Archive for the ‘feasibilty studies’ Category


Here is information I received as a comment on a recent blog posting:

California is an anomaly from the perspective that it is only one of 5 or 6 states or territories that do not recognize mining as an engineering discipline; along with Guam, Hawaii, Delaware and a couple of others. The need for being registered is driven primarily by the State Boards. There are several places in the industry where signatures are required: on 10K reports for certification of reserves. This requires a “qualified person” and since there are 20 states that don’t recognize geologists as a profession, then the role may be defined as engineering in some cases. There are a plethora of state and federal mining permits requiring a PE signature. Underground seals must be constructed and signed off by a PE. Roof Control and Ventilation plans and many environmental permits require signatures. As I said, California is one of the exceptions and I really don’t understand why mining is ignored when mining was at the core of the state’s formation. I will say that the lack of recognition by the State has caused some confusion regarding liability and accountability.


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Picture 036

Those who like the history of technology might enjoy the paper at this link.  I came across it today while searching for something related.  Its title is Conceptual design of the Weldon Spring site disposal cell: a modified value engineering approach.   I knew, worked with, and admired the authors:  Edward C. Tom and Partha Sircar then with Morrison Knudsen Corporation.   (I wonder where they are now?) (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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Today we took the grandkids to the beach, Huntington Beach, and I snoozed in the sand as they played in the waves and built sand-castles.  Then we went for ice-cream and bought the grandson a new Trek bicycle. Before that I finished a book by Norman Fenton and Martin Neil Risk Assessment and Decision Analysis with Bayesian Networks.  It opened my eyes to ways of doing risk assessments and making decisions in mining situations.  I have not hitherto seen the use of Bayesian Networks in a mining context, and truth to tell, still have not. (more…)

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Decision making is taught as the process of gathering data; identifying alternatives, establishing evaluation criteria, comparing alternatives, and hence choosing the optimum solution or course of action. In practice, it seldom works like this.  Some of the ways decisions are actually made include the following. (more…)

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Anglo American has abandoned the Pebble Mine Project in Alaska.  That much was news to me this morning as I boarded a flight to a mine in a wet climate and sensitive place.  By the time we had done the day’s business on this mine and I got to the computer, the blogs and news services were choking with the news.  Very little in the way of comment though, so the way is still open for me to say something. (more…)

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mooi 20k[2]

Here are two true stories that illustrate the dangers of setting limits on the accuracy of information, design detail, and cost estimates in the prefeasibility and feasibility phases of mine development. These two stories focus on tailings disposal.  Traditionally, the issue of tailings disposal have played but a small part in prefeasibility and feasibility studies.  The conventional wisdom (assumption) has been that there is always a place for the tailings and the costs are but a small part of the mine—hence pay no particular attention to them in deciding if the mine is feasible. (more…)

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