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Archive for March, 2012

Could mining really be this easy?  Cut the ore from the earth like a steady-handed surgeon, and then mend the wound with the salvaged skin of overburden and gangue.  Surely we are not so lucky – we’ve forgotten the tailings – what to do about those pesky tailings? (more…)

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I think the business section of the paper is consistently the most interesting; there is always some article which catches your eye. Today’s point of interest has a mining basis which relates to one of the major Northwest Territories diamond mines, Diavik.  In short, Rio Tinto is looking to sell its stake in the mine in order to focus on “expanding into more scalable and profitable commodities such as iron ore, copper and uranium” as their investment in diamond mining amounts to less than 2% of total profits. (more…)

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A radical thesis:  If I had a million dollars to invest in a single mine, I would go meet the mine’s Health & Safety Officer.  If they impressed me, I would invest.  If they did not, I would get on the next plane and fly to the next mine on the list.  (more…)

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There is no such thing as a typical mining investor.  That much was brought home to me today.  (more…)

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At lunch today a colleague posed the question, would you invest in a Mexican mining enterprise? My answer: I honestly don’t have a clue. (more…)

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6A

A very simple answer to the question: why invest in mining in Chile?  Mining is booming in Chile; they seem to have the right government; they have the resources; the climate is right for mines in the far north; and the big companies are all in play.  (more…)

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Right now it seems a no-brainer: invest in Australian mining.  Well, maybe this is not good advice.  According to a smart young Australian with whom I chatted this week, Australia is headed for decline, decay, and mining investment disaster. (more…)

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This week I have read and debated about tailings disposal in the desert.  That set me in mind of a paper I wrote more than twenty years ago.  It is fun to go back and see what was in issue then as compared to now.  Here is the link to the paper with the long title Remedial Activities in Arid Areas: The Design of  Hazardous Waste Cells in the Desert.  Some of what we wrote then is now out-of-date, but a surprising amount is still valid.   Because it is Friday, the sun is shining, and my bike beckons, I say no more than invite you to download it and contemplate the passage of time and the developmen of knowledge.   A good weekend.

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I do not know if the following is true:  my father used to say that the only person on the mine who is assured of a new facility is the mill manager.  The reason my father gave is this: when you rework the concrete foundations of the mill you recovery so much gold that it pays for a new mill and turns a tidy profit.  Apparently, the old mill spilt so much solution that the concrete of the slabs and foundations of the mill were indurated with recoverable gold. (more…)

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With the Paste 2012 conference on mine tailings just a few weeks away in Sun City, I’ve pinched this title from a question posed at the 2008 conference in the paper Surface disposal of paste and thickened tailings – A brief history and current confronting issues.  So thank you to the authors (M. Williams, K. Seddon, and T. Fitton) for putting that insightful paper together. (more…)

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