I have been much involved in the planning, marketing, and selling of the InfoMine conference Geosynthetic Mining Solutions 2014 to be held in Vancouver from the 8th to the 11th September 2014. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Geotechnical’ Category
Posted in blogs, brandy, consulting, Geosynthetics, Geotechnical, Mining history, tagged Bidim, coletanche, conference, geosynthetic, geosynthetic mining solutions, geotextile, gypsum tailings, hy's, pond 5, railway club, richards bay, Suncor, wick drains on November 27, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
Posted in British Columbia, Enviromental, Geotechnical, Heap leach, Reclamation, Tailings, tagged antifragile, cold climate, cold regions, cover, cover system, fmea, mine closure, nassim taleb, risk assessment on October 15, 2013 | 1 Comment »
On the plane to the site I dipped into Nasim Taleb’s latest book, Antifragile. I read a few chapters and have stowed the book for the return fight. But I picked up enough to know that an antifragile system is one that thrives on change, shock, time, and other perturbing factors. An antifragile system is the opposite of a fragile system that inevitable breaks as a result of time, shock, disturbance, and the propagation of a mere crack. Antifragile system thrive on disorder; fragile systems do not. (more…)
Posted in acid mine drainage, brandy, consulting, decomissioning, environmental, Geology, Geotechnical, Human relations and mining, Tailings, tagged categories, decision making, pre-feasibility study. feasibiility study, Tailings on April 27, 2013 | 3 Comments »
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…)
Posted in British Columbia, Geotechnical, Hydrology and hydraulics, People, tagged bc guidelines, dutch portal, edumine, eileen poeter, groundwater. modeling, international hydrology on April 7, 2013 | 2 Comments »
Why pay if you can get it free? A simple and profound question in today’s e-world where there is so much that is free and so much that is expensive. I ask this question because I have just been alerted to a free course on groundwater modeling. It is on the Dutch Portal for International Hydrology. This is what they say of their course: (more…)
A very old friend, now prominent in Australian mining spent the weekend with me. We drank expensive whiskey, which he paid for, and rode many miles on my bikes around Vancouver on a fine sunny fall day. We recounted stories of the old days in South Africa as young & inexperienced engineers and how we solved problems by gut feel rather than knowledge and computer models. (more…)
And we went north, to the north of Chile where there is no vegetation and the geology is clear and the beauty is in the rocks and sediment nakedly exposed to the intense blue sky and our curious gaze. Words cannot describe the power of this landscape which is not on any tourist’s map, for it is hard to access and not amenable to trips in cars or SUVs. So I refrain from further words and simply post the photos that follow. Count yourself blessed if ever you can see this wonderland in reality. What a background for a Chilean opera!
Beaches have a way of attracting attention. Hoards of curvy North Americans flock each year to ocean-side resorts just to sit in pools and stare at beaches. Early explorers travelling by sea sought coves with protected sandy beaches to land their parties and fly their flag. Even whales and sharks, distracted by the bounty of an intertidal buffet have tested shallow waters, only to leave themselves high and dry.
Tailings engineers are no less immune to the draw of beaches, though you won’t find many tailings engineers modelling the latest swimwear on sub-tropical shores (if I am wrong here, I do apologize, and please send us your latest vacation photos). Beaches have a different meaning to folks on a mine. (more…)
This week I have read and debated about tailings disposal in the desert. That set me in mind of a paper I wrote more than twenty years ago. It is fun to go back and see what was in issue then as compared to now. Here is the link to the paper with the long title Remedial Activities in Arid Areas: The Design of Hazardous Waste Cells in the Desert. Some of what we wrote then is now out-of-date, but a surprising amount is still valid. Because it is Friday, the sun is shining, and my bike beckons, I say no more than invite you to download it and contemplate the passage of time and the developmen of knowledge. A good weekend.
This is a story of a time before computers; before groundwater conceptual models, numerical models, baseline models, and predictive models; before groundwater model calibration, verification, or sensitivity analysis. This is a story of a time when there was no such thing as a professional geohydrologist, hydrogeologists, or groundwater modeller. (more…)