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Archive for the ‘Reclamation’ Category

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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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On the plane to the site I dipped into Nasim Taleb’s latest book, Antifragile.  I read a few chapters and have stowed the book for the return fight.  But I picked up enough to know that an antifragile system is one that thrives on change, shock, time, and other perturbing factors.  An antifragile system is the opposite of a fragile system that inevitable breaks as a result of time, shock, disturbance, and the propagation of a mere crack. Antifragile system thrive on disorder; fragile systems do not. (more…)

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At the expense of repeating myself, I say again: I am convinced that the most successful mine closure ever is that of the Cannon Mine near Wenatchee.  At this link is a website that tells it all.  (more…)

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Professor Jere Jennings who taught so many of us now-old civil engineers in mining used to say: “When you have read everything there is to read, when you have done all the calculations possible, then drink a bottle of brandy and exercise engineering judgement.” (more…)

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Dilution is the solution to pollution at the Royal Mounain King Mine in California.  As stated in a news release at this link, (more…)

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The debate–or is it a battle—over the Pebble Mine is becoming so intense that real wounds are being inflicted.  Reviewers are resigning and being fired.  The Pebble partnership is pressuring Jeremy Haile and his fellows at Knight Piesold into publishing tomes on past tailings failures.  Politicians demand full reports on secret deliberations.  And the EPA experts are, no doubt, still polishing the prose of their findings.  Leaving bloggers to blog. (more…)

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Almost every day I am asked or confronted by this question: what is the best cover for a tailings facility? (more…)

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