In 2008 the Queensland Department of Mines and Energy (DME) was so concerned about a series of level 1 exercises in its coal mines it commissioned its business unit Simtars to deliver a report co-funded by the Australian Coal Association Research Program (ACARP), to provide a solution. Five years on, what’s been done?
THE illusion of certainty – mining projects commonly suffer from a desire to allocate a single set of assumptions to a wildly diverse range of possible and volatile outcomes. The only certainty is that through this process, the answer will be precise, but absolutely wrong.
IN YOUR article ‘Slippery tiles’ (HighGrade, February 6, 2013), you missed a few points. Firstly, ‘thrifting’ in zircon is very common – the early 90s was one period. It is just the nature of the product as prices increase thrifting and substitutes take over.
RESEARCH by ABB’s software and technology arm Ventyx has identified worker safety, capital project management and maximising production effectiveness as the main priorities of mining executives at 374 companies around the globe.
The gold discussion they didn't have in London: Falling grades and poor returns - why, and who's to blame?
REPORTS from this month’s Mines and Money Conference in London suggest that mining company executives, particularly gold miners, have been under attack by fund managers and market analysts for falling ore grades and poor returns to shareholders. BlackRock’s Evy Hambro and Catherine Raw laid the blame for falling returns squarely at the feet of senior management of gold companies. Randgold chief executive Mark Bristow reportedly agreed.
WHAT is an ‘intelligent mine’ – a marketing slogan, an oxymoron … the industry’s path to the future? HighGrade has canvassed research, views and opinions from around the mining world for a new series of reports that will start December 3.
GRAHAM Lumley’s frank and insightful article sparks a few common thoughts. Over the years and over the cycles we’ve seen similar cost increases that initially parallel but lag the commodity price curve. Subsequently the cost trajectory continues to overrun the point at which prices fall. As a nautical analogy, price trends are often as swift as a slalom water skier in changing direction, however the cost reactions are more Titanic-like.
IF A ‘champion’, better mine planning and maintenance, and lighter dump truck trays can help a gold mine add $A550 million of value in two years, you might wonder what all the fuss is about automated equipment and massive continuous mining systems “of the future”. Can’t more mine operators learn the lessons of Geita and just get much better at what they’re doing now?
MINING is inherently a complex and risky business and for as long as prospectors have been kicking around rocks we have been grappling with these complexities with limited success. Learning from relevant components of Complex Adaptive Systems might assist mining organisations to put together more realistic strategic plans in this challenging industry.
THE recent “View from the West End” column on exploration entitled “Try sometimes” garnered a strong response from readers, most of whom broadly agreed with many of the points made about the trials and tribulations of discovery.
YOUR columnist [View from the West End, March 14] wrote: “Missing things is not new … [WMC] sampled over the top of a low hill that would later be known as Telfer”. These words are not correct and are harsh judgement of a young WMC geologist in very difficult terrane.
WHEN Gina takes over at Fairfax her first decree might be just a tame one: “Columnists, thou shalt talk to the mining reporters on staff about basic facts before bagging the industry for the general amusement of mainstream readers”. (The language might be less tame, though).
HIGHGRADE, Australasia’s weekly mining e-magazine, has entered into a joint venture with Mining Business Media, run by experienced mining and industry journalists John Feary and Mark Mentiplay, to market and promote MBM’s international mining news service.
MINE Pit Lakes: Closure and Management, recently compiled by Clint McCullough and published by the Australian Centre for Geomechanics, provides an excellent overview of an important topic.
THERE is movement at the station with respect to the JORC Code, as has been evidenced by the recent discussion documents provided by the JORC Committee and the ASX initiatives on related matters. There are changes afoot with the VALMIN Code too, as evidenced by recent seminars. With the publication of his article in HighGrade, Dr Graham Lumley has made a timely contribution. No serious practitioner is unaware of the error introduced to ore reserve estimation by underestimating costs.
STEVE Gemell writes a well-constructed contribution about the Valmin Code and JORC Code. I, like him, am interested in more industry people contributing to this HighGrade discussion and taking the time to respond to the issues papers released by JORC and the ASX.
I READ with interest Dr Lumley’s article which raises many issues where new evaluation methodology may assist. Capital investment decision making and risk management in the mining industry are becoming increasingly more complex.
THE ongoing problem that the uranium industry is going to face is that – unlike Chernobyl – the Fukushima disaster has occurred in the middle of a developed nation where access to information and the ability to communicate information is at the fingertips of basically everyone.
I JUST wanted to add to comments about Geoff Baldwin and his development of the Tritronics dragline monitor.
NO GREAT surprise hearing Australia’s new crop of iron ore miners and contenders confident they’ve little to be concerned about with regards the big production increases planned by the heavyweights of the sector in the years ahead. Still, there’s acknowledgement in some quarters that time is, as always, of the essence.