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Posts Tagged ‘Guatemala’

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Today was a typical day in the life of a mining consultant.  One report was issued; one project put on hold; one request for proposals received; and a long discussion on how to deal with an obdurate client.

The project put on hold was in the prefeasibility stage–of deciding how to reopen a mine closed some fifteen years ago.  The pit designer had calculated that $75 million of prestripping was needed to get to the ore.  The pit stability analyist had decided the pits could not go much deeper without rock bolting.  The metallurgist said there was no equipment available to get the ore ready for heap leaching.  The heap leach pad designer had said the new heap leach pad was feasible but a long way from the mill—would it be economic to transport that distance?  And the groundwater guys had said there was not enough groundwater to support operations.  No wonder it was put on hold.

The report issued advised on how to deal with a sinkhole that had developed in the tailings over an area where the geomembrane liner had been torn and repaired during installation.  And how to deal with diversion channels designed for a mere twenty-five year precipitation event.

The obdurate client wants to relocate waste rock to a site where the groundwater becomes artesian in the wet season.   And they do not want perpetual water treatment although the rock is acid generating.  Imagine that!

Then the RFP to proposed to compile a mine closure plan came in.  Can we win?  Is it worth compiling and submitting?  Should we team?

Finally I did a dry run of the EduMine webcast for next week on Mine Water Management.  Please to say that Clint Strachan of MWH has agreed to join me and present on mine water management at the Marlin Mine in Guatemala.  it will be great to hear his presentation.  There is still time to join us on Tuesday.

Then home to a drink and an opera.  Tell you about that in the next posting.

 

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Four short stories and one succinct opinion.  No pictures.  You decide.

Story 1 – Gambling

A father took his young daughter with him to gamble.  The men sat gambling until late in the night and into the early morning.  The daughter busied herself as only teenagers can when their parents are at play.  The father’s luck was fierce.  He won a great deal and the losers were sore.  Finally the father left with his daughter, but the losers were not happy.  They wanted their money back.  They waylaid the father and daughter and an altercation broke out.  Guns were pulled.  The daughter was shot and killed.  The father, bereft, is in hospital fighting for his life. (more…)

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Are you a retired policeman?  Maybe a strong fellow who likes guns?  Or a smart strategist (female) who seeks excitement?  Do you want to balance human rights and the security and safety of mine workers from thugs and violence? If the answer to any of these or a thousand other questions is yes, then consider becoming a security officer on a mine. (more…)

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Having survived the travails of travel, including eight-hour flight delays, evacuation of terminals, and long-line indignities, let me post a few photos that illustrate how one village is improved by mining-derived money. I first saw this village about three years ago.  It was picturesque but dilapidated. Poverty was the norm: unpainted houses; a decaying church; rudimentary places to eat; no banks. (more…)

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Paarl is the only South African brandy I can get in Vancouver.  It is rough—not like cognac—but rather the flavor of the veldt & bush, of scrub & dust, of a long-forgotten home & inequities long-rectified.  Thus inebriated, I blog. (more…)

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The Temptation of ChristAry Scheffer, 1854

The Westward Look hotel sits proud in the foothills of Tucson.  Down in the flats, the lights of the city sparkle and shine like a sea of energy washing over the privileged.  You know that somewhere in the pinpoints of light somebody is being robbed, beaten, raped, and maybe killed.  But violence is not the predominant activity.  Civil order is probably the norm. (more…)

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Guatemala Photos

A few photos taken today.

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