Archive for the ‘Mining history’ Category


Got a long lesson in using the new format CareerMine today.  This is what I found about mining jobs for engineers in Vancouver.

First up is a job with Robertson GeoConsultants (RGC).  Probably no secret that I work for RGC.  Not full time.  I take off as much time as I want to so that I can blog and visit kids and grandkids.  In fact I will be off on Wednesday to the kids in California and then a month in Spain with my son and his family in a house on the beach.  OK, I like the rain in Vancouver as much as anybody—kind of sensuous and clean, what with the lights sparkling and the streets shining.  But time in southern California and southern Spain are not to be deprecated.

To the CareerMine RGC job.  The CareerMine site won’t let me copy the job description.  Wonder why this is.  Hardly a secret or unworthy of dissemination.  Probably scared others will copy the text and post it on their site.  All well and good for CareerMine, but a wholescale screwing of RGC and distribution of their job.

Particularly as they probably copied it from its source at the RGC website at this link.  Here is what the RGC website says:

Full-time position based in our head office in Vancouver. The successful candidate will have:

  • A post-graduate degree in Geotechnical or related discipline.
  • Registration as a Professional Engineer in a Canadian province (or at a minimum eligibility for such registration);
  • A minimum of 5 years of practical experience in the mining industry, preferably related to tailings and mine waste management;
  • Demonstrated experience in geotechnical field work, including test pitting, drilling supervision (Sonic, CPT), in-situ testing/monitoring and operation of monitoring equipment;
  • Experience in numerical modeling of geotechnical problems using a range of geotechnical software tools (including SLOPE/W, SEEP/W, FLAC, Plaxis, etc);
  • Demonstrated communication and technical writing skills.
  • Experience in tailings research, in particular tailings deposition and consolidation, and/or hydrogeology will be an asset but is not required.

The successful candidate will join a dynamic team of engineers and scientists that assists mining companies worldwide in the design, operation and closure of mine waste facilities (tailings impoundments, waste rock piles, heap leach piles).

Note that the folk at CareerMine got the bullet formatting all messed up.  Pity for it renders the experience list confusing and ultimately meaningless.  The peril of mining the web.

Any rate the job with RGC will be fun.  The successful candidate will work with me and others as I try to pass on my years of learning before I fade into the mists of senility and bloggers heaven.  Actually the only heaven I want is one where Bellini is still composing operas.  Can you imagine his equivalent of Othello, Don Carlo, and Falstaff?

For those who do not follow this vision of heaven, recall that Bellini died in his early thirties (33) having composed only nine superb operas.  Whereas Verdi wrote about thirty operas and was very old when he died (88).  He wrote the operas listed when well past sixty. In fact he was eighty when he wrote Falstaff, a masterpiece.  If only Bellini had had 55 more years.  Or maybe he would like Rossini have retired at forty to a villa overlooking a lake to entertain aspirant sopranos–and not write another opera in the many years of old-age debauchery. He was 76 when he died.  But he did write some forty operas before retiring at 40.

Who knows I may have many years yet like some opera composers to pass on to the successful candidate a tune or two.

Contact us and let us talk.  It will be faster than CareerMine.

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The Tyee, a local Vancouver e-newspaper with a decidedly liberal bent today published an article on peer review of Mt Polley.  David Ball is the author of the piece.  I think he did a good job in balancing the opinions. I admit to being hopelessly prejudiced in this opinion.  For if you read David’s piece, you will note that he quotes me and Nordie Morgenstern.  David called me a while ago and asked how I would have gone about preventing Mt Polley and how I would go about preventing future Mt Polleys.  We talked long about peer review.  To his credit he checked what I was telling him by contacting Nordie Morgenstern.  He also established that there is currently only one tailings facility in BC that has a peer review board. (more…)

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The new book Nature, Choice and Social Power by Erica Schoenberger of John Hopkins University is available from amazon.com.   I got an e-copy and have read the first few chapters that deal with mining.  She writes well, so it is easy and pleasant to read.  She is not polemic, but sets out the stories and facts in an even-handed way.  If you are interested in the relationship between history, social needs, power, and mining, you will enjoy those parts of the book on mining. (more…)

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This picture and the others in this posting were taken by me at Knotsberry Farm in California.
A great place to visit and enjoy a terrifying ride along the raging river of insanity.

If you seek a thorough and intelligent analysis of dealing with uranium mill sites (and particularly the tailings facility) take a look at the following–it is an amazingly comprehensive document–and should be required reading for all involved in mine management, regardless of whether the mine is uranium, copper, gold, or something else. (more…)

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I have always been fascinated by the role mining played in the glory that was Athens and hence the whole western world we enjoy.  I only wish somebody would write an intense history of Athens focussed on the mining and the role it played in the rise and fall of Athens.Sadly, most commenters end back up saying mine responsibly.   Vague and hard to do. (more…)

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Or you could title this post:  “Mine or be a Slave.” The images in this post are disturbing.  That is intentional.  I seek to be as provocative as ever I have been.  So read on and let us fight over this idea.  The idea that if you do not mine, you become somebody else’s slave. I am prompted to write this by some reports today.  The first is this from the National Mining Association: (more…)

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Two flights and a visit to a mine today.  I promised I would not blog about it–although they admitted reading blog postings about other mines. So here is something I included in an email reply to somebody who emailed about their upcoming book about mining and society.  Sadly they got the early history of mining quite wrong.  I reminded them of these links on early mining.  And post them here so that you do not make the same mistake.  Point is mining is at least 45,000 years old.  I saw the original workings at Bomvu Ridge, Swaziland.  Today the King with many wives lives of the fruits of such ancient mining. (more…)

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