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Archive for the ‘environmental’ Category

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More is said about mine closure than is done about mine closure.  Will they ever close Giant and Faro?  I doubt it.  Still if the topic interests you, here a few upcoming events. The InfoMine Mine Closure Conference in Belo Horizonte promises lots of information about mine closure in Brazil.  Not many of us can get that far south or want to go that far south. Last time there was an InfoMine conference in Belo, there were riots and protests and the delegates were confined to the hotel. (more…)

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The general approach to undertaking a risk assessment is well described in International Standard IEC/ISO 31010, which also provides considerable information about risk assessment methods. It notes, however: “The standard does not provide specific criteria for identifying the need for risk assessment, nor does it specify the type of risk analysis method that is required for a particular application.” (more…)

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Below is a report that hit my email inbox today.  I repeat in full, not because mines are the main culprit, but because mines are probably NOT the main culprit.  This report is a sobering reminder that dry-cleaners, car-battery recyclers, old military bases, and jails are also major contaminators.  Yet so little is written or done about them—it is not a very sexy topic–so much easier to excoriate mining. Not that Giant, Faro, and a few other old mines are going to be cheap to cleanup. (more…)

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The title of this posting translates as Mine Water and Chemical Balance Analysis.  Today, EduMine posted at this link the Spanish language version of what has become a rather popular online course. (more…)

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Treehuggers don’t like mining.  They fear: the loss of trees; cutting down of old-growth forests; turning the soil to extract rare earths for their computers and electric cars; and anything that changes the landscape.  Their websites call for replacement of cyanide by corn-starch, no use of mercury by artisanal miners, and windmills made of solid wood conveying electricity by means we know not of. (more…)

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In his book The Pencil: A History of Design and Circumstance, Henry Petroski tells at length of early graphite mining and its impact on the development of the pencil.  From what I recall, for many years there was but one deposit in England that produce graphite of the right quality to produce workable pencils.  As one reviewer of the book writes: (more…)

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The promise of results from risk assessments is as seductive as the picture above.  The results are as fuzzy and fantasy-based as the picture above.  But doing risk assessments is as much fun as it would be to be a participant in the scene above.  Let me explain. (more…)

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The EPA’s decision about the prudence of developing the Pebble Mine or any other mine in the area of Bristol Bay is in–see this link. This blog (I/me) has been a consistent critic of the idea of developing the Pebble Mine.  In short, I cannot see how a mine could be developed in such an environment without unacceptable impact. (more…)

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On Tuesday I was in yet another of those asinine arguments about what constitutes “perpetual” in mining and mine closure.  I had heard all the arguments, smart and cynical, more than thirty years ago when we debated them on the UMTRA Project.  But the pusillanimous arguments continue, for everyone has an opinion and wants to be heard. (more…)

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The keynote address at today’s Tailings and Mine Waste 2013 conference was delivered by A.G. Kupper of BGC Engineering.  She made some amazing statements.  I wonder if she is fully aware of the implications of what she said. To me the statement with most import is that before an oil sands tailings facility can be de-licensed as a dam, it must be turned into a landform that will respond to long-term forces as does the natural surrounding landscape.  Until then the mine is on the hook. (more…)

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