The sun is shining bright and the day is warm here is Huntington Beach, California, where I am spending time with kids and grandkids. Somehow or other, the pressures of taking the kids to McDonald’s and other diverse hamburger places for lunch, riding the bike down to the beach, being nice at parties to old & new friends, and shopping for the festive season, have left no time for blogging. Plus there were no obvious topics on mining that met the requisite level of interest and contentiousness.
This morning, however, I went into the offices of an old friend who runs a consulting company, many of whose clients are mining companies. Our discussions provide a snapshot of the mining industry in southern California. Here are a few.
Yesterday he was at an old quarry that begun mining more than a hundred years ago. Their discharge water is higher in selenium than the discharge water quality standards. Now I know nothing about selenium, except what he tells me: it comes out of rocks left behind after mining for the raw materials needed to make cement. As the affected river flows into a major Californian bay, and they want to expand the quarry, the issue of selenium is now top of the list. Makes you wonder how the bay fared over the past hundred years.
Then we talked about the issue of walking away from a mine at closure. Basically how do you turn it over to someone else to take care of. The obvious answer is to deed the property and plenty of money to some organization with a need for the land. Some possibilities include religions groups seeking a retreat site, druggies seeking to cultivate in peace, cemetaries for the rich, or rural retreats for the homeless. Although once when I suggested using an old British Columbia mine as a rural retreat for the homeless of East Vancouver, my liberal lady friend berated me, saying: “How can you deprive them of easy access to the city, and its alcohol, drugs, and prostitutes?” So I dropped that idea.
Then we talked of preparing a proposal for a mine in Alaska. Seems all the big consultants are after this one, in one form or other. Donlin Creek it is. I am not sure what they are looking to do, but they do have the California consultants abuzz.
Then I left, went to the book store, bought cheap books as Christmas presents, and ate a great hamburger at Ruby’s. Life is different in southern California to elsewhere. Right now in the sunny middle of winter it is hard to be serious or gloomy. So enjoy the run-up to Christmas and the holidays. No promises of regular blogging though,