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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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The easiest way to start kids off in that most entertaining pastime, cooking, is to buy one of those pre-prepared pizzas.  Take the kids to the grocery store and let them help choose the frozen pizza.  Get them home and get them involved in removing the wrapping, choosing a dish, setting it on the dish, and putting the works in the oven.   You will have to turn the oven on yourself, and take the heated dish out of the oven.  But when we do this with my grandkids, they still take delight in eating “what we cooked ourselves.” (more…)

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   Friday is upon us, so here are a few idle thoughts to ponder over the weekend.   Re Afghanistan mining, I refer you to this link where we read: 

A Chinese state-owned firm has already been awarded the concession for a copper mine in eastern Afghanistan.  Many mining industry executives say they expect the Chinese to bid aggressively on Afghanistan’s newly discovered mineral deposits even as many Western firms sit it out.  Robert Schafer, executive vice president of Hunter Dickinson, an exploration and mining firm based in Vancouver, Canada, which lost the bid for the copper mine concession to the Chinese company, said he believed that the Chinese “have a different perception of the risk” because they see mineral resource development as part of a national strategy.  “Their concern is for the supply of a commodity, so they are willing to do things at a loss,” Mr. Schafer said. “So yes, I could see the Chinese being willing to make investments in areas where we are unwilling (more…)

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Sitting in the 8:30pm sun of Fort McMurray reading e-mails, I saw this one from my son, who is in the U.S. Navy station in the Pentagon in Washington, DC–he states:  “Interesting…maybe it will change the course and purpose of the war!”  (more…)

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