Archive for July, 2010
On my desk are the Proceedings of the 2nd International Congress on Water Management in the Mining Industry. I would not presume to review the many papers therein. They range from the spectacular to the insane. There are many papers that remind us of the shortage of water in northern Chile and how tenuous mining is there, being so dependant on limited supplies of water. Seems desalination is the only solution to a certain supply of water for mining in the high desert. (more…)
Silly articles about the price of gold litter the mining news media. Mineweb has degenerated into a kind of three-ring circus that each day delivers up at least three more superficial stories on the price of gold. One article says the price will go up; one says it will stay constant; and one says it will go down. At least nobody can accuse them of a prejudiced point of view. (more…)
Here is part of an e-mail I received this week. It is ad for a job with MiningWatch Canada to keep an eye on mining in Guatemala. The salary is $58,000 a year with four weeks leave. If I were able to speak Spanish, I would apply. Seems like a pure sinecure. Afterall there is only one mine in Guatemala, the Marlin Mines, and that has been written about to death. Plus supposedly it is “closed” down because of NGOs. OK there is a planned silver mine near Guatemala City and it will be much more fun to ply the entertainment districts of the city after work than to chug the long road to El Salitre while avoiding the traffic of the drug and coyote transporters.
Conversely a few days later, I saw a job for $US 20,000 to do much the same working for a group called Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA). This appears to be a USA group based in Oakland (presuambly California–not a nice place to be sure, but one where I would have thought there were many opportunities for home-focus social action.) In what follows, I post both ads. They are both fascinating to see. But exhausting to comtemplate: just how many people are competing in the NGO community to outdo each other in attacking mines in Guatemala?
My theory is that there is a bigger conspiracy at work here. Maybe somebody is trying to oust Goldcorp so they (this other shadow group) can take over the mine and its profits? If you think this is far-fetched, read on. (more…)
Nordie Morgenstern is well known to all who work in the oil sands tailings industry. He sits on the geotechnical peer review boards of both Syncrude and Suncor. He travels the world consulting to mines on geotechnical issues. He is in great demand as an expert witness on legal cases. (more…)
This is a review of the book Finding Far Way by Lisa Wade. Book reviews tell as much about the reviewer, and maybe more, than they tell of the book and its author. This review is highly colored by the fact that I have consulted to Lisa on a project in Guatemala where she has been in charge of environmental affairs at the Marlin Mine for the past few years. She is about to transfer in August to headoffice, The Mothership, as she call it in her book. She is about to become one of the folk from headquarters who fly down from Vancouver to South and Central American Mines and stir things up, solve problems, and sometimes leave a trail of trepidation and hard work in their wake. (more…)
Guatemala, Goldcorp, Marlin and the White-Man’s Burden of Mining; The Next Earthquake Disaster and Many Dead
Posted in About the news, Church, Gold, health, health and safety, Human relations and mining, Investing & Finance, Latin America, tagged burden, earthquake church, Goldcorp, Guatemala, lies, marlin, mining on July 2, 2010 | 3 Comments »
The Goldcorp Marlin Mine in Guatemala is a fascinating case history in the ups and downs of mining, of the license-to-mine, of community relations, of so-called sustainable development, and the role of law in a just system. Then there is the fascinating aspect of a government that may not be entirely competent or uncorrupt; and which is beset by social and religious fights, and the need for money to balance the budget. Although I have met a number of government officials and they all seemed honest and earnest to me. They struck me as ordinary, decent people trying to do the right thing in a situation beset by violence, racialism, and poverty-related turmoil. Not to mention the pernicious influence of drug trafficking and rival religious groups. They were moreover beset by trying to deal with the terrible influence of meddling groups of internationalists seeking personal exposure and gain. (more…)