Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘British Columbia’ Category

DSCN0164

I have no data to support the opinions I write of in this posting.  So please do your own research before deciding, panicking, or acting on anything said below.

Today I was outside smoking in the damp rain when my smoking companion said that he had just surveyed the salaries of mining geoscientists (geologists and geotechnical engineers).  He noted that it appears that salaries for such folk are, on average, higher in Canada than in the USA.

My first reaction was to note that salaries for geoscientists in the oil sands and related consulting organizations probably skew the averages for Canada.  He promised to look into this.

Then I pointed out that if you look at geoscientists salaries in Orange County (California), Denver, or San Francisco you would find averages much higher than the USA average.  Afterall there are many states where salaries are low.  A geotechnical engineer working for a local authority in Iowa or Mississippi will drag down the average.

I returned to my office to field a call from one such person working in the oil sands.  He noted that Calgary is no longer a place of infinite jobs–most companies serving the oil sands overstaffed in the past in fear, and now find themselves with a surplus of engineers.   He said there simply are few jobs on offer now in Calgary–times have changed significantly.

He conceded that salaries are higher in the oil sands than in the rest of Canada.  He has just hired away from a Vancouver company a bright young engineer and is going to pay him more than the Vancouver consultant.  A good example of the drift of qualified folk from consulting to the mining companies themselves.  No wonder a few Vancouver consultants have laid off many or are considering reduced work weeks!

Yet another phone call told me off an Orange County, California consultant.  Just returned from South Africa, he is planning to lure bright mining geoscientists from South Africa to California.  Apparently, he thinks they are smart and in many ways ahead of USA engineers in innovative practices & solutions in the mining industry.  He thinks the industry can absorb and use them; and he can make money from them.  Good News!

I am not sure how you make sense of or put a common thread to these fleeting discussions.  Maybe the simple fact is that there will always be work for highly skilled people regardless of the state of the industry or economy.  Let me now what you know and how you think on these questions.

tumblr_n2vq4teobW1qcla2no1_500[1]

 

Read Full Post »

tumblr_n26c05nGZl1qcla2no1_500[1]

Spent today in a course on Covers in Cold Climates.  The course is part of the seminar to follow tomorrow and Wednesday on the same topics.  Arranged by InfoMine, it is being held in Whistler, which is a nice, but not spectacular place to have a conference—I prefer Banff or Vancouver.   For the Fairmont Chateau Whistler is a pale reflection of those other grand hotels with the Fairmont name: a bland and ugly exterior that replicates in cheap detail the features of the hotel in Vancouver that it tries to emulate. (more…)

Read Full Post »

photo

Here above is a photo taken today by a colleague.  It shows a sky-sculpture above the Vancouver conference center.  Appears the sky phenomena is to advertise the TED conference.  Attendance costs a mere $5,300 or so. (more…)

Read Full Post »

PotD_1166 jmb[1]

Treehuggers don’t like mining.  They fear: the loss of trees; cutting down of old-growth forests; turning the soil to extract rare earths for their computers and electric cars; and anything that changes the landscape.  Their websites call for replacement of cyanide by corn-starch, no use of mercury by artisanal miners, and windmills made of solid wood conveying electricity by means we know not of. (more…)

Read Full Post »

P1020680

If you are interested in how mining companies fared in Canadian courts last year, you would do well to download and read the McCarthy Tetrault Mining in the Courts Year in Review Vol IV – March 2014 available at this link.  The volume includes detailed information about the facts leading to 21 court cases and decisions in Canadian courts that involved mining companies.  More important the volume provides clear and concise information about the court decisions and what these decisions mean for mining companies.  (more…)

Read Full Post »

DSCF2271

Today I spent reviewing abstracts for the conference Geosynthetic Solutions in Mining 2014.  We have received about thirty superb abstracts.  Only two missed the mark—mine planning and waste management, but no consideration of geosynthetics therein.  We have asked the authors to rework their abstracts for their topics promise fascinating insight. (more…)

Read Full Post »

 DSCF2264

The seminar on Cold Cover is upcoming in April in Whistler.  What a great opportunity for a few days of leisure and information in a beautiful place.  Just the thing for the privileged few in mining who can persuade their boss that they need & deserve the exposure to ideas and experts that would otherwise involve much web searching and downloading. I will be there — if this blog posting does not get me banned from attending.  For my challenge to the experts presenting is this: negate what I said so many years ago.  Do not obfuscate; do not formulate pusillanimous alternative to prove you are original; and tell us the truth. (more…)

Read Full Post »

DSCF2090 - Copy - Copy - Copy

While buying cigarettes today I glanced at the TV in the little shop where I shop and saw the start of the speech on the Canadian budget.  Tonight I went where I should not and was told that clients are not coming, “For they have no money for pleasure.” (more…)

Read Full Post »

DSCF2216

When we arrived in North America we envisaged a great career consulting to the mining industry.  We had been successful consultants in South Africa providing many services to many mines.  We gave advice, they built what we suggested, and sometimes we produced a report when the work was done. (more…)

Read Full Post »

DSCF2081

I have moved on from countries and companies. I have left (and re-entered) countries. I have left companies and joined the principals in other companies. I have, in a word, moved around. At 67, I spend no time cogitating on these past decisions.  With so long a history of making decisions and moving on, I have so much to regret that I would go crazy thinking what would have been had I not made those many decisions.  It is futile to regret a past decision that may have been the wrong decision. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 436 other followers