Blog Archives

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.

Is Your Exploration Team Trained to Deal with Community and Cultural Issues?

e3 Plus: A Framework for Responsible Exploration was developed by the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) to help exploration companies continuously improve their social, environmental, and health and safety performance. e3 Plus is an information resource on which explorers are encouraged to base their corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies and programs. e3 Plus includes eight principles for responsible exploration, guidance notes on implementing the principles, and three internet-based toolkits in the areas of social responsibility, environmental stewardship, and health and safety. The eight

Tagged with:

Tailings Facility Assessment Should be Included in an NI43-101 Report

A recent posting on this blog examined the role of the NI43-101 report in providing information about a mine to prospective investors. As recent failures of tailings facilities have proved, failure of the tailings facility may significantly affect the share value of a mine or its mining company. The share value of BHP may have been reduced by as much as five billion dollars as a result of the Samarco failure. Thus it is reasonable to ask: should an NI43-101 report contain information about a

Tagged with:

Better Instrumentation Requires Better Skills in Mineral Processing

A recent article in CIM Magazine (October 2015) titled “A Measure of Control” describes how better instrumentation and a drive for efficiency are making big changes to the way mineral processing plants are run. When commodity prices were strong and rising, mining companies could afford minor inefficiencies in their plants. That is rarely the case in these days of lower-grade deposits, lower metal prices and economic pressure from every direction. There has been significant progress in automated instruments recently. These measure crucial parameters in the

Tagged with:

NI43-101 Reporting Issues and the Need for Professional Development

There is increasing demand in the mining industry for raising the standard of NI43-101 reporting for mining projects. This is well-illustrated by the article “When is a Mineral Resource not a Resource” by Rod Webster (AMC Consultants), published in the October 2015 issue of CIM Magazine. Following this, “CIM Definitions, Standards, Best Practices and NI43-101″ by Garth Kirkham (President, Canadian Institute of Mining (CIM) and Chair, CIM Best Practices Committee) was presented as a CIM Management and Economics Society Lecture in November 2015 in Vancouver.

Tagged with:

Online Course Rankings for 2015

EduMine publishes these rankings at the end of each year to provide you with insight into which mining topics are considered most important and topical by our global mining audience. The following rankings are based on the number of registrations for certification for each of the listed courses: 1. An Introduction to Mining and Mineral Processing 2. Sustainable Development in Mining 3. Economic Evaluation and Optimization of Mineral Projects 4. Mine Project Economics 5. 360° Mining 6. Blast Design and Assessment for Surface Mines and

Tagged with:

Staying on Top of New Technology is Crucial to Career and Company

New technologies are constantly surfacing in the mining industry, despite tough market conditions, driven by the ongoing search for improvements in safety, process efficiencies and cost reduction. Recent examples include mine-mill integration, haul truck automation, remote control of underground drilling, use of drones for monitoring and surveying of excavations, and use of XRF technology in mineral exploration. The short YouTube video produced by Rio Tinto titled Mine of the Future illustrates the point. Staying on top of innovative technologies is crucial to companies that need

Tagged with:

Achieving the ROI of Mine Training

With few exceptions, the return on investment for training is generally difficult to quantify, particularly in dollar terms. Clearly identifying the objectives and establishing a means of confirming achievement will improve both the effectiveness and confidence level of a training project and, at the least, give an indication of the return on investment. As a simple example, if the objective of training is concerned with improving the safety of a mining operation, then achievement would be measured in terms of a subsequent reduction in the

Tagged with:

Updated Online Course – Estimating Costs for Mining Prefeasibility Studies

We’ve updated Otto Schumacher’s online course Estimating Costs for Mining Prefeasibility Studies. This course introduces the methodologies of mining cost estimating and prepares users to complete a credible estimate. The course focuses on itemized cost estimating methods in the context of a mine plan. The update includes new review questions, up-to-date costing information from CostMine, and consideration of cost estimates as integral to discounted cash flow analysis and the NI 43-101 process. For more info, see the course page.

Tagged with:

Improving the ROI of Training and Development

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 a version of the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve (Kohn (2015)). Despite the acceptance of this principle, training organizations continue to spend billions of dollars knowing full well that most of the knowledge learned will be forgotten in short order. This article highlights ways in which we can improve the return on our investment in

Tagged with:

Companies Need to Attract, Develop and Retain Talent as They Climb Out of the Mining Recession

The best companies realise that talent…more so than capital or technology…is a scarce resource at large companies today and poses one of the most significant barriers to growth (The Economist Intelligence Unit). As companies increasingly rely on knowledge workers, the ability to source, develop, and retain talent at all levels becomes a critical differentiator. This ability will become increasingly important within the mining industry as we climb out of the current recession and the demand for talent increases exponentially. Companies that strategically prepare for this

Tagged with: