The conference on Heap Leach Facilities is upcoming in September. I have read all the papers as part of the review processes. Many are very good and opened my eyes to issues and solutions I had not hitherto stumbled on. If you work in the field of heap leach facilities, this is the conference for you. Maybe! This week a senior person from a large mining company told me that all discretionary travel is banned as they try to save money and pay dividends. Only the person who promoted the writing of the paper will be allowed to travel to the conference–the rest must stay at home.
In the August edition of Scientific American are a series of short pieces about on-line learning—the use of computers and websites as a way to learn. The article notes that there are at least seventy website that focus on on-line learning. EduMine is not mentioned, but it is the only one that I know of that provides on-line courses on mining.
Which raises the issue of why go to a conference to learn? Fact is you do not go to a conference to learn. You go to a conferences to meet old friends, to be entertained, to hear a little about the state of the art from bad presentations. Why bother?
Point is that if you seek to learn about heap leaching then it is a lot cheaper and more informative to go to the EduMine on-line course on Heap Leaching—and to attend the webcast of much the same name.
We are running the webcast two weeks before the conference. But we will spend time in the webcast looking at the best papers to be presented at the conference. So if you join the webcast you will know at least as much, and probably more, than the person who travels at great expense to Vancouver.
Fact is that the cost of webcast attendance is a fraction of the cost of going to a conference. I think the webcast is about $350. The conference is thousands when you add in travel, hotel, fancy meals in expensive Vancouver restaurants, and the attendance fee.
At least one venerable consulting company has already made the decision: they have registered four of their staff from around the world for the webcast, and only one for the conferences.
So if you are not amongst the very privileged in mining who are given free holidays at company expense to go to exotic places for fancy conferences, but you still desire to keep abreast of developments in your area of responsibility, and desire to keep learning, my advice is to go webcasting.
You are most welcome to join us. I promise we will tell you all those who come to the conference will hear and more.