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Archive for the ‘Policy and procedure’ Category

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Another sad story of underfunded mine closure.  According to this report, Yukon Zinc owes the territorial government $3 million in environmental security.  Now the company is bankrupt and also owing $646 million to hundreds of creditors. The tailings management system is described in a report at this link.  The system is described thus: (more…)

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Here is the link to the new report Lower Athabasca Region Tailings Management Framework for the Mineable Athabasca Oil Sands.  In some fifty pages it sets out a new way of dealings with oil sands tailings.  Lots of detail yet not much detail. The document sets itself these goals: (more…)

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There are so many obvious comments on this story, that I refrain from comment.  The story tells its own story and carries it own implications loud enough. I refer to the story at many links.  This one says: “Los Palambres was also hit this week by a court ruling that it should demolish a mine tailings dam which protesters say is affecting water availability.” Another report says: “As a consequence Los Pelambres must destroy part, or all, of the tailings dam wall.” A more complete picture emerges from this report: (more…)

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I get many pleas for help in finding a job in mining.  Most I refer to Careermine.  For that is the site that lists every possible job in mining.  Yet this one caught my attention, for it is a story of love.  At least I think so.  I have the sender’s permission to post what she sent me.  Here it is. (more…)

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I was asked recently to comment on the factor of safety and the probability of failure.  I declined, because I have been thinking about it, using it, and writing about it forever.  I went back to one of the first pieces I wrote, The Engineer and the Probability of Failure.  You can download a copy at this link.   It was an occasional piece in a magazine in South Africa.  It is dated October 1978. I based the piece on a court case in South Africa where the judge wrote: (more…)

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Flexible Evaporation Solutions

Walked around the exhibit hall at the Denver SME convention.  Chatted to old friends and met new people–and learnt of new products. Suddenly my mind was cast back to my days as a kid on the East Geduld Mine in South Africa where we grew up.  The area was arid; there were no natural water bodies within two-hundred miles.  One of our favorite places was the mine’s evaporation ponds.  On our rickety bicycles we would break through the flimsy security gate and spend hours around the ponds.  They were magic: a wonderland of color and water.  Better than those fountains at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. (more…)

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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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