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Here is a new document from the US EPA on treating mine-affected waters.  Free to download at this link and worth so doing.

The document is titled:  Reference Guide to Treatment Technologies for Mining-Influenced Water (EPA 505-F-12-001).

I read it and found it pretty comprehensive, although I am no expert in the topic.  Still, there appears to be much need for such a survey and I am sure many will find it useful and informative.

Not that mining is the only place needing water treatment technologies.  As the North Carolina folk have determined there is groundwater contamination at all their ash disposal sites.  See this link where the following is written:

More ground water supplies around the state may be contaminated by coal ash.  Those are the findings of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Resources.
Director Tom Reeder told the state’s environmental review commission further examination beyond the Dan River spill indicates that trouble may be found in other parts of the state.
“We’ve known that for a long time now. Yeah, there is some level of ground water contamination at every coal ash facility,” he said.

The Dan River impact by spillage from one such facility has prompted these “revelations.”  Nothing like a major failure to shock officials into action!

Although there is still much muddle.  Today I spoke with folk doing a closure plan.  Their approach is to compare the cost of doing nothing at closure (no covers) and treating lots of seepage versus low permeability covers and little treatment.  The fallacy of this comparison is that limited seepage implies limited treatment.  In fact, low seepage may be more contaminated than high seepage:  the water has more time to pick up constituents.  So much for elementary logic!

Let us know you perspectives and experiences.

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There is still time to join us for the upcoming EduMine webcast Advanced Tailings and Mine Waste Facility Design, Operation, and Closure.  Here is the link to the course.

Even if you have taken other courses before conferences, or the other EduMine webcast on Introduction to Tailings, or our previous Advanced Tailings courses, I know you will find interesting and exciting information, perspectives, practices, and case histories in this new course.

We have completely renovated the materials.  First we feature, on each of the three days of the webcast, a series of talks by Christian Kujawa, Robert Cooke, and Ian Hutchison on these topics:

  • Conventional tailings.
  • Thickened tailings.
  • Filter pressed tailings.

Christian and Robert are with Paterson and Cooke—they are leading consultants in making, transporting, and distributing tailings.  They have put together a great series of presentations on thickeners, cyclones, pipes conveyors, and the details of making and working with thickened, paste, and filtered tailings.  Their presentations will put you at the cutting edge of technology and practice in the production, transport, and distribution of all types of tailings.

Ian Hutchison is with SLR—he and his colleagues are experts in the design, construction, operation, and closure of tailings facilities.  They have assembled a suite of new case histories from North America, Australia, and South Africa.  Most are new to me—and I follow the topic pretty carefully.

I will come in from time to time to talk of theses new topics:

  • Risk assessment and decision-making for tailings management.
  • Dam safety inspections and evaluations.
  • Case histories on new project that I am working on–I am particularly proud that Nyrstar are permitting me to talk of closure planning for the Myra Falls mine here in BC.

In addition I will present summaries of the best new papers to be presented at the upcoming conference Paste 2014.  I have read all the papers and here I present a preview of those that impressed me most.  Time permitting, I will also talk about papers to be presented next week in Brazil at the conference on Mine Closure.

Lawrence Charlebois will spend an hour or so on that most difficult set of tailings topics, namely rheology, beaching, and Optimized Seasonal Deposition of polymer amended tailings.  For polymer amendment works.  I know that.  It just needs a bit of bold field application and the oil sands folk will be seen as heroes.

In short, this is a great opportunity to come up to speed with the newest & best in tailings.  Come join us and advance your knowledge & career by hearing from the most knowledgeable & experienced in the field.  I look forward to meeting & talking with you.  And it is a hell-of-a-lot cheaper than those expensive conferences where you fall asleep through dull presentations by amateurs.

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At this link is a New Yorker article that I read today.  Read it and no comment from me is needed.  It tells of the dark side of mining coal and the Republican corruption and blindness that is West Virginia.  A terrible story that is frightening to contemplate as reality elsewhere. Continue Reading »

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I have no data to support the opinions I write of in this posting.  So please do your own research before deciding, panicking, or acting on anything said below. Today I was outside smoking in the damp rain when my smoking companion said that he had just surveyed the salaries of mining geoscientists (geologists and geotechnical engineers).  He noted that it appears that salaries for such folk are, on average, higher in Canada than in the USA. Continue Reading »

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At this link are details of a new geosynthetic from CETCO. Basically it consists of two geotextiles between which is a reactive material selected to deal with contaminants commonly found in the mining and waste management industry. They describe it thus: Continue Reading »

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More is said about mine closure than is done about mine closure.  Will they ever close Giant and Faro?  I doubt it.  Still if the topic interests you, here a few upcoming events. The InfoMine Mine Closure Conference in Belo Horizonte promises lots of information about mine closure in Brazil.  Not many of us can get that far south or want to go that far south. Last time there was an InfoMine conference in Belo, there were riots and protests and the delegates were confined to the hotel. Continue Reading »

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The general approach to undertaking a risk assessment is well described in International Standard IEC/ISO 31010, which also provides considerable information about risk assessment methods. It notes, however: “The standard does not provide specific criteria for identifying the need for risk assessment, nor does it specify the type of risk analysis method that is required for a particular application.” Continue Reading »

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