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Archive for the ‘consulting’ Category

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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.

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More is said about mine closure than is done about mine closure.  Will they ever close Giant and Faro?  I doubt it.  Still if the topic interests you, here a few upcoming events. The InfoMine Mine Closure Conference in Belo Horizonte promises lots of information about mine closure in Brazil.  Not many of us can get that far south or want to go that far south. Last time there was an InfoMine conference in Belo, there were riots and protests and the delegates were confined to the hotel. (more…)

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Below is a report that hit my email inbox today.  I repeat in full, not because mines are the main culprit, but because mines are probably NOT the main culprit.  This report is a sobering reminder that dry-cleaners, car-battery recyclers, old military bases, and jails are also major contaminators.  Yet so little is written or done about them—it is not a very sexy topic–so much easier to excoriate mining. Not that Giant, Faro, and a few other old mines are going to be cheap to cleanup. (more…)

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Constructing covers over mining wastes at sites in cold climates involves consideration of these factors that are unique to cold climates: (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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The title of this posting translates as Mine Water and Chemical Balance Analysis.  Today, EduMine posted at this link the Spanish language version of what has become a rather popular online course. (more…)

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In selecting topics to blog about, my first choice is something that struck me today as new and interesting.  Today the most fascinating new thing I learnt resulted from a visit by a young Irishman from Nuna Innovation Inc.  He told me about a geosynthetics that I had not hitherto been aware of. (more…)

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I cannot resist repeating this email.  It is an irresistible call to mining duty.  If only I were younger or less committed to family & work—I would do it immediately.  This is the email I received today: (more…)

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This posting is prompted by things I have seen, heard, and thought on trips to remote mines in the Canadian Northwest Territories, Mexico, Guatemala, and the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile.  Nothing I write is specific to only one mine or generally applicable to all mines.  Each has it own characteristics and issues.  But they are remarkable similar, so let me lump them in one posting. (more…)

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An advantage of being a consultant to the mining industry is travel to new places.   This past week no blog postings because I was travelling in Mexico to a remote mine.  Here is a brief travelogue. (more…)

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