Archive for the ‘Mining history’ Category


This year I have visited at least sixteen tailings facilities from the far north of Canada to the far south of Chile.  Mainly I was there to see about the state, safety, and ongoing operation of the facilities.  But along the way I had an incredible opportunity to observe and photograph mine water management facilities and systems.

In next week’s EduMine webcast on Mine Water Management, I will have a chance to distill these many observations into a coherent whole.  So come join us in the webcast next Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  But three hours a day each morning and I will update you on the many systems, practices, components, and ideas I have gleaned from these trips and observations.  Many new case histories courtesy of the mines I visited.

If you register for this webcast you will also get a month or more of free access to all the other EduMine on-line courses.  The ones I wrote on Surface Water Management for Mines, Groundwater Management for Mines, Introduction to Groundwater Modeling for Mines, and Mine Water Balances are included.  Indeed they support the live webcast and expand on what we will talk about.

We already have nearly twenty-five attendees, so there should be much discussion and interaction that you can join.  We look forward to your participation and contributions.

On the topic of mine water management, keep in mind also that next year is the second conference organized by InfoMine on Mine Water Solutions in Extreme Environments.  Last year’s conference in Lima was a great success and we anticipate the same for next year in Vancouver.

I am yet to get down to submitting my abstracts for papers, even though the deadline is past.  I will just have to pull strings and rely on goodwill. I am sure you too can do the same if you have an incipient paper not yet abstracted and submitted.

All this just reminds us that at mines it all about water.  Too much water.   Too little water. Clean water and contaminated water.  Costs of treating and managing.   Yet many mines are doing it successfully.  I am not privy to all the secrets of their success, yet I have seen enough to discern what works and what does not work.  Maybe I can share these insights with you.  So please join in the webcast or submit a paper to the conference and of course please come to the conference that will I am sure add more to whatever I talk and write about.


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Woke up late this morning after twelve hours sleep—seems the older I get the more I want to sleep.  Maybe it is old age or maybe riding my bicycle to work tires out the old body.  Or maybe there is something breaking down inside that the doctors cannot discern. (more…)

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The Tyee, a local Vancouver newspaper at this link, with some amazement recognizes with regard to the Morgenstern, Vick, and Van Zyl panel: (more…)

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ohnesans.tumblf.com_Lorenzo posing for charity calendar_by Erwoud Broeksma[1]

At this link is a great Master thesis recently completed by Genki Taguchi, a student of the University of British Columbia.  He is now back in Japan working in the coal mining industry.  Dirk Van Zyl supervised the thesis.  And if that link does not work, here is a second link.  A great job by both.  And a document which should become required reading by all in tailings. (more…)

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There is a great silence of information about the geotechnical issues possibly involved in the failure of the Mt Polley tailings dam.  No reports have been released; no letters published; no statistics provided.  Oh sure, a few old numbers of incidents in 2012, but the 2013 report is not yet ready. (more…)

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As a result of postings on this blog, I get private emails from people on almost every topic.  Here is one such email that is a cry from the heart, a sad tale, related to mining, and so difficult that I cannot answer it.  I have the sender of the email’s permission to post the following in the hope that somebody, maybe one of the blog’s readers can help. (more…)

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The five pictures in this posting, were taken (by me) at the Getty Center in Los Angeles.  This place is surely a testament to genius and attention to detail.

Yesterday I was asked if Canadian guidelines are adequate to deal with the Mt Polley situation. More specifically, the questions continued: if the current Canadian guidelines regarding tailings dam safety had been implemented, would the failure have been avoided. Before I answer these questions, let us first take a look at the guidelines that are out there. (more…)

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