Archive for the ‘decomissioning’ Category


Here is a new document from the US EPA on treating mine-affected waters.  Free to download at this link and worth so doing.

The document is titled:  Reference Guide to Treatment Technologies for Mining-Influenced Water (EPA 505-F-12-001).

I read it and found it pretty comprehensive, although I am no expert in the topic.  Still, there appears to be much need for such a survey and I am sure many will find it useful and informative.

Not that mining is the only place needing water treatment technologies.  As the North Carolina folk have determined there is groundwater contamination at all their ash disposal sites.  See this link where the following is written:

More ground water supplies around the state may be contaminated by coal ash.  Those are the findings of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Resources.
Director Tom Reeder told the state’s environmental review commission further examination beyond the Dan River spill indicates that trouble may be found in other parts of the state.
“We’ve known that for a long time now. Yeah, there is some level of ground water contamination at every coal ash facility,” he said.

The Dan River impact by spillage from one such facility has prompted these “revelations.”  Nothing like a major failure to shock officials into action!

Although there is still much muddle.  Today I spoke with folk doing a closure plan.  Their approach is to compare the cost of doing nothing at closure (no covers) and treating lots of seepage versus low permeability covers and little treatment.  The fallacy of this comparison is that limited seepage implies limited treatment.  In fact, low seepage may be more contaminated than high seepage:  the water has more time to pick up constituents.  So much for elementary logic!

Let us know you perspectives and experiences.


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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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Categories are constructs of our imagination.  We define categories to aid our thinking, analysis, and decision-making.  It is easier to respond immediately if a stimulus fits a preconceived category, than to analyze afresh.  A rustle in the brush fits the definition of the category “Tiger in the woods; the tiger could kill us; therefore flee.”   Why analyze the situation to decide that the wind is merely blowing through the trees and making a nasty sound? (more…)

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The report by the peer review group brought together to review  the EPA report on Bristol Bay and the potential impacts thereon from the Pebble Mine (or other mines that may be developed in the area) is out.  (more…)

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In early 1983 all was well in the mining consulting world.  We had twenty people busy on a great number of mining projects: exploration; resources; site selection; design; contract documents.  All those things we did back then: no EIS; no social responsibility; no sustainable development; and no closure planning. (more…)

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Late evening in Santiago, but still I must post this information.  At this link you will find a fascinating book put out by the Mining Association of Canada and the PDAC.  It is called 100 Innovations in the Mining Industry. It takes a while to download, but be patient.  The resultant product is well worth the wait.  (more…)

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The sun is shining bright and the day is warm here is Huntington Beach, California, where I am spending time with kids and grandkids.  Somehow or other, the pressures of taking the kids to McDonald’s and other diverse hamburger places for lunch, riding the bike down to the beach, being nice at parties to old & new friends, and shopping for the festive season, have left no time for blogging.  Plus there were no obvious topics on mining that met the requisite level of interest and contentiousness.  (more…)

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The mine closure conference is underway in one of those tourist towns in the Rockies of Alberta.  I am not there; somehow the event snuck up on me and I just could not bring myself to go to another conference where I would snooze unceasingly through dull talks in hushed and dark rooms.  It is a liberating feeling to know that you have absolutely no desire to go to yet another conference.  (more…)

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Mine Closure in any jurisdiction is fraught with difficulty.  There are as many rules, and as many different systems of regulations, as there are mining locales.  Yet, mostly nobody seems to be getting it right.  The failure to fully provide for and implement responsible mine closure arises from the tension between what the miners want to do during mining and when the mine closes, what the regulators should do during mining and when the mine closes, and what the public expects, or at least is entitled to expect at all stages of mining.  (more…)

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