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Archive for the ‘Latin America’ Category

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While we in BC have been preoccupied by the Mt Polley situation, yet another tailings failure has occurred.  This time in Mexico.  That brings the number of failures this year to three:  Duke Energy, Mt Polley, and Cananea.  Just the right number if the probability of failure is one in five thousand. (more…)

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I am told that yesterday’s posting was hard to read.  So rather than write tonight, let me simply post some pictures I took from a public road of tailings facilities closed by the Peruvian regulators.  Not sure how long the gabion baskets will last.

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Words cannot capture a day of intense impressions.  Yet let me try. Go east of Lima into the hills (as I did today) and see this:

  • Tailings clinging to the steep hills in defiance of gravity.
  • A mine closed by the government to perfection.  They know what they are doing!
  • Filter-pressed tailings transported fifty kilometers up 1000 m elevation to a new disposal site — economically?

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The past week at a mine in Honduras.  Too many impressions to record right now.  So a few photos instead.

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Today we completed a successful three-day EduMine webcast on mine closure.  Folk from Germany, Finland, Mauritania, South Africa, Australia, Guatemala, the USA, and Canada “attended.”  We are flattered and thankful to them and applaud their interest in a critical topic and facet of mining.  If you missed the webcast, contact EduMine and ask them to repeat it. (more…)

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The news report today that caught my attention is this. Politicians say such strange things!

Argentina’s mining minister, Jorge Mayoral, surprised quite a few of the 300 executives present an annual luncheon last week, by calling its neighbouring Chile and Peru mining models “a failure.”

According to Mining Press (in Spanish), the official was especially critical of the other two countries openness to foreign investors. Mayoral said Argentina did not want mining in a Chilean or Peruvian way:

“We want mining our way, which means we want to favour domestic suppliers, local management, make sure jobs are taken by technical and professionals coming out of our universities, that respect for the environment is a priority, and most importantly, that all this is done in a safe matter,” he was quoted as saying.

Ironically, the minister also called on his Chilean peer, Aurora Williams, to expedite a decision on Barrick Gold’s Pascua Lama project, which has been halted since last year, after a number of defeats in local courts about water use and the impact on glaciers in the area. While later Barrick stopped construction of the $8.5 billion project as part of its debt-reduction and cost-cutting program, it is still facing major fines and a class action lawsuit because of it.

A report released by the government in March shows Argentina’s mining sector is expected to attract about $4 billion this year, with US and Indian companies reportedly interested in developing the nation’s copper and lithium.

(more…)

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Risk assessments for mine closure are not common.  Yet I believe this is changing.  Some evidence is this new document from Chile:  Guia Metodologia de Evaluacion de Riesgos Para el Cierra de Faenas Mineras.  Here is the link to the website where you can download a copy of the document just in case the link to the document itself as provided in the title does not work. (more…)

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