To be bold; to dream; to create the perfect conference.
Nobody will do that, for perfection is not the goal of conferences.
So I dream of the perfect conference on tailings and mine waste.
From Myself et al.: How Bloggers perceive tailings. This would reveal that most bloggers are woefully ignorant and perceive tailings piles as vast dumps of nothing that will pollute the world forever. I would correct them by pointing out apple orchards on tailings piles, grazing deer, ambulatory parents, and carbon sinks.
John Welsh: The History and Future of the Henderson Mine tailings impoundment. That pile was the first I saw in 1978 in America and the last I saw about three years ago on a trip up the Rockies. Now it is about to be re-opened. That pile captures decades of hope and sweat and success. I do not know where John is but he is the right person to write that paper. I would love to see him again and hear his mature perspectives on this subject.
Norbert Morgenstern: Oil Sands Tailings, then, now, and next. I know he is a professor and very authoritative. But can you imagine hearing his insight and perspective. I would get up early to hear that.
Gordon McPhail: The geomorphology of Australian tailings dumps. Gordon is practising and writing. But he needs funding to sit back and write this one in detail and in truth. Maybe Google can be persuaded to fund him? Can’t imagine why they would.
Ken Lyle: New South African impoundments for reworked dumps. Ken is a superb writer–I cherish his Masters thesis. But he has written nothing public since. He is now retired and knows so much that will be lost if the industry cannot persuade him to break his corporate-chain silence. Imagine him telling of the removal of all those old slimes dams to be reworked for gold and uranium and then placed in one spot in a “modern” slimes dump?
Andy Robertson: Canadian diamond tailings impoundments. He is my boss and supports this blog. But still I would love him to concentrate on a long and detailed presentation on those strange tailings and how they behave in that harshest of environments: the Canadian tundra, snow, and ice. I did lots of work on diamond tailings in South Africa and Botswana. The Canadian tailings are the same things physically, but the environment is so different.
Mark Smith of Vector: Heap leach pads and waste rock dumps in seismic South America. Mark and his colleagues know more than anybody on this and similar topics. They have published far and well on these topics, so how nice to be able to sit back and hear the experts tell it like it is.
Peter Byrne: FLAC and how to properly analyze tailings. Peter is a retired professor who now sails his boat on the cold waters off Vancouver. He knows FLAC better than most and is quite correct when he says we never need another slope stability analysis, or seepage flow, or etc. code again, now that we have FLAC. Why it can replicate both the fluid and solid behaviour of tailings. And then it can replicate the flow of fluid in the solids of tailings. If you don’t have a copy, better stop pretending to be a tailings consultant.
I bet every one of us has a list like this. A list of people and topics we would like them to talk on. A list of opportunities to hear the insight and the truth that beer-conversations and consultants’ reports bury under vast verbiage. If you have such a list send it to Linda Henshaw.