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Archive for the ‘Reclamation’ Category

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Today’s defeat of separationists and essentially racialist nationalists in Quebec is to be welcomed.  Even more so as today at the Cold Covers conference in Whistler two young engineers from Quebec were the bright stars of events.  They will be leaders in the future in all Canada in solving the issues of mine closure. (more…)

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Spent today in a course on Covers in Cold Climates.  The course is part of the seminar to follow tomorrow and Wednesday on the same topics.  Arranged by InfoMine, it is being held in Whistler, which is a nice, but not spectacular place to have a conference—I prefer Banff or Vancouver.   For the Fairmont Chateau Whistler is a pale reflection of those other grand hotels with the Fairmont name: a bland and ugly exterior that replicates in cheap detail the features of the hotel in Vancouver that it tries to emulate. (more…)

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The seminar on Cold Cover is upcoming in April in Whistler.  What a great opportunity for a few days of leisure and information in a beautiful place.  Just the thing for the privileged few in mining who can persuade their boss that they need & deserve the exposure to ideas and experts that would otherwise involve much web searching and downloading. I will be there — if this blog posting does not get me banned from attending.  For my challenge to the experts presenting is this: negate what I said so many years ago.  Do not obfuscate; do not formulate pusillanimous alternative to prove you are original; and tell us the truth. (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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Today I heard that Frank Titus has passed away.  Let me pay him tribute by simply recalling the things we did together. (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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Went to Victoria, BC this week to meet with regulators about a mine we are working for.  Met with staff from the Ministry of Energy and Mines and staff from the environmental ministry. A great meeting.  They were attentive to our presentations, asked penetrating questions, made intelligent comments, and impressed me. (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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In addition to blogging, I consult to the mining industry.  And I work with Andy Robertson who also owns InfoMine to promote conferences — something InfoMine has decided to undertake in a big way. A few months ago, Andy asked me what topic I thought would make for a good conference.  A short reflection and I suggested geosynthetics in mining.   Way back in 1974 or thereabouts, I became familiar with geosynthetics when i used Bidim to make the base of a tailings facility in South Africa.  I became very familiar with geosynthetics about five years ago when Andy and I suggested geotextiles and geogrid placed on frozen tailings for the Suncor Pond 5 cover base.  In between, I have designed geogrid reinforced slopes, built reinforced walls, placed covers and liners, and read about geosynthetics.  (more…)

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A busy weekend and start to the week.  And yesterday a long argument about terminology.   We are preparing a closure plan for a mine.  The regulations demand that we identify a range of alternative closure scenarios, define evaluation criteria, and then compare the alternatives.  All standard procedure, for alternatives comparison, risk assessment, and decision making in general. (more…)

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