Archive for the ‘Geotechnical’ Category

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The exterior surface of most tailings, waste rock, and heap leach facilities include:

  • A top deck which is the flatter surface that forms the top surface of the facility. This is usually sloped at between one and five percent, primarily to promote runoff.
  • The sideslopes which are easily covered if they are inclined at about five horizontal to one vertical (5H:1V) but which in practice may be as steep as 1.4H:1V.

Covers on the top deck are less subject to erosion, slope instability, and soil creep than covers on sideslopes. Thus different covers may be appropriate at the same facility on the top deck as compared to the sideslopes.  Here are a few idle thoughts on sideslope covers for mine waste facilities. (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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It is snowing in Vancouver.  Nothing sticking to the roads, but the trees are white and beautiful.  Nothing much to do outside or inside for that matter, so just  a few thoughts on mine waste disposal facility covers.

Slimes & Cement

The best cover is no cover.  If you can use the upper tailings or waste rock as the as the growth medium in which a stand of climax vegetation will flourish, you have the best cover. (more…)

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The BC  Northwest Community College, School of Exploration & Mining is to be congratulated on a superb set of courses offered in 2014.  Lori Knorr sent me this list:  (more…)

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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…)

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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…)

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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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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…)

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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…)

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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!

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