The original of the above figure is available at http://xkcd.com/1007/
The Canadian Institute of Mining (CIM) has just sent me the preliminary program for the May 6 to 9 conference in Edmonton. Here are the papers on sustainable mining: (more…)
Here is an abstract from the CIM conference in May 2011. Beware that this is a baffling abstract—hardly clear what the point is, but somehow I get the impression there is a new idea there. If only the authors were forced to prepare papers instead of being let off the hook with some pusillanimous abstract. This abstract proves the stupidity of lazy organizations and presenters in wasting their time and ours with half-baked abstracts. The CIM and hence the Canadian mining industry should be ashamed of itself in cutting trees to prepare paper volumes with such trivial stuff. (more…)
Last night I strode through the rain to the Hyatt Hotel where the BC branch of the Canadian Institute of Mining (CIM) held their annual students dinner and talk. The foyer was crowded with students drinking and laughing with old folk in the mining industry—the sound bouncing off the plaster and paint of the walls was so terrible that I fled to a quiet bar nearby. (more…)
Two dumb headlines from the weekend. Both about mining. Both illustrate how respectable mining and political groups twist the truth to their advantage, and whitewash their acts with misleading verbiage. In this case I propose the biggest sinner is the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum. In this instance they manage to be more dishonest than even the Alaskans fighting to stop the Pebble Mine, and that is saying a lot. Let me explain.
From the CIM Magazine come the headline: Mining’s Sustainable Future: innovative technologies, environmental stewardship, social responsibility.
Keep in mind that a few weeks ago a British court decide that sustainable in the context of mining is so ambiguous as to be meaningless. Pity the poor CIM for this ill-timed headline. This issue of the CIM Magazine truly reinforces the silliness of the term sustainable in the context of mining. I recommend the August issue of the CIM magazine if you want to see how a single word can be stretched and contorted out of all reality in the interests of whitewashing a concept. Just two examples of irrelevant use of the word sustainable in the magazine:
For an example of what a good conference powerpoint presentation should be, take a look at Cameco Corporation: Northern Saskatchewan Strategy Mining Division. This is from the CIM Edmonton conference just ended.
I must thank the company for making this presentation available for public dissemination so fast. And congratulate them not only on a fine presentation but on a commitment to fine work.
The presentation tells it so well, that the absence of a live presenter is no impediment to understanding and benefiting from the time spent browsing through the presentation. Go take a look and support and invest in their efforts.
Posted in About the news, Uranium, tagged ALARA, Cameco, Cigar Lake, CIM, D Neuburger, Key Lake, McArthur, milling, mining, Rabbit Lake, Saskatchewan, Tailings, Uranium on May 6, 2008 | Leave a Comment »
The uranium mining industry is part of the nuclear industry which produces about 16 percent of electricity worldwide. Being part of the nuclear industry makes uranium mining totally different from other types of mining. It is almost as though uranium miners, having to face the worst and the most difficult, having to operate in the focus of public and regulatory scrutiny, and having to deal always with extremes of health and safety related primarily to radioactivity exposure, are different. I submit they are different in this way: they are calmer and more stoic than other miners. Those searching for and producing gold & copper are exuberant, excited, and almost cavalier. But the average uranium miner is dour and sober, deliberative and thorough.
These perspectives are prompted by comparing the CIM technical sessions this morning devoted to uranium mining in Saskatchewan and gold & copper mining in British Columbia. Maybe the difference relates to the type of people who choose to live and work in Saskatchewan versus British Columbia? After all they all still wear colorful ties and formal suits in Saskatchewan, whereas in British Columbia they all wear casual black and gray. But I doubt that the cultures of the two provinces are the fundamental reason for the vast differences in attitude and approaches that prevail in the two mining sectors.
I skipped the CIM sessions on hard technology and opted instead for the session on oil sands mining–what is happening north of Fort McMurray beside diving ducks?
The four presentation were as entertaining and informative as conference presentations come. First the story of the Axe Lake project which when it comes into production will be Saskatchewan’s first oil sands operation–all on the far east side of the Athabasca Basin just where, about 110 million years ago, the rivers poured down into an inland sea. So the “oil” is trapped in nice clean sands. Unlikely to be any fine tailings from that operation; no MFT to bedevil the covering of the ponds.
The CIM Edmonton conference kicked into high gear this morning with a plenary session chaired by some TV and radio announcer that everybody but me seemed to know. He was amusing but finally threw up his hands in despair trying to summarize the many talks & questions on every aspect of human nature in mining conceivable. He noted that the speakers had covered every aspect of philosophy including the philosophy of mining. Neither insightful nor helpful as we all know that philosophers have failed for thousands of years to capture the truth – although they have spoken long and eloquently thereon.
I submit that what we heard this morning was simply evolution in action–Darwin would have been proud to see his principles so eloquently implemented in one sector of human endeavour: mining. We start with the mining of diamonds, as the engineer from De Beers noted so that we get something to induce the ladies to love. Then we moved through the Teck Cominco presentations to third graders on how their beds would collapse if there were no metals mined to hold up the bed posts.
The CIM conference in Edmonton was opened this evening by Komatsu and the past, present, and next president of the CIM. The Loyal Edmonton Regiment marched in with red, white, and black bedecked drummers; the loud & aggressive drummers lead the dignitaries to the podium; a few short speeches and a ribbon cutting followed.
We repaired to the exhibition hall. With beer and meat in hand, I chatted with Jim Rovers, National VP Sales and Marketing for AFI International. We exchanged tales of mines and miners and how they prepare for and live through labor disputes: secure equipment, bring in managers from other operations to keep things going, and keep product moving through ports and along rail lines. An interesting byway of the mining industry.