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Archive for the ‘Gold’ Category

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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.

The project put on hold was in the prefeasibility stage–of deciding how to reopen a mine closed some fifteen years ago.  The pit designer had calculated that $75 million of prestripping was needed to get to the ore.  The pit stability analyist had decided the pits could not go much deeper without rock bolting.  The metallurgist said there was no equipment available to get the ore ready for heap leaching.  The heap leach pad designer had said the new heap leach pad was feasible but a long way from the mill—would it be economic to transport that distance?  And the groundwater guys had said there was not enough groundwater to support operations.  No wonder it was put on hold.

The report issued advised on how to deal with a sinkhole that had developed in the tailings over an area where the geomembrane liner had been torn and repaired during installation.  And how to deal with diversion channels designed for a mere twenty-five year precipitation event.

The obdurate client wants to relocate waste rock to a site where the groundwater becomes artesian in the wet season.   And they do not want perpetual water treatment although the rock is acid generating.  Imagine that!

Then the RFP to proposed to compile a mine closure plan came in.  Can we win?  Is it worth compiling and submitting?  Should we team?

Finally I did a dry run of the EduMine webcast for next week on Mine Water Management.  Please to say that Clint Strachan of MWH has agreed to join me and present on mine water management at the Marlin Mine in Guatemala.  it will be great to hear his presentation.  There is still time to join us on Tuesday.

Then home to a drink and an opera.  Tell you about that in the next posting.

 

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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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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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Every so often a presentation at a conference takes your breath away and leaves you amazed at the ability of the speaker and their colleagues. This happened today as a sat listening to Joel Carrasco of Ausenco present on a paper entitled Development of an integrated mine waste management plan of the metates gold-silver project, Durango and Sinaloa States, Mexico.   To get the paper, you will have to get the proceedings of the Tailings and Mine Waste Management 2013 conference or in due course download the presentation that I refer to from the website of the conference–I told it will take week or two to load pdfs of the presentations. (more…)

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Anglo American has abandoned the Pebble Mine Project in Alaska.  That much was news to me this morning as I boarded a flight to a mine in a wet climate and sensitive place.  By the time we had done the day’s business on this mine and I got to the computer, the blogs and news services were choking with the news.  Very little in the way of comment though, so the way is still open for me to say something. (more…)

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More from the CostMine 2013 Survey of Canadian Mine Salaries, Wages and Benefits.  This time we look at the annual salaries (in thousands of Canadian $) for mainly engineering types in Canadian mines.   Some country-wide averages:

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Underground is the essence of mining.  As a kid of perhaps ten-years old, my father took me a mile down a shaft of the mine where he worked as a mine captain.  Somewhat fearful, I followed him close into the vast space of metal that was the cage.  Down we sped to great noise for what seemed an eternity.  Water seeped and dripped and gushed everywhere.  All was wet.  At last we slowed, stopped, and the great metal doors clanged open.  We emerged into a great hall with dark-rock walls and soaring ceiling.  Everywhere there was metal: rails, ropes, tools, and cocopans. (more…)

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