Never thought a lizard would have such a big impact… Confused? Check out our top headline picks for today:

1. South Africa’s mining industry fortunes improving, but challenges remain — PwC

(Source: Mining.com)

A strong price recovery for the main commodities South Africa mines and exports has helped the country’s sector stage a turnaround in 2017, the first time in five years the industry is back in the black, a report shows.

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ annual South African Mine report, released Friday, the sector’s improvement is worth noting as this year has been another challenging one for all players, big and small. (Read full article here)

(Source: Reuters)

Coal India Ltd, the world’s largest coal miner, has held internal talks to discuss buying metal mines abroad amid faltering revenues and rising employee costs, potentially signaling a strategy shift to cut reliance on the fossil fuel.

The state-run company plans to form two units: one to manage its local mining of iron ore, bauxite and manganese, and another to expand into copper and nickel mining overseas, two company officials involved in the planning told Reuters. (Read full article here)

3. Clean-tech firm wins million-dollar contract with Northern Quebec mine

(Source: Mining.com)

BluMetric Environmental (TSX-V:BLM), a firm that builds water treatment systems for mining sites, announced today that it will provide its services to an unnamed major global company.

Even though it didn’t reveal who is its new partner, BluMetric did say in a press release that the site where it will operate is located in remote northern Quebec. Thus, the clean-tech firm had to especially design a contained system suited to the difficult conditions of the area. (Read full article here)

4. A tiny lizard is messing with mining stocks in the hottest oil region in America

(Source: CNBC)

The dunes sagebrush lizard grows to just a few inches long, but it’s having an outsized impact on America’s hottest oil-producing basin.

Shares of sand miners have been roiled in recent months by concerns that a campaign to protect the lizard could disrupt surging mining activity in West Texas. The mining boom is being driven by demand for sand among “frackers” — drillers who extract oil and gas from underground rock formations by pummeling them with water, minerals and chemicals at high pressure. (Read full article here)

5. More opposition to Berkeley’s uranium mine in Spain

(Source: Mining.com)

Nuclear energy experts from a variety of countries expressed their support this week to the actions carried out by Stop Uranio, a social platform that opposes Berkeley Minera España’s plans to open a mine in the Spanish town of Retortillo.

Greenpeace anti-nuclear campaigner, Raquel Montón, said that Spain doesn’t need nuclear plants or mines because the country is on a promising path towards developing sustainable sources of clean energy. (Read full article here)