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Archive for March, 2009

Do Not Buy Kodak

A personal rant and consumer warning:  I am to a mine tomorrow.  I will take pictures.  But I seem to have lost the cable that connects the Kodak digital camera to my computer.  The cable is the only way to chargeh the camera and the only way to download the pictures. 

Three shops later I have not been able to find a replacement cable.  The young fellows at the shop where I bought the camera said: “We only sell the camera, not spares.”  At Future Shop they told me: “We won’t even carry Kodak; everybody has troubles with them.”  And at the third shop in the middle of the mall the kids said: “Try ordering on the web; Kodak makes it different so that it is incompatible with standard stuff.” 

Thus my warning: DO NOT BUY A KODAK DIGITAL CAMERA.  There is no way to get a new cable if you loose it. 

I bought a new Cannon and a spare cable at the same time.  So tomorrow I will take pictures of the mine and consult on technical issues.

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tibet mining protest hunter dickinson

Here is a rare and unique mining investment opportunity.  Perfect for the current times.  I quote from a report on PDAC activities:

A Canadian asset manager announced the launch of two Aboriginal-themed mining funds on Tuesday that hope to raise $1-billion each, in a very innovative effort to get Aboriginal communities invested directly in the mining sector.

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Now for the salaries of miners and engineers and secretaries and everybody inbetween on industrial mineral and metal mines in the United States in 2008.  No major surprises if you discount what seems to me to be low salaries for all, and particularly for geologists.  Seems to me that folk working on the mines are way underpaid by comparison with what comparable folk working for consultants to the mining industry earn.  I have no figures for the consultants’ salaries, but base this conclusion on what I know of what people I know earn working for consultants in BC and California.  Most could not afford to live decently on what the average mine pays salaried staff. 

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Stan Sudol alerted me to the text of the key note speech that Donald Coxe could not deliver at PDAC.  I recommend reading it in full.  It is on that fine mining-related blog, Republic of Mining

How I wish I could always be as optimistic as they are.  But my early days pouring over the old British magazine Punch and over countless Afrikaans newspapers gave me other perspectives of humor and cynicism that still color my thinking and writing.  So read both of us for a “balanced” perspective of modern mining.

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From CostMine is the U.S. Metal & Industrial Mineral Mine Salaries, Wages & Benefits 2008 Survey.  Here are some averages for metal and industrial mineral mines in the United States. (the first number is the hourly base wage for small surface mines; the second number is that hourly base wage for large mines.)

 

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Bushmen women.

A long-time friend sent me a paper on sustainable tailings management.  I read the paper and replied thus:

“I confess, I am no more convinced by you than by anybody else about the need for a term like sustainable in the context of what you are doing—i.e., designing, building, and closing mine tailings dams.

Why not just say you are doing the right thing by people and the environment?

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    Here is a link to The Tyee, a very liberal Vancouver e-newspaper.  The link takes you directly to an article about a Canadian mining firm, Copper Mesa Mining, that is being sued by lawyer Murray Klippenstein of Toronto, over an incident in Ecuador in 2006.  This is the gist of the story:

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