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There is still time to join us for the upcoming EduMine webcast Advanced Tailings and Mine Waste Facility Design, Operation, and Closure.  Here is the link to the course.

Even if you have taken other courses before conferences, or the other EduMine webcast on Introduction to Tailings, or our previous Advanced Tailings courses, I know you will find interesting and exciting information, perspectives, practices, and case histories in this new course.

We have completely renovated the materials.  First we feature, on each of the three days of the webcast, a series of talks by Christian Kujawa, Robert Cooke, and Ian Hutchison on these topics:

  • Conventional tailings.
  • Thickened tailings.
  • Filter pressed tailings.

Christian and Robert are with Paterson and Cooke—they are leading consultants in making, transporting, and distributing tailings.  They have put together a great series of presentations on thickeners, cyclones, pipes conveyors, and the details of making and working with thickened, paste, and filtered tailings.  Their presentations will put you at the cutting edge of technology and practice in the production, transport, and distribution of all types of tailings.

Ian Hutchison is with SLR—he and his colleagues are experts in the design, construction, operation, and closure of tailings facilities.  They have assembled a suite of new case histories from North America, Australia, and South Africa.  Most are new to me—and I follow the topic pretty carefully.

I will come in from time to time to talk of theses new topics:

  • Risk assessment and decision-making for tailings management.
  • Dam safety inspections and evaluations.
  • Case histories on new project that I am working on–I am particularly proud that Nyrstar are permitting me to talk of closure planning for the Myra Falls mine here in BC.

In addition I will present summaries of the best new papers to be presented at the upcoming conference Paste 2014.  I have read all the papers and here I present a preview of those that impressed me most.  Time permitting, I will also talk about papers to be presented next week in Brazil at the conference on Mine Closure.

Lawrence Charlebois will spend an hour or so on that most difficult set of tailings topics, namely rheology, beaching, and Optimized Seasonal Deposition of polymer amended tailings.  For polymer amendment works.  I know that.  It just needs a bit of bold field application and the oil sands folk will be seen as heroes.

In short, this is a great opportunity to come up to speed with the newest & best in tailings.  Come join us and advance your knowledge & career by hearing from the most knowledgeable & experienced in the field.  I look forward to meeting & talking with you.  And it is a hell-of-a-lot cheaper than those expensive conferences where you fall asleep through dull presentations by amateurs.

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At this link is a New Yorker article that I read today.  Read it and no comment from me is needed.  It tells of the dark side of mining coal and the Republican corruption and blindness that is West Virginia.  A terrible story that is frightening to contemplate as reality elsewhere. (more…)

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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…)

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Most engineers have no idea what the strength of a soil or tailings implies.  Let me write a little about the physicality of soil and tailings of a given strength. (more…)

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I have some “I am sorries” to say.   I do this publically here as it gives me the opportunity to convey interesting information that may interest you. This is a story of the perils of blogging: no deep research before penning a posting.  And the dangers of just writing too much, too fast, for too many friends who lean on me to produce text for their websites. (more…)

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Case History

A simple cover of rock is what we constructed at the 24 UMTRA piles.  Over the radioactive wastes and radon barrier was a layer of rock.  Many thought this ugly.  Personally I think a pile of rock standing proud in the landscape is beautiful: not natural, but so robust and textured that it impresses the mind and eye.

Rock was used to control, nay eliminate erosion, for 1,000 years and more.  The rock was placed to resist the forces of erosion by waters rushing down the cover.  The rock type was selected to resist decay for as long a period as we had courage to predict. (more…)

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The promise of results from risk assessments is as seductive as the picture above.  The results are as fuzzy and fantasy-based as the picture above.  But doing risk assessments is as much fun as it would be to be a participant in the scene above.  Let me explain. (more…)

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Today I received a phone call from the editor of a site new to me on the topic of mining.  The site is Oil, Gas, & Mining.  He asked me to write an article for the site on the issues of geosynthetics in mining.  Thus I blog–by way of full disclosure I am influenced by the request.  But as is my standard philosophy, I write about a thing mining in anticipation that it will interest you. (more…)

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It is twenty below here in southeastern Iowa.  The same as the reported temperature in Fort McMurray.  Here everything is mostly shut down.  So we stay in doors and avoid discussions about politics.   Instead  of trying to records things here—which would just offend somebody—I repeat this from an email, and use it as a way to express sympathy with the families of those who died in mining last year. (more…)

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Took the grandkids to see the latest Hobbit’s movie today.  Three long hours of fighting orcs and dwarves seeking to get back their gold.  The premise of the movie is that the dwarves mined gold, made & collected gold coins, goblets, and chalices; and lived in a fortress in the hills. Of course much gold did not bring them wealth or peace.  Instead a dragon came, destroyed the town, scattered the dwarves, and went to sleep amongst the gold.  He was happy.  The dwarves sought to regain the gold and an odd jewel that all had sworn on to defend the faith.  It falls to a Hobbit to get the jewel and get rid of the dragon. (more…)

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