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Archive for the ‘Mining history’ Category

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Received the following by email. Not sure where it originated, or how widely it has been circulated. All these words remind me of growing up on a mine in South Africa. We used them all in common speech. So sad they cannot now be used by us to color or talk. Still you may enjoy. Sommer so! (more…)

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The most confident fellow in the meeting was the specialist in permitting from Toronto. He was old, like me, and in total command of his subject. He reminded us: “California is both the most difficult and yet the easiest state in the Union in which to permit a mine. It is easy because the process is simple: fill in the boxes, check off the items of the checklist, and it is done. It is the most difficult because you need to have done the work to ensure the right answer to fill in the boxes. If you do not have a comprehensive, well-thought-out, and defensive plan, you cannot fill in the boxes, complete the checklist, and get the regulators to say OK.” (more…)

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Spent the past three days at California mines.  Two days at a real mine and today at Knotsberry Farm and their simulacrums of a mine.  They are to be commended for making mining fun in an amusement park.  Here are some photos.  Two of the real mine and three of the simulacrums.

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And finally one of ARD–you decide if it is the real thing or a fake in an amusement park.

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Here are two links to two very different reports on Tahoe’s Escobal mine in Guatemala.  I need to rush to join clients for drinks and supper, so no comment other than to repeat what one of the articles reports on what I said in an interview with the reporter.  Oh Dear! (more…)

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A recent email and links to sites worth taking a look at. (more…)

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More than twenty-five years ago, I spent six months in Oak Ridge, Tennessee opening the Jacobs Engineering office.  Then we won a job that required me to move to Pasadena, California.  This week I am back in the state and see much change.  Highway 40 from Oak Ridge to Knoxville was a quiet road.  Now it is continuous commercial development and an eight-lane freeway.  The weather is still perfect and the people still have that wonderful can-do attitude.

Those miners I have been with this week are so American.  Their attitude is always:  that is a great idea–we can do it; but here is a better idea–what do you think?

So we leapfrog from issue, to question, to idea, to analysis, to solutions.  And the outcome is a positive advance based on mutual agreement.

Did you know that Tennessee is a mining place?  One of the largest producers of zinc concentrate?  Some of the mines are one-hundred and more years old.  Of course there is still some coal mining, but I know little of that.  As the picture above shows, natural gas is a thing I thought not off way back then.

The food is great:  meat and sauces, fries, and sweet tea.  Then there are those many variations of Jack Daniel’s that I cannot get elsewhere.  Right now I type to the tune of Winter Jack: “A seasonal blend of apple cider liqueur & Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey.”  Magnificent.  No wonder mining is so smooth.

I am told the regulators are great people to work with.

So the mines advance with the usual issues to be dealt with: too much vegetation in waterways & spillways; seepage through rock embankments; tailings pools too close to dikes; the threat of hurricane-induced probable maximum precipitation; and the New Madrid earthquake that makes this a region where seismic stability analyses are no deal and a big deal.

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Spent this past week in Quebec looking at mines.   This brought us to Rouyn-Noranda and food at Bistro Jezz.

The food at this little place on a quiet side-street is magnificent: the best I have tasted in many a year of travel to distant mines.

Take a special trip to this restaurant if you seek and relish good food.  Subtle flavours, beautiful presentation, unusual dishes.  Words cannot capture the beauty of fine food in a simple setting.

Here are some photos from this trip.

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The guys from Mining.com told me today that the major news organizations contacted them asking for comments on the recent mining tragedy in Turkey.  The Mining.com guys had no comment.  “What do we know more than they do?  What can we say that adds to insight?” (more…)

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Four short stories and one succinct opinion.  No pictures.  You decide.

Story 1 – Gambling

A father took his young daughter with him to gamble.  The men sat gambling until late in the night and into the early morning.  The daughter busied herself as only teenagers can when their parents are at play.  The father’s luck was fierce.  He won a great deal and the losers were sore.  Finally the father left with his daughter, but the losers were not happy.  They wanted their money back.  They waylaid the father and daughter and an altercation broke out.  Guns were pulled.  The daughter was shot and killed.  The father, bereft, is in hospital fighting for his life. (more…)

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There is much talk these days about how high tailings facilities are being designed and constructed.  Short-term memories at work.  In 1980, I designed and permitted a tailings facility to 1,000-ft high.  It never got built.  But here is its story, nevertheless. (more…)

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