Posts Tagged ‘slimes dam’


In February next year I shall go to the Society of Mining Engineers (SME) conference in Denver.  One evening I shall dine with Andy Robertson and his party.  We will celebrate his induction into the Mining Hall of Fame. This is a signal honor for him and due recognition of his many contributions to the mining industry.  He well deserves it.  Not that he needs more recognition–most people I speak to know and respect him.  He is well-known for his superior intellect, his accomplishments, and his human gentleness.  For he is first and foremost a gentleman in all meanings of the word. (more…)

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I learnt today that Geoff Blight has passed away.  I can pay tribute to him best by writing of those times I worked with him. He was a professor at the University of the Witwatersrand.  He came in and took over when Professor Jennings died. I never had a lecture from him, so I leave it to others to record his lecture style and teaching abilities–both of which I was told were superb. (more…)

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The following just in from Venmyn Deloitte on reworking of old South African slimes dams or tailings facilities to use the more modern term.  All the old slimes dams around the area I grew up are gone.  The biggest loss is that big pile of yellow sand down which we would slide on corrugated cardboard boxes.  The pile was so full of uranium and gold that it was one of the first to go.  I hate to think what our radioactive exposure was as kids.  I can report no ill after-effects either from the radioactivity or from the mercury my father brought home for us to play with on the bedroom floor.  And we knew not what a seatbelt was in those heady days of vast exposure to danger.  (more…)

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South African and tailings history are now richer as a result of a new book on Fraser Alexander.  I have managed to obtain an e-copy of the entire book.  I presume I am permitted to send you a copy if you cannot obtain a hard-copy.  I am much indebted to those who arranged for me to get the e-copy.  I will put you in touch with them if you email me. (more…)

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Here is a picture of a mining disaster waiting to happen.  This is a mine in Australia that is shut down because too much rain has filled their tailings impoundment and they appear to have no facilities to treat water hence to release it.  (more…)

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Growing up on the East Geduld Mine, a gold mine at the far east end of the South African Witwatersrand, we often went to play around the slimes dams and the pools of orange, green, and blue waters that dotted the landscape.   Our parent forbade us to go there, for there were stories of kids sliding into pools, drowning, or worse, being entombed in collapsing caverns in the slimes dams.  But that made our adventures all the more exciting. (more…)

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A casual conversation in the parking garage involved this question: “What are the five tailings failures that set the course of history?” (more…)

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