Tim Dyhr of The Mines Group is a long-time colleague. Today he reminded me of another of those conundrums of mining and environmental protection, namely the need to mine the rare metals needed to make electric cars, or more specifically the batteries for such cars. He writes in an e-mail, in which he quotes the report at this link:
Archive for August, 2009
In 2008, a long report concluded that the proposed Kemess South mine in British Columbia should not be developed. The report concluded that with but ten years of production it simply was not worth killing a local lake with tailings and impacting local water bodies with acid mine drainage from the open pit. The report concluded that the cost of perpetual water treatment of run-off from the slopes of the open pit could not justify ten years of mine profits and the small tax income.
Roast vegetables, grilled shrimp, and fried polenta graced an elegant dinner table last night as we debated production of goods versus provision of services. The basic premise is that mining is good as it produces a tangible product that makes further production of goods possible—and those goods presumably enhance lifestyles and human happiness. Conversely the dinner-table guests decried provision of services as a mere cost-increasing activity.
A trip across the United States is like falling down the rabbit hole clutching Alice’s hand and emerging into unreality at every Mad Hatter tea-party. I do not refer to those asinine political gatherings convened by the marginally certifiable. I refer to otherwise perfectly ordinary people who are long-time good friends or to whom I am related.
CostMine in the new Canadian Mine Salaries, Wages & Benefit 2009 lists the salaries of those working in the Canadian mining industry in mid 2009. I am always surprised how low they seem by comparison with the salaries of those folk I know in the industry: engineers on the oil sands mines and in consulting companies in Vancouver. Maybe you just have to face it: if you really want to increase your salary in the Canadian mining industry in Canada, you have to work the oil sands or the consultants.