The American Society of Engineers (SME) has a fantastic site called One Mine. This is a collection of technical papers mostly on mining. For example, I tried a search with keywords “oil sands tailings’ and the site found 572 matches. Not all were truly about oil sands tailings. For example, one paper from 1918 has keywords “sands” and “tailings” and is entitled The Milling Practice of the St. Joseph Lead Company. As with any search engine, you need to add intelligence to use it. Although, as a history buff, the paper may be interesting.
The site draws on the files of the American Society of Industrial Engineers, the U.S. EPA., the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, and of course the extensive files of SME itself. As with any site, is it not comprehensive, and you probably need to go to other sites as well to get the full gamut of information on any particular topic.
Good old Google yields 48,800 links for the keywords “oil sands tailings.” Google book search finds 799 books. You need to be a PhD student to have time enough to investigate that many links and books.
The InfoMine Library has a mere ten publications on oil sands tailings, but they are ten that are not in the OneMine system and which are much more recent.
Then there is the Oil Sands Research Facility. There you will find the PowerPoint presentations of last year’s conference on Tailings and Mine Waste. Sadly you will have to order the volume of proceedings and pay up if you want the papers; or you can contact the authors and request a copy of their paper. Fact is there are still many papers and magazines I know of that contain papers and volumes of conference proceedings that are not available on the web. You have to know where to go, whom to contact, and you have to have money to buy the books and volumes. Unless you are really luck enough to be close to a really big library.
Ideally, in the future, SME with its resources and money, will be able to collect in one place each and every paper even remotely connected to mining. To do that they are going to need time, effort, and money. And incredible patience and powers of persuasion at dealing with arcane copywrite barons and book-owners. Still we wish them success in that endeavour.
It may just be a silly dream to dream of one site where you can find everything: the same illusion that plagues dreams of the universal constant, or the universal equation. Maybe life is just too complex and the writings of mining engineers too diverse, too extensive, and too voluminous to get it all in one place, on one site, at one click of the button. How could you possibly keep up with this blog and others like it?
My point, at this time, however, is that now and in the foreseeable future, you will have to search many diverse places to become fully informed on most technical topics in mining. Good searching.
And see this great site for a detailed discussion of the difference between copywrite and copy write.