You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2007.
A big loss to Canada and the United States is Marc Ruest. A graduate of Queen’s University, he’s off in a month’s time to Johannesburg to become chief rock mechanics engineer for De Beers. I wish him all the very best although I am conflicted by admiration, envy and concern. He is currently with Itasca in Minneapolis but has taken what I am sure is a good career-advancing step by going to South Africa to join De Beers.
A good presentation at a conference informs you of technical advances and new ways to make money. On the basis of these criteria, my nominee for the best presentation at today’s SME Annual Meeting & Exhibit meeting is Hydro-Jex – Heap Leach Pad Stimulation Technology: Ready for World Wide Industrial Adoption?
For your immediate information, here is my take on the first day of technical sessions at the SME Annual Meeting & Exhibit in Denver. The first obvious conclusion is that the world is not about to run out of energy any time soon. The key note speaker from Peabody Coal assured us that the U.S., with 37 percent of the world’s coal reserves, has enough coal to supply all our energy needs for at least 250 years. At the end of the day in the final session devoted to uranium, the speaker assured us that the U.S. has enough uranium to supply all our energy need for thousands and potentially millions of years. All we need to do is mine the coal and mine the uranium—or at least one of them.
Is it possible that Toronto is truly the greatest mining centre in the world as John Chadwick, writing in the February issue of International Mining, says it is? In support of his thesis, he quotes Kirk Rodgers of Golder Associates: ”[A good mining center] must be boring. By boring I mean it should not produce headlines about military coups, civil unrest, racial disharmony and financial flight. But Toronto actually is exciting in many other ways. It has a vibrant economy, a diverse ethnic makeup with virtually every nation in the world represented and a good cultural life.”
A brief piece about nothing in particular to celebrate the weekend and to help you negotiate your next salary increase. If anyone ever repeats this article to me, I shall vehemently deny that I wrote it. The reason: it deals more with magic than with engineering or the relationship between value and salary. Read the rest of this entry »
More good reasons to go to the SME Annual Meeting & Exhibit in Denver next week: basically to meet with the people who constitute “the mining industry,” and remind oneself that the “industry” is not the faceless ogre that detractors try to paint, but rather that mines are groups of nice people striving in earnest to do good. First, I hope to connect with these folk with whom I have e-interacted but not met in person:
- Kay Sever, who now has three papers on TechnoMine, is the most recent. She deals with continuous improvement in mine workplace quality and performance.
- Richard Phelps is an ex-mining magazine editor who just started a new consulting company, Global Mining RiSC.
There is still a small corner of the world where they celebrate mining. There is a wonderful place where miners do mining things: machine drilling; hand mucking; spike driving; and hand drilling. The winner gets the title All Around Miner. This is not some dream or fantasy. This is Miami, Arizona—60 miles east of Apache Junction on US HWY 60. You can join them for the 17th Annual Boomtown Spree on April 20, 21 & 22, 2007.
David outwits Goliath. All our hearts beat with anticipation at the victory of the small, brave hero over the faceless mass-horde opposition. We all delight in seeing the race go to the swift and smart. This is why I so like this story from Australia, brought to my attention by Ben Young. It concerns the midnight pegging of claims by one determined individual ahead of forty multinationals. If he wins his court case he will be seven million dollars richer. And who cares if they are Australian, US, Canadian, or any other currencies dollars?
Whatever it is, we won’t hear it any time soon—and that observation presumes that there is a “truth.” I suspect that everybody involved in the now-flooded workings is scrambling too hard to fix things to debate a Platonic “truth,” which leaves the investor not simply guessing but, in practice, gambling.
Let us have a look at the technicalities to see if we can probe deeper than news releases and stock speculations. (And look at a more recent article on this blog.)