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Geosynthetics Mining Solutions is the first ever conference to address the topic of the use of geosynthetics in mining.  InfoMine is organizing the conference which will take place in Vancouver on September 8 to 11th, 2014.  For my sins I am sort of leading the team organizing the conference.

I say sort of, for there is an amazing team of energetic individuals who are doing the work and telling me what to do—a perfect example of management by selection of good staff.

Why a conference on geosynthetics in mining?  Simple.  A few years ago Andy Robertson who runs InfoMine asked for suggestions for future conferences.  I was at the time deep into the selection of geosynthetics for a mining project.  I could find nothing applicable to the use of geosynthetics in the mining context.  Thus is seemed a topic worthy of exploring.

Andy had lectured me that the use of geosynthetics in mining involves the following two issues not generally encountered in the use of geosynthetics in landfill, road, and other municipal works:

  • The harsh environment of mines resulting from the many chemicals, heat, and loads involved in mining structures.
  • The need to build mining waste disposal facilities to last for a very long time, certainly much longer than most civil works.

 So we got to work.  The results have been amazing:

  • SLR signed on as a cosponsor–some good old friends in SLR happily supported me thus far.
  • Almost every maker, supplier, and installer of geosynthetics has signed up to exhibit.  If for no other reasons come see the booths to get a detailed view of modern geosynthetics and their use in mining.
  • Next, without fail, everybody I asked to present a keynote address, agreed with enthusiasm.  Another good reasons to come to the conference: if only to hear the leaders in the field talk of the current state-of-the-art.
  • Three groups of experts have promised one-day courses.
  • Finally papers were prepared–I have read and reviewed every one and they are all great: new ideas, new uses, and grand engineering solutions.  I look forward to the presentations and I am certain you will learn at least as much if not more than I have from the papers.

Registration is open and to date has been great with large numbers registering to come.  This is encouraging for the more people the more the contacts, and ideas.  So come join us.

 Here is the link to the first page of the website.  Also take a look at the conference program at this link.

September is a great time to be in Vancouver.  So come prepared to cycle the seawall, climb the mountains for spectacular views, eat in the best restaurants worldwide, and participate in the first of what we trust will be an ongoing series of conference on using geosynthetics to make mining more effective, economical, and safe.

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A Balancing Act at Granville Island

It was bound to happen–I just wondered when.  With Pebble essentially down, attention now turns to new BC mines that may affect rivers that flow into Alaska.  Here is a statement that hit my email this morning. (more…)

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At this link is an interview with Anglo American’s Mark Cutifani on the past progress and promised future performance of Anglo American.  His message: we will get there, with there being a 15% return on capital employed (ROCE). (more…)

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Planning for the upcoming conference Geosynthetics Mining Solutions 2014 is well advanced. As the above news items attest, there is great interest in geosynthetics and this conference will focus on the use of geosynthetics in mining. We have many fine sponsors and a great slate of papers—with more still on their way. Please to be able to tell that Mike O’Kane and his folk at O’Kane Consultants have promised two great papers on the use of geosynthetics in the covers of closed mine waste disposal facilities. (more…)

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The great news is that all is going well regarding the upcoming conference Geosynthetics Mining Solutions.  The conference is to be held in Vancouver September 8 to 11, 2014.

We have sold out the sponsorships–so almost everybody that is anybody in the world of geosynthetics manufacturers, suppliers, and installers will be there.  I am very grateful to them all.  But most impressive is that many have teamed with consultants to write paper about the application of their products in mining case histories.

We have published the first list of papers.  May change as more come in or, sadly, one or two drop out.  But I think it is fair to say that we have an extraordinary set of papers, most of which include case histories new to me.  In fact I am amazed and impressed at the variety of new applications to which geosynthetics are being put in the mining industry.  Here are three that catch my attention:

  • Rigid Inclusions for Embankment Support over Waste Phosphatic Clay by Ed Garbin, James D. Hussin, Jeffrey R. Hill
  • GCLs in heap leach pads: state of the art and practice by T. Meyer and C. Athanassopoulos
  • Use of an innovative geocomposite (paradrain) to build a reinforced 2H:1V slope using clay and silty soils for stormwater management pond by Ravin Nag, Jasmina Nikodinoska

In addition to a superb collection of papers with practical bent, we have the support of leading practitioners who will present keynote speeches on the work they are doing in geosynthetics in mining.  You may have seen some of the adverts in recent magazines that list most of them.  Due to an oversight on my part (I get old)  we did not list Mark Smith.  But here I wish to make amends.  I have never met Mark, but I have read just about everything he has written and published on geosynthetics, and I know he knows his stuff better than the rest of us.  I look forward to meeting him and hearing him talk.

On the Monday preceding the conference we have three short courses. Here the details

Course 1 – Geosynthetic Design Considerations for Heap Leach Pads – “Extreme Fill Loads on Geomembrane Liner Systems”

Presenters:

Timothy D. Stark, Ph.D., P.E., D.GE, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

Robert H. Swan, Jr., Drexel University, USA

Allan Breitenbach, Ausenco, USA

R. Kerry Rowe, Queens University, Canada

View the course outline

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Course 2 – Introduction to Geosynthetics in Mining

Presenters:

Dirk van Zyl, Professor and Chair of Mining and the Environment, University of British Columbia, Canada

Sam Allen, Vice President, TRI Geosynthetics Services, USA

Terry Mandziak, P.E., Principal Consultant, Geotechnical Engineering, SRK Consulting (U.S.), Inc., USA

View the course outline

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Course 3 – Horizontal Drainage, QA and QC: Cost Effective Strategies to Ensure Safe, Leak-Proof and Efficient Geosynthetic Lining Systems

Presenters:

Eric Blond, eng.M.Sc.A., Vice-president, SAGEOS/CTT Group, Canada

Arnaud Budka, ing., Project Director, Groupe Alphard, Canada

Pascal Saunier, P.Eng., Ing., Technical Director, Afitex-Texel Inc., Canada

View the course outline

This is the first conference specifically on the topic of geosynthetics in mining.  And it promises to be great.  Come join us and register now.

 

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Almost everybody in mining that I talk to has an adverse opinion about the recent Canada Supreme Court ruling that the Crown has a duty to obtain First Nations or Aboriginal consent before mining on claimed land.   Opinions include: (more…)

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Here is a copy of an email alert that I received today.  All about a new book on gender in mining.  I quote below from the email and from the Amazon.com site where you can buy the book. (more…)

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Here is an email from today’s box that is worth repeating.  Makes you aware of the comments made to me yesterday by a client: “The US has not opened a new mine of note in decades and is now almost without mines.  It’s all very well to import, but at what cost to domestic workers and long-term security?” (more…)

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Here are two links to two very different reports on Tahoe’s Escobal mine in Guatemala.  I need to rush to join clients for drinks and supper, so no comment other than to repeat what one of the articles reports on what I said in an interview with the reporter.  Oh Dear! (more…)

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Last Saturday night we went to Bard on the Beach to watch The Tempest.  First a supper on the grass beneath the trees: wine; bread, sushi; and a whole roast chicken eaten with gusto and more wine.  And an avoidance of the rain that threatened and then came in gusts during the performance. (more…)

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