Archive for the ‘About the news’ Category


The premise is that you can find the job you seek at the new-format, newly-updated CareerMine.  See this link: http://www.infomine.com/careers/

The top two jobs at Suncor: one a welder and the other a mechanical maintenance supervisor.  Not my dream jobs!

Sorry.  I noticed you have to filter by a thousand criteria.  So I chose Engineering for which there are a promised 5,141 jobs.   I put in Canada, eschewing Mpamlanga, Belo Horizonte, and Witbank.  Who wants to go work there?  Saw a report today that the murder-death rate in Brazil is worse than Iraq!  And have you seen Witbank?  I grew up near there and would die rather than go there.  But why Witbank?  It is a most inconspicuous place.

Can’t say my search yielded much.  In the engineering category we have these distinctly non-engineering jobs: proposal writer; quality manager; safety coordinator; master scheduler; and sale rep, fire safety division.  Shows you cannot trust those kids entering jobs–they know nothing, sadly, but they can enter crap, fast.  Or is it the search engine?  That cannot distinguish engineering from everything else?   Best to get a qualified headhunter onto the job. Had a call from one last week. Poor fellow was polite but shaken when I told him I  am 68 and not in the market–what a waste of his call.  Still he asked me to tell him if I knew a master shaft sinker.

[Added after first posting.]  One of the advantages of a blog is that you can add to it at any time.  After posting the first version of this post, the folk at CareerMine showed me how to navigate the site.  Quite a powerful site if you know how to navigate it.  But it requires expertise or experiment or extreme patience.  Persist if you truly want a job.  I play around a bit and found the  job at this link–Suncor is looking for a Tailings Reduction Operations (TRO) engineer.  That would be fun if I were younger.  For what it is worth I have worked on the project as a consultant for a number of years and there is still a lot to learn and to do.  Good luck to the job applicant who gets it.

If you want to go to the Northern Territories of Australia, there is a subcontracts administrator needed.  And a yard operator manager, and a driver–of what is not specified.  On jobs in Australia, today I read this–came via an email–but I am sure you can find the original on the web:

Australia’s mining industry professionals (including geoscientists and mining engineers) have experienced a cut of almost 20 per cent in their salaries in the past two years. They also face greater pressure at work as a result of the downturn in the minerals sector. Research released today by the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) revealed:

  • Average salaries for minerals professionals are down 19 per cent on 2012 levels.
  • Minerals professionals working at the most senior levels are earning less in 2014 than they did in 2008 – even without adjusting for inflation.
  • Minerals professionals who are employed are working an average 4 hours a week longer than a year ago, while unemployment amongst minerals professionals has continued to increase.

‘Minerals professionals have experienced a roller-coaster with strong job opportunities and salaries growth during the minerals boom, and a sudden and significant downward adjustment in the last two years.  This was evident in AusIMM’s recent employment report which showed that unemployment amongst Australian minerals professionals has climbed sharply to more than 12 per cent.’

So sad.  I have visited Australia but once and that was to see friends.  My friends there, all from South Africa, complained that salaries for consultants to the mining industry were insane and out of line with productivity.

About two years ago I chatted to an engineer I respect.  He does peer review consulting in Australia.  He said then that he was amazed at how little the average Australian consultant worked: “Get to the office at nine, and nobody is there.  Leave after four and nobody is there.  They know nothing of evening or weekend work.  And during the day they are mostly coffee drinkers.  They are the least productive engineers anywhere in the world.”

Strong words.  I know not if this is true, but he is generally kind and nice.

I have had a bit to do with an Australian project recently.  Ouch!  That is all I can say.  Maybe one day I will tell the rest for they do rest often!

So, if you seek that perfect job, go to Australia–they still do less and earn more than anybody else.  And maybe the new CareerMine that I cannot navigate will yield to your kind attention.  Here is a challenge: go to the new CareerMine and see if you can navigate it and find the perfect job for you.  I would be delighted to hear you did, but I may not believe you.

OK that is why the headhunter did not want me at 68–a computer dunce who thinkest not like the young.


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The Tyee, a local Vancouver e-newspaper with a decidedly liberal bent today published an article on peer review of Mt Polley.  David Ball is the author of the piece.  I think he did a good job in balancing the opinions. I admit to being hopelessly prejudiced in this opinion.  For if you read David’s piece, you will note that he quotes me and Nordie Morgenstern.  David called me a while ago and asked how I would have gone about preventing Mt Polley and how I would go about preventing future Mt Polleys.  We talked long about peer review.  To his credit he checked what I was telling him by contacting Nordie Morgenstern.  He also established that there is currently only one tailings facility in BC that has a peer review board. (more…)

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Just a short note to alert you to the announcement by Cliff Natural Resources that they plan to close their Bloom Lake Mine in Quebec, and that the estimated cost of closure is up to $700 million.  That is not quiet as much as is estimated for the BC KSM Mine; their closure cost estimate is a clean one billion dollars.   And compare that to the estimated $750,000,000 in bonds posted with BC for closure of all current mines in BC.  Or the billion dollar estimate to close the Giant Mine.  I am told the estimated cost to close the Faro Mine is $600,000,000 but don’t quote me on that. We will watch the unfolding of the news on the cost to close Bloom Lake.  It must surely be cheaper to keep it open indefinitely with a skeleton crew and a glimmer of hope that is will go into full production again sometime in the future.

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This picture and the others in this posting were taken by me at Knotsberry Farm in California.
A great place to visit and enjoy a terrifying ride along the raging river of insanity.

If you seek a thorough and intelligent analysis of dealing with uranium mill sites (and particularly the tailings facility) take a look at the following–it is an amazingly comprehensive document–and should be required reading for all involved in mine management, regardless of whether the mine is uranium, copper, gold, or something else. (more…)

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Here is the outfall of the Pebble Mine and Mt Polley Mine debacles.  A report on the Seabridge Gold’s KSM Mine in BC.  The report is authored by Salmon Beyond Borders, a coalition of Alaska Native tribal members, commercial, sport and subsistence fishermen, and other groups, in consultation with Earthworks.  The press release is at this link.  The full report is at this link.  Here from the press release on the five key risks associated with the mine: (more…)

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slavemarket1big (1)

Or you could title this post:  “Mine or be a Slave.” The images in this post are disturbing.  That is intentional.  I seek to be as provocative as ever I have been.  So read on and let us fight over this idea.  The idea that if you do not mine, you become somebody else’s slave. I am prompted to write this by some reports today.  The first is this from the National Mining Association: (more…)

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A million here.  A million there.  Who cares?  It is just taxpayer money spent by your local government providing the services you expect to be provided at no cost!  Just learnt that HATCH has been awarded a contract by the BC Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) to review the independent reviews of BC tailings dams that MEM ordered pursuant to the failure of Mt Polley. (more…)

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