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Mining

The ABC’s of Mining

Mining

Like in any industry, those in mining speak their own language. From the technical vocabulary to the slang, those not playing in “mining sandbox” need a dictionary to decipher what’s being said. Here are some fun, cool, and informative terms for you to ruminate on.

Interesting mining terms

  • Miners, in the early days, were known as “underground savages.”
  • A “windy shot” (no, it’s not what you are thinking…) was termed to explain when an explosion failed to break the coal.
  • When we hear the word “conglomerate,” the first thing most people think of is a too-big-to-fail corporation. In mining, it means a coarse-grained sedimentary rock composed of rounded fragments greater than 2mm, within a matrix of finer-grained material.
  • “Horse” refers to a mass of rock matter that occurs in or between the branches of a vein.
  • A “Bump” is a violent dislocation of the mine workings due to the severe stresses in the rock surrounding the workings.
  • What would we do without technology? Back in the day, “Muck” meant working by hand, with a shovel. Fast forward to present day, and operators who use “Muckers” are a hot commodity!
  • Back in the day, a “Nipper” was an errand boy who ran errands for miners. I think we call them “Interns” now…
  • “Slag” (my favorite term) is the waste left as a residue by the smelting of metallic ore.
  • “Diffusion,” not to confuse with “infusion” for you “foodies’ out there, is the blending of a gas and air, resulting in a homogeneous mixture; or, the blending of two or more gases.
  • Speaking of gases, does anyone out there know what a “Little Red Wagon” was? It was the nickname given to traveling toilets back in the day!

The mining industry is one of a kind

Mining has been a very important part of our history for many centuries and is a lifestyle for many. I have a passion for the industry, and hearing stories from the mining professionals I speak with on a daily basis and seeing the old photos they share on social media makes me so incredibly honored and happy to be a part of the industry.  There is only one legitimate mining industry, and those who work in it are the only true legitimate mining professionals.

mining facts

Five Fascinating Mines from Across the World (Part 2)

mining facts

As an Executive Recruiter specializing in the mining and heavy industrial industries, I have been introduced to some unbelievable mines. Some of these mines are incredibly rich with history and have pictures that almost take your breath away.

A few months back, I created a picture blog showcasing some of my favorite mines from across the world. I wanted to follow up with a Part 2 with five more fascinating mines across the world. I hope you enjoy!

Allihies Copper Mine. Allihies, Ireland

Allihies Mine

Source: Wikipedia

Large Cornish engine houses were built around the Allihies mining site. The mine opened in 1812 and was operational until 1962. Above are ruins from one of the engine houses that still stands to this day. They were once used to pump out water to allow for deeper mining and to transport miners and equipment down shafts below sea level.

Fun Fact: “The Luck of the Irish” saying originated from the gold and silver rush in the 1900s. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Antamina Mine, Peru, Zinc Mine

Antamina Mine Peru

Source: mining.com

The Antamina Mine is located in the Andres Mountains of Peru and is one of the largest copper/zinc mines in the world. The mine is an open pit mine.

In 2013 alone, the mine produced 461,000 tons of copper concentrate. With stockpiles expecting to be depleted by 2022, the mine is scheduled to cease production by 2019.

Fun Fact: Zinc is 100% recyclable and 80% of the zinc available for recycling is currently recycled.

Allan Potash Mine, Allan, SK, Canada

No, this is not a scene from Indiana Jones. The Allan Mine is operated by the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (now called Nutrien) is located in Allan, Saskatchewan, Canada. Nutiren is the world’s largest potash producer and the third largest producer of nitrogen and phosphate, which are the three primary crop nutrients used to produce fertilizer.

Fun Fact: Canada is the leading producer of Potash, supplying 29.2% of the world’s potash.

Lucara’s Karowe Diamond Mine, Botswana, South Africa

Karowe mine is an open pit diamond mine located in Botswana, South Africa and is owned and operated by Lucara Diamond. The mine has an estimated $2.2 billion worth of diamonds and produces approximately 380,000 carats of gem quality each year.

Fun Fact: The world’s second largest gem-quality diamond (known as Lesedi La Rona) ever found, was found at the Karowe mine! It sold for $53 million to British jeweler Graff Diamonds in September 2017.

Serra Pelada Mine, Para, Brazil

Serra Pelada was a large gold mine in Para, Brazil, just 270 miles south of the Amazon River. In the early 1980s, tens of thousands of prospectors flocked to the Serra Pelada site.

At its peak, the mine was the largest open-air gold mine in the world. It was also considered the most violent.

Fun Fact: The largest gold nugget mined from Serra Pelada weighed about 15 pounds and was valued in 1980 at $108,000 (now worth $310,173 in 2016).

Connect with me on LinkedIn if you are on the job market or want to partner up with a recruiter who specializes in the industry.

12 Little-Known Facts About The Historic "Mine In The Sky"

12 Little-Known Facts About The Historic “Mine In The Sky”

12 Little-Known Facts About The Historic "Mine In The Sky"

Mining has a solid history here in the U.S. and with the progression of time and technology, the landscape of mining has changed.  The Pine Creek Mine, known as “The Mine in The Sky” and located in the Sierra Nevada, west of Bishop, California, is a mine from the past that is now closed, but which has almost a Century of history behind it.  I will leave some links at the bottom of the page, that you can go to for more in-depth information, including pictures on this mine steeped rich in history; in the meantime, here are some interesting facts:

  • The site was originally discovered in 1895 and was prospected for its gold and silver content, but didn’t perform well and went dormant until a claim was filed in 1916 by two partners, Billie Vaughn and Arch Beauregard, who found outcrops containing Scheelite and Molybdenum in 1918.
  • Machinery was hauled in by mules over harsh pack trail to the mine and the mill went into operation in December of 1918, but closed two months later due to plummeting Tungsten prices.
  • The Pine Creek mine was bought by The Natural Soda Products Company in 1922 who later changed their name to the Tungsten Products Company.
  • The mine and mill went idle again in 1928 due to the 1927 Watterson Bank failure.
  • The Pine Creek Mine went dormant and didn’t see action again until the US Vanadium Corporation (a wholly owned subsidiary of Union Carbide and Carbon Corporation), acquired the property in 1936.  They successfully developed the mine into a world class producer of tungsten.
  • In 1942, The Pine Creek Mine was the largest producer of tungsten in the United States.
  • Operated by Union Carbide, the mine produced 162,000,000 tons of ore and 8,350,000 20-pound “units’ of tungsten oxide between 1940 and 1990 valuing over $400,000,000.
  • The Pine Creek Mine was a major contributor to the local economy and supported generations of families who worked there.
  • The Mine shut down in 1990 and during the ‘90’s the hazardous material was removed.
  • In 2001, in an effort to reinvent itself, Pine Creek Mine, LLC proposed Pine Creek Mine Hydroelectric Project No. 12532 (Pine Creek Project), which would generate power from the water that accumulates inside the mine. After years of fighting the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for permit extensions, the final ruling denying a rehearing for a third request of preliminary permit extension, was handed down in 2014.
  • In its final ruling the Commission stated: “For the above reasons, we deny Pine Creek’s request for rehearing. We note, however, that holding a preliminary permit is not a prerequisite to pursuing a development application, so that Pine Creek remains free to pursue development of the Pine Creek Mine Hydroelectric Project and to file a license application.”
  • On February 12, 2016, Pine Creek, LLC. Successfully filed an application, which was accepted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for their Hydroelectric Project.

Many mines shut down, their hazardous materials removed, and their buildings demolished. Few mines withstand the ability to reinvent themselves and only time will tell if The Pine Creek Mine will successfully become a hydroelectric producer, giving the town of Bishop, California another 100 years of rich history and economic support.

Sources:

https://archive.org/details/cainecm_000029

http://www.rockcreeklake.com/board/index.php?topic=55.0

http://articles.latimes.com/2000/aug/27/local/me-11113

http://www.ripleysghosttowns.com/pinecreekmine.html

Interesting Facts On The History Of Safety In Mining

Interesting Facts On The History Of Safety In Mining

Interesting Facts On The History Of Safety In Mining

Safety and mining have not always had a cohesive partnership.  It took an act of Congress in 1891, to establish minimum ventilation requirements for underground coal mines and to protect children under the age of 12 from being employed by mine operators. Fast forward to 2017-2018 and most would look back at the safety conditions of the 1800’s and shudder. Thankfully, Miners in the U.S. are more protected now, than ever.

Here are some interesting facts you may not know!

  • In 1906 children as young as 12 years old were working underground in coal mines. Broken limbs and crushed fingers were common.
  • 1907 is the deadliest year in history for coal mining, it is estimated that 3242 people were killed.  That year also marked the worst explosion in mining history, killing 358 people in West Virginia.
  • In 1910 Congress established the Bureau of Mines to conduct research and to reduce accidents within the coal mining industry.  This new bureau was a direct result of a prior decade of fatalities, which exceeded 2000 individuals annually.  While the Bureau of Mines could conduct researches on the accidents, they were not given inspection authority until 1941.
  • The Fair Labor Standards Act was passed by Congress in 1938, prohibiting the use of workers under 18 for occupations that were deemed dangerous.
  • In 1977, Congress passed the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act), which currently governs MSHA’s activities. The passing of this legislation saw mining fatalities drop from 272 in 1977 to 86 in 2000.
  • In 2004, 55 occupational mining fatalities were reported to MSHA.  16 of those were in underground mines and 39 were at surface locations.
  • There were 8 coal fatalities in 2016.
  • The most recent legislation was passed in 2006 with the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act (MINER Act). This amended the Mine Act and required immediate notification of mine accidents; mandated mine-specific emergency response plans for underground coal mines and enhanced civil penalties.

There is no argument that Mining has become safer for the workers, over the centuries.  With legislation to protect workers, companies implementing good safety procedures and workers practicing them, the fatality numbers continue to decline.  The year we hit zero fatalities, will be a very good year indeed!