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Archive for December, 2012

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

About 55,000 tourists visit Liechtenstein every year. This blog was viewed about 270,000 times in 2012. If it were Liechtenstein, it would take about 5 years for that many people to see it. Your blog had more visits than a small country in Europe!

Click here to see the complete report.

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A cornucopia of impressions as I look back on the past two days.  The overall impression is crowds; the crowds of greater Los Angeles and Orange County in the days of a week of holidays; and the crowds of thirty-million people in a relatively small area.  I almost long for the smallness & loneliness of Vancouver. (more…)

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When I was a kid on a mine in South Africa, the day after Christmas was truly Boxing Day.  The excitement of presents subsided and we got to play with the new toys at leisure.  There was no TV so we truly sat quietly and read the new books Santa had brought.  The servants were off for the day and our parents, every reluctant to cook, simply spread the left-overs from which we picked as fancy and appetite dictated.  The sun shone ever-bright and we dipped yet again into the mine swimming pool and got ever more burnt to produce today’s sun-scorched skin and cancers. (more…)

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Me and my grandson both are fascinated by dragons.  It was inevitable my daughter would  give us both toy dragons for Christmas.  Both by Fisher-Price; both big and red; and both mechanical or at least battery-powered is some form or other.  (more…)

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The very southern tip of Los Angeles is San Pedro, the area around the LA Harbor.  Here are some photos that I took yesterday while we spent the day cycling around and lazing on my daughter’s boat.

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Tonight with my second-eldest grand-daughter we watched the DVD of  Stephan Sondheim’s Company.  A modern opera—as she said: ” This is opera, grandpa!?” (more…)

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In the mid-fifties, gold cost $35 an ounce.  My father, a mine captain, earned a hundred and fifty pounds a month.  I cannot be sure of the exchange rate.  Vaguely I recall that a pound was about two dollars.  So let us say he earned about ten ounces of gold a month or about one hundred ounces of gold a year.

With gold at about $1,700 an ounce these days, a hundred-ounce-a-year salary is about $170,000.   How many miners these days earn that sum?  Truth is not many from what I can see.  You have to be pretty senior to earn that salary–but then my father was relatively senior.

These gold-price to salary comparisons are prompted by a fun article in Commodity HQ at this link.  Surprising how little an ounce of gold buys these days.  I know that I spend the equivalent of an ounce of gold each month on books, CDs, DVDs, and other indulgences, vices, and diversions.  What gold-percent of your income goes on pure pleasure?

Which makes me wonder if mining salaries and the price of gold have advanced in lock-step with the price of gold — or have salaries fallen behind?  Is there a correlation?  I have done no research for this posting.  I leave that to those with a greater eye for the detail of the price of gold.  And I would appreciate your take on the correlation of the gold price and mining salaries.

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Not sure how I missed the blog Mining Mayhem for so long.  I have posted a link to this fascinating site on my blogroll to the right.  It is well worth your time to go take a look. 

Nothing serious in the way of analysis, but instead a glorious collection of photographs of mining accidents and mishaps.  Most of trucks and other mining equipment that have fallen down, tipped over, or gotten bogged down. 

These photos go to remind us of the need for constant attention to health and safety in the mining environment.

Not sure how he gets all these photos, but I sure  hope he keeps collecting and posting them.  I for one will go back frequently to see new ones.

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Just received word of another conference on tailings to be held in 2013.  The new one is the First International Seminar on Tailings Management.  It is planned for 28 to 30 August in the Sheraton Hotel in Santiago, Chile.  (more…)

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We, the mining brats, when we were little ities, would hang onto the fence during break at Pinegrove Primary School in Springs, South Africa and watch the cars go by.  As mining brats we were more privileged and informed than the other kids.  They never saw magazines; they knew nothing of new cars; their clothes were of cheap cloth and bad cut; we had sturdy metal bicycles; our parents worked on the local mine, East Geduld. (more…)

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