Author Archives: Simon Houlding

Simon Houlding is Vice-President of Professional Development for InfoMine Inc., responsible for EduMine, the professional development division which provides learning and training programs to the global mining industry. He is a practicing professional engineer and author.

Projected Worker Shortages will Increase the Requirement for On-Demand Training

There are early signs that the industry is turning around as commodity prices rebound and back-burner projects are reactivated. The Canadian Mining Labour Market Outlook 2016 by the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR) has forecast a cumulative hiring requirement of 127,000 workers in a growth scenario for the Canadian mining industry over the next 10 years. This figure includes layoffs and lack of recruitment over the five-year recession as well as anticipated retirements. Where are we going to find these workers? The short answer

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Mount Polley and Samarco: What Can We Do to Reduce the Chances of Another Tailings Disaster?

It has been two years since Mount Polley and nearly a year since Samarco. It has become apparent that Mount Polley had both design and management issues, while the jury is still out on the causes of failure at Samarco. So what has the industry done so far to reduce the chances of another tailings disaster? Recommendations regarding better site investigation procedures, and stricter adherence to tailings management procedures are obvious steps in the right direction. A more significant move in the right direction might

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Professional Development Fills the Knowledge Gaps in Mining Left by Universities

In a recent interview published by CIM Magazine, George Demopoulos of McGill University laments the shift away from metallurgy programs in the mining and materials curriculum (see Separating Sciences, CIM Magazine, June/July 2016). In his words … “grooming young materials engineers is becoming more challenging … creating a crisis of competence and a divide between the traditional metallurgical industry and the universities of today”. This is but one symptom of the modern trend at universities to streamline their curricula in the interests of cost-saving. There

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EduMine Rankings and Demographics

The following rankings and demographics are based on records and analytics from 2015. Top 10 countries by visitor statistics … Canada: 15% United States: 14% South Africa: 6% India: 5% Australia: 5% Peru: 4% United Kingdom: 4% Mexico: 3% Brazil: 3% Chile: 3% Age: 61% of EduMine visitors are less than 35 years of age. Gender: 46% of EduMine visitors are women. Browser: Chrome is the most popular browser. Device: 26% of EduMine visitors use mobile or tablet devices. Course category rankings by certifications for

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Tailings Risk Webcast Demonstrates the Global Reach of Webcast Training

The recent live webcast Risk Assessment and Decision Making for Mine Geowaste Facility Management had four presenters from three different countries and 22 delegates from 11 countries. It demonstrated the power of the Internet to disseminate specialist mining knowledge to even the remotest mining community. The course examined recent findings from the Mount Polley tailings facility failure, and outlined the risk assessment methods that can be used to prevent future tailings disasters. Practical techniques for the management of mine geowaste facilities using risk assessment methods

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Are You Getting Real, Sustainable Value from Your Training?

We forget 70% of what we have learned within 24 hours unless we use it in some way. This principle of modern learning psychology is illustrated by the figure below which presents what is known as the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve (see Use It or Lose It by Art Kohn (2015)). Despite the general acceptance of this principle, mining companies continue to spend millions of dollars on training programs from which most of the knowledge will be forgotten in a matter of days. The principle applies

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The Right Training Can Reduce the Impact of Mining on Communities

A number of mining companies have experienced costly delays due to community opposition and conflict. A case in point is Newmont Mining Corporation, the world’s 2nd largest gold miner, which is walking away from its $5 billion Conga copper and gold project in Peru after a year of relentless community opposition (see Community opposition forces Newmont to abandon Conga project in Peru, MINING.com, April 2016). A study by the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining at the Sustainable Minerals Institute in Brisbane has determined that

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Is Your Skillset Ready for an Industry Turnaround?

There are indications in the media that the beginnings of an industry turnaround may be over the horizon. For example … Miners spending again: $50 billion capex in five months CAT sales latest sign of mining improvement Iron ore price leaps to 10-month high Now is the time to review your skillset with a view to positioning yourself to take maximum advantage of the coming turnaround. Keep in mind that the recession has been so long that many in the industry have found jobs elsewhere

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CIM Partners with SME and EduMine to Provide High Quality Professional Development for Members

Montreal, Quebec, April 28, 2016: The Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) is very proud to announce that it is partnering with EduMine – a leading provider of online training and education to the mining industry – in the roll-out of a premiere online professional development program to be offered to its members through a dedicated CIM “campus.” “During our strategic outreach there was a very clear ask from the CIM membership for high-quality professional development courses, especially those that enable online participation,”

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Get the Best Possible Valuation of Your Mineral Property

Valuation of a mineral property can be a somewhat subjective exercise … a bit like real estate valuation but more so. Which is why there are a number of methods and a lot of averaging involved. It is also why the process has been open to questionable interpretation and occasional abuse in the past. It’s all about how you assign a value based on a few drill holes, core samples, assays, geological mapping, comparison with similar deposits, and so on. The Canadian Institute of Mining,

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