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Archive for the ‘Commodity’ Category

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The hall of the parliament building in Ottawa

It does make a difference to your wages if you work on a Canadian metal or diamond or fossil fuel mine.  Here are some numbers to highlight the differences.  I quote from the new CostMine 2014 Survey Results- Canadian Mine Salaries, Wages and Benefits. Here are some average wages by mined commodity in Canadian dollars per hour.  The first number is for metal mines; the second for diamond mines; and the third for fossil fuel mines. (more…)

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Subaqueous disposal means placement of tailings into or beneath a water cover. Deposition of tailings into a lake is the most common subaqueous method. In many instances the embankment dam is constructed as a water retaining structure and the impoundment is filled with water into which the tailings are discharged. (more…)

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The first official day of conference sessions at the Paste 2014 conference here in Vancouver.  Sean Wells, Director of Research for Suncor presented the opening keynote address. I cannot possibly here recount all he said.  All I can do is note a few points that he made that stuck with me.  In due course, his PowerPoint presentation will be available through InfoMine.  Get it and take deep thought over it, for his points are provocative, timely, and scary. He noted that the problems of oil sands tailings management are all about scale.  They oil sands produce so much tailings that the shear volumes and areas needed introduce problems not encountered in conventional tailings management.  I have heard it said that the two oil sands mines, Suncor and Syncrude, produce more tailings per day than the combined total of all the other mines worldwide.  His point is made. (more…)

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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. (more…)

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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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