Upcoming Webcast: Advanced Tailings and Mine Waste

Advanced Tailings and Mine Waste Facility Design, Construction, Operation, and ClosureThere’s still time to register for the upcoming webcast, Advanced Tailings and Mine Waste Facility Design, Construction, Operation, and Closure. This webcast draws on 2013 and 2014 publications and conferences to address the production, transport, distribution, and management of tailings. The major sections include consideration of the total life-cycle management of: conventional tailings, thickened and paste tailings, and filtered tailings. Presenters Jack Caldwell, Ian Hutchison, Lawrence Charlebois, Robert Cooke, and Christian Kujawa have reviewed and revised the course material so that, even if you have attended previous webcasts on this topic, the new agenda, approach, and information will ensure that you develop new insights into the state-of-practice in tailings facility management.

This three-session webcast will be held 29 April – 1 May 2014, from 8:00 am to 11:30 am Pacific Daylight Time each day. For more details or to register, see the course page.

Online Course Revised: Practical Geostatistics 2000 – 2: Spatial Statistics

practical-geostatistics-2The second of Dr. Isobel Clark’s popular set of geostatistics courses has been revised! Practical Geostatistics 2000 – 2: Spatial Statistics is based on over 40 years of teaching to mining engineers, geologists, hydrologists, soil scientists, climatologists, plus the occasional geographer, pattern recognition expert, meteorologist, statistician, and computer scientist. It is intended for people with problems to be solved that can be assisted by a geostatistical approach. This course covers the geostatistical techniques that follow from the statistical groundwork presented in the first course.

Author Dr. Isobel Clark provides consultancy through Geostokos Limited, almost exclusively in the field of mineral resource and reserve estimation, most often at feasibility or even pre-feasibility stage. She has taught at the Royal School of Mines at Imperial College, the Department of Mining Engineering at University of the Witwatersrand, and Camborne School of Mines at University of Exeter.

Visit the course page for Practical Geostatistics 2000 – 2: Spatial Statistics, and learn more!

Mining 101 Live Webcast

Mining 101Dr. Scott Dunbar’s webcast introduction to mining and mineral processing, Mining 101 is coming up! The course is designed for people who are new to the mining industry and for those who seek a broad understanding of mining processes: how mines are found and built, how the ore is extracted and processed, how the waste is disposed, how mineral products are marketed, and where mining is headed. This is EduMine’s most popular webcast, and has been taken by everyone from administrative staff and accountants through to geologists, directors, and CFOs.

The three-day webcast will be held 6 – 8 May 2014 from 8:00 am to 11:00 am Pacific Daylight Time each day. For more information or to register, see the course page.

Metso Signs Training Agreement with EduMine

grindingThe following is a press release from EduMine that may be of interest to readers of the blog who are involved in mineral processing.

“Brian Knapp of Metso Minerals (Canada) Inc. and Simon Houlding of EduMine (the Professional Development Division of InfoMine Inc.) have signed an agreement under which EduMine will present their unique, award-winning, computer-based training (CBT) as online courses for the global mining industry.

“CBT was developed by Metso for training crushing, grinding and flotation operators and is presented by EduMine as online self-paced, self-learning courses. The courses include online certification as well as performance tracking and reporting.

“Trainees who complete certification are awarded CEUs (continuing education units) and qualify for credit towards the Certificate in Mining Studies program supported by the University of British Columbia and the University of Arizona. The courses are currently available in English and will shortly be available in Spanish and French.

“The courses are supported by Marc Grondin, former CBT trainer. Interested parties can contact Marc at mgrondin@infomine.com.”

The Business Model for Mineral Projects is at Odds with the Concept of Social Responsibility


The fifth Global Exploration, Mining and Minerals (GEMM) Dialogue has just wrapped up in Vancouver. GEMM is sponsored by the Responsible Minerals Sector Initiative (RMSI) at Simon Fraser University.

Much of the dialogue has been concerned with ways in which a measure of the success of corporate social responsibility can be incorporated into the business model of a mineral project. The accepted methodology for building a business model is Net Present Value (NPV), a financial technique that is based on an appropriate discount rate, supposedly the current cost of capital. It is the accepted method of valuation of most mineral projects.

An objection to NPV in the context of social responsibility is that the method discounts everything that is done in the future, and is therefore in conflict with the very concepts of social responsibility and sustainability. For example, using typical discount rates, anything done more than 12 years in the future has very little impact on net present value.

It has been suggested that a measure of social responsibility can be incorporated into the NPV equation as sNPV, where s varies between 0 and 1 and is a measure of how well social responsibility is addressed by a project. Alternatively, a failure of social responsibility (social unrest say) can be incorporated into the NPV equation as a risk that simply increases the discount rate, in much the same way as seismic risk.

Both of these suggestions tend to trivialize the importance of CSR and amount to attempting to force-fit an inherently complex qualitative measure into a quantitative financial model. In practice CSR involves a large number of variables and requires a more detailed and representative measurement of performance. According to the Mining Association of Canada, CSR requires measurement of at least 23 variables to achieve a representative measure of performance.

A simpler and perhaps more logical approach is to include a budget for social responsibility in the cost of a project, in much the same way that one includes a budget for investor relations. The difficulty with this approach is coming up with a realistic budget.

The positive take on this dialogue is that this discussion is taking place and ideas are being tabled. However, this relevant and interesting discussion concluded without resolution … to be revisited no doubt at GEMM 2015. For more on CSR, NPV and related topics see CSR courses on EduMine and NPV courses on EduMine. See also: “The business case for corporate social responsibility: A company-level measurement approach for CSR” (Weber (2008)).

Upcoming Short Course: Open Pit Slope Design

Open Pit Slope DesignThis June we’ll be holding our Open Pit Slope Design short course, presented by Felipe Capdeville-Perez, Matthew King. The course begins with the fundamentals of slope design and then progresses from field data collection and QA/QC techniques through to the development of the individual component models that are used to define the geotechnical model. It will then explore different slope design methods and considerations, and present typical slope monitoring and management techniques to evaluate the behaviour and performance of the applied slope designs, finishing with a discussion on best practices for optimization of the slope designs.

The 2-day course will take place 26 – 27 June 2014, in Vancouver, BC. Register before May 26 and receive a 10% early bird discount. For more details or to register, see the course page!

What’s New in Exploration at EduMine Online

Gold Exploration in Tropical LandscapesOver the last year, EduMine has made some significant additions to their online course catalogue in the field of exploration, geology and reserves.

Gold Exploration in Tropical Landscapes is an informative, technical and applied geoscience course, which presents effective field techniques and cultural etiquette for gold exploration at tropical latitudes. Author Danae Voormeij draws on a decade’s worth of field experience in lateritic environments, and a year of dedicated research on tropical gold geochemistry.

Ore Minerals is an extensive, thorough look at 27 common ore minerals, their physical properties, uses and importance. The focus of the course is on practical mineral identification, and the importance of minerals and metals to our economy. For each ore mineral, information is provided on mining techniques, economic mine grades, commodity prices and world-wide reserves and resources. Author Dr. Selina Tribe has more than 20 years experience mapping and interpreting minerals, rock, structure and landforms on Earth and as far afield as Mars.

e3Plus - Principles and Guidance for Responsible Exploration - SpanishWe have recently had two new translations of exploration and geology courses: Dr. Glenn Stracher’s reference course Common Rocks, Minerals and Ores is now in Portuguese, and e3Plus: Principles and Guidance, the first of PDAC’s extensive e3Plus set of courses, is now in Spanish.

Existing course Practical Geostatistics 2000 – 1: Classical Statistics has been revised to include errata published by authors Dr. Isobel Clark and Dr. William Harper, and followup course Practical Geostatistics 2000 – 2: Spatial Statistics is soon to follow. These courses are based on over 40 years of teaching statistics and geostatistics to mining engineers, geologists, hydrologists, soil scientists, climatologists, and more.

Practical Geostatistics 2000 - 1: Classical StatisticsFinally, the first of the very popular Exploration and Mining Geology set of online courses, The Geologic Baseline, has been updated. This suite of courses uses the concepts and practices of applied geology as its central theme, and is a balanced and comprehensive treatment of the geological, geochemical, geophysical, and economic elements of exploration and mining.

Are you interested in knowing how your geological knowledge compares? Take EduMine’s Geology Challenge! See if you need a top-up to your exploration expertise with a certification in one of these great courses.

Rock Mass Characterization for Mine Design

Rock Mass Characterization for Mine DesignDr. Doug Milne’s popular short course Rock Mass Characterization for Mine Design has been scheduled for June 2014! This course will prepare mine staff to effectively gather geotechnical data, either from rock cuts, drifts, or core, and process the information for rock mass classification and rock mechanics design calculations. The course will explore effective mapping techniques to obtain data that can be used as input for any of the established rock classification systems. Attendees will participate in hands-on half-day underground mapping and rock classification tour at Britannia Mine, and a half-day surface mapping and rock classification field trip on the outskirts of Vancouver.

The 3-day course will take place 23 – 25 June 2014, in Vancouver, BC. For more details or to register, see the course page!

Online Knowledge and Information Resources for Mining


Learning and training objectives are not simply about the accepted learning outcomes of remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating and creating. A key part of post-secondary education is concerned with teaching us how and where to find and evaluate information we might need at any stage of our careers. We do not have to remember every item of information needed to manage a mining operation, but we do need to know where to find that information quickly when we need it, how to retrieve it, and how to evaluate it. Traditionally, we would have used a bricks and mortar library; today we have fully searchable online repositories of mining information and knowledge, like One Mine and EduMine, conveniently available to us on the web.

One Mine was launched by the SME (Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration) as a collaborative effort between professional societies in the mining and minerals related fields to promote access to technical articles, periodicals, books, and other published work as a research source for engineers in related disciplines. It is available free to members of contributing societies, and at a fee of $25 per document to non-members.

EduMine is a provider of online education and training with more than 160 online courses on a broad range of mining topics. An advanced search tool presents the EduMine courses as a comprehensive reference source for mining. All available courses are accessible and fully searchable to enrollees paying a fee of approximately $47 per month.

Generally speaking, One Mine is a research “what is” resource, whereas EduMine is a learning “how to” resource. Together they represent invaluable repositories of knowledge and information, instantly available to us online when faced with unanticipated responsibilities or problems, especially so in a remote mining location.

New Spanish Online Course: Análisis de balance hídrico y químico de una mina

Análisis de balance hídrico y químico de una minaWe’ve just launched a new Spanish online course, Análisis de balance hídrico y químico de una mina. This is a translation of Jack Caldwell’s popular course, Mine Water and Chemical Balance Analysis. The course will give you an understanding of the basic principles of mine water and chemical mass balance modeling… Read more ›

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