“Sandya represents the dedication and perseverance of women from all ethnicities across Sri Lanka who are seeking information about their missing loved ones,” said U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Atul Keshap. “The American people support their efforts as a step towards a brighter future of truth, reconciliation, and lasting peace for all Sri Lankans.”“Pursuing the truth is not a crime. Protecting the perpetrators is,” said Sandya about her campaign.The 13 honorees were chosen for their advocacy on issues as diverse as combatting early child marriage, gender-based violence, human trafficking, improving interfaith relations, and preserving the environment. They will travel to cities across the United States to discuss the challenges they have faced and inspire others to action. Mrs. Trump applauded the honorees as “true heroes,” saying they’ve “fought on the frontlines against injustice.”The First Lady declared that “we are all ultimately members of one race. The human race.” Ekneligoda’s husband, a well-known political cartoonist and journalist disappeared in January 2010 but she resolved to seek the truth about his fate. She appeared in court more than 80 times in the face of obstructionist judges and authorities. US First Lady Melania Trump, today, honored 13 extraordinary women, including Sandhya Ekneligoda, with the Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award.The award recognizes women around the globe who have shown exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for women’s rights, empowerment, and justice, often at great personal risk. The State Department said that a member of the majority Sinhalese community in Sri Lanka, Sandhya has become a symbol for the many thousands of persons — including from the Tamil minority — who have suffered the loss of disappeared relatives over the course of the 27-year civil war and earlier insurrections. Since the inception of this award in 2007, the Department of State has honored nearly 100 women from 60 different countries, including Jansila Majeed of Puttalam in 2010 for her advocacy on behalf of internally displaced persons. (Colombo Gazette)
Peabody Energy has come to a new licensing agreement with Yanzhou Coal Mining Co for the installation of its Longwall Top Coal Caving (LTCC) technology to enhance recovery of metallurgical coal at Peabody’s North Goonyella mine in the Bowen Basin, Queensland, Australia. Yanzhou is a subsidiary of Yankuang Group Co. Peabody estimates the new technology will allow the recovery of up to 3.9 Mt of additional high quality hard coking coal from the mine, with opportunities for future use in other areas. LTCC technology improves the recoverability of coal over traditional longwall mining methods, and will allow the operation to mine the full coal seam thickness of 6.5 m versus the conventional longwall mining method of 4.2 m. According to Peabody Energy’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Eric Ford, “Our agreement will lead to greater resource recovery, enhanced productivity and extended mine life. It also advances another avenue in our growing Chinese collaboration.”Peabody is the first company to sign a LTCC licensing agreement with Yanzhou. The equipment is expected to be placed into service in late 2012. Peabody will work with Yanzhou to ensure the mine’s workforce is fully trained and equipped to begin LTCC operations in the first quarter of 2013. Peabody’s North Goonyella shipped 2.5 Mt of high quality hard coking coal to steel producing customers in 2010.
“At the Altonorte copper smelter, near the Antofagasta port in northern Chile, we have been aiming to improve environmental performance since 2011. Initiatives include a continuous emission monitoring system, including self-assessment and external audits; and an integrated stack emissions management system, with a centralised control room to improve efficiency.” Air quality is vital for the health of environment and ecosystems. As a responsible producer, Glencore says it wants “to minimise impacts we have on the quality of air. This means working not only to minimise ‘stack emissions’ from chimneys – such as sulphur dioxide (SO₂) and nitrogen oxide – but also ‘fugitive emissions’ such as dust from coal and roads. At assets around the world, we have used technology to monitor emissions in real time; invested in multi-million-dollar projects to update our smelters; and worked to control emissions on road, by rail and at ports.”“We always seek to engage with communities on important issues, such as air quality. And at Mount Isa Mines in Queensland, Australia, we are sharing air quality information with the community in near real-time. Our smartphone app gives access to an air quality portal, so community members can see can access information on SO2 emissions wherever they happen to be. We monitor air quality at the operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week, using one of the most intensive monitoring networks of any Australian city – and we upload data to the portal on an hourly basis.”“When we acquired the Mopani copper asset in Zambia in 2000, its smelter had been freely emitting SO2 for decades. So we addressed the problem – completing a $500 million upgrade project in 2014, in one of the largest environmental projects ever undertaken in Zambia. Notably, we completed this three-stage project over several years, in order to keep the plant open while the upgrade happened – protecting the livelihood of its 9,000 employees. As a result of the work, we now capture more than 95% of Mopani’s SO2 emissions.” “One of our largest emission reduction projects is at our Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations’ smelter, where we are using a bespoke solution to reduce SO2. Our solution involves two processes: a “high roast”, which captures more sulphur by turning into sulphuric acid; and a “controlled furnace atmosphere”, which reduces emissions by introducing oxygen-deficient gas to the furnace. The first phase of the project is complete. Notably, we recorded a Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate (TRIFR) of zero, during the 465,796 hours worked on the project.”“As part of our monitoring at assets around the world, we monitor air quality for particulate matter small than 10 microns – known as PM10 – which are linked to health problems because they can become lodged in the lungs. For example, at Alumbrera in Argentina, we have 10 monitoring stations at the mine site and neighbouring towns, which show that PM10 levels are lower than legal limits. We monitor PM10 monthly alongside other measures. Meanwhile at our open-pit mine at Cesar in Colombia, we have put in place a real-time PM10 warning system. This tool has helped us find new ways to reduce dust emissions, including when, where and how frequently to water roads; when to add chemical dust suppressants; when blasting can take place; and maximum speed limits in mines.” “It’s not just at mining assets where we work to reduce air emissions. We also aim to improve air quality at port terminals. For example, in Antwerp, Belgium, we contributed to a joint investment of €250 million to construct a state-of-the art petroleum products terminal, which includes measures to minimise emissions of volatile organic carbons (VOCs). When we transfer or store petrol or ethanol at the terminal, we redirect VOC emissions, via vapour lines, to a unit which absorbs them – enabling almost complete recovery of the product and significantly reducing emissions. Meanwhile, as part of our partnership with the Port of Quebec in Canada, we monitor air quality and use dust suppression systems to minimise emissions – for example, enclosing the conveyor that loads ships, and using moisture to control dust.”“We also seek to control dust emissions when we use road and rail transport. For example, at our Calenturitas and La Jagua mines in Colombia, we use water to control dust from roads. In all we have 14 water tankers devoted to the job – and four water filling stations at key points on the route between the two sites. We also control dust by adapting road surface materials (using particles that are less fine-grained) and by managing the movement of vehicles and machinery. On the railways, we dampen and compact coal as it is loaded, to reduce emissions when it is transferred from Calenturitas to the port at Puerto Nuevo; and we never load carriages to full capacity, to avoid coal dust blowing away. Between La Jagua and Calenturitas, meanwhile, we transport coal in semi-trailers with automatic tarp covering systems.”