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Archive for the ‘Commodity’ Category

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Here is the link to the new report Lower Athabasca Region Tailings Management Framework for the Mineable Athabasca Oil Sands.  In some fifty pages it sets out a new way of dealings with oil sands tailings.  Lots of detail yet not much detail. The document sets itself these goals: (more…)

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UtilityDIVE reports at this link as follows:

Duke Energy reported its Q4 2014 earnings this week and company officials say it is preparing to pay a $100 million fine to settle the ongoing investigation into a coal ash spill into the Dan River in North Carolina.

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This week I had reason to go back and re-read three papers I co-authored in the early 1980s.  It is surprising how far advanced we were then, and how little things have changed, or how little of what did has become standard practice. The first paper is at this link.  Rick Call was the lead on the work we describe in this paper.  He was a large buff man, with an enormous beard, a perpetual pipe, and a totally irreverent attitude towards authority.  He sent Ned Larson and me to Texas, where we sweated through the heat to get the data.  Then back to Tucson to do the calculations.  I recently reconnected with Ned who is now in Las Vegas and the grandfather of sixteen grandchildren.  He is still with the U.S. Department of Energy which he joined after working with me for five years on the UMTRA Project in Albuquerque.  He is a great engineer, as was Rick. (more…)

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It is no secret that I make money off mining.  I work as a part-time civil engineer with a consulting practice that works around the world.  I retired nearly ten years ago, after nearly ten years working on landfills, California earthquakes, and supporting lawyers representing big companies falling foul of law suites.  I have an LLB degree in addition to my civil degrees and was able to use this knowledge to translate technical and engineering issues into winning legal arguments. (more…)

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The PowerPoints of presentations from the Tailings and Mine Waste Conference in Keystone are now available.  At least the PowerPoints of those authors who gave permission.  See this link.

They are all interesting, so choose those that interest you.

I recommend the presentation by Steve Vick who is one of the reviewers of the failure of the Mt Polley tailings facility.  He assures me that he compiled the presentation before the failure and there is no connection between what he says in his presentation and what he might say in the panel findings.

The presentation by Franco Oboni touches on the same topics as Vick’s but takes a different approach.

I particularly like the presentation by Craig Benson on the hydrologic performance of final covers.  He concludes that we can and have constructed covers to last for at least 1,000 years.

I am sure there is much to say about these presentations and indeed the other presentations, so please comment.

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Today was a typical day in the life of a mining consultant.  One report was issued; one project put on hold; one request for proposals received; and a long discussion on how to deal with an obdurate client. (more…)

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Just home from a four-week journey that took me to  Peru, Chile, Keystone CO, Banff, and Ekati NWT.  It is good to be back in the house where you can throw off the formalities of travel, eat simple food, and get drunk in private. They say that Peruvian food is the best in the world.  Indeed it is if you are in a fancy, expensive place in Lima.  But go to a mine and eat what the miners eat, and it is terrible beyond belief.  Rice & beans and other unrecognizable substances of gooey texture.  I lost weight.  Maybe it was the altitude = 14,500 ft.  You walk slow and breathe deep in those conditions. (more…)

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