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Just home from a four-week journey that took me to  Peru, Chile, Keystone CO, Banff, and Ekati NWT.  It is good to be back in the house where you can throw off the formalities of travel, eat simple food, and get drunk in private. They say that Peruvian food is the best in the world.  Indeed it is if you are in a fancy, expensive place in Lima.  But go to a mine and eat what the miners eat, and it is terrible beyond belief.  Rice & beans and other unrecognizable substances of gooey texture.  I lost weight.  Maybe it was the altitude = 14,500 ft.  You walk slow and breathe deep in those conditions. Continue Reading »

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The final keynote speech at the conference on Tailings and Mine Waste was from Craig Benson. He talked about mine waste facility covers.   He has promised me a pdf of his talk. But in the meantime there are many documents by him and his coworkers readily available on the web that deal with much the same material as was in his presentation. Continue Reading »

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Today’s keynote address was by Tamara Johndrow of Freeport-McMoRan Mining Company. Her topic was FCX Tailings Stewardship Program. Let me note what I recall of her talk. Tamara heads a group of about ten engineers.  Their task is to look after, or steward, all of Freeport-McMoRan’s tailings facilities.  If I recall correctly that includes 18 operating facilities and over fifty closed facilities.  That is a large portfolio. They have a single objective:  NO FAILURES. Continue Reading »

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The first day of presentations at the Tailings and Mine Waste 2014 Conference.  Gordon McPhail delivered a talk in honor of Geoff Blight, who passed away earlier this year.  Geoff made so many contributions to tailings that we were talking for at least an hour about him and his genius.  I honor him here in the only way I know:  record my opinion that he was one of the great of tailings. Continue Reading »

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A beautiful sunny day in Keystone in the Colorado Rockies and the first day of the conference on Tailings and Mine Waste 2014.  Today was short-course Sunday.  With Franco Oboni and Cesar Oboni of Riskope, I presented a one-day course on Risk Assessment and Decision Making for Tailings Facilities. Continue Reading »

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A simple cover for a tailings facility may be no more than a layer of compacted tailings overlain by soil in which vegetation can grow. If control of infiltration is not required, this cover may be cost effective.   If the climate of the site is good, the layer of soil thick, and the vegetation abundant, you may have an evapotranspirative cover that limits infiltration. Continue Reading »

No posts the past few days. I have been travelling in Peru and Chile to remote mines where we work long hours and have intermittent email & internet connections. It has been fun and instructive: to examine the problems that arise on mines far from the center and focus; to see how local consultants devise solutions in climates that differ from those I am used to; and to examine alternative ways of constructing tailings impoundments.  I cannot write of what I have done, for it is all client confidential, so instead here are a few photos take at random along the way. Enjoy.

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