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Posts Tagged ‘Geotechnical’

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There is a great silence of information about the geotechnical issues possibly involved in the failure of the Mt Polley tailings dam.  No reports have been released; no letters published; no statistics provided.  Oh sure, a few old numbers of incidents in 2012, but the 2013 report is not yet ready. (more…)

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There is a madness out there as the search for a senior tailings/geotechnical engineer heats up.  Two emails on the topic today.  The first promises the job noted below this paragraph.  Click on it and you go to Linkedin.  As I am not linked-in, I could not access the site to find out more.  (more…)

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    Most mines engage consultants.  Even the largest mines do not find it practical or economic to keep permanently on staff people to do those special, one-off projects that lead to new mines, efficient operation of existing mines, or close mines with a skeleton staff.  Most mines needs the expertise that consultants have, but which it is just not necessary for the mining company to keep in-house.  Examples of consultants include the specialized exploration geologist, financial planners for a take-over bid, geotechnical/tailings engineers for the design or expansion of a tailings facility, planners to compile closure documents, or regulatory experts to secure new permits. (more…)

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   Not all mines have a forward planning department.  But those that do, benefit from the planning & foresight that the people of such a department provide.  Here are some thoughts on a career in future planning on a mine that has such a department. (more…)

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    This week, EduMine posted a new course that I wrote.  As is the title of this posting, the new course is called Geotechnical Engineering for Mine GeoWaste Facilities.  

I was prompted to write the course when I was called on to explain to a client who is not a geotechnical engineer what is involved in geotechnical engineering.  This client was in charge of the design and construction of a large tailings impoundment that involves nearly every aspect of geotechnical engineering.  He asked me fundamental questions that demanded a wider knowledge base than a simple answer could provide.  Thus I wrote a few short pieces for him and then more short pieces to expand on topics.  Eventually it was obvious we needed a complete course.  So I wrote it.

The course covers pretty much the complete spectrum of geotechnical engineering as applicable to mine tailings impoundments, waste rock dumps, and heap leach pads.  I write from my own experience, including over forty years as a consultant to the mining industry.  During that time I have been lucky enough to work on the geotechnical engineering aspects of all these large structures that I collectively refer to as Mine GeoWaste Facilities. 

I contemplated a course on tailings impoundments alone.  But the topic seemed insurmountable.  Apart from that, there is so much written and readily available about the fundamentals of tailings impoundments that I could not face going into competition with so many excellent texts.   Moreover, it was clear from interaction with my client that a more fundamental look at the basics was needed.  Thus in the course I go back to the fundamentals of soil mechanics that underlie every tailings storage facility, every waste rock dump, and every heap leach pad.

If the topic interests you, I recommend going to the links I provide above, join EduMine, and read the course.  Please tell me how you fare and help me add to future updates of the course by telling me your stories.  Thanks

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    Spent today working on the final section of a new EduMine course I am writing on the topic of Geotechncial Engineering for Mine GeoWaste Facilities, including tailings impoundments, waste rock dumps, and heap leach pads. Here is some text that did not make the cut. I post it here as it is interesting, although not quite course material. Enjoy.  And look for the course on EduMine, as it should be available within the next month or so.  (more…)

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Geotechnical Engineering for Mine Waste Storage Facilities

I am in South Africa and in the offices of a large consulting company.  They and the consulting community is abuzz with excitement and pride at the recent publication of a new book of tailings impoundment by Geoffrey Blight.  The book is Geotechnical Engineering for Mine Waste Storage Facilities.  It is readily available from Amazon for more than $300, but on the basis of a first read today, I must recommend it to all involved in tailings impoundments. (more…)

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