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Archive for April, 2010

   

Here is a brief recollection of times past and how a consultant enters a new area of practice. (more…)

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   I have leveled my fair share of criticism at peer reviewers.  I have leveled my fair share of criticism at technical editors.  I have fooled many a peer reviewer whose ego was bigger than their intellect.  I have never slipped a bad sentence past a technical editor.  Although some have said my prose is uneditable–too blunt, they say.  (more…)

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Here is an e-mail I received over the weekend.  A typical mother concerned about her son, a mining engineer, who cannot find a job in mining either in Canada or Australia: (more…)

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   It has been a good weekend, although some mining issues have caused me concern—not enough to induce worry, but enough to merit record in this posting.  Thus let us go through the main events of the weekend and follow the concerns that arise in the course of weekend pleasure.

On Saturday night, we went to see the Marriage of Figaro, put on by the Vancouver Opera.   I once again commend Goldcorp for being a corporate sponsor of the opera in Vancouver.  This is admirable and impressive.  (more…)

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    The weekend looms.  Nothing serious to say about mining.  Thus here is something I found last night in my e-files while cleaning things up.   It is a mere set of personal recollections fo growing up on a mine in South Africa in the 1950s.  Enjoy it for what it is. (more…)

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Vancouver weather today was gorgeous; warm and sunny.  I was able to ride my bicycle to and from work and revel in the clear mountains, still snow-capped, and the city towers, gleaming in the sun.  But I could not find a topic for this blog.  In spite of a visit to the 34th floor of a tower from which the views were superb and the mining company hospitable.  In spite of a luxurious Japanese lunch with a beautiful and charming lady. In spite of a mind-bending problem come over the phone from a distant client.  In spite of arranging travel to far places.  Each would take pages to describe in detail, but all are “confidential,” so I must refrain. (more…)

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   There is great danger in the power of one individual to exercise his will.  We can all point to disastrous mine failures where one individual exerted so much negative power that things were done wrong, an accident occurred, and people died.  (more…)

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  I write this piece on the 21st floor of one of the many very tall buildings in Toronto’s financial district.   I have spent the past two days talking to people in the local mining industry.  In between talking, I have of course also had to do some work to justify the costs of the flight and the hotel–and the plea from my daughter for $1,500 to pay for summer school.  Here are some impressions gleaned from the talking to local folk; these impressions are organized around the themes of strikes and foreign investment in Canadian mining. (more…)

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    While politicians ponder how to reform the US coal mine safety situation, let us look at the wages paid to US coal miners.  We have previously dealt with coal mine salaries and coal mine executive compensation.  Now is time to look at the wages of those who do the work and the dying—and again our sympathies to the affected families.  (more…)

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This posting has proven popular with readers.  It deals with the 2009/2010 Survey of Mining Companies as prepared by the Fraser Institute.  The new 2010/2011 survey is now available at this link.   If you seek the most recent report, maybe go to the new posting.  If you are still interested in last year’ssurvey, continue and enjoy.

The Fraser Institute’s Survey of Mining Companies 2009/2010 is available at this link.  Its fifty-five plus pages should be mandatory reading for investors, mining companies, and regulators, and policy makers alike.  It is sobering to see the truth about mining and politics put in perspective.

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