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Archive for the ‘Open Pit’ Category

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This week I had reason to go back and re-read three papers I co-authored in the early 1980s.  It is surprising how far advanced we were then, and how little things have changed, or how little of what did has become standard practice. The first paper is at this link.  Rick Call was the lead on the work we describe in this paper.  He was a large buff man, with an enormous beard, a perpetual pipe, and a totally irreverent attitude towards authority.  He sent Ned Larson and me to Texas, where we sweated through the heat to get the data.  Then back to Tucson to do the calculations.  I recently reconnected with Ned who is now in Las Vegas and the grandfather of sixteen grandchildren.  He is still with the U.S. Department of Energy which he joined after working with me for five years on the UMTRA Project in Albuquerque.  He is a great engineer, as was Rick. (more…)

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These past two days I have had to deal with that knotty subject, computer modeling for mines. I proposed a series of 2D runs in order to get a feel for how groundwater flows into an open pit and from the tailings facility. The younger generation cried in horror at my simplicity.  “We need 3D models to truly replicate the situations,” they protested. I protested: “We are not modeling things on the computer in order to replicate reality and create an electronic simulacrum of what is in nature.” (more…)

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For those with a taste for trivia, here is a link to a site that lists the biggest mine open pits and the deepest mine shafts. They also have some great photos of the pits and shafts.  Well worth the click to see all this and to add to your store of “general knowledge about mining.” (more…)

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As a consultant you can only advise.  You cannot force.  You can only provide your professional opinion.  You cannot make the client do the right thing.  You can set out facts and possible consequences.  You cannot make the outcome be what you desire or believe it should be. (more…)

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A massive slope failure has occurred at the open pit of the Bingham Canyon Mine in Utah.  Here is a link to a magnificent collection of photographs of the failure, which appears to have taken out part of a building, access roads, and filled the bottom of the pit with slide material.  Nobody was hurt: the mine had been monitoring movement and when deformation increased from 1 mm a day to 5 mms day they pulled out all workers.  A fine testament to the engineers who study rock and soil slope stability in the open pit mine context.  (more…)

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Live today on EduMine is a new course: Introduction to Groundwater Modeling for Mines and Mining.  The authors are myself and Bernard Brixel.  Murray Fredlund and his folk at SoilVision contributed good computer models. (more…)

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There is more civil engineering in mining than there is mining engineering in mining.  To substantiate this controversial statement let me repeat below something I wrote a long time ago.  (more…)

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