Here is a challenge written up in a recent comment on a previous blog posting:
I would love to see someone write a paper on the merits of a wet tailings pond. Today’s lovechild seems to be the filtered tailing concept but let’s hear some kudos for a properly designed wet tailings pond. It gives the ability to deal with seasonal or short term storm water surges, the ability to store water for use in low flow periods, avoids needing to continually withdraw process water from rivers or lakes, keeps ARD materials submerged, lower capex & opex, lower power consumption via natural clarification instead of mechanical clarification, and less greenhouse gas emissions related to lower power consumption. Where are the friends of the conventional tailings pond or have they gone into hiding from the filtered tailings mob?
Today I had lunch with John Gadsby who is 82 and still active in tailings. Way back in 1983, he and Syd Hillis were the peer reviewers of my work on the design and construction of the Cannon Mine tailings facility besides Wenatchee, Washington. I asked him the questions implicit in the comment above.
He quickly reminded me that the Cannon tailings facility was a very successful wet tailings deposition facility that was also designed to contain lots of water from heavy rains in the catchment area of the Cascades. He reminded me that that facility was built to be secure as it is upgradient of a significant part of Wenatchee. He said he thought the facility must surely represent the best tailings technology for wet tailings deposition ever. And now it is closed and part of the Dry Gulch Riding Stables–an asset to the local community.
Without being too bold & boastful, I know this dam was good, is good, and will remain stable for a very long time hence. It proves, in my mind, that you can mine close to communities, can safely manage wet tailings in sensitive environments, and can close mine sites for sustainable use. Here are links to some papers I wrote on its design & construction:
You can get all these papers by going to the InfoMine Library and doing a search for Cannon Caldwell. You can also get a lot more information at the official Cannon Mine website.
So now let us have a debate about whether this tailings facility built in 1983 and 1984 represent current best practice or best available technology for wet tailings management. I think it does, but then I am hopelessly prejudiced. And I recognize parochial sentiments sometime inhibit cross-boarder admiration of engineering works. Still you can get there in a four-hour drive from Vancouver. Go see it sometime.
Posted in consulting, Mining history, People, Tailings | Tagged best available technology, cannon mine, wenatchee | 29 Comments »
It has been a tumultuous week of many events. No blogging however. No topic caught my attention enough to spur the muse and misogynist. So here a few stories of mining to entertain us and prompt the responsible journalist to attention. Continue Reading »
Posted in About the news, brandy, British Columbia, Jobs and Salaries, People | Tagged mike davies, mt polley, Todd Martin. AMEC, water treatment | 1 Comment »
The Fraser Institute survey came out in February. I missed it—so here is a brief summary. Continue Reading »
Posted in British Columbia, California, Investing & Finance, mining | Leave a Comment »
Read today the news that the Brucejack Mine have been given an environmental assessment certificate by the British Columbia Ministry of the Environment. The regulators say construction can begin once they are sure that discharges from water treatment plants will not harm the Unuk River. Some of the tailings will go back underground; some will go to Brucejack Lake which is apparently “fishless.” Most of the waste rock will go to the lake. Continue Reading »
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged bc ministry of the envirnment, brucejack lake, brucejack mine, Tailings, Waste Rock | 5 Comments »
Goldcorp has announced that it will seek to involve more women in mining. That is admirable. Here are some of my stories of women in mining. Continue Reading »
Posted in About the news, British Columbia, California, consulting, People | Tagged geo-logic, Goldcorp, lisa wade, women in mining | 1 Comment »
As a US taxpayer I am at loss to understand how $1 million dollars can be sent to Peru to deal with illegal mining. Here is a link to one report on the US taxpayer-funded largesse. The report notes:
The U.S. Department of State awarded US$1 million to the Blacksmith Institute to work with Peru’s Ministry of Environment (Minam) to reduce the use of mercury and design remediation plans in Madre de Dios and Puno, it was announced today.
The United States believes it is crucial to support the Peruvian government strategy to combat illegal mining and reduce mercury use in artisanal and small-scale gold mining.
Where is the Tea Party when we need them? Have they nothing to say about this blatant waste of money to support a lousy government unable to manage it own affairs? The only explanation I can come up with is that somebody related to somebody or indebted to somebody has managed to arrange this and is being paid a considerable percentage of the funds. Smells rank & corrupt to me. Continue Reading »
Posted in About the news, consulting, environmental, health, mining, People | Tagged blackstone institute, illegal mining, minam, minamata agreement, Peru, ron paul, taxpayer dollars, tea party | 3 Comments »
A rare victory for the mining industry: the Chilean Environmental Court has ruled that the Pascua Lama mining project has not affected the glaciers in the vicinity of the mine. Continue Reading »
Posted in environmental, Human relations and mining, mining, Mining history | Tagged Barrick, cannon mine. chile envirnmental court, international law, pascua lama | 4 Comments »