I have just added a blog new to me to the blogroll on the right-hand side of this page. The blog is called The Economic Geologist. It would appear to have been going since earlier this month. Here is how he describes himself:
The Economic Geologist works on international precious metals exploration projects. He blogs about his experience of the less academic side of the geology, mining and exploration industry, hoping to give students and young geologists a better grip… where the rubber meets the road. He likes to muse about the practicalities of bridging the gap between good old geology, other mining technical fields and business. The rest of the time he writes about his personal learnings as he wades through the mining industry and the odd observation on commodity markets, project development and ore deposits.
The most current posting contains a magnificent series of photos of a blast at Kolomela a mine somewhere in South Africa. Take a look.
Some interesting statistics he gives:
In the 1970s, a study for the World Bank showed that in the first year of operation after commissioning, 60% of the mines and 70% of the treatment plants surveyed achieved a production rate of less than 70% of design capacity. In the 1980s, a study of 35 Australian gold mines found that 68% failed to deliver the planned head grade. A similar review of nearly 50 North American projects showed that only 10% achieved their commercial aims with 38% failing within about one year.
A hint as to where he writes from is in this quote:
My first assignment as a young geologist was to the core yard of a platinum mine on the Bushveld Complex. I was the apprentice and my “master” was one from the old school. He’d been resident on the mine for near on 25 years. His figure under the tin roof of the logging area with head tilted over the core trays, cigarette in hand, in his daily uniform of faded jeans, safety boots and washed-out khaki shirt, represented an era nearing an end. A time when entire drillholes were logged on the back of a Stuyvesant 30 packet, before databases and remote sensing.
I may have been around at that time too. I was working on the new slimes dam for the Bafokeng Mine.
And so we wish the economic geologist fruitful blogging. Keep at it even though at times you wonder why you do it. Then it becomes routine; in the evening take a drink, take an event from the day, and the words form themselves.