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Last night we attended the International Mining magazine’s induction of new members of the Mining Hall of Fame.

It was a grand affair.  Many worthy folk in the mining industry were inducted.  I am told that the March or April issue of the magazine will document their achievements and contributions to mining.

I note only Andy Robertson who was inducted for these contributions:

  • Founding of Steffen Robertson and Kirsten, now SRK.
  • Founding of GemCom that now has the name Geovia.
  • Founding of InfoMine and EduMine, both of which I contribute to.
  • Founding of Robertson Geoconsultants for which I work.
  • Leading the way forward on responsible tailings management.
  • Leading the technology on acid mine drainage.

I might add that it was Andy who got me started on this blog.  Although he has had occasion to rue that lead and the blog, for on a number of occasions he has been asked to tell me to remove postings.  As a true gentleman, he has done so with discretion and dignity.

In his acceptance speech Andy thanked his family, his colleagues, and his clients–all of whom have supported his hard work.  He mentioned only one name:  Professor Jere Jennings who taught so many of us in mining geotechnology the basics of the art.  His contributions and memory live on in people of Andy’s caliber.

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Here are links to a few of many publications and presentations for the USACE of the topic of risk assessment of dams and levees.  Katrina forced them to think hard and deep.  This is a snapshot of the work.

Risk-Informed Approach to Flood-Induced Dam and Levee Failures

Risk Management Guidelines, Prioritization, and Process

USACE Levee Safety Program

The questions that arise are: Should the mining industry adopt similar criteria, methods, and results?  Should the Canadian Dam Association be leading the way on this?  How will we be able to justify a significantly different approach?

SME Denver Mining

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The snow blanketed us today as the Denver Society of Mining Engineers convention begun.  Yet it is warm enough to walk through the snow in shirt sleeves.  Typical Denver in winter/spring. Yesterday I attended the short course on Seismic Engineering for Tailings Dams.  It was well-attended and featured magnificent speakers who brought us up-to-date with current practice in predicting earthquakes and analyzing their impact on mine tailings dams.   Of course there was discussion of predicting the maximum credible earthquake, which Jonathan Bray says we are doing it wrong.  Contact me if you want the details. Continue Reading »

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EduMine has just posted at this link, a Spanish version of our (Bernard Brixel and my) course Introduction to Groundwater Modelling for Mines & Mining.

The English version has proven popular since it was first posted in 2013.  Now it will be easy for Spanish speakers to also do the course.

I must thank AngloGold Ashanti for sponsoring the translation.  We all owe them a vote of confidence.  For they support continuing education.

This course joins my other, associated course in English and Spanish on Groundwater in Mining.  Translation of that course was sponsored by Goldcorp.  Thanks too to them.

If you do the course, and see room for improvement, please let me know.

And keep in mind the other two courses on EduMine on groundwater modeling:

Groundwater Modeling for Mining 1 – Model Conceptualization.

Groundwater Modeling for Mining 2 –  Numerical Modeling

Bernard and my two courses and their Spanish translations are introductory–they will lead you into the topics so that you can plan, manage, review, and at the first cut, deal with groundwater in mining.  The two noted just above by my colleagues here in Robertson Geoconsultants, are detailed and best tackled once you have some background, knowledge, experience, and practical involvement.

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This week I had reason to go back and re-read three papers I co-authored in the early 1980s.  It is surprising how far advanced we were then, and how little things have changed, or how little of what did has become standard practice. The first paper is at this link.  Rick Call was the lead on the work we describe in this paper.  He was a large buff man, with an enormous beard, a perpetual pipe, and a totally irreverent attitude towards authority.  He sent Ned Larson and me to Texas, where we sweated through the heat to get the data.  Then back to Tucson to do the calculations.  I recently reconnected with Ned who is now in Las Vegas and the grandfather of sixteen grandchildren.  He is still with the U.S. Department of Energy which he joined after working with me for five years on the UMTRA Project in Albuquerque.  He is a great engineer, as was Rick. Continue Reading »

UBC Mining MBA

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Here is a welcome announcement from the University of British Columbia.  An Executive MBA in Strategic Mining Management. I wish I were young enough to attend–but I am one of those soon to be demographic shifters, a baby boomer about to retire. Maybe I can lecture in my dotage on the relevance of tailings management to strategic mining management.  But they probably won’t give a blogger the podium. So be it.  We must simply applaud the move, support them, and wish them and their graduates well. Here the full announcement: Continue Reading »

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I have written previously on this blog about Roy Soderburg.  He passed away last year.  So here in his honor I repeat what I have previously written and add new information just received.  In short, he was a great mining engineer and should be more honored than a blog can do. Continue Reading »

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