Archive for the ‘feasibilty studies’ Category


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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Not new, but new to me; thus I introduce and write about it here so that you too may learn of this fascinating mining-related site.  I refer to a site called Center for Excellence in Mining Innovation at this link.  The site is in practice what they call MineDesignWiki, that is a Wikipedia type format, where you are encouraged to post new material. (more…)

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“Call me Luke.”  Thus introduced, we sat down to talk about his career, his company, and mining copper. Luke is a civil engineering graduate of the University of British Columbia.  He spent the first five years working for consultants in the United States and British Columbia on tailings facilities.  “That way I learnt part of what makes a mine work,” he assured me, as the names of the mines slip easily from him:  Kennecott, Dome, Campbell.  (more…)

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It costs between $1 and $40 a ton to build, operate, and close a mine tailings facility.  That is as specific as I was able to be when answering a question today in response to an enquiry from Australia.  There is a surprising paucity of data out there on the cost of tailings management.  We have details of salaries & wages.  We know the compensation of mining company executives.  We know how much it costs to engage and retain even the most expensive consultant.  But we have no data-base on tailings costs. (more…)

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Yesterday I finished a three-day EduMine webcast on Mining Investment – Understand the Risks.  Today I took my own advice to heart and attended a presentation by Luquman Shaheen of Panoro Minerals Ltd on their projects in Peru.  Should I invest?  Should I advise you to invest?  Should we join Hudbay Minerals who own some seven percent of the company in the excitement of new prospects in a mining-potential-rich part of Peru? (more…)

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