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…)
Archive for the ‘Heap leach’ Category
Posted in Geotechnical, Heap leach, Software, Tailings, Waste Rock, acid mine drainage, environmental, brandy, consulting, tagged decision making, groundwater, Heap leach, modelling, Tailings, Waste Rock on February 27, 2012 | 1 Comment »
Today I went to HR Block and had my taxes calculated. It is a disaster: I owe lots and the total taxes I paid is more than the average Canadian salary. I am seriously considering selling up and moving to Las Vegas. And stopping working. Why work to merely pay great sums to the government that squanders the money on frivolous pursuits? I could blog away at no cost to anyone; to no income to me; and to no taxes to a far-distant gobbler and distributor of my earned income. (more…)
Today I was criticized for failing to clearly set out the project objectives. Damn me, I know what we are setting out to do. “But the rest of us do not,” was the reply. And so I wrote out the project objectives in deliberate detail. And that set me writing the rest of this posting. It may be entertaining; I hope it is informative; as least it should give you some idea of the issues and events involved in mine waste disposal engineering. (more…)
Posted in blogs, consulting, decomissioning, Heap leach, Latin America, Mining history, Reclamation, Tailings, tagged Bellavista, Costa Rica, divorce, failure, geowaste, Heap leach, slimes dam, Tailings on April 19, 2011 | 2 Comments »
Posted in consulting, environmental, Gold, Heap leach, Investing & Finance, Latin America, People, Reclamation, Uncategorized, tagged Bellavista, Costa Rica, failure, heap leach pad, peter tagliamonte on April 18, 2011 | 4 Comments »
Greed, speed, and engineering carelessness all led to the massive failure of the Bellavista heap leach pad in Costa Rica. The failure of the pad led to the closure of the mine and bankruptcy of the company. The massive failure is now the subject a major law suite: all parties ever involved are suing and being sued. It is ugly and will only get uglier. If the mine wins the legal battle and gets money, some of the money may be spent cleaning up the mess on the ground. But it will be years before the guilty are determined, and their insurance companies pay up, and by then water and slope failure will have spread the mess even wider. (more…)
Posted in Heap leach, Oil sands, Reclamation, Tailings, Waste Rock, Enviromental, environmental, tagged Directive 74, ERCB, mine waste, Morgenstern, Oil sands, Sobokowicz, Tailings, Vail on October 19, 2010 | Leave a Comment »
These past two days we have been in sunny Vail, Colorado at the conference on tailings and mine waste. Sadly you will have to buy the volume from the organizers to read the papers. With a bit of patience, we will post some of the presentations on InfoMine in the near future. Meanwhile let us urge the authors to update their papers on the basis of new ideas gained here at the conference and hence paste their papers on their websites so that we may all more freely share in the information and lessons learnt. (more…)
This week, EduMine posted a new course that I wrote. As is the title of this posting, the new course is called Geotechnical Engineering for Mine GeoWaste Facilities.
I was prompted to write the course when I was called on to explain to a client who is not a geotechnical engineer what is involved in geotechnical engineering. This client was in charge of the design and construction of a large tailings impoundment that involves nearly every aspect of geotechnical engineering. He asked me fundamental questions that demanded a wider knowledge base than a simple answer could provide. Thus I wrote a few short pieces for him and then more short pieces to expand on topics. Eventually it was obvious we needed a complete course. So I wrote it.
The course covers pretty much the complete spectrum of geotechnical engineering as applicable to mine tailings impoundments, waste rock dumps, and heap leach pads. I write from my own experience, including over forty years as a consultant to the mining industry. During that time I have been lucky enough to work on the geotechnical engineering aspects of all these large structures that I collectively refer to as Mine GeoWaste Facilities.
I contemplated a course on tailings impoundments alone. But the topic seemed insurmountable. Apart from that, there is so much written and readily available about the fundamentals of tailings impoundments that I could not face going into competition with so many excellent texts. Moreover, it was clear from interaction with my client that a more fundamental look at the basics was needed. Thus in the course I go back to the fundamentals of soil mechanics that underlie every tailings storage facility, every waste rock dump, and every heap leach pad.
If the topic interests you, I recommend going to the links I provide above, join EduMine, and read the course. Please tell me how you fare and help me add to future updates of the course by telling me your stories. Thanks