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Archive for the ‘Asia’ Category

The myth that modern tailings dams are immune to malfunction and failure is evidenced by a series of new reports on the Philex tailings dam.  Here are links and extracts from two of the reports on this facility: (more…)

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The news seems to be uniformly gloomy:  The ANC Youth League saying nationalization of mines must occur; Rio Tinto and BHP cutting staff and costs: Barrick’s credit rating downgraded because of Pascua Lama delays; and so on (more…)

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From the ChinaDaily.com.cn a report that “Residents of Mianyang, a city in Sichuan province, have begun buying bottled water in a panic after authorities announced that the chief local water source had been contaminated by residue washed away by floodwaters from a local manganese plant.” (more…)

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Environmental disaster looms in after tailings failure

Barely another day, and another failure of a tailings dam.  And a slew of denials and lies from those responsible.  Here is part of the longest report I can find on the incident: (more…)

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Is it possible to loose money mining gold?  Nobody wants to loose money mining gold.  In the sphere of lose journalism, it is possible to loose money mining gold.  Here is a part of one report on a company that “lost” money mining gold. (more…)

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Sometimes tailings dam fail because of the poor quality of the construction.  Sometimes mine geowaste facilities fail because of poor design.  On the basis of today’s events, I conclude that they may fail because of poor concepts, poor understanding of the theory, and plain simple incompetence.  (more…)

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The Judgement of Paris, 1933

Annually the Fraser Institute comes out with a survey of mining countries and ranks them according to how good a place it is to try to find an ore body, to open a mine, to operate a mine.  The Institute gives you a good guide about where to invest.  I pay considerable attention to what they say.  For this is not some fusty old institute opining; it is the honest opinion of real mining men and women who are asked their opinions of mining countries.  This is no academic ranking.  This is what people who are trying to find ore bodies, open mines, and run mines think.  And their thinking is based on hard experience. 

As it is a Sunday that I compose and post this comment, I thought that I would enliven the dull issues  of incompetence and commercial interest with pictures that most epitomize the story.  Thus you will find a lot of reproductions of paintings of The Judgement of Paris.  Recall that Paris was asked by the three godesses, Hera, Athena and Aphrodite, to decide who was the most beautiful.  Paris got Helen, wife of Agamenon’s brother, as the prize for the correct answer.  And then ensued the fall of Troy and the founding of Rome.   Helen, incedentally went back to her husband after the fall of Troy.

The judgement of the Fraser Institue is about as subjective and consequential as the judgement of Paris.   At the end of this posting, I give more on this fateful judgement.  Now enjoy the judgement of the Fraser Institute.  But be wary:  the following is not for the faint of heart when it comes to corrupt politicians, venial NGOs, and the voluptuousness of Medievial, Classical, and Modern art. 

(more…)

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