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Archive for September, 2007

At the Hyatt Regency in three interlinking ballrooms:  five exhibitors including InfoMine, Golder Associates, UBC, and two mining companies.  The sum total for the Welcome Reception of the Inaugural Asia Pacific Forum on Mining and Minerals.   We were hosted to free drinks and the ubiquitous thin-sliced salmon and tiny blocks of cheese that are so staple a food at such events. 

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As the weekend winds down and I kill time before the 7 pm Asia Pacific Forum on Mining & Minerals reception, let me ruminate on the three movies I have seen this week. 

The first was In The Valley of Eliah: Brilliant acting; superb directing; a disturbing anti-war movie that had me angry and ready to march to bring the troops home.  (Keep in mind my son is on a destroyer in the Gulf.)

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At lunch yesterday, the topic was the role of archaeology in mining.  We noted the need to clear a prospective mine site for archaeological evidence before disturbing the earth.  I was told there are eight archaeologists full-time at work on the Galore Creek Mine project.   As the sushi arrived, one at our table remarked that archaeological evidence is being used to sort out aboriginal claims to areas being fought over by exploration and mining teams.   The anthropologist at the table remarked that only archaeology can open the answer-window to current anthropological issues that bedevil mining.  (more…)

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This is the smartest political move of the week.  You may not like it; but you have to admit it smacks of vicious genius.   I refer to the story that Montana’s two senators have petitioned the United Nations to add Waterton Glacier International Peace Park to the List of World Heritage In Danger Sites. 

Its mining implications are profound.  Consider:  Waterton is the Canadian extension of Montana’s Glacier National Park–but for the border, it is the same.   Here is why the senators say the Canadian part should be considered endangered: 

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If you go to Google.earth and zoom to Coal City, Indiana, you will see the town in question: a small community clustered around a north-south road, and surrounded by fields and reclaimed spoil piles.   Its history is coal mining and the arrival and departure of the railroad.  Economic boom and bust and return to a rural community supported by distant coal mines run by large corporations. 

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You must admire Armando Simon and Greg Gosson, both of AMEC, for tackling a touchy subject honestly.   Writing in the Sept/Oct 2007 CIM Magazine on quality control reporting requirements by the mining industry, they note (I edit–so if you do not believe me, please see the original):

AMEC’s experience with numerous recent audits and due diligence studies….indicate that comprehensive geological quality control programs are still infrequent.   Out of 26 projects….only four had established QA/QC programs…..recent review of industry QA/QC practices in NI 43-101 technical reports…AMEC could not find relevant details on QA/QC programs in half the consulted SEDAR-filed technical reports.

They write that AMEC has direct experience of “deceptive practices” by laboratories considered to be “professional.”  These are the labs providing data that underpin the NI 43-101 reports that you rely on to make considered investments. 

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No sun this morning, but a predicted high of 15.  The sky a light blue-gray as the bike sped down the hill.  The phrase Io mi chiamo…. from my conversational Italian class flashing through my head.  So I turned left to cross the bridge instead of turning right to the SeaBus.  This route is longer by about 30 minutes riding than the SeaBus, my normal morning route.   Then I veered into a small park where there is a lake hidden deep among the trees; nobody disturbed the cormorants swooping to fish.  Drunk with the rush of exercise, I was up and down the glacier-sculpted topo and to False Creek to weave along the broadwalk between glass towers and still water.  It was all a let-down to enter the office after carelessly weaving along the Hornby Street bike lane through thick traffic.

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