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Archive for the ‘Mining history’ Category

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This posting is prompted by things I have seen, heard, and thought on trips to remote mines in the Canadian Northwest Territories, Mexico, Guatemala, and the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile.  Nothing I write is specific to only one mine or generally applicable to all mines.  Each has it own characteristics and issues.  But they are remarkable similar, so let me lump them in one posting. (more…)

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Treehuggers don’t like mining.  They fear: the loss of trees; cutting down of old-growth forests; turning the soil to extract rare earths for their computers and electric cars; and anything that changes the landscape.  Their websites call for replacement of cyanide by corn-starch, no use of mercury by artisanal miners, and windmills made of solid wood conveying electricity by means we know not of. (more…)

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If you are interested in how mining companies fared in Canadian courts last year, you would do well to download and read the McCarthy Tetrault Mining in the Courts Year in Review Vol IV – March 2014 available at this link.  The volume includes detailed information about the facts leading to 21 court cases and decisions in Canadian courts that involved mining companies.  More important the volume provides clear and concise information about the court decisions and what these decisions mean for mining companies.  (more…)

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In his book The Pencil: A History of Design and Circumstance, Henry Petroski tells at length of early graphite mining and its impact on the development of the pencil.  From what I recall, for many years there was but one deposit in England that produce graphite of the right quality to produce workable pencils.  As one reviewer of the book writes: (more…)

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We met as usual at the movie house on Schoolhouse Road to watch the MET live broadcast–today it was Borodin’s opera Prince Igor, a tale of a 12th century Russian prince who looses his men and honor in war against the Polovetsians.  “Is it possible that 100 years after the start of the Great War, yet another great European war is beginning?” (more…)

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Hitherto I have refrained from commenting on the controversy swirling around Taseko’s BC New Prosperity Mine.  A number of reasons for avoiding a blog posting on the topic.  First, I know nothing of the issues—I did take up Taseko’s offer to interview their engineers, but never got a reply to my email taking up their offer. Second, I work with a guy who has a cabin in the area and hence a definitive opinion on the matter:  NIMBY. (more…)

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Case History

A simple cover of rock is what we constructed at the 24 UMTRA piles.  Over the radioactive wastes and radon barrier was a layer of rock.  Many thought this ugly.  Personally I think a pile of rock standing proud in the landscape is beautiful: not natural, but so robust and textured that it impresses the mind and eye.

Rock was used to control, nay eliminate erosion, for 1,000 years and more.  The rock was placed to resist the forces of erosion by waters rushing down the cover.  The rock type was selected to resist decay for as long a period as we had courage to predict. (more…)

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It is snowing in Vancouver.  Nothing sticking to the roads, but the trees are white and beautiful.  Nothing much to do outside or inside for that matter, so just  a few thoughts on mine waste disposal facility covers.

Slimes & Cement

The best cover is no cover.  If you can use the upper tailings or waste rock as the as the growth medium in which a stand of climax vegetation will flourish, you have the best cover. (more…)

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From Linda Hinshaw of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Colorado State University here is news of some of the research underway in the department.   (more…)

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The seminar on Cold Cover is upcoming in April in Whistler.  What a great opportunity for a few days of leisure and information in a beautiful place.  Just the thing for the privileged few in mining who can persuade their boss that they need & deserve the exposure to ideas and experts that would otherwise involve much web searching and downloading. I will be there — if this blog posting does not get me banned from attending.  For my challenge to the experts presenting is this: negate what I said so many years ago.  Do not obfuscate; do not formulate pusillanimous alternative to prove you are original; and tell us the truth. (more…)

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