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Posts Tagged ‘MSHA’

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POV in MSHA terminology stands for Pattern of VIolations.  Another new mining-related term for me.  I came across this terminology today in a email from MSHA noting in part: (more…)

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John Quaranta was probably the only person from the east of the USA and the coal tailings industry at this week’s Tailings & Mine Waste Conference.  A pity and a challenge to future conference organizers. (more…)

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If you have not yet sent in your comments to MSHA on how to make dams at metal and non-metal mines safer, time is running out.  This hit my e-mail last week: (more…)

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I have never copied and posted a large amount of test on this blog before.  Yet below I do.  I do this because the issue is fascinating and the information a trifle tedious to find.  (more…)

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  Once a year?  Or twice a year?  Sounds like the famous question “to be or not to be.” 

In some ways there is a parallel between the questions.  For both, depending on the answer, mean the difference between life and death.   Death in a duel.  Or death in a cold, coal mine.  Because you have too little practice in rescue operations.  Now a judge has spoken and MSHA acts.

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  The world looks different from different places.  I am in Huntington Beach, California where it is raining harder and longer than ever seen in Vancouver.  They are amazingly optimistic here.  The couple who entertained us last night have just completed a $200,000 renovation to the house they bought 20 years ago for about the same amount.  Being near the beach, the house is still worth a lot more than the renovation cost.  He is a consultant to the US mining industry and believes there is lots of work to be had. 

The geologist, engaged on a two-year study of tunnels from the Inland Empire to the Beach Cities, is more concerned about disposal of the 20 million cubic yards of acid-drainage-producing waste the tunnels will create than in the economy.   He asked me:  How would a miner get rid of that volume of tailings in California?

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Two tales of conflict in mining, one from long ago and far away and one from today’s news. The first is of biblical proportions, as the report tells:

An international team of archaeologists may have uncovered the copper mines owned and operated by the biblical King Solomon during a dig at Khirbat en-Nahas, an ancient mining and metallurgy district of more than 450 square miles in southern Jordan.

Mining involved conflict as indicated by this observation:

An ancient Egyptian scarab and amulet were also found in a layer of the excavation associated with a disruption in production at the end of the 10th century BCE. The event is thought to have been connected with a military campaign by the Egyptian Pharaoh “Shishak” that took place following the death of King Solomon.

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No doubt the facts are complex and at least can be argued either way.   Yet this morning’s two news reports, make you wonder about the tendency for people to do wrong:

W. R. Grace - 1865W.R. Grace and asbestos:  “The U.S. Supreme Court Monday refused to hear an appeal by W.R. Grace & Co. in a case that involves criminal charges brought by the government against the company and six of its executives for Clean Air Act violations in the release of asbestos from a vermiculite mine in Libby, Montana.”

Grace in the City

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8.09.2007 7588.jpg

Originally uploaded by trenthead

This hot up in Washington re the Crandall Canyon Mine.  Here is the link to the just-issued report from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General–Office of Audit.  The report is called “MSHA could not show it made the right decision in approving the roof control plan at Crandall Canyon Mine.”

I have not yet read the 80 pages, so no comment from me.  But the Google news and other blog items are begining to erupt, so take a look at your favorite, trusted resources and sites.  That from the Salt Lake Tribune is brief but informative.  The report from kutv.com is longer but not in depth.

The two blog postings I found simply trot out the ususal litany of incompetence we have all become too familiar with.  Nothing new or insightful there.  In fact it is probably impossible at this time to say anything new and insightful about this dreadful case. 

Personally I just recommend voting them all out of office and starting with a fresh slate.   For the rest, leave it to the lawyers, they may get to the guilty whom we cannot vote out.

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Nine lives gambled and lost on the dice of three numbers:  900; 1,640; or 4,512.  These are the three dice-numbers that are at the center of Crandall Canyon’s Murray Energy versus Agapito versus MSHA debacle that turned to tragedy. 

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