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Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

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I have lost count of the number of radio stations, newspapers, and magazines that have contacted me asking for opinions on the Mt Polley tailings happenings.  Somehow the email from Adrian Lee of that most reputable of Canadian magazine, McLeans, had a air of intelligence the pulled me into replying.  (I confess to being a regular reader of McLeans.) (more…)

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Here are the stories of the seven dam failures that have occurred since the beginning of 2012. Six are failures of tailings facilities. The seventh is a rockfill dam. The following are extracts from technical papers that I wrote well before the Mt Polley failure. Details of the first three are available at this link. Details of the remaining four are in a paper that I will present at the Tailings and Mine Waste 2014 conference in Colorado in October of this year. (more…)

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Today we have read all we can find on the failure of the Mt Polley tailings facility.  It is all distressing.  And mostly misleading.  Here are a few clear thoughts on the topic. (more…)

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Spent this past week in Quebec looking at mines.   This brought us to Rouyn-Noranda and food at Bistro Jezz.

The food at this little place on a quiet side-street is magnificent: the best I have tasted in many a year of travel to distant mines.

Take a special trip to this restaurant if you seek and relish good food.  Subtle flavours, beautiful presentation, unusual dishes.  Words cannot capture the beauty of fine food in a simple setting.

Here are some photos from this trip.

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Today we completed a successful three-day EduMine webcast on mine closure.  Folk from Germany, Finland, Mauritania, South Africa, Australia, Guatemala, the USA, and Canada “attended.”  We are flattered and thankful to them and applaud their interest in a critical topic and facet of mining.  If you missed the webcast, contact EduMine and ask them to repeat it. (more…)

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I gave up allegiance to the Anglican church in South Africa when it was still white dominated.   I decided the priests were venial, greedy liars. This was long before Desmond Tutu became the head of the church.  I always admired, however, his leadership and devotion to the cause of justice. Today I heard on the radio that Tutu is about to visit Fort McMurray to protest the cause of local First Nations, global warming, the Keystone Pipeline and all the other “causes.” Damn me.  The old guy has lost his touch if not indeed his mind.  Or is he just being paid lots of money to sprout platitudes by those with ulterior motives?  I suspect both. (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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Next week in Brazil is the first InfoMine conference on Mine Closure.  About ninety folk will gather to discuss mine closure in Brazil and South America.  I have read the papers: not a lot of fascination to the rest of us.  Mostly about the theory and postulated future of mine closure laws & regulations in countries that currently have none. The middle of May, I present an EduMine webcast on Mine Closure.  In the  webcast I will review the best few papers from the Brazil conference.  I will also present current case histories of mine closure that I am working on.  And I will go through the theory and practice and issues of mine closure in general.  Come join me. (more…)

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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). (more…)

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There is still time to join us for the upcoming EduMine webcast Advanced Tailings and Mine Waste Facility Design, Operation, and Closure.  Here is the link to the course. Even if you have taken other courses before conferences, or the other EduMine webcast on Introduction to Tailings, or our previous Advanced Tailings courses, I know you will find interesting and exciting information, perspectives, practices, and case histories in this new course. (more…)

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