the steps you have taken to guard your data. Conversely, all you really need to do is make sure your methods are two steps beyond what they are willing to do. Then, you own your own data. That’s it, brothers and sisters. It’s not a final draft, it’s a step. We welcome all input as we refine it. We especially look forward input from ranchers, manufacturers of the equipment mentioned and cloud computing types. Thanks to Kin Lane for contributing his technical know-how and research skills for this article. That said, he’s not to blame for it.Photos of Warm Springs Reservation in Oregon and San Juan County in New Mexico by @thinkyiddish Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#Internet of Things#web curt hopkins This is a follow-up to our earlier post on RFID and rustling. This is the first draft of a blueprint for a grassroots method a rancher could use, free of federal involvement, to employ RFID against rustling. This is not the finished product. Federal livestock-tagging systems have been tried before, most prominently in the wake of the mad cow disease scare. They have all been disastrous. Ranchers disliked the perceived imperiousness of a top-down implementation and resented the expense. Distrustful of federal authority, which has resulted in high-handed dismissal of ranching concerns at times, the centralized nature of a national data bank was also rejected. Organizations that do not exist on the federal level have also tried to encourage a centralized tagging protocol. The same issues inhered. We identified an issue that was of concern to ranchers alone and which was not being dealt with efficiently by anyone: rustling. Since the economy has tanked, cattle rustling has become popular again among the rural criminal classes. Remote areas, especially in the west, reduced law enforcement due to budget cuts and other issues have resulted in success for rustlers and pain for ranchers. We figured that RFID, implantable tracking devices the size of a grain of rice that use radio frequency codes, would be very popular. But, given the aforementioned top-down, centralized nature of government thinking and previous experiments, it is not being used to track missing cattle. In our previous article we noted first that it would never gain ranching support until those issues were removed, then we decided to create the blueprint for such a system.This is the start of that blueprint for a self-administered, grassroots livestock tagging strategy that is rancher-guided and designed specifically as an anti-rustling measure. The guiding motto of our strategy is this: THE RANCHER OWNS HIS OWN DATA.There is no exception to this. Each rancher owns his, and only his (or her) own data. Government authorities are not and never will be involved in, or have access to, a given rancher’s data of their own volition. In fact, no one but the rancher has access. 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