Why are Coal-Powered Power Stations harmful to the Environment?

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Why are coal-powered power stations harmful to the environment?

Fossil fuels are indeed the top fuels used all over the world for generating power and electricity. Among the fossil fuels, coal is the most widely used fuel in power plants. Coal-fired power plants boiler use different kinds of machinery that convert heat energy produced from combustion into mechanical energy. Coal, gas, and oil are fossil fuels responsible for most of the world’s electricity and energy demands. Coal, which is readily available in most of the developing and developed world, has been used as a major source of fuel even in ancient human civilizations. It also found its use in historic steam engines at the dawn of the industrial revolution.

There are many advantages to coal power stations like Reliability, Affordability, Safety, etc. but as much as coal is reliable and affordable how safe is it?

The major disadvantage of coal is its negative impact on the environment. Coal-burning energy plants are a major source of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to carbon monoxide and heavy metals like mercury, the use of coal releases sulfur dioxide, a harmful substance linked to acid rain.

Air pollution from coal power stations causes disease and kills thousands of South Africans every year, says UK expert. Air pollution from coal-fired power stations kills more than 2,200 South Africans every year and causes thousands of cases of bronchitis and asthma in adults and children annually.

In 2016 these were the statistics that were provided by Dr Holland to the Department of Environmental Affairs and to members of the Environmental Affairs and Health Portfolio Committees

2 239 deaths per year: 157 from lung cancer; 1 110 from ischaemic heart disease; 73 from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease;719 from strokes; and 180 from a lower respiratory infection
2 781 cases of chronic bronchitis per year in adults
9 533 cases of bronchitis per year in children aged 6 to 12
2 379 hospital admissions per year
3 972 902 days of restricted activity per year
94 680 days of asthma symptoms per year in children aged 5 to 19
996 628 lost working days per year
All these statistics and yet the Minister of Mineral Resources unveiled the long-awaited Integrated Resource Plan, saying “coal will continue to play a significant role in electricity generation. This is a 10-year plan which includes increasing the country’s current 47,000 megawatts of energy by 1,500 megawatts from coal, 2,500 megawatts from hydro, 6,000 megawatts from solar and 14,400 megawatts from wind. Mantashe said coal would contribute 59% of the country’s energy, as “the country has the resource in abundance” and coal-fired power plants “are going to be around for a long time.”

For clean fresh air, we must say no to coal. It continues to fuel climate change, supercharge extreme weather events, poison our air and consumes precious freshwater.

The Guardian

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About Nazeema Sishi

I am a content researcher who just started with Leads 2 Business in February this year, I work in the Daily Tenders South Africa department. I am a young vibrant lady who enjoys meeting new people and doing new things. I welcome challenges and always find new ways of doing things. I am a mum and I love spending time with my not so little, very talkative son.

Featured Project: Imaloto Coal Project, Madagascar

Description: Acquired by Lemur in April 2011 through its acquisition of Coal of Madagascar Limited, the Imaloto Coal Project is located in the Imaloto Coal Basin, which is the northern-most coal field in the greater Sakoa Basin of South West Madagascar, located approximately 30 km north-west of the Sakoa Basin, where coal mining has previously been carried out. The Imaloto Coal Project area lies approximately 20km north-west of the town of Benenitra, between the north-south flowing Imaloto River and the west-east flowing Onilahy River. The Imaloto Coal Project area consists of 3 permits covering a total of 11 concession blocks, giving a license area of approximately 69km²: Permit 3196 consists of 3 concession blocks and is an exploration license. Permit 4578 consists of 4 blocks and is a full mining license. Permit 12653 consists of 4 blocks and is an exploration license. Imaloto is favourably located near the existing port of Tulear and adjacent to the proposed Soalara Port, where infrastructure planning is underway to provide a mineral bulk handling export facility. Lemur has identified the importance of an independent power-producing project that is destined to be implemented alongside its Imaloto coal project. 

Status: Awarded

Industry: Mining

Region: Madagascar

Sector: Private

Value: R 100 million+ 

Timing: 2015 onwards

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About Marlaine Andersen

I have been working for Leads 2 Business, in the Private Projects Department, for 10 years this July. I am Deputy HoD for Private Projects. Researching mining projects and projects through-out the African continent are my areas of research and I find them most interesting.

Featured Project: Boikarabelo Coal Mine, Limpopo

Boikarabelo Coal Mine, Limpopo

Description: The Boikarabelo coal project is located in the Waterberg area of the Limpopo Province. Boikarabelo has probable reserves of 744.8 million tonnes of coal – an increase of 108.8 million tonnes, making it one of the largest remaining coal deposits in the country. The Boikarabelo coal seam is between 20 metres and 30 metres below the surface, enabling low-cost, open-cut mining. The seam is between 120 metres and 130 metres thick, with zones of varying quality thermal and soft-coking coal. Phase 2, planned for 2018, will involve ramping up production to 20 million tons of product coal. The estimated capital cost for the project is $480 million.

Status: Underway

Industry: Mining

Region: Limpopo

Sector: Private

Value: R 100 million+

Timing: First coal production is expected in the first quarter of 2019.

Notes: Resgen said it had experienced a slight delay in financial close of the project. The mid-December approvals target represents a “slight slippage” in Resgen’s preferred timeline to develop the mine, but the company said that, if achieved, it meant financial close would likely be reached by March 2017, with the Boikarabelo mine producing its first coal in the first quarter of 2019.

If you are a valued Projects subscriber, you can find more details click here http://www.l2b.co.za/Project/Boikarabelo-Coal-Mine-Limpopo/8677

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About Eldary Carpenter

I have been with Leads 2 Business for 5 years and absolutely love working for such a dynamic company. I started off as a Content Researcher in the Tenders Department before being promoted to Customer Relations.

Mine! Mine! Mine!

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So….here we are… 2016…. and how’s it going?

To be perfectly honest this year has already started to kick my butt all over the place, some good …. some badish, but mainly just so much change, and even more prospect of change, but don’t get me wrong, [tweetthis]I love change just as much as the next butterfly, but man it’s exhausting!!![/tweetthis]


But here, here is something that hasn’t change…. My knowledge about African Mining!! lol! Yip and this is what I am blessed to be blogging about today! Buckle up friends, its going to be a “blast”… get it? Blast? Mining? ye…..


African Mining


Anyhoo, here is the “411” on Mining in general right now…. we may get to Africa later… hopefully!

Well as I write this, the biggest mining gathering in the world has just taken place, More than 6,000 delegates from 100 nations gathered at the Mining Indaba in Cape Town , from the 8th – 11th Feb 2016.



Why? Well, with commodity prices plummeting as they are, the struggle to retain or obtain foreign investment is a real one  #TheStruggleIsReal

Let me start by saying….The feeling is not good thus far.

[tweetthis]In South Africa alone 47,000 jobs were lost between 2012 and 2015.[/tweetthis]

Half of the coal mines and iron ore mines and 80% of the Platinum industry is losing money – not exactly a good investment for anyone I’m afraid.

I found this very interesting and really just horrifying! …..South Africa is ranked number 11th in Africa as one of the “most attractive investment countries”?????  What? am I the only one who feels like we should be number 1!?!




One of the Presentations of the Indaba came as a “bail out plan”, and was presented by 474615293 Nikolai Zelenski, Chief Executive Officer of Nordgold, he claims Nordgold has a Proven Strategy in a Lower Price Environment.


So Who is Nordgold?

“Nordgold (LSE: NORD) is an internationally diversified low-cost gold producer established in 2007 and publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange. The Company has expanded rapidly through carefully targeted acquisitions and organic growth, achieving a rate of growth unmatched in the industry during that period. In 2015, Nordgold produced 950 thousand ounces of gold. The Company operates 9 mines and has 2 development projects, 4 advanced exploration projects and a diverse portfolio of early-stage exploration projects and licenses in Burkina Faso, Guinea, Russia, Kazakhstan, French Guiana and Canada. Nordgold employs more than 8,000 people.”

Now to be perfectly honest with you, I don’t have what it takes to break down and unpack a strategy of this magnitude to anyone, so I’m not even going to try, but I do know how to copy and paste, so go wild;)



Mining in Africa… well here it is, I have searched high and low and here is the low down….

Commodities dropped sharply last year, and news from Matthew Davies of BBC Africa is that there will be no recovery this year, he reported that In Zambia, the country’s main export, copper, now sells for less than half than it did just three years ago, now my math is not great, but that sounds terrible!!!

And I’m right because some mining companies have even halted production all together and miners are losing their jobs at the rate of knots.

This has led to a plunge in the currency, and a rise in inflation which is expected to continue…….

And as fate would have it several other African countries are in the same boat, including big oil producers like Nigeria and Angola!

[tweetthis]I’m starting to think mining is at fault for everything bad in my life![/tweetthis]

Ridiculous Avo prices, cellulite and rising fuel prices!…. I know they are at fault for at least one of those.rolling eyes


But I am an eternal optimist, romantic and impossible dreamer, so I believe the cellulite will pass…. lol! no really, I have hope that yes, maybe not this year, but in the future our Mining economy will rise once more, the fact that people are talking about it, must mean it’s important and is being made a priority so I will not need to fret another moment about this!

Relief, the pressure was really getting to me!



But apparently pressure in the mining industry is a good thing…. fbfffaa05b0bec0317176754817d40f8


Well this has been real… thanks. If you find the time and want to get in touch with any of the mining projects we currently following at

Leads 2 Business, please feel free to contact myself, SherinaS@L2B.co.za or Support@L2b.co.za and we will be more than happy to oblige!



I look forward to hearing from you 😉













About Sherina Shawe

"You have to do everything you can, you have to work your hardest, and if you do, if you stay positive, you have a shot at a silver lining." from: Silver Linings Playbook.