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November 2014

VOL. 66 NO. 11

Heclas Silver Shaft rehabilitation

Autonomous haulage in surface mines
Paste tailings disposal


Wirtgen Surface Miners cut, crush and load material in a single step. Wirtgen is the only
manufacturer to cover a performance spectrum from 100 to 3,000 tons per hour. The
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November 2014
VOL. 66 NO. 11

Feature Articles


31 Rehabilitation of Heclas Lucky Fridays silver shaft

D. Berberick and B. Strickland
39 Mining Foundation of the Southwest to host
32nd annual banquet
45 Overcoming preconceptions for a successful

launch of autonomous haulage

James Humphrey

48 Enabling automation on drilling rigs;

Improves capability and reach


Technical Papers (peer-reviewed and approved)


Paste tailings disposal in the Coeur dAlene Mining


Grant A. Brackebusch


Remediation of large-scale slope failures and impact on

mine development at the Gold Quarry Mine
R.J. Sheets, S.J. Douglas, R.M. St. Louis and J.A. Bailey


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Copyright 2014 by the Society for Mining, Metallurgy

and Exploration, Inc. All rights reserved.
MINING ENGINEERING (ISSN 00265187) is published
monthly by the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and
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Englewood, CO, 80112 USA. Phone 1-800-7633132 or 1-303-948-4200. Fax: 1-303-973-3845 or
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Editorial Staff

Steve Kral

Senior Editor
William M. Gleason


Senior Editor
Georgene Renner

November 2014
VOL. 66 NO. 11

Production Designer
Jennifer Bauer

SME News

s haulage

r Shaft reh
Heclas Silve
ce mines
s haulage in
gs disposa
Paste tailin

66 NO. 11

Presidents Page
Politics of Mining
Industry Newswatch
Coming Events
SME News
New Products
Media Review
Web Directory
Professional Services
Drift of Things

Media Manager/Advertising
Ken Goering

Society for Mining, Metallurgy,

and Exploration, Inc. Officers






Business Staff

Phone: 18007633132
Fax: 1-3039733845

Mining engin


73 SME Foundation
74 MEC
75 Local Section Hero
75 Personal News
76 Rock in the Box
77 Fine Grind
78 Local Section News
79 Professional Engineers
80 Obituaries


VOL. 66 NO.



Cover Story

The idea of autonomous haul trucks

has been in the making for several
decades. Caterpillar has been
working toward autonomous haulage
for more than 30 years and had a
truck operating during the 1990s.
But, as Cats James Humphrey
explains on page 45, autonomous
haulage is not everyone. The Silver
Shaft at Heclas historic Lucky
Friday gold, silver, lead and zinc
mine in Idaho underwent a major
rehabilitation during 2012 and 2013.
D. Berberick and B. Strickland
detail the large amount of planning,
partly due to MSHA regulations,
that went into the project, page 31.
Cover photo shows work being on
the Silver Shaft. Photo courtesy of

John O. Marsden
J. Steven Gardner

Past President
Jessica Elzea Kogel
Executive Director
David L. Kanagy

Mining Engineering Committee

Robert W. Reisinger (Chair), Gary P.

Tomaino (Vice Chair), Richard A. Weber,
Vishal Gupta, Vivien Hui, Mark K.
Jorgensen and Christopher J. Bise

Peer Review Editorial Board

Christopher J. Bise, Kirk McDaniel,

Kelvin Wu, Jurgen F. Brune, Nikhil Trivedi,
Rajive Ganguli, Catherine Dreesbach,
Hugh Miller, Biswajit Samanta,
Gerrit Goodman, Rossen A. Halatchev,
Bharath Belle, Paul Conrad,
Jamal Rostami, John Grubb,
Pierre Mousset-Jones, Eric Westman,
Helmut Mischo and
Sekhar Bhattacharyya

This month exclusively on
Web exclusive:

Social license to operate trust before gold

Elizabeth Adey, Wardell Armstrong International

Plus: Follow all of the recent news and developments
from around the world, including:
Legislation that affects the mining industry.
The latest merger and acquisition news.
Plus much more!
See it all at


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Reproduction: More than one photocopy of

an item from SME may be made for internal
use, provided fees are paid directly to the
Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood
Dr., Danvers, MA, 01923, USA. Phone 1-978750-8400, fax 1-978-750-4470. PDF files of
articles in Mining Engineering are available at or www. Other forms of reproduction
requires special permission from, and may be
subject to fees by SME. SME is not responsible
for any statements made or opinions expressed
in its publications. Member subscription rate
included in dues. Nonmember subscription rate,
$245; in Europe, $275. Single copies $25.

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Presidents Page

A convenient excuse:

Politics of climate change is bad for the US economy

was reminded the other day that an

opinion and $5 will get you a cup
of coffee at Starbucks. So, speaking
of opinions, I am constantly amazed
at how polarized and uninformed/illinformed the climate change debate
has become. A few months ago a
prominent mining academic challenged
me that the SME really needed to
take a position on climate change,
assuring me enthusiastically that the
entire scientific community was on
board with the fact that anthropogenic
global warming was now proceeding
at an alarming rate. A few days later
by John O. Marsden
someone else cornered me in an
2014 SME President
elevator and advised me categorically
that there was no evidence for manmade climate change, and it was all a big hoax
designed to suck the rich dry and plunge us back
into the Stone Age. These are not the only
opinions I have heard from SME members on the
subject. The last straw was when I was talking to a
neighbor who wanted to know how it was possible
to know whether man-made carbon dioxide
was actually increasing atmospheric carbon
dioxide levels. How is it possible in this age of
information and technology that we have got this
so wrong? Clearly, the science has been hijacked
by political agendas. There is no longer any
attempt at objectivity in reporting the science by
the media. Sensationalism and fear-mongering win
the day, and any attempt by scientists to question
or refute the so-called scientific consensus is met
with ridicule and scorn. And it appears that we,
the mining industry, are a big part of the problem
as a major carbon dioxide producer and energyconsumer. Really?
Lets consider a few rough numbers for
illustrative purposes. The earths atmosphere
contains about 1016 tons of air. Currently we
burn about 8.2 Gt/a (9 billion stpy) of carbon,
generating 30 Gt (33 billion st) of carbon dioxide.
Since 1850, humanity has burned an estimated
590 Gt (650 billion st) of carbon putting an
estimated 2,200 Gt (2,400 billion st) of CO2 into
the atmosphere. Depending on whose data
you believe (and it doesnt really matter for
the purposes of this discussion), the baseline
carbon dioxide concentration in 1850 was about
280 ppm. It was much much higher than that
during the last interglacial warm period. As we
all know, a portion of emitted carbon dioxide is


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taken up by the biosphere and another significant

portion is absorbed by the oceans contributing
to a gradual lowering of pH (an unfortunate
chemical reality with real consequences). Both
the biosphere and the oceans breathe, taking
up and releasing in the range of 50-100 times the
net uptake/absorption each year. The current
carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere
is around 400 ppm, and it is projected to increase
to around 560 ppm by 2075. As carbon dioxide
concentration increases, it is expected that uptake
by the biosphere and absorption into the oceans
will also increase. Opinion: no one really knows
by how much nor the effect that this and other
positive and negative feedback mechanisms will
have on climate (and I challenge you to find this
in any of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change reports). And, of course, many factors
affect climate, not just atmospheric carbon dioxide
Climate models are being used to predict
future climate change, and the output of these
models in terms of global average temperature
and sea level rise have been widely reported.
During the past 15 years or so, global average
temperatures have remained largely the same.
Climate change proponents and climate modelers
claim this is within the range of variability of their
models, which may well be true. As more time
passes with little change in average temperature,
the climate change proponents will probably
continue to say this is within the range of variation
of their models, or perhaps add more sophisticated
components and feedback mechanisms into the
models (tweaks). If temperatures increase, the
climate change proponents will declare victory,
and we will be faced with the same issue we face
today a growing imperative to aggressively
tackle climate change. Either way, this issue will
not be resolved quickly.
Whether or not you believe that
anthropogenically driven climate change is
occurring, the current war on coal is bad for
the United States economy and bad for climate
change. Why? Firstly, such a drastic shift away
from coal will increase energy costs and will
place more reliance on natural gas which, in the
longer term, will lead to higher and potentially
more volatile gas prices, further affecting energy
pricing. The shale gas/tight gas revolution we
have experienced during the past 10-15 years has
been amazing and beneficial in many ways. On
(Continued on page 30)

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Politics of Mining

Northern Dynastys lawsuit against EPA dismissed

JUDGE H. RUSSEL Holland of

the United States District Court in
Alaska dismissed Northern Dynastys
lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agencys (EPA) potential
limitations to the Pebble Mine in
Holland ruled that the lawsuit
filed in May is premature because the
EPA has not taken final action against
the proposed mine, The Hill reported.
Northern Dynasty Ltd., owner
of the Pebble Partnership that is
developing the mine, filed the lawsuit
after the EPA decided in February to
move forward and consider whether
to block the mine.
This ruling did not judge the
merits of the statutory authority
case, it only deferred that hearing
and judgment until after a final
determination has been made by the
The ruling today relates to timing
of our challenge of this pre-emptive
authority and in no way decides
the underlying issues, said Pebble
Partnership chief executive officer
Tom Collier in a statement. We

remain very confident in the merits

of this case. Should EPA finalize its
proposed veto restrictions regarding
Pebble, we will pursue our claim that
EPA lacks statutory authority to do so
at that time.
The decision has simply deferred
the case until or if the EPA makes a
negative decision on Pebble Project
prior to our filing a permit under the
Clean Water Act.
The February 28, 2014 letter does
not represent the consummation of
the agencys decision making process,
but rather the commencement of the
agencys decision making process,
Holland wrote in the ruling released
Sept. 26.
Because the letter was not a final
action, federal courts lack jurisdiction
over Pebbles complaints, he said.
The Pebble Mine was proposed
years ago, and would be the largest
copper and gold mine in the world,
located near Alaskas Bristol Bay. It
is likely to require a Clean Water Act
permit to dispose of waste materials
in a way that could harm local streams
and eventually the bay itself.

This ruling did not judge the

merits of the statutory authority
case, it only deferred that hearing
and judgment until after a final
determination has been made by
the EPA.

The lawsuit argued that although

the EPA can veto Clean Water Act
permits, the agencys decision to
move forward before Pebble filed an
application is illegal.
Holland did not rule on the merits
of the case, but left the door open for
Pebble to file a lawsuit when the EPA
makes a final decision.
After Pebble filed its lawsuit, the
EPA formally proposed in July to put
restrictions on the mines operations
in an attempt to protect Bristol Bays
salmon population. Pebble said those
restrictions would amount to blocking
the entire mine development.
The EPA said it would make a
final determination on Pebble in
February. n

Australian prime minister shows support for coal

AUSTRALIAS prime minister,
Tony Abbott, showed his support for
the coal industry by not just being on
hand for the opening of the $4.2-billion
Caval Ridge coal mine in Moranbah,
but he took it one step further and
declared coal is good for humanity.
The BHP Mitsubishi Alliance
(BMA) coal mine is expected to
produce 5.5 Mt/a (6 million stpy) of
hard coking coal, and was built at an
estimated cost of $4.2 billion.
With an operational workforce of
more than 500 people, the mine has
seen controversy over its decision
to employ a wholly fly-in-fly-out
workforce instead of hiring from
within the local community.
At the opening of the mine, Abbott
said, Coal is vital for the future
energy needs of the world, so lets have
no demonization of coal. Coal is good


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for humanity.
The Guardian reported that Abbott
said, The future for coal is bright and
it is the responsibility for government
to try to ensure that we are there
making it easier for everyone wanting
to have a go.
It is a great day for the world
because this mine will keep so many
people employed it will make so
many lives better.
In May, Abbott told a minerals
industry parliamentary dinner he could
think of few things more damaging
to our future than leaving coal in the
A month later, after a meeting
with U.S. President Barack Obama in
June of this year, Abbott said he took
climate change very seriously.
In Moranbah, the prime minister
said he was proud to have abolished

It is a great day for the world because this mine will keep so many
people employed it will make
so many lives better.
Tony Abbott
the carbon tax and the mining tax.
In October, China imposed a
6-percent tariff on noncoking coal
and announced attempts to address
pollution in its cities by increasing
spending on renewable energy. Last
year, China spent $56 billion on wind,
solar and other renewable energy
projects while Australias renewable
industry slumped by 70 percent, due
to uncertainty over the governments
intentions for the Renewable Energy
Target. n

Industry Newswatch

Fewer mines landing on POV list;

MSHA and industry lay claim to the safety improvements

THE NUMBER OF mines landing
on the U.S. Mine Safety and Health
Administrations (MSHA) pattern
of violations (POV) list has dropped
dramatically, according to numbers
released by the government on Oct. 2.
There is no question that this is
good news for the mining industry, but
there are questions about how, and
why the change came about.
MSHA says mines have cleaned
up their acts for fear of landing on the
dreaded POV lists, which is reserved
for mines that pose the greatest risk to
the safety and health and miners and
can lead to work stoppages at the mine.
The National Mining Association
(NMA) says the industry has played
a major role in change, without the
threat of regulation, and credits the
success of its CORESafety program
(endorsed by SME).
NMAs own CORESafety
program, consisting of best safety
practices from around the world
and from other industries, was
implemented in our biggest member
company mines beginning in 2011,
Luke Popovich, a spokesman for


Cleanup efforts mark

milestone in Colorado


Citations issued for

fatal accident


US coal exports decline



the NMA said. I dont think its

coincidental that this program
coincided with the documented
improvement in the numbers MSHA is
now showing.
He added that mines have an
incentive to operate safely.
Our members recognize because
theyve documented the correlation
between safe mines and productive
mines, Popovich said.
Prior to 2010, according to MSHA,
no mine had been put on that list.
But partly in response to the 2010
Upper Big Branch explosion in West
Virginia, which killed 29 miners,
MSHA toughened its enforcement that
year and began citing mines for POV
actions. Since then, seven mines have
been on the POV list, The Associated
Press reported.
In its 2010 screening, 51 chronic
violators were identified for further
review among mine operators. But for
this years screening, that number had
dropped to 12. The biggest reduction
came in coal mines, which dropped
from 42 in 2010 to six this year.
For the first time in the history

of the Mine Act, mine operators were

under the threat of being placed on
a POV action if they failed to clean
up their act, Assistant Secretary of
Labor for Mine Safety and Health
Joseph A. Main said. That was really
never a threat before. Were not seeing
the kind of records that Upper Big
Branch and other mines were amassing
In the 2010 screening, the worst
12 offenders were cited for 2,050
violations of significant health or safety
standards; by this year, that number
had fallen to 857.
Main said that there was a
corresponding reduction in the number
of deaths and injuries, noting that for
the most recent fiscal year for which
numbers are available, ending Sept. 30,
2013, there were record-low fatality
and injury rates, as well as the fewest
mining deaths, 33. But MHSA also
announced in January that fatalities for
the 2013 calendar year had increased.
There were 41 fatalities, up from 36 the
previous calendar year, because of an
especially deadly final three months,
which claimed the lives of 14 miners. n

Work on El Morro Mine halted by

Chiles Supreme Court
Morro gold and copper mine was halted by
Chiles Supreme Court, which ruled that
the local indigenous groups opposed to
the $3.9- billion project need to be better
The court ruled that an environmental
permit awarded last year should be
stopped until a fresh consultation, based
on an International Labor Organization
convention, has taken place with the local
Diaguita community, Reuters reported.
It is yet another court ruling against
mining companies in Chile and Latin
America. Chile is struggling to find a
balance between mining-led growth and

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environmental protection.
Billions of dollars worth of projects
have been halted altogether or delayed in
recent years, snarled up in red tape and
opposed by local communities.
The decision about El Morro overturns
a local appeals court finding from last April,
which dismissed an appeal lodged by the
opposition group Diaguita.
The Diaguita
who also opposed the
massive Barrick Gold Pascua-Lama project,
stalled since last year claimed that a
previous consultation on El Morro was not
properly conducted.
They also say the mine in northern
(Continued on page 26)

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continues to look for

support for mine in Peru
THE LEADING opponent of
Newmont Minings Conga project in
Perus Cajamarca region, Gregorio Santos,
was re-elected to a second four-year term
as president of the region despite being
in jail on corruption charges during the
Santos, who helped lead waves
of protests against the mine forcing
Newmont to shelve the $5 billion project
in 2011, won 44.2 percent of the vote, more
than 20 percent than his closest opponent.
Despite the political victory, Newmont
has vowed to push for local support of the
project, Reuters reported.
We express our interest in continuing
to invest in Peru and especially the
Cajamarca region, the company said in
an open letter addressed to the people of
The Colorado-based miner said last
year it would reevaluate its proposed $5
billion Conga Mine after the election. Its
local unit, Yanacocha, said it would work
with all elected officials in Cajamarca.
Peruvian miner Buenaventura, as
Newmonts junior partner in Yanacocha,
owns 43.65 percent in Conga.
Conga was initially expected to
offset dwindling reserves from a nearby
gold mine that the two companies have
operated for more than two decades.
Santos and his followers have resisted
several efforts to secure local backing for
Santos has spent the past three
months in prison pending a corruption
investigation. He has denied all
His political party depicted his
imprisonment as a ruse to remove him
from power in order to push Conga a
campaign strategy that several analysts
said was successful.
Hilario Porfirio Medina, Santos
incoming vice president, will likely govern
for him while he remains behind bars.
Opponents say Conga will ruin water
supplies for surrounding peasant towns by
building the mine on top of Andean lakes.
The company has said it is building
reservoirs for community use to ensure
water for communities year-round. n


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Join the movement toward The Future of Mining.
Its This Way:

Grand Canyon

uranium mining ban upheld

THE 20-year-old ban on
mining of uranium near the
Grand Canyon was upheld
in U.S. District Court in
Arizona on Sept. 30.
The ban prevents
new mining on more than
405,000 ha (1 million acres)
of land.
Mining groups that sued
the federal government
have 60 days to appeal the
Mining associations
and other groups with a
stake in the industry argued
that the U.S. Department
of the Interior had erred
in the 2012 decision to
ban new mining for 20
years on public land near
the national park. They
argued the ban was based
on overly cautious,
speculative environmental
risks. The withdrawal
decision was based on
studies assessing potential
impacts on water, soil and
other resources, AZ Central
The ban prohibits

the exploration and

development of new
claims but does not affect
previously approved mining.
Judge David Campbell
heard oral arguments on
Sept. 9 and ruled Sept. 30
that then-Secretary of the
Interior Ken Salazar did
not violate the law when
he chose to err on the side
of caution in protecting a
national treasure, even if
he did not have definitive
A coalition of
environmental groups and
the Havasupai Tribe joined
the lawsuit to defend the
ban, saying the effects of
uranium mining are long
lasting and may not be fully
known for decades.
Laura Skaer, executive
director of one of the
plaintiffs, the American
Exploration and Mining
Association, said she
would need time to review
Campbell's reasoning
before deciding any next
steps. n

X2 Resources

to enter sector with a bang

FORMER Xstrata Plc
chief executive officer Mick
Davis is getting back into
the mining business in a big
way. Bloomberg reported
that Davis has amassed
$4.8 billion for his startup
company, X2 Resources.
X2 now has $3.3 billion
of committed equity capital
and a further $1.5 billion
conditional, it said in a


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With almost $5 billion

in equity and access to
significant additional debt
funding, X2 Resources is
uniquely positioned and
we are currently reviewing
a number of opportunities
in the metals and mining
sector, Davis said in the
Davis raised $3.75
billion in March from five
investors. n

Leach Solution


The Allied Nevada Gold Corp. Hycroft Mine pictured above, has one of the largest Merrill Crowe
facilities in the United States. This site houses seven Veolia Filtra-Matic pre-coat, pressure
leaf filters. These clarifying filters contain durable leaves designed to provide maximum
strength as well as the flexibility needed to prevent deformation.
For tough filtration projects involving large flow rates and particle removal down to 1 ,
Veolias Filtra-Matic is your solution.

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Industry Newswatch

Cleanup efforts mark milestone in Colorado;

Bulkheads installed in abandoned mine in Summit County
Reclamation, Mining and Safety workers
finished installing one of two bulkheads
in the abandoned Pennsylvania Mine in
Summit County, CO. The installation of
the bulkheads are part of a massive plan
in the county to clean up mines that
have been seeping contaminated water
for years.
The Summit Daily reported that
the bulkhead was installed about 152 m
(500 ft) inside the mine.
There were several federal, state
and local officials promoting Summits
mining cleanup efforts at a ceremony
celebrating the installation of the
The mine, considered the worst in
the state, releases toxic heavy metal
concentrates and acidifies water flowing



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into the Peru Creek, a tributary of

the Snake River, which feeds Dillon
Peru Creek lacks fish, insects and
other aquatic life. The Snake River has
life, but its sparse and found only in the
lower reaches.
According to project manager
Jeff Graves, once both bulkheads are
installed, toxic burps of chemicals and
blowouts will be a thing of the past.
That wont happen again. It cant,
he said.
The bulkheads are designed to
prevent water from flowing through the
mine. Experts say water will back up
inside, reducing the amount of oxygen
the metals and sulfides are exposed to,
which should improve water quality.
Though the more than $3 million

The bulkheads are designed to prevent

water from flowing through the mine.
Experts say water will back up inside,
reducing the amount of oxygen the
metals and sulfides are exposed to,
which should improve water quality.
project still has far to go, reclamation
efforts seem to have had positive impacts
already. Last year, the Peru Creek turned
reddish-orange seven or eight times.
That hasnt happened this year.
In addition to the bulkheads, new
drainage ditches channel water away
from waste-rock piles. Those piles have
been capped. Limestone has also been
added to raise the pH of the water,
which could help filter out metals into
settlement ponds. n

Join the SME Foundation for its

Annual Gala Dinner

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Cocktail Reception & Silent Auction


Dinner, Entertainment & Casino Games

Centennial Ballroom

Hyatt Regency Denver Convention Center, Denver, CO

Sponsor a table of 8 - $3,000

Individual tickets - $105
Ticket includes entry into door prize drawings

Benefits of sponsoring a table:

1. Your logo and name on sign in middle of table showing sponsorship.

2. Special thank you in Mining Engineering magazine April issue.

3. Your name/logo scrolling on the overhead screen throughout the dinner.

4. Listing in the dinner program as a sponsor.

5. Listing in the SME pocket program as a sponsor (deadlines apply).

6. Tickets to the dinner for eight people.

7. Website promotions.

Contact Megan Wayne to sponsor a table 303-948-4224

Industry Newswatch

MSHA says coal dust sampling results

show mines are complying with new dust rules
THE U.S. MINE Safety and
Health Administration (MSHA)
announced that approximately 99
percent of the 7,456 valid respirable
dust samples collected during the first
two months under the new respirable
coal mine dust rule met compliance
Between Aug. 1 and Sept. 30,
MSHA collected 4,255 dust samples
from 515 coal mines; 20 of those
(or nearly 0.5 percent) exceeded
compliance levels used to determine
if a violation is warranted. Of the
3,201 samples submitted by mine
operators, 42 (or 1.3 percent) exceeded
compliance levels.
The rule, Lowering Miners
Exposure to Respirable Coal Mine
Dust, Including Continuous Personal



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Dust Monitors, became effective on

Aug. 1. It aims to substantially increase
operator sampling for respirable coal
mine dust and requires an operator
to take immediate corrective action
when an operators sample shows
excessive concentrations. The final rule
authorizes MSHA to cite an operator
based on a single MSHA sample
showing excessive dust, rather than on
an average of samples.
These samples were all generated
under the new, more rigid standard that
requires them to be taken when mines
are operating at 80 percent production
or more, said Joseph A. Main, assistant
secretary of labor for mine safety and
health. And the results clearly show
that mine operators are able to comply
with the rule. Thats good news for the

health of all coal miners and our efforts

to end black lung disease.
Since Aug. 1, MSHA has conducted
comprehensive outreach, education
and training on the new respirable dust
rule. In addition to meeting with the
mining community across the country
and posting dozens of frequently
asked questions on its website to help
mine operators comply, MSHA coal
enforcement and training personnel
have trained and certified more than
1,200 individuals in respirable dust
sampling and calibration.
In collaboration with the National
Institute for Occupational Safety
and Health, MSHA will host a series
of workshops on Best Practices for
Controlling Respirable Dust in Coal
Mines. n

Industry Newswatch

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Industry Newswatch

Citations issued for fatal accident;

Deadly accident at Patriot Coals Brody Mine deemed preventable

THE U.S. MINE Safety and
Health Administration (MSHA)
released the findings of its
investigation into a fatal accident in
May at Patriot Coals Brody Mine in
Boone County, WV.
MSHA issued three citations
to Patriots Brody Mining LLC for
serious violations related to the May
outburst that killed two miners.
The citations allege Patriots
Brody Mining LLC did not protect
miners from hazardous conditions,
did not report a similar incident
that happened three days before
the deaths (May 9) and allowed the
destruction of evidence about that
earlier incident.
Kevin Stricklin, MSHAs coal
administrator, told The Charleston



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Gazette that the agencys

investigation showed the deaths
at Brody were almost certainly
preventable if the company had taken
appropriate actions.
I cant be 100 percent sure, but
everything Ive seen would indicate
that neither of these individuals
would have died, Stricklin said in
an interview. If [company officials]
would have reacted, it would
definitely have decreased the chances
of fatalities occurring.
On May 12, miners Eric D. Legg
and Gary P. Hensley were killed when
a coal outburst occurred at Brody. At
the time of the fatal incident the mine
near Wharton was engaged in retreat
The West Virginia state Office of

Miners Health, Safety and Training,

released its report on the Brody
deaths a week earlier and cited the
company both for a violation related
to the incident that killed Legg
and Hensley and for two violations
related to the May 9 incident.
In its enforcement actions, MSHA
cited Brody Mining for failing to
control the mine walls, or ribs, to
protect miners from the hazardous
conditions associated with a coal
burst. MSHA said that Brody failed
to recognize a precursor burst and
did not take adequate corrective
actions to protect the miners after
the earlier incident.
The accident occurred because
the mine operator failed to recognize
(Continued on page 26)

Industry Newswatch

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Industry Newswatch

Lundin to buy Candelaria Mine;

Freeport-McMoRan to sell copper mine for $1.8 billion

buy Freeport-McMoRans Candelaria
copper mine in Chile for $1.8 billion.
It is the largest acquisition by the
Canadian company and it will be the
companys first mine in South America.
Lundin Mining will double
its production of copper with the
purchase and comes as fears of weaker
demand from China persist, The Globe
and Mail reported.
Economic growth in China, the
worlds largest consumer of copper
and other commodities, is slowing, and
big new copper mines are expected
to start producing next year, which
will add to an already well-supplied
market and likely weigh on prices for
some time.
For Lundin, however, the downturn



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represents a buying opportunity.

The base-metals miner will fund
the deal through debt and an equity
Toronto-based mining royalty
company Franco-Nevada Corp.
will help finance the deal by paying
Lundin $648-million for a stream of
Candelarias future gold and silver
The Candelaria complex includes
an openpit copper mine, infrastructure
and the nearby Ojos del Salado
underground copper mines.
Lundin announced a $600-million
share offering in connection with the
acquisition, one of the largest equity
issues in the Canadian mining industry
this year. Franco also raised half a
billion dollars in August to help finance

its part of the acquisition.

Lundin produces copper, zinc,
nickel and lead from mines in Europe,
Africa and the United States. The
acquisition will boost its production to
237 kt (261,000 st) of copper next year
from 128 kt (141,000 st) without the
new mine.
The Candelaria acquisition will
be the second-biggest deal in the
Canadian mining industry this year.
Earlier, Canadian gold miners Yamana
Gold Inc. and Agnico Eagle Mines
bought Osisko Mining for nearly $4
The Lundin-Freeport deal is
expected to close before the end of
the year. Japans Sumitomo Corp.
would retain a 20-percent stake in the
Chilean mine. n

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Sierra Gorda begins

shipping copper

THE FIRST COPPER shipments from KGHM

Polska Miedzs new Chilean mine will reach customers
in November, the company said as it inaugurated the
project that marks the Polish industrys attempts to expand
internationally, Reuters reported.
Sierra Gorda is targeting 220 kt/a (242,000 stpy) of
copper by the time it ramps up to its second phase.
That should be around 2018 or 2019, project head
Maciej Sciazko said in an interview at a mine launch. Sierra
Gorda is slated to produce 120 kt/a (132,000 stpy) copper
by the end of its first ramp-up phase next year and has a
projected life of 23 years.
About 6 kt (6,600 st) of copper concentrate from the
mine is expected to arrive at the Toyo smelter and refinery
in November, KGHM said. Sierra Gorda began operating
on July 30.
KGHM confirmed that the final cost of launching
production at the project reached about $4.2 billion, more
than a third higher than initially expected.
Sciazko said the cost overrun was due to a mixture of
extra engineering work needed to prevent delays.
Sierra Gorda is a joint venture that is 55 percent owned
by Europes No. 2 copper miner KGHM and 45 percent by
Japans Sumitomo Metal Mining. n

Mongolia as member

AT ITS ANNUAL meeting in Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia,

the International Committee for Mineral Reserves
International Reporting Standards (CRIRSCO) welcomed
Mongolia as its eighth member and first member in Asia.
Mongolia has established the Mongolian Professional
Institute for Geosciences and Mining (MPIGM) as its
national reporting organization (NRO). Its president is
Damba D. It operates under a bylaw approved by the
minister of mining and has various grades of membership.
There is also provision for registered professionals, who
meet certain qualification and experience guidelines.
The Mongolian Resources and Reserves Committee
(MRC) is a committee of MPIGM and it has developed the
MRC Code for the reporting of exploration results, mineral
resources and mineral reserves, which is compatible with the
CRIRSCO template.
This will enable MPIGM to apply to the other NROs for
recognition as a Recognised Professional Organization. n


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Industry Newswatch

Vulcan announces acquisitions;

Aggregates company completes six acquisitions in third quarter

the nations largest producer of
construction aggregates, reported that
it completed six acquisitions during
the third quarter that further expand
the companys footprint and reserve
positions in the best markets in
America. The most recent acquisitions
include five aggregates facilities and
associated downstream assets in
Phoenix, AZ and Albuquerque and
Santa Fe, NM, as well as an aggregates
operation in Delaware serving
northern Virginia and Washington,
These transactions follow the
previously disclosed acquisitions of
four aggregates facilities in the San
Francisco Bay Area and aggregates

operations and distribution yards that

serve the greater Dallas/Fort Worth,
TX market and also complement
existing Vulcan rail-served markets
in Texas. Collectively, through these
recent acquisitions, Vulcan has added
more than 408 Mt (450 million st) of
high-quality, permitted aggregates
reserves serving markets where such
reserves are relatively scarce.
These transactions, totaling
approximately $320 million of
investment, represent the continued
strategic redeployment of capital from
the sale of Vulcans former cement
and ready mix concrete business in
Florida in the first quarter of 2014.
Moreover, the structure of these
transactions along with an earlier

investment in reserves at a key quarry

serving San Diego, CA has enabled
the company to defer income taxes on
approximately $145 million in capital
Tom Hill, president and chief
executive officer, said, Aggregates
are an essential, long-term resource
of limited availability and significant
value, particularly in the markets
we serve. Consistent with our
aggregates-focused strategy and
ongoing commitment to driving
profitability as an industry leader in
unit profit margins, these acquisitions
further enhance our future earnings
potential, especially given the positive
momentum we see across our markets.
(Continued on page 26)

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Industry Newswatch

Vulcan: Acquisitions position company well in key markets

(Continued from page 24)

We not only expect that these

assets will generate attractive returns
in their own right, but also that
they will create significant synergies
with our existing asset base. These
acquisitions complement existing

aggregates sources and distribution

facilities in key growth markets
in Arizona, California, Texas and
northern Virginia while also providing
access to new markets in New
Mexico. We remain disciplined in our
acquisition approach and focused
on driving increased value for our

shareholders as we make Vulcan, the

best aggregates franchise in the world,
even better.
Vulcan Materials, a member of
the S&P 500 index, is the nations top
producer of construction aggregates
and a producer of asphalt mix and
concrete. n

Citations: Coal burst killed two miners in West Virginia

(Continued from page 20)

areas with potential [outburst]

conditions, and to develop and
implement a method of mining
suitable to mine safely and control
those conditions, MSHA said in its
The May 9 incident involved a
similar coal burst, in which a miner

was knocked to the floor and buried

up to his waist in coal.
MSHA alleged that Brody did
not, as required by federal law, report
that May 9 incident to regulators.
By not reporting this accident,
the mine operator deprived MSHA
the opportunity to investigate the
accident and also failed to determine
the root cause of the accident,

MSHA said.
Also, MSHA said that Brody
allowed the destruction of evidence
that would have contributed to the
investigation of the May 9 incident.
Such an investigation, MSHA said,
would have prohibited mining
activity in the affected area until
MSHA permitted the operator to
resume normal mining activities. n

El Morro: Mine
was due to begin
producing in 2017
(Continued from page 10)

Chile is planned on what they deem as

sacred ancestral land, and that it could
pollute a local river.
El Morro is a potentially large,
low-cost copper and gold producer,
which had been due to begin
operations in 2017.
But the project seems to
have gone to the backburner for
Goldcorp. It was absent from a list
of organic growth opportunities
mentioned by chief executive
Chuck Jeannes at a gold conference
in Denver, CO in September,
with Jeannes pointing to the
Camino Rojo project in Mexico
as the companys biggest internal
opportunity, Reuters reported.
El Morro is 70 percent owned
by Goldcorp and 30 percent by
New Gold. Goldcorp edged down
0.2 percent and New Gold fell
2.2 percent on the Toronto stock
exchange, in line with other gold
stocks. n


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Industry Newswatch

US coal exports decline;

Weaker demand and increased supply from Australia to blame

from Europe and increased supply
to Europe from Australia and
Indonesia has led to a continued
decline in U.S. coal exports.
During the first half of 2014, coal
exports totaled 47.4 Mt (52.3 million
st), 16 percent below the same
period in 2013. Most of these exports
go to countries in Europe and
Asia, the U.S. Energy Information
Administration reported.
Export declines reflect lower
European demand for steam coal
and increased steam coal supply
from Australia and Indonesia.
Metallurgical coal supply from
Australia, Canada and Russia has
also increased. These factors have
led to a cumulative decline of 8.3
Mt (9 million st) in coal exports to
Europe and Asia during the first half
of 2014.
Coal exports fall into two
categories: metallurgical coal, which
is used in the production of steel,
and steam coal, which is commonly
used to fuel boilers that generate
steam used to produce electricity.
With relatively minor coal imports,
the United States has been a net
exporter of coal since 1949, the
earliest year of data collection.
Metallurgical coal production,
primarily from the Illinois
and Appalachian coal basins,
represented less than 8 percent of
production but 56 percent of total
U.S. coal exports in 2013. Europe
is the leading destination for
metallurgical coal exports, followed
by Asia. Together, these two regions
accounted for nearly 80 percent of
U.S. metallurgical coal exports in the
first half of 2014.
Steam coal is mainly used to
generate electricity, but also has
applications at combined heat and
power plants to produce steam used
in industrial processes. Steam coal
generally has lower heat content
than metallurgical coal and can

be found at most coal-producing

basins in the United States. In recent
years, steam coal accounted for
more than 90 percent of domestic
coal production. During the first
half of 2014, Europe received 8
Mt (8.8 million st) of U.S. steam
coal exports, a drop of 6.7 Mt (7.4
million st) from the same period
in 2013. Asias share of U.S. steam
coal exports increased in 2014, but
export tonnage to Asia decreased
2.4 percent from the first half of
In 2013, six U.S. ports shipped 89
percent of U.S. coal exports. Among
them, the eastern ports of Baltimore,
MD and Norfolk, VA represent 55
percent; and the southern ports of
Houston TX, Mobile, AL and New

Export declines reflect lower European

demand for steam coal and increased
steam coal supply from Australia and
Indonesia. Metallurgical coal supply
from Australia, Canada and Russia has
also increased. These factors have led
to a cumulative decline of 8.3 Mt (9
million st) in coal exports to Europe
and Asia during the first half of 2014.
Orleans, LA make up 30 percent.
Seattle accounted for 4.5 Mt (5
million st), or 4 percent, all of which
was steam coal exports. Eastern
and southern ports are used to
export metallurgical coal because
it is produced in the Illinois and
Appalachian basins. n


Increase efficiency shot after shot with the Atlas Copco
Boomer face drilling rig.

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Industry Newswatch

Number of mine inspections

in British Columbia questioned in wake of Mount Polley Mine spill

show that the British Columbia
government conducted significantly
fewer engineering inspections
following a 2010 reorganization.
In 2010 the same year that a
crack was reported in the dam at
the Mount Polley gold and copper
mine the governments geotechnical
engineers conducted just three
inspections across the province, down
from 22 the year before. The following
year, in 2011, only two inspections
were completed, The Globe and Mail
Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy
and Mines, said it appears the
Mount Polley dam did not have a
geotechnical inspection by ministry
staff during those two years. It

doesnt look like it would have had,

he said. I was surprised when I saw
the numbers and not very happy
about it.
The Mount Polley dam failed in
August, spilling 24 million m3 of water
and mine tailings into Quesnel Lake
in central B.C. The last geotechnical
inspection by the ministry of mines at
Mount Polley took place in September
2013, and resulted in no orders related
to the tailings storage facility.
Bennett said there is no evidence
that the governments missed
inspections were related to the failure
of the dam this year: There is a rush
to judgment right now. We dont
know it is true.
The inspection numbers were
released in response to media

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Bennett openly opposed the
2010 reorganization of the so-called
dirt ministries the government
departments responsible for resource
The government reorganization
in 2010 was designed to reflect a
realignment of priorities under
then-premier Gordon Campbell.
Responsibilities of seven ministries
were shuffled to move to a single
team approach to resource
However, a recent report by the
Professional Employees Association
suggests the decline hasnt been
entirely reversed. Since 2009, the
number of government-licensed
science officers, including geoscientists
and engineers, has shrunk by 15
percent. The report, published last
March, warned those cutbacks could
put the environment and public safety
at risk.
The companys engineering firm
of record reported a crack at least 10
meters in length had been observed
in the earthen dam while work was
under way to raise it in 2010. That
crack was almost a kilometer away
from where the dam breached this
year. The companys engineering
firm also warned that a number of
instruments required to measure
water pressure behind the dam were
in a state of disrepair, which the
company says were later fixed.
The government has not released
its geotechnical inspection reports for
the Mount Polley dam, but Bennett
said he has been assured by his staff
that the problems flagged by Mount
Polleys engineering firm were
addressed. They advised me the 2010
deficiencies were rectified. n

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Industry Newswatch

MSHA awards $1 million in safety grants;

Brookwood-Sago safety grants given for education and training
THE U.S. Department of Labors Mine Safety and
Health Administration (MSHA) awarded $1 million
through its Brookwood-Sago grants program to seven
organizations that provide education and training within
the mining industry. The funding will be used to develop
and implement training and related materials for mine
emergency preparedness, as well as for the prevention of
accidents in all underground mines.
Training is the key for proper, safe and effective
emergency response, said Joseph A. Main, assistant
secretary of labor for mine safety and health. The
programs funded by these federal grants will enable miners
working underground to be better prepared in the event of
a mine emergency.

The United Mine Workers of America Career

Centers Inc., based in Washington, PA, is receiving
$183,575 for the development of a regional mine
rescue team competition and other training
opportunities, which include mine rescue skills
The Colorado School of Mines in Golden, CO, is
receiving $183,552 in funding to provide quality
training to mine rescue teams. The training will
focus on the development of advanced mine
rescue skills using multiple training modalities.
This includes preshift and on-shift mine examiner
training in support of small mine rescue teams in
The Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining
and Safety, whose main office is in Denver,
CO, is receiving $165,364 in grant funding to
provide training programs and materials for
mine emergency prevention and mine emergency
preparedness of underground miners.
The University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ, is
receiving $136,906 in grant funding for improving
miner preparedness and in-emergency resiliency
using multiplayer emergency response simulations.
The Center for Strategic Management Public
Leadership Institute Inc. in Severna Park, MD, is
receiving $128,439 in grant funding for training
in coal mine emergency preparedness and
prevention in the following subject areas: selfassessments, continuous monitoring and measuring

the effectiveness of risk, and readiness and

preparedness models.
The Pennsylvania State University in State
College, PA, is receiving $109,917 to develop an
education and training toolbox for coal mine
rescue instructors and mine rescue team members.
Rend Lake College in Ina, IL, is receiving $92,
247 to create a mine emergency prevention and
preparedness project. This includes providing mine
rescue team members training experience through
mine rescue skills competition.

Training grants are awarded for a 12-month

performance period, and applicants must be states or
nonprofit entities. The grants program was established by
the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response
Act of 2006. It was named in remembrance of 13 men who
died in two explosions at the Jim Walter Resources Inc.s
No. 5 Mine in Brookwood, AL, in 2001 and 12 men who
died in an explosion at Wolf Run Mining Co.s Sago Mine
in Tallmansville, WV, in 2006. n

Get more news at,
the homepage of
Mining Engineering magazine.

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Industry Newswatch

Presidents Page: A common sense plan is needed

(Continued from page 6)

other hand, because natural gas has

substantially lower CO2 emissions
per kWh compared to conventional
coal generation, this has provided
a convenient excuse to attack the
coal industry in the United States.
Secondly, China, India, Indonesia
and other developing economies will
rely on coal to provide a significant
proportion of their vast needs for
energy in the coming decades. If the
United States does not take the lead
in developing clean coal technology
(e.g. high-efficiency, low-emissions
technologies such as super-critical and
ultra super-critical coal generation,
carbon capture sequestration, and
other advances), then who will?
We should be embracing coal and
using our resources to help develop
an effective portfolio of energy



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generation capability that most

cost effectively meets our needs
while providing adequate levels of
environmental protection. A drastic,
rapid reduction in U.S. coal-generated
carbon dioxide emissions on its own
will do little for global atmospheric
carbon dioxide levels.
The bottom line is we simply
do not know what the effects
of the anthropogenic increase
in atmospheric carbon dioxide
concentration are, or will be in the
future. It will be a long time before
the science is settled. This doesnt
mean we shouldnt act. We should.
A sensible, long-term, forwardlooking plan to control and manage
carbon emissions makes sense in the
face of such uncertainty. But such
action must be developed as part of
a national energy policy and must
consider the costs and benefits of

planned actions. Also, I believe that

the mining industry has a critical
part to play in helping to shape
the longer term energy situation
globally by providing the metals and
minerals needed for the emerging
energy technologies that can provide
affordable energy while managing
environmental impacts, whether this
be clean coal technology, production
of metals for efficient energy
generation and power transmission,
supply of metals for the new
generation of transportation systems,
or materials for energy storage.
Also, we can lead by example in the
development and implementation
of lower energy-consuming mining,
extraction and recovery methods for
such metals and minerals. We are part
of the solution. And without mining,
there wouldnt be any (man-made)
energy at all. n

Lucky Friday Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation of Heclas
Lucky Friday siver shaft
by D. Berberick and B. Strickland

eclas Lucky Friday Mine is a deep,

underground producer of silver, lead and
zinc in the Coeur dAlene mining district of
northern Idaho. Main access into, and production
from, the mine is via the Silver Shaft, a 5.5-m
(18-ft) diameter, concrete lined shaft sunk by J.S.
Redpath to an original depth of 1,890 m (6,200 ft)
in the early 1980s. The shaft is divided into four
compartments (Fig. 1), with sets made of 225 mm
x 175 mm (9 in. x 7 in.) hollow structural section
(HSS) steel buntons and 150-mm x 150-mm (6-in.
x 6-in.) HSS dividers spaced every 4.5 m (15 ft)
down the length of the shaft.
Two skip compartments on the east side of the
shaft are equipped with 125-mm x 150-mm (5-in.
x 6-in.) HSS steel guides and 9-t (10-st) skips with
three deck trailer cages for men and materials. The
west side of the shaft is divided into a manway,
and a fourth compartment that was originally
designed for a service cage. Shaft services consist
of a 250-mm (10-in.) a compressed air line and
150-mm (6-in.) sandfill line along the south side
of the shaft, and 250-mm (10-in.) discharge (gray)
water and 150 mm (6 in.) fresh water lines on the
north wall. The mines primary 13.8 kV power
lines, as well as communication lines are located
on the west wall of the shaft.
The production hoist is a 3.7-m (12-ft)
diameter, double drum, double clutch, 2,238
kW (3,000 hp), direct current unit equipped, at
the time, with thyristor drives. The 30-year-old
drives would prove to be problematic during the
rehabilitation project, leading to an upgrade to
modern ABB drives later in the project, after the
shaft rehabilitation was complete.
The shaft had been subjected to the typical
wear and tear of 30 years of operation, including
intermittent sandfill and muck spills, and, in the
lower areas, some corrosion. During those 30
years, the west compartment, originally designed
for the service cage, could only be accessed from
a work deck on top of the skips or from the

Initial planning

Cementation USA, the contractor working

on the #4-shaft sinking project at the mine, was
selected for the rehabilitation work. Hecla and
Cementation immediately began collaboration
to develop a work plan to restore and, in certain
circumstances, go beyond U.S. Mine Safety and
Health Administration (MSHA) requirements
and upgrade the shaft.

Figure 1
Plan view of the Silver Shaft compartments and steel set.

The initial plan focused on what the group

saw as three essential items: full inspection of
the shaft to understand the true scope of the
project, identification of an efficient method to
complete the shaft work, and procurement of the
equipment and materials required to complete
that work. Due to MSHA requirements, a work
plan for the entire project had to be developed
and approved before any shaft work, including
the inspection, could proceed.
The preliminary scope of work to meet
MSHA requirements included:
1. Removal of all loose, built-up material from
the steel sets, manway and shaft utilities.
2. Remove all loose material from the concrete
shaft liner and chip buildup to within 25 mm
(1 in.) of the original concrete.
The following additional
critical to future operations.
Hecla chose to include
these in planning for shaft

D. Berberick and B. Strickland,

members SME, are chief engineer
and project engineer, respectively,
Hecla Ltd. Coeur dAlene, ID, email
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Lucky Friday Rehabilitation

Figure 2
New sheaves being installed for Galloway stage ropes.


1. Repair or replacement of any steel sets and

mounting brackets as required.
2. Removal of any structures, including
ventilation tubing, no longer in use.
3. Resupport of certain existing power and
communication cables.
4. Installation of a new, 13.8 kV power feeder
to support future production.
5. Installation of brattice between the east and
west shaft compartments in anticipation of
a future service hoist installation.
Several concepts for completing this scope of
work were identified during project meetings in
late December and early January:




Clean only the skip compartments, installing

brattice between the skip compartments and
the west side of the shaft to isolate the two.
This method would get the mine back into
operation the fastest and would not require
a power shutdown as the power cables are
in the western half of the shaft. However,
repair or replacement of any steel sets would
be difficult or impossible without access to
the western half of the shaft; later clean
down of the west side of the shaft would be
time consuming and difficult because there
would be no access to skips, meaning travel
to and from the work site would have to
be by the same conveyance that would be
used for the work. There would also be a
high potential for dusting out the mine, and
personnel working underground, during
removal of built-up backfill material in the
western half of the shaft.
Clean down of the entire shaft from work
decks on top of the existing skips using
pressure washers. Buildup in the skip
compartments would be removed by

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chipping or scaling. This method would

allow all removed material to fall down
the shaft, potentially damaging existing
pipelines, power or communication cables
and shutting down all underground power
for fans and pumps until clean-down could
be completed and utilities repaired.
Divide the shaft into three work areas: the
south skip compartment, the north skip
compartment and the west service cage
compartment. The two skip compartments
would be serviced from work decks on
top of the skips, while work in the service
cage compartment would be done from a
specially designed work stage, or Galloway
stage. The work could advance concurrently
from the three conveyances, with all
material removed from the shaft sent to
the surface in the skips or in bins located
in the cages. New steel could be installed
using personnel on all three conveyances,
and brattice could be installed between
the east and west compartments as work
progressed. Since the entire shaft would be
clean above the work area, there would be
few concerns of loose material falling on
the crews from an adjacent compartment.

On Jan. 13, the third method was chosen as

the preferred concept. Even though it would take
longer, it had the advantages of a completely
clean shaft, fully repaired steel sets and brackets,
brattice and a new power feeder in a single pass.
Work would be safer and more easily controlled.
However, the installation of a Galloway in the
service cage compartment would require a
complex setup on the surface, including shaft
sinking winches and ropes, primary and backup
power supplies, variable frequency controls and
new sheave wheels positioned in the headframe
over the west compartment.
Procurement times for the necessary
equipment would be critical, and scheduling for
the project had to identify any opportunities for
concurrent activities to shorten the critical path.
Detailed engineering, design and procurement
began immediately, with the first task being
identification and evaluation of existing
infrastructure on the surface that could be used
for the project. The original sinking hoist and
Galloway winch building, built by Redpath, was
still in place and being used for storage. The
sheave deck that was used during sinking was
also still in place, but its condition, and the ability
of the headframe to handle the additional loads
after 30 years of service, was unknown.
The initial project schedule identified eight
key milestones to be achieved before shaft repair

Lucky Friday Rehabilitation

Figure 3

Excavation for the extension of the south winch foundation. The process
was duplicated for the north winch.
could begin:
1. Design and procurement of work decks for
the top of the production skips.
2. Structural evaluation of the existing
headframe and sinking sheave deck.
3. Procurement of shaft sinking winches,
ropes, and sheave wheels.
4. Design of modifications to the headframe
to accommodate the new winch sheaves.
5. Modifications to the existing sinking hoist
building to handle the new winches and
electrical gear.
6. Design and procurement of a Galloway
stage that would fit within the confines of
the west (service) compartment.
7. Design of collar doors for the production
compartment to protect workers in the
8. Design and procurement of new shaft
steel, including new power cable and pipe
The shaft inspection and repair from the
production compartments required work decks
that could be installed on top of the skips, and
provide solid, overhead protection, with certified
tie-off points for fall protection. The design
needed to be light enough that it could easily be
installed and removed by a forklift, and would
not limit the personnel and material capacity
of the cages and skips. The work decks were
designed by Spencer Engineering, fabricated by
Northwest Machine using 6061-T6 aluminum
to reduce weight, and delivered to site by midFebruary.
The initial work plan was submitted to
MSHA on Feb. 1, 2012 with a more detailed plan,
including preliminary drawings, following on
Feb. 13, 2012. MSHA approved the plan, allowing
operations in the shaft to begin on Feb. 17, 2012.


Site personnel, with a great deal of assistance

from Don McMullin at Stantec Engineering
(formerly McIntosh Redpath Engineering) in
Tempe, AZ, were able to assemble copies of most
of the original Redpath detailed drawings used
during construction and sinking of the Silver
Shaft. Using these, Cementation began building

Figure 4

Lowering the south winch through the roof of the old sinking hoist building
and onto its new foundation.

Shaft inspection

Inspection of the shaft began as soon as

approval from MSHA was received and a risk
assessment could be completed. The inspection
began in the south skip compartment, going from
the surface down to the 5970 skip loading pocket.
Detailed notes and photographic records were
made of the condition of the shaft liner, steel sets
and utilities. The process was then repeated in
the north compartment. The inspection provided
information for a more detailed scope of work
that was used for preparing cost and schedule
estimates. The photographic records consisted of
videos and still photos that allowed for detailed
planning for work areas not accessible again
after the inspection was completed.

Mnng engneerng



Lucky Friday Rehabilitation

Figure 5

Galloway top deck in the west compartment of the shaft.

Figure 6

Elevation view of shaft cleaning Galloway.

a model of the headframe in AutoCAD 3D.

Meanwhile, the headframe was cleaned from top
to bottom, in the middle of winter, removing all
grease and dirt, so each connection and member
could be inspected and tested by engineers. Any
new information gathered from the inspection
was added to the 3D model, which was then
imported to STAAD software for structural
The headframe was found to be structurally
sound and capable of handling the additional
load of the ropes, Galloway stage and electrical
cable. Design of the modifications required for
the old sinking sheave deck began and sheaves
and pillow blocks were ordered, with installation
beginning soon afterward (Fig. 2).
Collar doors were needed to protect workers
in the shaft below from falling materials.
However, their installation required major
modifications to the collar steel and guides.
The shaft is equipped with sliding guides in the
collar area; guides that can be moved out of the
way hydraulically, allowing the cage or skip to
be removed. The only way collar doors could be
installed was to completely remove the sliding
guides and their control equipment. A section of
guide steel was welded to the underside of the
collar doors so the collar doors, when opened,
would provide a portion of the guide rails for the
shaft conveyances. Fixed sections of guide steel
completed the replacement of the sliding guides.
The hydraulic power unit (HPU) used for
the sliding guides did not have sufficient capacity
to operate the collar doors, so a new HPU was
procured and local controls were installed. The
collar door operation was tied into the Tiley hoist
control system to control speeds and protect the
hoist from the shaft obstruction when the doors
were closed.


Two 27,215 kg (60,000 lb) line pull shaft

sinking winches would be required to handle the
load of the Galloway stage and 1,830 m (6,000
ft) of suspended winch rope, with a third needed
for installation of the new shaft power cable. In
order to maintain schedule, three 28.5-mm (1-1/8
in.) ropes were actually ordered on Jan. 13, weeks
before appropriate winches had been found. The
search for usable winches, new or used, began
immediately, and several avenues of procurement
were followed at the same time to meet schedule
requirements. In February, three used New Era,
Model 807 winches from Mine Hoist International
were acquired for the project. The winches were
shipped to Cementations North Bay, Ontario,
shop for final inspection, maintenance and roping
up prior to shipping to the mine site.



Mnng engneerng

Lucky Friday Rehabilitation

Figure 7
Manbasket entering shaft.
The original sinking hoist building had
contained not only the sinking hoist and
control room, but three sinking winches as well.
Evaluation of the old building required structural
rehabilitation, surveying, drilling of the existing
winch foundations and soils testing. The old winch
foundations were still in good shape structurally,
but were neither in the exact position needed
for the new winches, nor did they have the mass
required to prevent overturning.
Concrete saws were used to cut the floor to
the limits of the foundation extension. A miniexcavator then excavated to a depth of 2.4 m
(8 ft) and shotcrete was applied to the trench
walls for stabilization (Fig. 3). Dowels were
drilled into the old winch foundations and the
concrete extensions to accommodate the new
winches were placed on March 7 in continuous
pours of 58 m3 (76 cu yd) per winch, avoiding
any cold joints. There was concern about these
massive concrete pours curing in time to set the
new winches; temperature probes were placed
as the pour progressed, and numerous cylinders
were taken to monitor the compressive strength
as curing progressed. By March 13, the internal
temperatures were dropping steadily, and
cylinder testing indicated that the concrete had
reached a strength of more than 30,335kPa (4,400
psi), 88 percent of the ultimate design strength,
and was deemed safe for winch placement (Fig.


The Galloway stage was the critical

component of the entire operation. It had to
provide work decks for access to steel sets and
liner, facilitate removal of old 4.6-m (15-ft) by
1,065-mm (42-in.) steel ventilation tubing used
for shaft sinking that was hanging in the same
compartment, provide storage for work tools and
materials, carry a compressor and generator, and
fit into an awkward, not quite half-moon, shaft
section (Fig. 5) of about 6.5 m2 (70 sq ft).
The Galloway stage was designed with two
work decks, an equipment deck and a headcover,
or strongback where the winch cables would
be fastened. Removal of the vent tube would
require a monorail trolley and chain hoist, and
a space of at least 5.2 m (17 ft) between the two
work decks. The bottom deck was designed with
a cutout to slide alongside the ventilation tube
as the Galloway was lowered into position (Figs.
6 and 9). Fold-out decks would provide access
around the vent tube and, using the trolley, allow
sections of vent tube to be removed and placed
onto one of the cages in the skip compartment.
Skid rails mounted along its length guided the
Galloway stage down the shaft and prevented it

from twisting into the skip compartments. Tires

were mounted along the radius of each deck to
maintain clearance from power cables mounted
on the shaft liner. Fall protection equipment was
carefully incorporated into the design because of
the slim dimensions of the Galloway.

Clean-down begins

To move the project forward while

preparation of the surface plant and design and
procurement of the shaft cleaning equipment was
underway, plans were put in place to clean the
first 150 m (500 ft) of shaft using a crane set up for
man-travel along with a U.S. Occupational Safety

Figure 8

New shaft steel set in place.

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Lucky Friday Rehabilitation

Figure 9

Working from the lower deck of the Galloway to remove old ventilation tubing.
the surface and 150 m (500 ft) level, and the
manbasket was fitted with guide shoes to mate to
the wire rope. The goal was to start shaft work
from the manbasket on Feb. 16; the actual start
was six days later on Feb. 22. Clean-down using
the crane suspended manbasket reached its
limits on March 8. Commissioning of the winches,
Galloway, and ancillary equipment for shaft
cleaning was completed on March 31, 2012.

Methods for cleaning

and Health Administration (OSHA) approved,

four-person manbasket in the west compartment
(Fig. 7). A crane pad was built on the south side of
the headframe, the cladding was opened up and
decking was removed to allow the boom of the
crane to swing in over the shaft compartment.
Weighted, wire rope guides were hung in the
west side service cage compartment between

Figure 10

Cable clamps supporting the abandoned power cables. The cable above
this point has had the tension removed and can be safely cut and removed.



Mnng engneerng

The project discussed many possible methods

to remove the cemented sand buildup from the
steel sets, pipe, power cables and shaft liner,
including high-pressure water, pressure blasting
with dry ice, or chipping hammers. The most
effective method turned out to be simple hand
tools and light demolition hammers; material
was collected by hand in 20-L (5-gal) buckets,
dumped into the skips and sent to the surface.
The crews worked from decks in all three
compartments to remove the material from the
walls and infrastructure in the shaft. The work in
all three compartments progressed concurrently
so no one was working below an area that had
not been cleaned and inspected.
As the built-up material was removed, all
the shaft steel, wall brackets, cable supports and
pipes were inspected for damage or corrosion.
Steel sets and pipe were inspected using a handheld ultrasonic thickness gauge, with minimum
acceptable thicknesses set by Cementation
Engineering using design criteria for the shaft
and forces created by setting of safety dogs on
the skips. Any shaft steel that did not meet the
functional criteria was replaced (Fig. 8).
Unused ventilation tubing, cables, pipes and
steel were removed as the cleaning progressed.
Vent tubing was removed in 4.5-m (15-ft) sections
using a specially designed sling to handle the
tubing from the side. The tubing was suspended
from the monorail on the Galloway and moved
into the cage for shipment to the surface (Fig. 9).
The abandoned power cables were suspended
from pad-eyes anchored into the shaft liner every
45 m (150 ft). Cable clamps with carbide teeth to
bite into the steel armored cable were hung from
the pad-eyes using chain and ratcheting load
binders (Fig. 10). As the load binder on the lower
pad-eye was tightened, the weight was removed
from the 45-m (150-ft) section of cable above it,
which was then cut into short sections using a
battery-powered band saw. New cable brackets
were fastened to the shaft liner for hanging the
new cables that would be installed at a later time.
Brattice was installed between the east
and west compartments as the clean-down
progressed. Five panels, approximately 1,060

Lucky Friday Rehabilitation

Figure 11

New brattice installed in the Silver Shaft. The top deck of the Galloway can
be seen at the bottom of the brattice.
mm (3.5 ft) by 4,000 mm (13 ft) and fabricated
of expanded metal and angle iron, were hung
from new brackets placed on each bunton and
anchored to new brackets on the next bunton
below. The panels were then bolted together
to form a curtain between the east and west
compartments (Fig. 11). Specialized carriers were
built to transport a full set of brattice in the cage
to the worksite where they were unloaded and
placed using the monorails on the Galloway stage.

New power cables

Construction of a new, underground

refrigeration plant for ventilation air, combined
with the power needs of the #4-shaft being
sunk from the 4900 level to the 8800 level, had
necessitated installation of a new shaft feeder
cable even before rehabilitation of the Silver
Shaft became a priority. Prysmian Airguard cable,
15kV, 3, 3-conductor with ground, was chosen
over steel-wire armored (SWA) cable for the
new power feeder because of its strength and
impact resistance. The absence of steel armor and
smaller, overall diameter also meant it could be
obtained in longer, continuous lengths on a single
reel. Once the shaft clean-down started, it became
apparent that additional cables would need to be
All shaft utilities were powered down while
crews were doing cleanup and steel installation in
the Silver Shaft. Every few days, the power was
reenergized to run the mine dewatering pumps.
There was a great deal of concern that the old,
13.8-kV power feeder would not hold up under
the constant loading and unloading, so plans were
made to install a temporary power feeder down
the #4-shaft projects concrete slickline.
The concrete slickline is a near vertical
borehole holding a 175-mm (7-in.) pipe of P110
grade well casing, normally used to drop wet mix
concrete from the surface 1,500 m (4,900 ft) to
the to the mines 4900 level. The third winch was
installed on a concrete foundation about 35 m
(115 ft) from the borehole. The 28.5-mm (1-1/8in.) winch rope was run to a sheave wheel tangent
to the borehole, attached to a 700-kg (1,550-lb)
guide weight, and started down the borehole.
A reel of the Prysmian Airguard power cable
was set up on a winder behind the winch and fed
parallel to the winch rope toward the borehole.
The power cable was attached to the winch rope
using stainless steel Band-It clamps every 1.5
m (5 ft). Polywater PJ cable pulling lubricant
was applied in large quantities as the cable was
lowered down the slickline. The cable lowering
was successful and the power line was energized
on May 3, 2013, supplying power to the main
pumps and eliminating the need to energize and

de-energize the shaft power feeder.

When the shaft cleaning reached the 4900
level, the cable that was in the slickline was no
longer needed and was removed. The winch was
then moved to a prepared foundation between
the two Galloway winches and prepared for
lowering new cables into the Silver Shaft.
A similar process to that used to lower
the power cable into the slickline was used
for installation of the new cables. In this case,
however, rather than strapping the cable directly
to the winch rope, the cable was suspended from
the winch rope using Kellems grips and bolted
wire rope clamps every 36 m (120 ft). Once the
full length of cable was suspended in the shaft
along the winch rope, stainless steel straps were
used to attach the cables to the new cable brackets
previously installed. Once the cable weight had

Figure 12

New power cable being fed from the winder to the Silver Shaft.

Mnng engneerng



Lucky Friday Rehabilitation

Figure 13

The Prysmian Airguard power cable being fed into the shaft, parallel to
the winch cable, to which it was attached using Kellems and bolted cable

been transferred to the cable brackets on the

shaft wall, the Kellems and rope clamps were
removed, freeing the winch to install the next

New loading pocket

The skip loading equipment at the 5970 level

had been in service since the shaft was originally
commissioned, so it was decided that the time had
come to replace it. Lucky Friday had previously
purchased replacement skip loading equipment
from FKC Lakeshore several years prior to the
start of shaft rehabilitation. Lakeshore provided
a great deal of assistance with the installation,
providing drawings and material lists, and
guiding conversion of the equipment from
hydraulic to compressed air operation.
The concrete shaft liner had experienced
some cracking over the years, and was inspected
by Lucky Friday geotechnical engineers who
determined that, while the concrete was broken,
the area was not taking additional weight, and
no additional movement could be detected.
There was no way to get shotcrete to the area,
so alternative products that could stabilize
and protect the liner were evaluated. The final
selection was Turboliner 5502, a fire-resistant,
two-component, polyurea spray on coating.
Turboliner supplied training and guidance on
the proper application of the product, which
proved to be effective at tying the broken
material together and preventing further air


By May 8, 2012, detailed engineering was

complete, the full shaft rehabilitation plant


Mnng engneerng

had been commissioned and was in use, and the

temporary power feeder down the slickline to the
4900 level had been installed and powered up.The
engineering group had completed 177 detailed
drawings for fabrication and construction.
Numerous suppliers and fabricators had gone
above and beyond any reasonable expectation
to provide the equipment and materials required
in a timely fashion. The project team still had
months of effort and many challenges and
surprises ahead. But they achieved completion
of the work on Feb. 20, 2013, with turnover to
Lucky Friday operations on Feb. 21.
In the end, 1,847 m (6,060 ft) of shaft were
cleaned, approximately 6.8 kt (7,500 st) of
cemented backfill buildup was removed, along
with 1,080 m (3,540 ft) of old ventline and
26 t (29 st) of power cable. Seventy steel sets
were fully or partially replaced, 135 new shaft
brackets were installed, 3,110 m (10,200 ft) of
power and communication cable was installed,
and new brattice was installed between the east
and west shaft compartments from the surface
to the 5970 level. Steel columns, brattice and
gates were replaced at 10 shaft stations. The total
project cost was US$28.5 million, with a total
critical path schedule of 419 days. More than
205,000 man-hours were invested in this project,
and the work was completed with no lost time or
reportable incidents.
Several important conclusions can be taken
from the project. The first, obviously, is to ensure
that high value assets like a shaft are designed
and constructed with full access for regular
inspection and maintenance. Along with this,
and just as important, is the need to maintain
detailed records on those assets, including
original drawings, as-builts and any changes or
modifications made.
Having representatives from the major
engineering groups involved and on site during
the initial design stages of a project like this is
helpful. We had engineering groups working from
Salt Lake City, North Bay and the mine site, and
found that communication by email and phone
was no substitute for face-to-face discussions and
being able to walk out to look at the installations.
The authors would like to extend their
appreciation for the work and assistance provided
by the personnel of Cementation USA and the
Lucky Friday Mine, as well as the many vendors
that supported the project, including Columbia
Electric, Anixter, Stantec Engineering, Mine
Hoists International, Schuon Manufacturing,
Northwest Machine, Northern Strands, Welding
Fabrication Services, MoCo Engineering and
Fabrication, FKC Lakeshore, H2E Electrical
Engineering, Turboliner and Strate Line Crane. n

American Mining Hall of Fame

Mining Foundation of the Southwest to host

32nd annual banquet


he 32nd annual American Hall of Fame

Awards Banquet and Fundraiser, sponsored
by the Mining Foundation of the Southwest
(MFSW), will be held at the JW Marriott Tucson
Starr Pass Resort & Spa on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014.
Each year, one living Hall of Fame inductee, up
to three Medal of Merit recipients, honorees
from minings past, and recipients of an Industry
Partnership Award and a Special Citation are
recognized for their respective contributions to
the mining industry.
Armine Frederick Banfield Jr., past chairman
and founder of Mintec, Inc. located in Tucson,
AZ, will be honored as the 2014 Hall of Fame
Inductee at the awards banquet. Banfield
founded Mintec from his Tucson apartment
in 1970 and expanded it to a global operation.
Under his guidance, Mintec won the 2013
Presidents E-Award for Exports the highest
recognition any United States company may
receive for making a significant contribution to
the expansion of U.S. exports.
Medals of Merit will be awarded to Corale
L. and James A. Brierley, founder and principal
of Brierley Consultancy LLC; David Nicholas
of Call and Nicholas Inc. and Scott M. Shields of
Joy Global.
The Brierleys are being recognized for
their true scientific partnership with parallel
achievements in academia and in business
development. Nicholas is being recognized as the
co-founder of Call & Nicholas and for his noted
expertise in mining geotechnical engineering.
Shields is being recognized for his innovative
work with GPS integration and for playing a key
role in laying the foundation for autonomous
mines of the future.
As representatives of mining heritage, the
Hall of Fame will induct Patrick E. Connor,
Father of Utah Mining, for pioneering mineral
exploration efforts in Utah; Earl Tappan
Stannard, president of Kennecott Copper Co.,
for transforming Kennecott in to one of the
largest U.S. copper producers; Arthur Barrette
Parsons, mining editor and author, for his book
The Porphyry Coppers in 1933, a seminal work
detailing the history and technical information
regarding major porphyry copper deposits and
Ernest R. Dickie, general manager of Bagdad
Copper Co., for his foresight in converting the
mine from block caving to open pit.
The Industry Partnership Award will
be presented to Empire Southwest, a third

ranks among the top
A Special Citation
will be presented to
employees of RioTi n t o - Ke n n e c o t t
Mine for their speedy
recovery from the
massive Manefay slope
failure in 2013.
Construction, Asarco
Caterpillar Inc.; Click
Deconcini McDonald
Yetwin & Lacy, P.C.; Armine Frederick Banfield Jr.,
Southwest; 2014 inductee, guest of honor.
Florence Copper Inc.;
Copper & Gold Inc; Independent Mining
Consultants Inc.; Joy Global Inc.; Komatsu
America Corp.; Liebherr Mining Equipment;
Lowell Copper Ltd.; M3 Engineering &
Technology; Modular Mining Systems Inc.;
MWH Global; Newmont Mining Corp.; Ram
Enterprise; Rio Tinto/Kennecott, Sonoran
Process Equipment Co.; Southwest Energy LLC
and SRK Consulting.
MFSW is a nonprofit organization and its
mission to promote the value of the industry
to our community and profession to ensure its
future success. Funds raised from its annual
banquet are principally designated to support the
foundations education program, a partnership
with the Lowell Institute for Mineral Research
at the University of Arizona.

Armine Frederick Banfield, Jr.

2014 Hall of Fame Inductee

Fred Banfield chose a career in mining

after his father, Armine Frederick Banfield,
introduced him to the industry. Armine Banfield
was a well-known consulting geologist with
worldwide experience. His achievements and
Mnng engneerng



American Mining Hall of Fame

Corale L. and James A. Brierley

2014 Medal of Merit recipients.

professionalism served as a model for his son.

A graduate of the Colorado School of Mines
with a degree in mining engineering, Banfield
founded Mintec from his Tucson apartment in
1970 and now presides over a global network
of dedicated mining professionals.
headquartered in Tucson, Mintec now has offices
in eight countries and is committed to helping
its clients solve their problems with MineSight
Mintecs comprehensive modeling and mine
planning platform. The software offers integrated
solutions for exploration, modeling, design,
scheduling, production and delivers efficiency
and reliability to help improve productivity at
every stage of a mines life.
The foundation of Mintecs business plan
lies partly in Banfields considerable wealth of
expertise, including auditing reserve calculations
and mine plans worldwide, the design and
implementation of computerized systems for
building geologic models, calculation of grade
estimates, mine design and scheduling; the design
of ultimate pit limits and mining schedules
for openpit and underground mines based on
economic and geotechnical data; calculation of
reserves for metals, coal and industrial minerals
and the design and implementation of financial
models for mining projects worldwide.
According to MineSight clients, Banfield
always seems to be ahead of the industry working
on solutions before problems arise. Banfield was
the 2007 recipient of SMEs Daniel C. Jackling
Award for significant contributions to technical
progress in mining geology and geophysics.
Under his leadership, Mintec won the 2013
Presidents E-Award for Exports - the highest
recognition any U.S. company may receive for
making significant contribution to the expansion
of U.S. exports.


Mnng engneerng

David E. Nicholas
2014 Medal of Merit recipient.

Now a Hexagon AB company, Mintecs

unparalleled longevity in a highly cyclical
industry begins with Banfield applying his
passion for mine engineering and computers to
solving mine modeling and design challenges.
After 44 years, a simple business model remains:
Make the client successful.

Corale L. & James A. Brierley

2014 Medal of Merit Recipients

The Brierleys met at Montana State

University in Bozeman, MT and subsequently
married in 1963. Corale, the daughter of
ranchers, grew up in southwestern Montana and
sometimes rode Betty, her horse, to her oneroom country school house. Jim, the only child
of an immigrant single mother, developed his
lifelong fascination with thermal springs when
he accidentally stepped into one on his first trip
to Yellowstone National Park at age 9.
While working on his post-graduate studies,
Jims extensive research led to the discovery of
the first high-temperature (thermophilic), acid
loving microorganism Acidianus brierleyi
named by German scientists in his honor. After
earning his Ph.D., Jim joined the faculty of New
Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
(NMT) in Socorro and Corale often enrolled in
his courses.
In 1982, Corale was approached to form a
company to develop biotechnology for mining
and founded Advanced Minerals Technology.
Jim served as its research director. The company,
with some 23 scientists and engineers, developed
and patented technologies for bioleaching and
metal removal but was forced to dissolve when
the stock market crashed in 1987. Jim then
joined Newmont Mining Corp. as chief research
scientist and Corale soon followed as chief of

American Mining Hall of Fame

environmental process development.

Laid off by Newmont, Corale began
accepting consultant work in bioleaching and
with increased requests for her service, founded
Brierley Consultancy LLC in 1991, aiming to
provide technical and business consultation
to the mining and chemical industries as well
as government agencies. Jims confidentiality
agreement with Newmont prohibited the
Brierleys for the first time since 1963 to confer
on technical matters. Happily, they were able
to resume their collaboration when Jim retired
from Newmont and became principal of Brierley
Consultancy in 2001.
Corale and Jim share many parallel career
paths. Both earned Ph.Ds. in science, both
received distinguished achievement awards from
their respective universities, both are recipients
of SMEs Milton E. Wadsworth Award and
both are inducted members of the U.S. National
Academy of Engineering for their demonstrated
accomplishments in the pioneering of new
technology. The first Brierley and Brierley
technical paper was published in 1973, and many
of their technical papers over the decades became
the basis for the bioleaching technologies applied
commercially today for copper and gold recovery
theirs is a true scientific partnership.

David E. Nicholas
2014 Medal of Merit recipient

David E. Nicholas, past president and

co-founder of Call & Nicholas Inc., had no
knowledge of mining or geological engineering
until his University of Arizona dorm mate
introduced Nicholas to his father, William C.
Peters, head of UAs Mining and Geological
Engineering department. Inspired, Nicholas
changed his major from astronomy to geological
engineering. He found his vocation.
After two summer jobs with Hanna Mining
and earning a B.S. in geological engineering in
1970, Nicholas signed on full time exploring
in Montana and Idaho for copper deposits. A
transfer to Hannas Pilot Knob underground
iron mine in Missouri allowed Nicholas to focus
on his major area of interest: underground rock
mechanics. In 1972, Nicholas returned to UA for
a masters degree in rock mechanics, studying
under John Abel and Richard Call.
Under Call, Nicholas studied pit slope
stability; under Abel, he studied underground
rock mechanics receiving an M.S. degree in 1976
for his work at the Oracle Ridge underground
mine. For inclusion in CANMETs 1977 pit slope
manual, Call subcontracted Nicholas to develop
a program to model the distribution of potential
step paths.

After receiving his

M.S., Nicholas worked
for the consulting firm
Pincock, Allen, and Holt
with Call and worked
on slope design and
North America, Chile,
Liberia and China.
In 1979, Nicholas
and Call formed a
business partnership as
independent consultants
and, in 1980, established
Call & Nicholas, Inc. Scott M. Shields, 2014 Medal of Merit Young
(CNI). Call and Nicholas Professional Recipient
grew the company and
created a culture of
collaboration and team
effort. Through his work at CNI, Nicholas has
been instrumental in many large underground
and openpit mine projects, including the
Grasberg openpit mine and block cave mines
at P.T. Freeport Indonesia. In 1982, Nicholas
received the Robert Peele Memorial Award
for his paper, Method Selection, A Numerical
With Nicholass guidance, CNI has evolved
into a world renowned consulting firm and
currently has more than 50 employees at its
consulting, slope monitoring instrumentation
and laboratory testing operation in Tucson, AZ.
Today, Nicholas consults for longtime clients
and enjoys mentoring young engineers and

Scott M. Shields
2014 Medal of Merit Young Professional

Scott M. Shields is a fifth-generation Arizona

miner. In 1995 he joined the Phelps Dodge
Morenci Mine as a surveyor and, despite his
young age, was able to successfully implement
new techniques, both conceptual and infield,
to improve mine operations. Shields initiated
ground breaking work with GPS integration and
co-authored Optimization of GPS on Track
Type Dozers and GPS in the Pits: Differential
GPS Applications at the Morenci Copper Mine.
This novel idea of building roads by using GPS
without first conducting surveys won best of
session at the Institute of Navigation conference
and resulted in Shields being sponsored by Sen.
John McCain to represent Phelps Dodge Mining
Co. for GPS on the hill.
During his tenure at Phelps Dodge, and
Mnng engneerng



American Mining Hall of Fame

Minings past class of 2014.

Patrick E. Connor

Earl Tappan Stannard

Arthur Barrette Parsons

later with Freeport-McMoRan Copper &

Gold Inc., Shields helped to develop sulfide
advanced electrowinning technologies, leach
pad monitoring and GPS integration. While
serving as the autonomous mining program site
coordinator, Shields supervised the construction
of the San Juan Experimental Mine and was
instrumental in laying the groundwork for a real
autonomous mine of the future.
Shields left Freeport-McMoRan in 2008
to earn a B.S. in mining engineering at the
University of Arizona (UA). While attending
school, he was employed as an associate mine
engineer and was placed in charge of overseeing
the design and construction of the new San
Xavier Underground Training Center facilitating
research funded jointly by mining companies,
private organizations and the government.
Although challenged with full time work
and school, Shields was the winner of the 2008
Copper Club Scholarship, the 2009 Leonard Judd
Freeport-McMoRan Foundation Scholarship,
the mining engineering nominee for the Thomas
G. Chapman fellowship and scholarship, the
2010 MMSA/SMEF Presidential Scholarship
and was the UA College of Engineering 2011
Outstanding Senior in Mining Engineering. In
addition, Shields graduated magna cum laude
in 2011 and was inducted into Tau Beta Pi, a
National Engineering Academic Fraternity.
Shields now manages a team of Joy Global
mining engineers, supporting the applications of
P&H Surface Mining and Joy Mining Machinery
underground products. Notably, he has provided
optimization and best practice in more than 60
mines and in 18 countries on five continents.
Shields is an advisor for the University of
Arizona ILB, Montana Tech MIAB, University
of Missouri Science and Technology Advisory


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Ernest R. Dickie

Committee, South Dakota School of Mines ECE

Advisory Board and also serves as an executive
committee member and officer of the SME.

Minings Past Class of 2014

Patrick E. Connor, 1820 - 1892

Father of Utah Mining
emigrated to the United States at age 12. At age
18, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving five years
as a private in the First Dragoons in the Iowa
Territory. Upon the outbreak of the Mexican
War, he volunteered for duty, distinguishing
himself for courage and military skill in battle.
When the Civil War broke out, Connor again
volunteered for duty and was appointed
Colonel of the Third California Infantry with
instructions to guard the overland mail route
across the West. In October 1862, he moved
his command to Salt Lake City, UT where he
immediately engaged in a cold war with the
Mormons; relationships were acrimonious at
best. During this time, he and his command
also engaged in hostile interactions with the
Shoshone Indians.
Connor encouraged his troops to go
prospecting after realizing that the best way to
dilute the strong influence of the Mormons in
Utah was to make the area appealing to outside
settlers. Mineral discoveries, with significant
silver discoveries, were uncovered at areas now
known as Bingham Canyon, Park City and Alta.
In 1866, Connor, now a general, left the
army and plowed his personal fortune into
Utah mining. He wrote Utahs mining laws
and introduced navigation on the Great Salt
Lake, shipping ores to smelters near the Rush
Valley. Connor succeeded in bringing attention
to Utahs vast mineral wealth but failed to profit
by it, dying relatively poor in 1892. He was

American Mining Hall of Fame

posthumously given the title of the

Father of Utah Mining.
Earl Tappan Stannard, 1882 - 1949,
President, Kennecott Copper Co.
Earl Tappen Stannard became
president of Kennecott Copper Co. in
1940. Under his leadership, Kennecott increased
production at all its operations, becoming the
worlds largest copper producer.
Stannard graduated in 1905 with a degree in
mining engineering from the Sheffield Scientific
School of Yale University. Following graduate
work studying ore-crushing machinery, he was
named milling superintendent for the Federal
Mining Co. (a subsidiary of Guggenheim) at Flat
Rock, MO.
In 1910, he was transferred from Federal
to Chile to troubleshoot the new mill under
construction and testing at Braden Copper Co.
In 1913, the Guggenheims next transferred him to
the Kennecott copper mine in Alaska to enlarge
the mill and improve its dated recovery system.
At Kennecott Alaska, he invented an
ammonia leaching process that increased the
recovery of copper to more than 95 percent by
recovering the copper contained in the carbonate
ores. He also improved the output from the
concentrators so fluxing requirements of the
smelters would be met and introduced flotation
plants at the companys Beatson Mine. With the
reorganization of Kennecott into a multinational
company, Stannard eventually replaced his
mentor, chief executive officer Stephen Birch.
On Sept. 9, 1949, Stannard, now nearing
retirement, boarded a flight along with his chosen
successor and other Kennecott executives to visit
the newly acquired titanium property in Quebec
when a bomb detonated killing all aboard. The
bomb was intentionally planted by a female
passengers husband to collect on her insurance
claim. The sudden loss suffered by Kennecott
caused a severe crack in its foundation resulting
with tough replacement challenges.
Arthur Barrette Parsons, 1887 - 1966
Mining editor and author
Arthur Barrette Parsons was born in Salt
Lake City, UT on Nov. 22, 1887. At age 17, he
was working as a farmer near Ely, NV when he
noted while everyone else traveled by stage or on
horseback, the mining engineers all traveled by
automobile. How much influence this may have
had is uncertain, but he entered the Utah School
of Mines and graduated with a B.S. degree in
1909. In 1910 and 1911, he worked as an assayer,
mill man and surveyor in Nevada and Utah.
From 1911-1915, he was mill superintendent for

Candor Mines Co., North Carolina. In 1917, he

went to India for Burma Mines Ltd. and, in 1918,
he joined the Butte and Superior Mining Co. in
Butte, MT.
He became associate editor for the Mining
and Scientific Press, then associate editor of
Engineering and Mining Journal and was
president, Mineral Research Corp. Parsons
joined AIME in 1914 and served as its secretary
from 1931-1948. He wrote the History of the
Institute 1871-1947. Parsons is perhaps best
known as the author of the book published by
AIME titled The Porphyry Coppers in 1933,
revised in 1956. This was a seminal work
detailing the history and technical information
available on the major porphyry copper deposits
worldwide. He was the author of more than 200
articles on the technical and political phases of
the mineral industries. Parsons died in 1966.

Partnership Award
Empire Southwest

Ernest R. Dickie, 1902 - 1955,

General Manager, Bagdad Copper
Ernest Dickie was the energetic general
manager who overcame many obstacles to bring
Bagdad Copper from a marginal underground
mine to a successful openpit operation.
Dickie was born in Colorado near Cripple
Creek but spent most of his life in Arizona, at
Jerome, Oatman, Wickenburg and Bagdad. In
Wickenburg, while serving as mayor and working
at the Vulture Mine, he met John C. Lincoln, who
also had interests in the Vulture. When Lincoln
acquired control of Bagdad Copper Co. in 1945,
he appointed Dickie to run the operation.
Dickie quickly realized that the orebody
was not suitable for underground mining and
immediately implemented plans to convert it
to openpit. This conversion was accomplished
despite shortages of materials, limited manpower
as well as infrastructure challenges in a remote
area. Bagdad became the first converted mine
when World War II ended, ahead of the better
publicized Inspiration and Ray mines.
In 1950, comparative tests were conducted
on four openpit haulage trucks, two from each of
the two major manufacturers. Based on tests at
Bagdad, he persuaded the truck manufacturers
to adopt twin-disk torque converter transmission
for heavy duty trucks. The Tournarocker, a 32-t
(35-st) capacity earthmover, good for short hauls,
was also proven at Bagdad.
Mnng engneerng



American Mining Hall of Fame

Special Citation
Employees of Rio
Bingham Canyon

Dickie is best remembered for field tests at

the mine, which resulted in improvements in earth
moving equipment. His life was sadly cut short by
a massive heart attack in December of 1955.

Industry Partnership Award:

Empire Southwest

Empire Southwest is a family owned

company founded in 1950 as Empire Machinery,
an Eastern Oregon Caterpillar and John Deere
dealership by Jack Whiteman. The name Empire
originated from an area of the Pacific Northwest
called the Inland Empire. However, when Jack
was awarded Caterpillars Arizona territory in
1959, he moved the company to Phoenix and
began building partnerships with Arizonas
mining and construction industries.
John O. Whiteman succeeded his father as
chief executive officer in the mid-1990s. Under
Johns leadership, Empire focused on customer
service, encouraged community involvement
among its employees, established the official
corporate values and celebrated its 50th
Third generation president and chief
executive officer Jeff Whiteman took the
company reins in early 2002. He has led the
company through the economic uncertainties
following 9/11 and in 2008-2010 and through
times of tremendous opportunity and growth.
In addition to being a strong advocate for
Empires values, Jeff has also instituted the
6 Sigma process improvement model and
renewed Empires commitment to supporting
its clients, communities and employees. Under
Jeffs direction, Empire continually ranks
among the top Caterpillar dealers in the world.
The company has more than 1,600 employees in
a territory that includes Arizona, southeastern
California and portions of northern Mexico.
Mining makes up 40 percent of Empires
total market percentage and includes dedicated
support for more than 15 mine sites throughout
Arizona, California and Mexico. Several of these
sites are consistently awarded zero injury safety
achievements and high client loyalty rankings in
Caterpillars Dealer Excellence program.
Empires experienced mining support team
is responsible for the sales and support of Cat



Mnng engneerng

and other allied products used in coal and

metals mining applications. With the recent
acquisition of Bucyrus by Caterpillar, the
product line has been greatly expanded and
includes everything from draglines and rope
shovels, to skid steer loaders and small utility
Empires goal is to provide mine-specific
product and service solutions that help clients
improve productivity, enhance safety, increase
efficiency and lower cost per ton. Empire
is proud to serve as an active partner in the
mining industry and to support the efforts of
their mining clients and the communities they

Special Citation Award:

Employees of Rio Tinto/Kennecott Bingham
Canyon Mine

In April 2013, the Bingham Canyon Mine

experienced the largest mining landslide ever
recorded. The 149-Mt (165-million st) slide was
a defining moment in Rio Tinto Kennecotts
Kennecotts single biggest achievement
is that it detected, monitored and acted prior
to the slide to ensure that no employees were
With a primary goal of getting back to
safely producing copper and recovering the
business, employees were asked to rise to the
occasion. Employees from across the operation
responded in a singular effort to safely advance
recover efforts.
To date, numerous achievements have been
realized following the slide:

Millions of tons of material have been

moved to stabilize the slide area.
Damaged buildings have been removed
from the slide zone.
Operations resumed 48 hours following
the slide in nonimpacted areas.
Sixteen pieces of large equipment have
been recovered, including 10 of the 13
haul trucks. Four of the recovered haul
trucks are back in service.
The mine access road was reopened
and restored top-to-bottom access
within the mine seven months ahead of
Valuable components and equipment
continue to be recovered from the slide

Kennecott has made significant progress

since the slide, and it anticipates cleanup efforts
will be completed by the end of 2015. n

Autonomous Mining

Overcoming preconceptions for a successful

launch of autonomous haulage

by James Humphrey

here is a natural resistance to

change in any form. When it comes
to implementing a game-changing
technology like autonomous haulage
on an operating mine site, the resistance
can at times appear insurmountable.
Whether based on real information or
misguided preconceptions, its essential
that we dont underestimate the effort
it will take to overcome this resistance,
while clearly recognizing when its
worth the effort.
These realizations did not happen
overnight for sites where autonomous
haulage has been implemented.
Nor did they happen overnight for
manufacturers of autonomous mining
Caterpillar, for example, began
building toward autonomy more than
30 years ago and had a truck operating
in the mid-1990s. Lessons learned
during those early years led to the
realization that there was much more
to be learned not just about the
machines themselves, but about the systems and
knowledge that must be in place for a successful
Working closely with customers, initiating
real-life demonstrations on mine sites, having
discussions with regulatory agencies and other
stakeholders these and many other activities
were necessary before autonomy could be fully
and successfully launched. After decades of effort,
Caterpillars first official commercial autonomous
mine site went to work in 2011 in Farmington,

candidates for autonomous haulage:

Ensuring autonomy is the right solution

While the early days of autonomy were

exciting and mining companies and manufacturers
were eager to see it come to life in the real world,
we learned that implementing a technology for
technologys sake should never be a goal. We first
need to identify a problem and then determine
if a technology solution exists to address it. That
technology may or may not be autonomous
haulage. In fact, there are more sites that arent
candidates for autonomy than there are sites that
would benefit from the implementation of this
There are five key characteristics to look
for when determining which sites are the best

Cat autonomous
trucks are at
work in iron ore
operations in
Western Australia.

Safety. Are there potential safety issues

that could be alleviated with autonomy?
Utilization. Are there significant delays
such as shift changes, lunch breaks,
meetings and training, etc., that would be
eliminated if drivers were not operating
the trucks?
Productivity. Are there efficiencies
to be gained with a higher degree of
consistent and reliable performance
of trucks, in addition to deployment
velocity? Autonomy eliminates driverinfluenced inefficiencies such as truck
bunching behind an overly cautious
driver or dilution caused by loads going
to unassigned locations. Additionally, it
offers the ability to add or remove trucks
to a circuit and is not dependent on the
number of operators who showed up for
work that day.
Remote regions. Are
there logistics issues James Humphrey, member SME, is
of bringing workers senior mining market professional,
to a location where Caterpillar Global Mining Organization,
they must be housed, email
Mnng engneerng



Autonomous Mining

experienced first-hand or learned from sources

they trust and respect. Subconscious resistance is
more difficult to overcome and is rooted in deep
beliefs that may not have a legitimate cause. We
have to find ways to identify the causes in order to
overcome these negative perceptions.
Whether conscious or subconscious, there
are several concerns that rise to the top when
considering potential resistance to autonomous

reduces variability
in mining
helping enhance
and equipment

etc.? These present a challenge and are

a significant expense. Autonomy reduces
the infrastructure requirements by
reducing the number of people required
for operations.
People Skilled resources. Can autonomy
help reduce the number of peope that
need to be hired? It is often difficult to
find skilled people who will be able and
willing to handle the challenges and rigor
of a mining lifestyle.

Managing the change

Once it is clear that autonomous haulage is

the right technology solution, implementation
can begin. And nothing is more important in this
beginning phase than initiating a formal change
management process to overcome the resistance
that is likely to occur.
We have identified three areas that, when
combined, can build a case for autonomy that is
greater than the resistance to change:
1. Urgency/burning platform. We must
provide a legitimate reason for the change.
What is autonomy and why do we need
it? How is it going to help our operation
improve safety, increase productivity,
overcome challenges?
2. Vision. What are we hoping to achieve by
the implementation of autonomy? Where
do we see our operation in the future?
3. First steps. How are we going to get
started? Autonomy appears to be a
monumental undertaking. Can we take
small steps and build up to the final
Its important to understand that resistance to
change comes in two forms: conscious resistance
and subconscious resistance. Conscious resistance
is based on real information that people have


Mnng engneerng

Socio-economic. One of the key benefits

of autonomy is the ability to improve a sites
productivity with fewer people. A logical question
follows: Will the implementation of autonomy put
people out of work? If there are fewer people
earning an income, how will that affect the local
economy? Or does this technology provide
opportunity for new or longer life operations,
thereby ensuring more employment for the rest
of the mine staff?
Safety. While safety is a key reason for the
implementation of autonomy keeping workers
out of harms way there are concerns that
driverless trucks will lead to increased danger on a
mine site. Its one of the most important concerns
that employees will have and its essential to have
the technologies in place and the answers ready to
address these questions.
Mining processes. How will autonomy affect
the processes currently in place on the mine site?
Will we adopt existing processes, adapt the ones we
currently follow, or create completely new ones?
Will we replicate or innovate? People comfortable
with the status quo may react unfavorably to a
change in the way things are done.
autonomous haulage will fall under strict
regulations, both internally at the corporate and
site levels and through organizations such as the
U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration.
How will we adapt to these challenges?

Adopting a multi-faceted strategy

While each site and its employees will have

their own individual concerns and demonstrate
their resistance to change in different ways,
there are some things we can do to overcome the
resistance and preconceptions that are a barrier to
autonomy implementation.
Minimize change. First, the goal should be
to minimize change whenever possible. Because
brownfield mines are the most likely locations for
autonomy, the implementation will have to take
place within the standard roads and incorporate
the different types of loading tools currently
being used. Autonomous machines must be able
to go into these sites and work with the current

Autonomous Mining

equipment and the existing road configuration.

Minimize risk of the investment. Autonomous
machines must be designed for autonomy, but
also work in a standard mining operation with
typical load and dump scenarios. For example, a
truck does not need an operator cab when its
being operated autonomously. However, with
the significant investment mining companies
make when purchasing a truck, they may want
to be able to use that truck with a driver in the
future. Knowing that the machine is not a singleapplication-only vehicle will help alleviate this
Introduce in stages. With a staged
introduction, participants are brought into
the discussion early and the building blocks of
autonomy are implemented and successfully
used before full autonomy is deployed.
Be disciplined in mine planning. While its
important to be able to integrate autonomy into
existing operations as seamlessly as possible,
autonomy inherently requires more planning
discipline than a traditional loading and hauling
scenario. Autonomous trucks follow the plan you
have developed, which is one of their greatest
values; however, you have to make sure your
plan is a good one. Regimen and discipline are
essential in planning autonomy to ensure it is
possible to meet production goals today and in
the future.
Provide education, training and experience.
Informational sessions and specialized training
programs for both hands-on workers as well
as those on the periphery of the operation are
essential. Theres no such thing as too much
information when there is resistance to change,
which means communication is key. Personnel
need a point of contact a dedicated, focused
resource for answers. Specialized training
programs are also important. Caterpillar, for
example, built the first simulator-based-training
program to prepare people for autonomous
Ensure compliance with internal policies
and agency regulations. Its easier to meet
these requirements from the beginning than it
is to try to adapt to them later on or launch an
effort to get the regulations changed. Its very
important to work with regulatory agencies well
in advance to ensure a complete understanding
and consensus on the interpretation of the
Adopt as many current processes as possible.
In order to overcome resistance and get the
support of personnel, its important to adopt as
many of the sites current processes as possible
into the new operation. At the same time,
be cautious that the current processes dont

artificially inhibit benefits of the technology.

Once workers are comfortable with the changes,
it will be easier to transition to new processes
that will further improve operations. We should
always look to the future, allowing the operation
to evolve in order to get the complete benefit of
the technology.

Getting the right people

At the heart of a successful autonomy

implementation are the people involved. Change
management isnt for everyone, and champions
for the project who lead by example and
reinforce the importance of the strategy are
essential. Change is fragile, and if there isnt
someone on site committed to maintaining
forward progress, its easy for sites to take a
step backward. Good champions bring people
along through their leadership and continue to
be involved. Its important that these people
remain in this role for a long time to ensure good
Operators, too, must be exceptional, with
broad skills beyond those of a typical operator.
In an autonomous operation, they will need
the specialized skills to successfully use the
autonomous technology while understanding
and working toward the mine plan. Autonomous
operations require a small team, which makes it
even more important that personnel are capable
of handling a variety of tasks.
We call these people experienced
innovators. They have the knowledge and
expertise to evaluate new situations finding
a way to do the right things and the safe things
while at the same time being innovative enough
to try new ideas and leverage the value of new

Ensuring success

Implementing a game-changing technology

like autonomy on a mine site is a challenge worth
tackling. The benefits in terms of productivity,
safety and efficiency can be highly significant
in the right application. Recognizing that there
will be resistance to the changes required is
essential to a successful implementation. Dont
underestimate the time and planning that will
be required to overcome this resistance. Use
the tools discussed here such as minimizing
change, introducing autonomy in stages, and
providing education and training to improve
the results of your change management efforts.
And perhaps most importantly, choose the right
people to manage the change. You need strong,
dedicated champions with the right balance
of experience and an innovative attitude to
successfully lead your autonomy efforts. n
Mnng engneerng



Autonomous Mining

Enabling automation on drilling rigs;

Improves capability and reach


utomated drilling in surface mines is here, its

successful, and its already at work in mines
around the globe. Coal, copper, iron and gold
mines in large mining countries such as Canada,
Australia, South Africa, the United States and
Chile are meeting mining objectives previously
ruled out as unattainable. Pit Viper automation
enables operators to accomplish more objectives
safely. Operator assist functions like AutoLevel,
AutoDrill, Auto Rod Changer and multi-rig
teleremote control are a few of the features

performance from one repetition to the next due

to fatigue, distraction or simple error, a computer
performs each repetition with reliable precision.
A master driller might beat a computers time in a
single repetition, but for most tasks the computer
will outpace the driller by shifts end. It also
means automated operating performance can be
replicated shift after shift no matter which human
operator is monitoring the automation.
Fifteen years and four RCS generations later,
automation packages are available for any Atlas
Copco Pit Viper drill. Atlas Copcos
suite of office-based software tools,
such as Surface Manager, complements
automation packages with easy-to-use
reporting interfaces. Surface Manager
displays Pit Viper data in a sensible
layout to map drill usage, evaluate
production statistics, track consumables
and compare planned outcomes against
actual results. Portrayed on charts
and graphs, such active management
tools help with driller training and
provide decision-making support for all

Increased automation equals

increased utilization

mines are using to gain consistent, sustainable


Full benefit of RCS:


Since Atlas Copco first introduced its electronic

rig control system (RCS) in 1998, innovative
features based on RCS have come steadily one
after another. Automating control of various
rig functions using the RCS operating system
replaces human observation and electronic inputs
from joysticks and switches with computerized
inputs based on sensors and programming.
The most noticeable gain from computerized
automation is that the computer will not vary
from how it was trained to perform. While even
the most masterful driller varies slightly in


Mnng engneerng

Paulyn Espndola, the product

manager for Atlas Copco Drilling
Solutions in Chile, said one of his
copper mining customers is increasing
rig utilization by expanding where it
can use its drills. The Atlas Copco Pit
Viper 351 diesel rig that joined a fleet
of five PV-351 rigs in April is the first
teleremote rig for openpit mining operations
in Chile. Complete wireless control of the rig
allows the operator to now drill in and around an
impact crater at the mine since the driller is well
away from the drilling operation.
Espndola said the copper mine had a unique
challenge that only automation could overcome,
and the Pit Viper automation package allowed
the mine to choose features and upgrade
packages that precisely matched its operational

Automation for limited resources

Dustin Penn, the business line manager for

Atlas Copco Drilling Solutions in Australia, has
several iron ore mine mines with RCS-based PV271 blasthole rigs. Some have pushed forward

Autonomous Mining

from AutoLevel and AutoDrill to more advanced

systems to continue to conquer operational goals.
The issue in Australia, Penn said, is
the limited workforce and the extraordinary
expense of personnel logistics for our customers,
everything from employee housing and food
service to transportation. Its a two-hour flight
for them to get in and out of the mine.
The goal for these Australian mines is to
expand their capabilities by growing a fleet
with the quality drillers they have. That means
automation, Penn said, With automation the
driller can become a supervisor of a drill fleet,
not just a single driller operating one machine.
Automation will not just lower production
costs but will also streamline servicing. Multiple
services such as water, fuel and visual inspection
will be performed at once, more efficiently.
Combined with the decreased downtime at shift
changes, automation promotes greater Pit Viper
Penn emphasized that transitioning to
automation requires unified dedication from
all management groups at a mine, from senior
management to IT and human resources
departments, to drilling, planning and blasting.
Then the mine has to integrate with the supplier.
Penns customers set up cross-functional teams
to work with Atlas Copco as they incorporate
automation into the mines operations.
The rewards make the integration process
worth it, Penn said, resulting in predictable
productivity that will help the mine accurately
calculate capital from its drilling and blasting
plans. Automation also brings a greater level
of equipment reliability, he said, making
fewer mistakes than human operators. Penn
said everyone is happy, from management to

Predictable and repeatable

Tyler Berens, the Atlas Copco product line

manager for automation products on surface
drills, said, Automation isnt about having a good
day or bad day. Its about having a predictable
and repeatable day. Berens said that kind of
consistency arises from two points about Pit
Viper automation.
First, the automated features are based
on the RCS system familiar to all drillers who
have operated Atlas Copco RCS-equipped rigs.
Therefore, commonality of the operating system,
similar ergonomics and drill functions reduce
training time as drillers adjust to auto-modes.
Secondly, if a mine wants to add drills to its
mine plan, multiple Pit Vipers can be operated
by the same operator or by multiple operators, in
the safety and comfort of the teleremote control

center. Dyanamic integration is part of Atlas

Copcos Automation DNA.
Upkeep of the automation was meant to
be simple as well, said Jon Torpy, Atlas Copco
drilling solutions VP of marketing for blasthole
drills. We train existing technicians on its
maintenance. And we stand behind it. As you can
see, we have the capacity to support this product
around the world. The result is predictable,
reliable and efficient productivity, shift after shift.
And with Pit Viper rigs, monitoring and
supervising is a remote feature that can be done
as easily in the cab as back in the office, at the
mine or anywhere in the world.

AutoDrill: Completing the product with Auto

Rod Change

Berens gave an example of putting technology

to work at a coal mine running two PV 275s. One
PV 275 rig uses RCS electronic control while its
newest PV-275 has received automation upgrades
that include auto rod changing and teleremote
operation. The new drill was commissioned by
Bryan Scoggin, one of Atlas Copcos drillmasters.
Scoggin, who has years of experience rotary
drilling in just about every type of material, said
when he commissioned the Auto Rod Change
system for this operation, he was blown away
by its performance: I have plenty of experience
with changing pipe in multi-pass operations, and
while I may beat the system over a couple of
holes, it usually beats me over the course of a few
hours of drilling. The Auto Rod Change is one of
the smoothest most consistent automations that I
have had the opportunity to work with.
Berens said that this customer prides itself
on its world-class productivity and looks to use
automation to eliminate variances from shift
to shift and driller to driller. As the auto rod
changing feature demonstrates, automation
helps newer drillers reach the productivity of
experienced drillers faster.
Atlas Copco has seen consistent performance
from the PV-275 with automated systems in line
with some of the mines better operators. Berens
said, While it cant out-drill the best operators
yet, it is able to keep up with and out-drill many
of them consistently, shift after shift, day after
day and thats the real pay back you get from
the RCS technology.
Berens continued: The operators at this
mine told us in the beginning that they had their
doubts, but they regularly comment now how
impressed they are with how well the technology
works. In the end, thats whats important, that
we have a reliable, mine-ready product that has
a real impact on the overall performance of the
mining operation.
Mnng engneerng



Autonomous Mining

Teleremote operation

This same coal mine has recently put

teleremote operation to use. Scoggin commented
how easy it was for the operators to make the
transition from drilling on board their drill to
running it teleremotely: They already had one
RCS-equipped PV-275. The two run the same,
so the drillers knew what to expect. Several
operators told Scoggin that they couldnt believe
how simple it was and that, in the future, they
dont know who would want to go back on a
rig after sitting in the comfort of the teleremote
Sales support manager for Atlas Copco
drilling solutions Canada Chris Graves said
the first mine to use teleremote in his country
had approached Atlas Copco for a solution to
overcome two major safety concerns. One, the
region is plagued seasonally by severe electrical
storms. Lightning detectors placed well beyond
the mines periphery give the mine sufficient lead
time to safely recall drillers from their rigs, which
sit exposed to the storm on open pit benches. The
drillers take shelter in a building to wait out the
storm. During such storms, which can be daily
occurrences, the mine had been losing two to
three hours of drilling.
Two, the mine also wanted to extend
its surface pit over a historical network of
underground workings. Remote operation
removes any concern for the drillers wellbeing
over a previously worked property.
Atlas Copco upgraded the Canadian mines
PV-235 with a teleremote kit. That first drill
was operated from a protected operator station
installed on the bed of a pickup truck. It was so
successful, the mine ordered another conversion,
this time mounting a PV-235 cab on a trailer,
which can be relocated by a wheeled truck or
tracked vehicle. The cab is compact enough
to move easily about the mine yet gives the
operator the same room and comfort of the rig
itself, without any of the noise or dust.
The remote control station does not need to
be within sight of the rig, since every gauge and
display on the rig is cloned within the station.
In principle, the only limitation for how far the
remote control facility can be from the rig is
the capability of the network used for remote
communication. The customer has the choice
of running teleremote on the customers own
wireless network or on a separate radio network
set up by Atlas Copco.

Multi-rig operation

Berens said user-friendliness was a design

feature of the automation products. Atlas Copco
automation is meant to be easy, intuitive and



Mnng engneerng

simple. This ease of use supports operation of

multiple rigs from a single operators station.
Graves said the Canadian mine, in fact, has
been successfully controlling two PV-235 drill rigs
simultaneously. From a single remote operating
station, the driller moves one drill over its hole
and starts the auto drilling process, and then he
moves the second drill over its hole and begins its
auto drilling process.
Graves said the mine may entertain the
idea of having a single driller controlling more
machines, but right now, it sees sufficient benefit
in just being able to cover for a driller who is sick
or has taken time off, or being able to add drills
without waiting to add new drillers.

Robust as their platform

Jon Torpy, Atlas Copcos vice president

of marketing for blasthole drills, described
the development and release of Atlas Copco
technology systems: As a former mining
engineer who has worked in openpit mining, I
feel very strongly that we need to release miningready technology. The technology we put on the
Pit Viper has to be as tough as the Pit Viper drill
itself, and we have now demonstrated that we
can do that with technology running in multiple
types of mining environments around the world.
Developing the technology to be efficient is just
one piece of making it successful. Designing
it to be robust and to fit within the existing
maintenance infrastructure of our customers is
the other piece.
Berens emphasized that Atlas Copco
subjected all technology to the most extreme
conditions it could find. This was to ensure that
the automation products would be at least as
robust as their operating platform, the Pit Viper
family of surface blasthole drill rigs. Pit Vipers
have been subject to years of use in the dust
and extreme heat of the desert copper mines in
Arizona, as well as in the extreme subarctic cold
of interior Canada and Northern Europe.
Teleremote operation of a PV-235 in the
Canada mine, for instance, was unaffected during
this past winter even in temperatures that fell
below minus -40 C (40 F). The Chilean copper
and molybdenum mines PV-351 rigs have no
trouble operating at more then 13,500 m (1,400
ft) elevation.
Torpy and Berens said that 2014 is going to
be an exciting year with much more to come in
the way of technology for Atlas Copco drill rigs.
Multi-rig remote control is the first in a series of
high-tech advancements Atlas Copco plans to
launch throughout 2014, with fully autonomous
drilling now a realizable target in the not too
distant future. n

Spanish Abstracts
Editors note: As a service to Mining Engineerings Spanish-speaking members, this page contains brief summaries of
the feature articles and the peer-reviewed technical papers that are in this issue.
Nota del Editor: Como un servicio a los miembros de habla hispana de la revista Mining Engineering, esta pgina
contiene resmenes breves de los principales artculos y de los documentos tcnicos revisados por pares que se encuentran
en esta edicin.

Rehabilitacin del Pique Plata de la Mina

Lucky Friday
por D. Berberick y B. Strickland, Hecla Ltd., Coeur dAlene (Idaho)
Resumen: El 5 de enero de 2012, la Agencia
Estadounidense de Administracin de Seguridad y Salud
en Minera (MSHA por sus siglas en ingls) orden el
cierre del Pique Plata, acceso subterrneo principal a la
mina Lucky Friday de la minera Hecla, para remover
el material de relleno que se acumul con el tiempo en
las paredes del pique y las instalaciones. El personal de
Lucky Friday y Cementation USA trabaj arduamente
para identificar la manera ms eficaz de tener la mina
operativa nuevamente. El equipo desarroll una
va rpida de adquisiciones y un plan de renovacin
utilizando winches, modificaciones del castillo, un pique
temporal Galloway, y jaulas modificadas para completar
no solo la limpieza de la construccin, sino tambin
sustituir los soportes de tubera, estructuras de acero del
pique y cables de comunicacin y elctricos, segn se
necesite en los 1860 m (6100 pies) del pique dentro de

los 14 meses del plazo.

Dos compartimentos del skip en el lado este del
pique estn equipados con guas de acero de 125 mm
x 150 mm (5 pulg. x 6 pulg.) de seccin estructural y
skips de 9 t (10 st) con tres secciones de remolque para
el personal y los materiales. El lado oeste del pique se
divide en un pozo de acceso y un cuarto compartimento
que fue diseado originalmente como un skip de
servicio. Las instalaciones del pique consisten en una
lnea de aire comprimido de 250 mm (10 pulg.) y una
lnea de relleno hidrulico de 150 mm (6 pulg.) a lo
largo del lado sur; y una lnea de 250 mm (10 pulg.) de
descarga de agua (gris) y otra lnea de 150 mm (6 pulg.)
de agua potable en la pared norte. Las principales lneas
de alta tensin de 13.8 kV de la mina, as como las lneas
de comunicacin se encuentran en la pared oeste del
pique. n

Fundacin Minera del Suroeste patrocinara

el 32 Banquete Anual
El 32 Banquete Anual de Recaudacin de Fondos
de los Premios American Hall of Fame patrocinada
por la Fundacin Minera del Suroeste (MFSW) se
celebrar en el JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort
& Spa el Sbado 6 de Diciembre del 2014. Cada ao, un

miembro vivo del Hall of Fame, hasta tres recipientes

de la Medalla al Mrito, Homenajeados por su aporte
pasado a la Minera, un Premio de la Asociacin de la
Industria y una Mencin Especial son reconocidos por
sus respectivas contribuciones a la Industria Minera. n

Superando los prejuicios para una exitosa

aplicacin de transporte autnomo
por James Humphrey

Hay una resistencia natural al cambio en cualquier forma

que este se manifieste. Cuando se trata de la implementacin
de una tecnologa innovadora como lo es el transporte
autnomo en una mina en operacin, la resistencia a veces
puede parecer infranqueable. Ya sea basado en informacin
real o ideas preconcebidas equivocadas, es esencial que no
subestimemos el esfuerzo que se necesita para superar esta

resistencia, siempre y cuando reconozcamos cuando vale la

pena realizar dicho esfuerzo.
El cambio de mentalidad no se dio de la noche a
la maana en las minas donde se ha implementado el
transporte autnomo. Tampoco es el caso que de un da para
otro los fabricantes de equipos autnomos de minera lo
hicieran. n
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Technical Papers

Paste tailings disposal in the

Coeur dAlene Mining District
by Grant A. Brackebusch

Abstract n Paste tailings disposal was successfully implemented at the New Jersey mill in

Kellogg, ID with two different types of ore feed, a gold ore and a silver ore. The purpose
of this paper is to describe the production of paste tailings, including operational problems
during commissioning, and also highlight the environmental and economic benefits that
were realized versus conventional tailings disposal such as the recycling of process water,
increased shear strength and reduced permeability of the tailings mass, and reduced
environmental permitting.

Mining Engineering, 2014, Vol. 66, No. 11, pp. 52-56.

Official publication of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc.

Resumen n La disposicin de relaves en pasta se aplic exitosamente en la minera New

Jersey ubicada en Kellogg (Idaho) con dos tipos diferentes de suministro de mineral: uno
de oro y otro de plata. El propsito de este trabajo es describir la produccin de relaves
en pasta, incluyendo los problemas de funcionamiento durante su puesta en marcha,
resaltando los beneficios ambientales y econmicos que se obtuvieron comparado con la
disposicin de relaves de manera convencional. Estos beneficios comprenden el reciclaje
de agua del proceso, una mayor resistencia al corte y reduccin de la permeabilidad de la
masa de relaves, y la reduccin del nmero de permisos ambientales.


The New Jersey mill is a 360-t/d flotation plant located 4 km east

of Kellogg, ID in the center of the Coeur dAlene Mining District,
a world class silver-lead-zinc district
(Fig. 1). A recent expansion of the
Grant A.
New Jersey mill from 100 t/d to
Brackebusch, P.E.
360 t/d was completed in 2012 by
and member SME,
joint venture partners New Jersey
is vice president
Mining Co. (NJMC) and United
with Mine Systems
Silver Corp. (USC) in order to
Design Inc., Kellogg,
treat silver-copper ore from USCs
ID. SME nonmeeting
Crescent Mine and gold ore from
paper TP-14-002.
NJMCs Golden Chest Mine. As
Original manuscript
part of the expansion, paste tailings
submitted June 2014.
deposition was selected as the best
Revised manuscript
method for tailings disposal from
accepted for
both economic and environmental
publication August
perspectives. Flotation tailings are
2014. Discussion of
thickened in two 3.65-m diameter
this peer-reviewed
deep cone thickeners (DCT) to
and approved paper
produce a paste material that is
must be submitted to
pumped to the tailings facility with
SME Publications by
peristaltic pumps, and the thickener
Feb. 28, 2015.
overflow water is recycled back into


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Figure 1

New Jersey mill location map.

Technical Papers
the flotation process. No cement is added to the paste tailings.
Paste tailings deposition was successful, as the flotation
tailings were deposited from a hillside and formed a slope
with a gradient of approximately 7% with no standing water.
A minimal retaining berm is used to contain the paste stack.
Initial results show that the recycling of process water did
not affect overall metallurgical performance. The recycling
of process water is a significant environmental and economic
benefit, as there is no discharge of process water from the
tailings stack to surface waters of the United States. Bleed
water at the tailings stack either evaporates or sinks into the
groundwater, which is classified as land application of water
and is exempt from permitting in Idaho.

Figure 2

New Jersey mill flowsheet.

assays approximately 15% copper and 14,000 g/t silver for

Crescent ore while gold concentrate from the Golden Chest
assays from 150 to 300 g/t Au. Cleaner tailings are pumped
back to the rougher flotation cell.
Tailings from the scavenger flotation cells are pumped
to two DCTs operated in parallel. A dilute solution of
flocculant (0.2% by weight) is fed into the scavenger tailings
streams in the DCT feed well where 15 L/min of dilution
water is added. Thickener underflow is pumped with
peristaltic pumps via a 75-mm diameter pipeline to the
tailings storage facility. Plans for future operations include
delivering the thickener underflow to a paste backfill plant
for placement underground. Paste tailings pipeline pressures
observed ranged from 400 to 700 kPa. Thickener
overflow reports to a process water storage tank and
is recycled back to the grinding and flotation circuits.
Makeup water from a nearby ground water well is
added to make up for the water lost to the tailings
Approximately 13.5 kt of ore has been processed
through the New Jersey Mill successfully using
paste tailings disposal. About 11.8 kt of this ore was
silver-copper ore from the Crescent Mine and the
remainder was gold ore from the Golden Chest Mine.

Paste tailings characteristics

Mill description

The New Jersey mill is located near Kellogg in the center

of the Coeur dAlene Mining District of northern Idaho. The
mill was recently expanded from 100 t/d to 360 t/d or 15 t/h.
The mill was designed to produce a single flotation product,
a silver-copper concentrate for the Crescent Mine ore and
a pyrite-gold concentrate for the Golden Chest Mine. A
flowsheet for the mill is shown in Fig. 2.
Ore is crushed to pass 12.5 mm prior to be being fed into a
2.5-m x 4-m ball mill. A cyclone in the grinding circuit controls
the particle size distribution of the feed to the flotation circuit,
which was measured to have a P80 of 73 microns for both
ore types. When processing the Crescent Mine silver ore,
lime and sodium cyanide are added to depress pyrite and a
single collector, isopropyl ethyl thionocarbamate (IPETC),
is added to selectively float the silver-copper minerals. The
pH of the Crescent circuit is maintained between 8.5 and
9.0. When processing the Golden Chest gold ore, Aerofloat
404 is added as the collector, copper sulfate is added as an
activator and methyl isobutyl carbinol (MIBC) is added as
a frother to produce a bulk pyrite flotation concentrate at
a pH between 6.5 and 7.0. The flotation circuit consists of a
single rougher cell (14 m3) followed by five scavenger cells
(2.8 m3). Both the rougher and scavenger concentrate report
to the cleaner cells. Two banks of cleaner cells operated in
series produce the final silver-copper concentrate which

Paste is defined as, a material composed of

tailings or alluvial sand and silt with a relatively low
water content (16% to 25%) such that the mixture
has a consistency as measured by the ASTM slump
cone test from zero or slightly greater to nearly 304
mm Particles of different sizes in a paste will not
segregate or settle when the paste is not in motion.
Cement may be a component of paste. A small
amount of water will bleed to the top of the paste
when allowed to be stationary (Brackebusch, 1994).
At the New Jersey Mill, two types of ore, Crescent

Figure 3

Crescent and golden chest tailings slump curves.

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Technical Papers
and Golden Chest, were processed and the tailings were
deposited from a hillside to form a sloped feature known
as a tailings stack. Processing of the Crescent silvercopper ore produced tailings comprised of the minerals
quartz, siderite and pyrite from the vein gangue and
wallrock dilution of the Revett formation. The specific
gravity of the Crescent tailings was measured to be 2.7.
Figure 3 is a graph of the slump versus the pulp density
for the Crescent and Golden Chest tailings. Slump is
measured using the ASTM C143 test method. Particle
size analysis of the Crescent tailings indicated the P80 to
be 72 microns with abundant ultrafine particles necessary
to form a paste.
Processing of the Golden Chest ore produced tailings
comprised of quartz and abundant clay minerals from the
host rock, which was primarily an argillite of the Prichard
formation. The specific gravity of the Golden Chest
tailings was found to be 2.6 and particle size analysis
measured the P80 to be 72 microns also.
Note from Fig. 3 that the Golden Chest tailings
exhibited paste characteristics over a wider range of pulp
densities than the Crescent tailings, but at lower densities,
which is probably attributable to the abundance of finer
particles in the Golden Chest tailings. Screen analysis of
the two tailings types indicated that the Golden Chest
had 60% of the particles passing 38 microns, while the
Crescent tailings had 53% passing 38 microns.
Another reason for the selection of paste tailings
disposal was the reduced permeability of the tailings
mass compared with conventional tailings disposal where
tailings are deposited as dilute slurry, typically from 25%
to 35% solids, which promotes the segregation of tailings
particles by size fraction. A significant benefit to paste
tailings disposal is the nonsegregating property of the
tailings particles, which produces a material with a low
permeability that helps to reduce the acid-generating
potential of sulfide-bearing tailings (Brackebusch, 1998).
Previous permeability testing has shown paste tailings
permeability of the Golden Chest tailings in the range of
2 x 10-6 cm/sec to 4 x 10-6 cm/sec after 28 days of curing
in a test cylinder. No permeability testing was completed
for the Crescent tailings.
Acid-base accounting tests were not completed for
either tailings type, as it was deemed unnecessary since
both ores come from historic mines where mine drainage
is near a neutral pH due to the significant carbonate
content of the ores and wallrocks.

Paste production

Tailings from the scavenger flotation cells are

pumped to the deep cone thickeners (DCT) using a 76x 51-mm centrifugal slurry pump, and the pulp density
of the slurry is approximately 30% solids. The tailings
flow is split with the use of a ball valve so that roughly
10 t/h of solids flow into the northern DCT and 5 t/h to
the southern DCT. Flow rates of slurry to each thickener
are periodically checked with an ultrasonic flowmeter.
Flocculant is added to the tailings stream at a rate of
51 g of dry flocculant per tonne of tailings as it enters
the feed well of the DCT thickener. A moderately
charged anionic flocculant, Z-Floc 565, is used for both


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Figure 4

Crescent tailings slump cone test.

types of ore. The dry flocculant is diluted and mixed with

water in a mixing tank to a concentration of 0.2% (by
weight) before it is injected into the tailings stream with
air-operated diaphragm pumps. Dilution water is also
added at 15 L/min. During operations, visual observation
of the thickener overflow has been the primary method
of monitoring flocculant effectiveness. Clear overflow
water confirms the flocculant addition rate, while cloudy
or dirty overflow water indicates the rate of flocculant
addition should be raised, though, on occasion, lowering
the flocculant addition rate has proven successful as well.
Once a suitable flocculant and addition rate was found,
the most effective operating control parameter of the paste
thickeners was found to be the torque on the thickener
rake drive motor. During operation of the paste tailings
circuit, the mill operators monitor the torque generated
by the rake at a variable frequency drive (VFD) display
panel. The target range is 25% to 35% of the rated motor
torque. If the torque exceeds this range, another VFD
controlling the DCT underflow pump is manually adjusted
to increase the pump speed, which hastens the removal of
solids from the thickener thereby reducing torque. In the
instance of low torque values that frequently occurs during
startup, the underflow pumps are slowed down to allow the
bed depth to increase. Typically, as bed depth increase, so
does the pulp density in the DCT underflow. Bed depth is
monitored by dropping a water bottle tied to a string from
the top of the thickener.
Although there are no specific geotechnical criteria that
are used to control the production of paste tailings in the
mill, the rake torque and underflow density are monitored
to ensure that the tailings are deposited as a paste.
Pulp density is monitored hourly by the operator, who
takes a sample in a Marcy cup, and occasionally dries
samples in an oven for confirmation. Figure 4 shows a
slump cone test with Crescent tailings at a high slump
(approximately 300 mm) produced at the New Jersey Mill.
The DCTs have been operated continuously and on
a daily basis. Operating on a continual basis produces
a higher pulp density paste tailings per unit time, while
operations on a daily basis produce lower than optimum
pulp densities for the startup and shut down periods.
About one hour of underflow pumping, without feeding
solids to the DCT, is required to shut the DCT down for

Technical Papers
the night to minimize startup problems the next day.
Planned improvements to the paste thickening process
include the installation of pressure transducers to monitor
the bed depth to control the speed of the underflow pumps
automatically so less operator attention is required.

Paste delivery

Paste tailings are removed from the underflow of

the paste thickeners by peristaltic hose pumps that have
a sliding-shoe type design. The north DCT is equipped
with a 65-mm- diameter hose pump, while the south
DCT is equipped with a 50-mm hose pump, and thus the
reason for the unequal feed rates to the DCTs. The total
power installed between the two pumps is 11 kW. The
underflow pumps are connected to a single 75-mm HDPE
pipeline that delivers the paste to the tailings storage
facility over a distance of 150 m with a maximum vertical
rise of 15 m. Pipeline pressure is monitored by pressure
transducers mounted at the outlet of each pump where
a maximum pressure of 700 kPa has been observed with
an average pressure range of 400 kPa to 550 kPa. There
are no pulsation-dampening devices installed on the paste
pipeline and, occasionally, the pump pulses can be felt in
the ground above the buried paste pipeline.
Excessive hose wear was experienced in the 65mm peristaltic hose pump during the initial months of
operation. For example, a single hose would wear out

Figure 5
Paste tailings deposition at the New Jersey mill.

deposited, which reduces the size of impoundments

necessary to contain the tailings. Shear strength of the
paste tailings will increase over time through consolidation
and bleeding (Brackebusch, 1998). Shear testing of
uncemented Golden Chest tailings using a Torvane shear
tester revealed shear strengths of 13.7 kPa and 42.6 kPa,
repectively after two weeks and one year from deposition.
At the New Jersey Mill, berms of about 3 m in height were
dozed up by scraping material from the planned tailings
stack site to impound the paste tailings stack. The tailings
stack is unlined. A 75-mm pipeline is buried along a
road that reaches a height of about 15 m above the stack.
Currently, a single pipe drops from the elevated road,
and additional pipe drops will be placed along the road
to distribute the tailings evenly. The ultimate berm height
planned is slightly less than less than 10 m, which simplifies
engineering and permitting since tailings impoundments
below this height are exempt from permitting in Idaho.
As the paste is discharged from the pipeline, it tends to
flow in relatively narrow channels, or tongues, similar to a
mudflow until the height of the paste reaches a certain point
at which the paste flows into a new channel. Mudcracks
form in the drying paste after about two days or sooner in
drier weather. The paste can be walked upon one or two
days after deposition, though this depends on the weather,
to some extent. Bleed water has been observed at the
toe of newly placed tailings, though, it is estimated to be
less than 3% of the volume of tailings placed in the paste
tailings stack. Figure 5 is a photograph of the paste stack
during deposition of tailings.
As can be seen from Fig. 5, there is very little bleed
water near the toe of tailings stack. The amount of
bleed water in laboratory testing has been measured in
the range of 3% to 5% of the initial volume. During the
commissioning of the New Jersey Mill, all of the bleed
water seeped into the alluvial soils underneath the stack or
was lost to evaporation. Once the alluvial soils are covered
with paste, it may be necessary to collect this small amount
of bleed water to recycle back to the mill.


after only 72 hours of continuous use. These hoses were

made of EPDM rubber. It was found that by switching
to a natural rubber, that hose life could be extended to
nearly 500 hours. In the future, it may be necessary to add
a concrete-type piston pump to the circuit to transport the
paste from the mill to the tailings stack as the distance and
resulting pipeline pressures increase.

Paste deposition

A significant benefit of paste tailings disposal is that

paste has shear strength and will form a slope when

The commissioning of the paste tailings circuit was

completed in about two weeks. Initially, the DCT overflow
was cloudy, which caused the recycle process water pump
seals to fail. And cloudy process water caused further
problems throughout the plant, which were primarily the
plugging of water sprays in the flotation cell launders.
A series of bench tests to evaluate several different
flocculants were completed and a flocculant was found that
produced a very clear overflow that resolved all the recycle
water problems (Rust, 2012). Four flocculants were tested
ranging from nonionic flocculants to moderately charged
anionic flocculants. Testing consisted of mixing the tailings
with a flocculant at varying dosages and recording the
settling rates observed in a 1000-mL graduated cylinder.
It was found that moderately charged anionic flocculant, Z
Floc 565, was best suited for the Crescent and Golden Chest
tailings at a dosage rate of about 50 g of dry flocculant per
dry tonne of tailings.
Limited hose life on the peristaltic pumps used to
pump the paste caused periods of limited throughput until
Mnng engneerng



Technical Papers
it was found that a natural rubber hose was better suited
to the application. Variable feed rates of the tailings to
the DCTs caused surging, which resulted in poor dilution
at the inverted bell dilution feature (V-Duc) located
below the DCT feed well. Fine-tuning of the VFD used
to control the scavenger tailings pump was required to
minimize surging of the DCT feed rate.


Major capital cost items associated with the paste

tailings circuit included the cost of the deep cone
thickeners, underflow pumps, tailings pipeline and the
containment berm. A total of approximately $300,000
was spent to install the paste tailings circuit at the New
Jersey Mill, and the deep cone thickeners accounted for
about 75% of this capital. Minimal costs were involved
with preparing the tailings stack, which included the
clearing and grubbing of land and the construction of a
3-m containment berm. Future capital costs will include
the addition of a piston-type positive displacement pump
to distribute paste to the far end of the tailings stack and
two additional 3-m raises of the containment berm.
The operating costs associated with paste tailings
disposal at the New Jersey Mill were primarily the costs
of flocculant and electrical power. Flocculant costs
were about 32 cents/t while the power cost was about 8
cents/t. Some labor was required by the mill operator to
monitor the paste tailings circuit, though it was not a large
portion of the operators shift. When compared to the
costs predicted in 1998 (Brackebusch, 1998), the capital
costs are very similar, but the operating costs are about 8
cents/t higher than predicted.


A major reason for the selection of paste tailings

disposal at the New Jersey Mill was the simplification
of the environmental permitting process. Since process
water is recycled in the mill and the minor amount of
bleed water at the stack either evaporates or bleeds into
the ground water, there is no discharge to surface waters
of the United States, and, hence, no requirement for an
NPDES permit from the Environmental Protection
Agency. Also, water bleeding from the paste into the
ground water is considered a land application related to
a mining operation, which is exempt from permitting in
Idaho. Finally, the inherent shear strength of the paste
tailings allows for increased tailings storage using the
permitting exemption for embankment heights of less
than 10 m.



Mnng engneerng


No final reclamation has taken place yet at the New

Jersey Mill tailings stack, though, the operational plan
is to deposit the tailings at the far end of the stack and
retreat once the ultimate slope has been reached. As part
of the retreating strategy, the tailings will be reclaimed
concurrently with the deposition of tailings. It is planned
to revegetate the tailings initially with grass and then
plant native conifers. This may require a covering of
topsoil, though soil analysis has been conducted on both
Crescent and Golden Chest tailings and it was found the
tailings are capable of growing grass with the addition of
fertilizer and lime.


The utilization of paste tailings disposal at the New

Jersey Mill has been successfully applied to gold and
silver ores from Coeur dAlene Mining District mines.
Flotation tailings were thickened to a paste consistency
with deep cone thickeners and pumped with peristaltic
pumps to a tailings stack, where the tailings were
deposited at a slope of about 7% with no segregation by
particle size. The tailings deposited had inherent shear
strength, as indicated by the formation of a slope and
the lack of segregation also decreased the permeability
of the tailings mass compared with conventional tailings
disposal. There was no discharge of process water to
surface waters, as very little bleed water reported to
the surface of the paste at the stack, and most of the
process water was collected as thickener overflow in the
mill and recycled back to the process with no apparent
detrimental effects to mineral recovery. Optimization of
flocculation was necessary to produce a clear thickener
overflow to eliminate process water recycling problems.
Future improvements to the paste tailings circuit will
include the automation of the underflow pumps, and
the testing of different types of underflow pumps may
be necessary to reduce the downtime associated with
peristaltic hose wear.


Brackebusch, F.W., 1994, Basics of paste backfill systems, Mining Engineering, Vol. 46, No. 10, October, pp. 1175-1178.
Brackebusch, F.W., and Shilabeer, J., 1998, Use of paste for tailings
disposal, Minefill 98, Proceedings of the Sixth International Symposium on Mining with Backfill, M. Bloss, ed., April 14-16, 1998,
Brisbane, Australia, AIMM.
Rust, D., 2012, Bench testing of paste tailings flocculants, New Jersey
Mill Report, New Jersey Mining Co., July, 5 pp.

Technical Papers

Remediation of large-scale slope

failures and impact on mine development at
the Gold Quarry Mine
by R.J. Sheets, S.J. Douglas, R.M. St. Louis, and J.A. Bailey

Abstract n In 2009, the Gold Quarry openpit mine experienced multiple large-scale slope
failures of the upper east highwall that reduced gold ore extraction for nearly 18 months.
The slope failures occurred within a weak, consolidated sedimentary sequence that exhibits
strength characteristics that are transitional between soil and rock. Instability initiated as
mining exposed the lower, high plasticity subunits of the Carlin Formation. This deformation
created preferential flow paths that allowed ground water from the upper sandy subunits to
infiltrate low-permeability, clay-rich subunits, thereby enhancing deformation of the slope
toe, which, in turn, destabilized the upper portion of the highwall. The outcome was a 160
m high slope failure that had a lateral run-out of 850 m. The effort to return the pit to ore
production required geotechnical and hydrogeological investigations and the preliminary
remediation mining activity to be concurrent. This required the development of detailed
safety procedures and a requirement to modify the remediation design as new results
were obtained. An initial challenge was to mitigate a near vertical, 90 m headscarp with
localized, blast-induced slope failures. Back-analyses with numerical modeling software
indicated that the failure surface could be shallower, which contradicted the initial failure
interpretations. Eventually, drilling results confirmed this alternative failure geometry. The
final remediation design incorporated shallower slope geometries and an approximately
3 Mt buttress along the base of the Carlin Formation and bedrock contact to reinforce
the subunits with residual strength properties. The results are a stable highwall within the
Carlin Formation following nearly 10 years of repeated slope failures, and an example of
the necessity to conduct appropriate geotechnical and hydrogeological studies during the
early stages of a new layback evaluation or new openpit development.
Mining Engineering, 2014, Vol. 66, No. 11, pp. 57-71.
Official publication of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc.

R.J. Sheets, member SME,

S.J. Douglas, R.M. St. Louis,
member SME, and J.A. Bailey
are senior geotechnical
engineer, senior hydrologist,
regional hydrology manager
and senior mine foreman,
respectively, with Newmont
Mining Corp. Paper number
TP-13-046. Original
manuscript submitted October
2013. Revised manuscript
accepted for publication April
2014. Discussion of this
peer-reviewed and approved
paper is invited and must be
submitted to SME Publications
by Feb. 28, 2015.


Newmont Mining Corp.s Gold Quarry openpit, hereafter referred to as

Gold Quarry, is located along the Carlin Trend in northeastern Nevada, USA,
approximately 11 km northwest of Carlin, Nevada (Fig. 1). Modern mining
activity began at Gold Quarry in the early 1980s. Between 1985 and 2009,
numerous slope failures occurred within the non-ore-bearing Tertiary Carlin
Formation that overlies the primary gold deposit (Bates et al., 2006; Sherman
and Sheets, 2008; Sheets, 2011). The Carlin Formation exhibits a combination of
soil and rock characteristics, and previous engineering work focused on treating
the formation solely as a weak rock. Ground water tends to be discontinuous in
sand and gravel zones and in flow paths developed within the damage zone along
faults. However, the majority of the formation exhibits unsaturated conditions.
Slope failures exhibit soil-like movement along the base and within the slide
mass while the headscarp and backplane typically is bounded by faults. The lower
Carlin Formation subunits of consist of very weak silts and clays that exhibit
strain-softening behavior.
In 2009, Gold Quarry endured multiple large-scale slope instabilities, the largest
of which are referred to as the Nine Points slope failures, totaling 12 Mt along the
upper northeast highwall within the Carlin Formation. The impact of these slope
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Resumen n El 2009, la mina a cielo abierto Gold Quarry experiment mltiples fallas de talud

a gran escala en su cresta este lo cual redujo la extraccin de mineral de oro durante casi
18 meses. Las fallas de talud ocurrieron dentro de una secuencia sedimentaria dbilmente
consolidada que tena caractersticas de resistencia transicionales entre suelo y roca. La
inestabilidad se inici cuando el minado dej al descubierto las subunidades de alta plasticidad
inferiores de la formacin Carlin. Esta deformacin cre trayectorias de flujo preferenciales las
cuales permitieron que el agua subterrnea de las subunidades arenosas superiores se infiltre
hacia las subunidades de baja permeabilidad, ricas en arcilla, propiciando as la deformacin del
pie del talud que, a su vez, desestabiliz la parte superior del mismo. El resultado fue una falla
de talud de 160 m de altura, la cual tuvo un desplazamiento lateral de 850 m. El esfuerzo para
volver a tener el tajo operativo requiri que las investigaciones geotcnicas e hidrogeolgicas, y
la remediacin preliminar de la actividad minera sean simultneas. Esto requiri el desarrollo de
procedimientos de seguridad detallados y la necesidad de modificar el diseo de remediacin
conforme se obtenan nuevos resultados. Un reto inicial fue mitigar un salto de falla casi vertical
de 90 m, el cual tena fallas de talud locales inducidas por la voladura. Los anlisis previos
utilizando software de modelamiento numrico indicaron que la superficie de falla podra ser
menos empinada, lo cual contradijo las interpretaciones iniciales de la falla. Finalmente, los
resultados de perforacin confirmaron esta geometra alternativa de la falla. El diseo final
de remediacin incorpor geometras de talud menos empinadas y aproximadamente 3 Mt
de contrafuertes en la base de la formacin Carlin y contactos de lecho de roca para reforzar
las subunidades con propiedades residuales de resistencia. El resultado es un talud estable
dentro de la formacin Carlin tras casi 10 aos de repetidas fallas de talud, y un ejemplo de la
necesidad de realizar estudios geotcnicos e hidrogeolgicos apropiados durante las primeras
etapas de una nueva evaluacin para el desarrollo de una mina a cielo abierto.

Figure 1

Location of Gold Quarry openpit, and other Newmont surface

operations, along the Carlin Trend in northeastern Nevada.

instabilities was a significantly reduced gold ore extraction

rate between December 2009 and May 2011. A focused slope
stabilization program was developed and executed to mitigate
the slope failure from propagating. The focus of this paper is
the assessment of failure dynamics and remedial stabilization
design; failure mechanisms are discussed in detail in other
sources (Yang et al., 2011; Sheets, 2011).
Remedial mining activity commenced following a


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preliminary slope design based on existing knowledge

and observational experience of Carlin Formation
behavior. Simultaneous geotechnical and hydrogeological
investigations were conducted to determine the cause of
the slope failure and develop, with high confidence, a stable
highwall design that would return Gold Quarry to active
production. The potential risks of working around the slope
failure required a strong slope-monitoring program and
detailed operating procedures. Remedial mining activity was
complicated by a 90 m near vertical escarpment that could
not be safely approached. As a result, an exploration drill rig
was used to drill angled blast holes behind the crest in order
to create a shallower, more stable headscarp that could be
safely approached and excavated using standard mining
methods. The final remediation design, developed from
data collected during the geotechnical and hydrogeological
investigations and various back-analyses, incorporated a
shallower overall slope geometry and an approximately 3
Mt buttress along the Carlin Formation and bedrock contact
to reinforce the lower clay-rich subunits. The outcome of this
slope remediation is a stable, manageable highwall within
the Carlin Formation following nearly 10 years of repeated
slope instability. The impact of the slope failure and necessary
investigation and remediation program indicates the
importance of conducting thorough geological, geotechnical
and hydrological investigations during the early stages of a
new layback evaluation or openpit development. This greatly
improves the capability of geotechnical and hydrogeological
personnel to provide confident recommendations in support
of developing reliable openpit slope designs, which, in turn,
improves the ability of mine operations to achieve the mine

Geological and hydrogeological setting

Geology: Mining activity in Gold Quarry has exposed

three main geologic formations: the ore-bearing Devonian
Popovich Formation (limestone) and Rodeo Creek

Figure 2

Generalized Carlin Formation stratigraphy developed from the

geotechnical and hydrogeological drilling program following
the December 2009 failure.

Formation (siltstone), and the non-ore-bearing Tertiary

Carlin Formation. The contact between the Carlin Formation
and the underlying bedrock is an angular unconformity
in the southeast portion of the openpit and a normal fault
zone along the east and northeast extent of the highwall
(Harlan et al., 2002; Regnier, 1960). The Carlin Formation is
composed of volcaniclastic layers grading upward into fluvial
silty sands deposited within a basin that over time alternated
between shallow lacustrine and meandering stream
depositional environments. The premining topography and
area surrounding the active mine site is characterized by
landslide debris and alluvium deposits within and around
drainages (Harlan et al., 1999, Regnier 1960). The Popovich
Formation is exposed in a 450-m-thick sequence of micrite
and calcarenite at the base which progresses upwards to
a silty and bioclastic limestone. Overlying the Popovich
Formation is the Rodeo Creek Formation, which is a
300-m-thick sequence that dominates the lower eastern pit
slope. It consists of decalcified, limey siltstones, siliceous
mudstone and cherty siltstone. These bedrock units are the
host of gold mineralization for Gold Quarry.
Two additional formations are observed near Gold
Quarry. The Silurian-Devonian Roberts Mountains
Formation, which stratigraphically underlies the Popovich
Formation, is exposed in the upper 45-60 m in the northnorthwest corner of Gold Quarry in the hanging wall of
the Good Hope Fault (Harlan et al., 1999). The Roberts
Mountains Formation is in contact with the Rodeo Creek
Formation along the Good Hope Fault, which is a reverse
fault. This unit is characterized as being a planar-laminated
silty limestone, with calcarenite inter-bedding. It is the host of
ore mined in the Chukar underground mine, which is accessed
by portals in Gold Quarry. The second unit, the Devonian
Marys Mountain sequence, is identified in drilling between
the Carlin Formation and Rodeo Creek Formation to the
south of Gold Quarry, and previous minor exposures in the
southeast highwall (Harlan et al., 1999). The contact of the
Marys Mountain sequence with the Rodeo Creek Formation
occurs along the Upper Devonian to Lower Mississippian
Roberts Mountain thrust. The Marys Mountain sequence is
characterized as a flaser textured limestone and sandstone
with interbedded cherts. It is the host of an upper, confined

Technical Papers
aquifer that will be discussed in a later section.
The bedrock units are overlain by the Tertiary Carlin
Formation. The Carlin Formation attains thicknesses of 600 m
within structural basins near Gold Quarry. Currently a 160 m
sequence is exposed in eastern highwall. The bedrock contact
is characterized by gravel and swelling clays. The gravel clasts
are derived from the underlying bedrock formations with
varying amounts of high plasticity clay providing the matrix.
Certain areas along the contact are predominately swelling
clay with minimal to no gravel clasts. Variably indurated
tuffaceous sedimentary subunits, with minor sand and gravel
lenses, are deposited upon the basal gravels and basal clays.
The lower tuff units, dominated by the lower laminated tuff,
contain significant clay and montmorillonite-altered tuff. In
recent years, geologists have identified evidence of potential
hydrothermal alteration in the clays and lower tuffs. The
middle subunits, upper sands and silts, are characterized by
partially indurated, interbedded siltstone and sandstone,
with minor tuffaceous and gravel lenses, and more recently
recognized unconsolidated sands. The uppermost subunits
consist of variably calcite-cemented sands and gravel
debris flows, which are only minimally exposed in the
Carlin Formation highwall. The updated Carlin Formation
stratigraphic column, developed based on geotechnical and
hydrogeological needs, is shown in Fig. 2.
By the late 1990s, Newmont geologists had divided the
Carlin Formation into 14 separate subunits, developing a welldefined stratigraphic model. This information was used in
the geotechnical slope design analysis and recommendations
provided for the pending Gold Quarry laybacks to begin in
2002. In the latter part of the 1990s and into the 2000s, during
the decline in gold price, the resources to continually update
the Carlin Formation model were decreased. Over the
ensuing several years, the Carlin Formation would typically be
logged and modeled as a homogeneous, continuous unit with
only several well-defined faults. As Gold Quarry expansions
were evaluated from 2004 through 2006, geologic exploration
of the Carlin Formation to better define the unit was further
hindered by the presence of a tailing storage facility that was
in operation from the 1980s into the early 1990s.
Because of lateral discontinuity within the Carlin
Formation due to facies changes, tectonic activity
synchronous with deposition, and internal deformation, it is
difficult to identify some subunits based on the stratigraphic
column developed in the late 1990s. Furthermore, recent
drilling has encountered lithologies that were not identified
in earlier investigations. In order to expedite engineering
studies and mine planning, while acquiring the drill data
density and allowing time for geologists to interpret the
results and develop an updated, detailed Carlin Formation
stratigraphic column and three-dimensional model,
the logging approach for the slope failure investigated
focused on identifying the dominant geotechnical and
hydrogeological material properties and characteristics.
The Carlin Formation stratigraphic column shown in Fig. 2
is based on this simplified approach that divides the Carlin
Formation into five main stratigraphic units.
Tectonic activity: Structural development along the
Carlin Trend occurred during four major tectonic episodes.
The Antler Orogeny during the late Devonian to early
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Technical Papers
Mississippian applied eastwest compression, which formed
the Roberts Mountain thrust. This event resulted in repeating
sequences of Ordovician age rock units thrusts upon Silurian
and Devonian age formations (Roberts et al. 1958). The
Elko Orogeny of the middle Jurassic imparted a north-bynortheast principal compressive stress, which developed
strike-slip, reverse and dilational faulting. Tectonic activity
of the Elko Orogeny provided the structural conduits that
would allow hydrothermal gold mineralization (Thorman
et al. 1990). Primary mineral deposition ensued during the
middle Tertiary. Extensional faulting of pre-existing northnortheast and north-northwest conjugate faults allowed
gold-bearing hydrothermal solutions to penetrate the host
rock mass. The most recent major tectonic activity was
associated with Basin and Range normal faulting activating
north-south trending structures, as well as re-activating most
pre-existing faults along the Carlin Trend.
Tectonic activity resulted in structural control on
deposition of the Carlin Formation. Major Basin and Range
structures developed a generally stair-stepped bedrock
contact that deepens toward the east, forming grabens and
horsts. Grabens near the pit have exposed thicker sequences
of basal clays and lower laminated tuff (the weaker
subunits). The varying thicknesses and rapid deposition
resulted in differential loading conditions upon the high
plasticity clays. It is conceivable that the differential loading,
growth faulting and tectonic activity caused deformation
within the clays during deposition. The reactivation of the
Paleozoic Good Hope fault during Tertiary Basin and Range
extension is visible within the Carlin Formation. The Good
Hope fault originated in the Paleozoic bedrock formations
during a compressional stress regime, but the subsequent
extensional regime induced normal movement upon the
structures which then projected into the Carlin Formation as
normal faults. In isolated cases distinct structures are visible,
but more widespread evidence is a preferential fabric in the

Figure 3

Conceptual cross-section of the ground water hypothesis that

the confined shallow bedrock aquifer in the Marys Mountain
Formation is recharging the Carlin Formation along zones of
higher permeability and/or along fault structures.



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northeast sector of Gold Quarry.

Hydrogeology: There are three aquifers at Gold Quarry,
shown conceptually in Fig. 3. Bedrock ground water within
the Popovich Formation and Rodeo Creek Formation
has been dewatered since the early 1990s to provide dry
mining conditions within the orebody and to depressurize
slopes. Current maximum pumping rates are 1,500 L/sec.
A depression of nearly 375 m from the original premining
ground water level to the current level has been achieved.
A confined, shallow bedrock aquifer was identified in
recent years within the Marys Mountain sequence to the
southeast of Gold Quarry. This shallow bedrock aquifer is
perched upon the Roberts Mountain thrust. Discussion of
this aquifer will occur in subsequent sections of the paper as
its identification and mitigation was an important lesson in
understanding the Carlin Formation hydrogeology.
The third aquifer is present within the Carlin Formation.
Overall, the hydraulic conductivities in the Carlin Formation
are quite low (10-6 to 10-9 m/sec) due to the fine-grained
silts and clays within the subunits. However, substantially
higher hydraulic conductivities occur within localized sand
or gravel zones (10-2 to 10-4 m/sec). Low permeability
across faults results in variably-saturated zones separated
from dry subunits. Deformation-induced alteration in
clay zones, facies changes and reworking results in lateral
hydraulic discontinuity and vertical anisotropy. Examples
for the Carlin Formation are shown and described by Beale
et al. (2013). Ground water flow within the Carlin Formation
is generally toward the east-southeast. However, the lowpressure center created by the openpit causes local gradients
to flow towards Gold Quarry.
Dewatering of the Carlin Formation began in March
1992. By 2006, 46 Carlin Formation dewatering wells had
been completed. However, many of the wells had to be
cycled on and off in order to sustain pumping production.
Typically, no more than a dozen of the pumping wells would
be active at any given time. The downcycle allowed for
sufficient ground water to recharge the formation around
the well to warrant additional pumping. The inconsistency
in hydraulic conductivity within the Carlin Formation also
was evident in highly variable individual pumping rates,
ranging from 6 to 160 L/min. A layback to the eastern side
of Gold Quarry that began in late 2006 required all but
seven wells to be decommissioned. Following the removal
of pumping equipment, several of the high producing
wells recovered to their prepumping water levels within
three months. In addition to pumping wells, a number of
vertical and angle drains had been constructed in an effort
to target the compartmentalized ground water and drain
it into the dewatered bedrock. There was limited success
in construction of functioning drains due to the variability
of ground water within the Carlin Formation. Dewatering
drains that did produce drawdown would only do so for a
short period of time before silting or blinding off the slotted
casing used for construction.
Piezometers completed in 2004 indicated very high
upward gradients from the shallow bedrock aquifer into the
Carlin Formation southeast of Gold Quarry. Heads within
the shallow bedrock were measured 30 m higher than those
within the Carlin Formation, suggesting that this confined

Technical Papers
shallow bedrock aquifer could be a significant source of
recharge. In 2006, a new piezometer network and three test
wells were constructed to investigate this hypothesis.
One of the test wells was completed in the shallow
bedrock aquifer. Pumping showed good response in a
number of nearby Carlin Formation piezometers. It was
hypothesized that ground water in the Carlin Formation has
been recharged from the shallow bedrock aquifer and then
flowed within higher permeability sands and gravels, as well
as along faults with gradients toward the openpit. Springs
were often observed in the footwall of the Challenger fault,
generally at the intersection of east-west oriented structures.
In 2008, two more shallow bedrock wells and four new Carlin
Formation wells were completed in an attempt to eliminate
recharge from the bedrock, and to intercept ground water
up-gradient of the pit. These wells were brought online in
summer 2009.
Carlin Formation properties prior to the Nine Points slope
failures: Geotechnical studies were conducted throughout
the 1990s to characterize the material strength properties
of the Carlin Formation and evaluate the slope stability of
proposed pit designs prior to a series of laybacks that would
begin in 2001. The results from several triaxial and direct
shear testing programs and back-analyses of previous slope
failures provided the material strength properties. That
study evaluated the peak and residual strengths. However,
previous highwall performance led to the determination
that the peak cohesion and friction angle for the individual
Carlin Formation subunits would be appropriate for the
design analysis. The pertinent data and recommended slope
angles are shown in Table 1. Slope stability analyses of the
Carlin Formation conducted from this point through most of
2008 would use these strength values.
A large slope failure of the Gold Quarry North Waste
Rock Facility (NWRF) in 2005 significantly altered the
geotechnical and hydrogeological approach to understanding
the Carlin Formation (Sheets and Bates, 2008). In summary,
samples collected from the NWRF slide mass were
characterized for grain size distribution and Atterberg limits.
Results of Atterberg limits indicated a liquid limit greater
than 80% and a plasticity index of approximately 35%. The
material at the base of the NWRF was highly plastic, which

would make it susceptible to strain-softening behavior. Direct

shear tests carried out on remolded specimens were conducted
at a slow deformation rate (0.00127 cm/min) to determine
the residual strength of the Carlin Formation material
within the NWRF. These results were found to be within the
range reported by Mesri (2002) for similar plasticity indices.
The test results indicated that there would be a substantial
decrease in material strength with continued deformation of
the high plasticity Carlin Formation material; this strength
reduction could be less than half of the peak shear strength.
The strength testing results also indicated a potential brittle
failure mechanism prior to strain-softening behavior.
From 2004 into 2007, a series of relatively small
interramp slope failures (0.5-1 Mt in average size) in the

Figure 4

Plan view of the Nine Points slope area, just prior to the April 2009 slope
failure, with key features identified. The blue line indicates the location of
all cross-sections. The grid spacing is 200 m by 200 m; and the contours
represent the middle bench face elevation at 6 m intervals.

Carlin Formation within Gold Quarry appeared to behave

similarly to the NWRF failure, but were in an area of the
Carlin Formation that should have been stable based on
design assumptions. A limited core drilling program was
conducted to obtain samples for material characterization
and strength testing focused on the determination of the
plasticity and residual strength
properties. In late spring 2008, the
Table 1
compilation of strength testing
Carlin Formation subunit strength properties and slopedesign recommendations used
results and analyses was completed.
for pit designs prior to 2008.
The results indicated that average
residual strength characteristics of
Carlin fm.
Pre-slide slope
the high plasticity, clayey silts that
design peak strengths
inter-ramp angles
compose the lower portion of the
Carlin Formation were negligible
cohesion and a friction angle of 12o,
angle ()
similar to the range of results for
Debris flow
material investigated in the NWRF
Upper sands & silts
Lower laminated tuff





Basal clay









Basal gravels

Nine Points slope failures

progressed into the Nine Points
slope failures initiated during
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Figure 5

Southwest-northeast cross-section, viewed to the northwest, of the

Nine Points topography and geological model prior to the Nine Points
slope failures. Note the lack of geological detail in the Carlin Formation.

summer 2008. Bench-scale failures developed within the

lower, clay-rich Carlin Formation subunits as mining
progressed into a graben bound by the pitward dipping
Challenger fault, and the highwall dipping Gray-Tuff fault,
shown in Fig. 4. The slope failure propagated up the highwall
towards the Nine Points haul road intersection located
behind the openpit crest. This progressive development
was interpreted as displacement of the slope toe within the
graben, which over-steepened the upper highwall, allowing
it to deform within the weak basal clay subunit into the
already displacing highwall slope toe. The Nine Points slope

Figure 6
Monitoring graphs depicting the average velocity and average inverse
velocity for several survey monitoring prisms that were installed in
the Nine Points Carlin Formation highwall. Slope failure occurred at
approximately 5:00 am, 26 April 2009; indicated with the dashed red line.

area is shown in Fig. 4 with key features such as the Carlin

Formation and bedrock contact identified. The location of
the cross-section(s) discussed in the remainder of this paper
is also shown in Fig. 4.
The interramp slope within the lower subunits was mined
at a 35 slope angle; the Carlin Formation slope height was
150 m with an overall slope angle of 28. A cross-section
through the Nine Points slope that exhibits the limited
detail of the Carlin Formation model in 2009 is shown in
Fig. 5. The slope design, developed from a limited geologic
model, the peak strength values for the subunits, and an
assumed ground water condition based on the elevations
of visible seeps, exceeded the minimum required Factor of
Safety (FOS) of 1.2. The ongoing slope movement observed
throughout the Carlin Formation was sufficient evidence that
the design assumptions were inaccurate. Mining activity at the
bedrock contact was suspended to allow a five-bench, 680 kt
unweighting cut to be completed while the lower portion of
the Carlin Formation was sloped to between 20 and 25o. These
remedial measures were temporarily successful in mitigating
slope movement. However, since remediation did not address
reinforcing the weakened failure surface and slope toe, overall
slope movement reactivated in February 2009.
April 2009 slope failure: The toe of the Nine Points
slope continued to displace, again resulting in deformation
within the upper slope. A rainy early April was followed by
accelerated slope displacement in the middle of the month.
Interpretation of inverse velocity data from highwall prism
surveys indicated a potential failure event in late April (Fig.
6). Overall slope failure occurred April 26 as deformation
approached a peak rate of 450 cm/day (Fig. 6). The Nine
Points slide encompassed the entire vertical exposure of
the Carlin Formation at 160 m with a width of 450 m, shown
in Fig. 4. The toe displaced approximately 45 m with the
primary event. Continued toe displacement resulted in slide
material covering an 85-m-wide haulage intersection and
spilling onto the active mining area below the intersection.
The overall slope failure was estimated at 7.25 Mt.
Up to this time, the Nine Points slide exhibited behavior
similar to historic Carlin Formation slope failures. The
progressive failure development over several months was
consistent with the strain-softening behavior of the lower

Figure 7

The Nine Points slope failure on 23 December, 2009. Remediation

activities had included establishing terrace cuts to slope the slide
mass to the bedrock contact where a buttress could be constructed.



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Technical Papers

Figure 8

The Nine Points slope failure on 24 December, 2009.

The slope remediation plan consisted of developing a 15

slope through the slide mass, cleaning the material from the
intersection that was excavated in bedrock, and constructing
a buttress to provide resistance along the Carlin Formation
and bedrock contact.

subunits. Laboratory tests indicated that, with increasing

shear strain, the cohesion and friction angle for the clayrich subunits deteriorate to a cohesionless state with an
average residual frictional strength less than or equal to
12. However, these lower subunits have been observed in
core samples and openpit slope exposures to be sheared
and slickensided in situ, suggesting that the premining shear
strength is at or near the residual strength.
Continual deformation of the slide mass created a
vertical headscarp approximately 60 m high (Fig. 7). The
lower 30 m of the headscarp was covered with material that
had continued to ravel from the crest. The inherent hazards
associated with the slide geometry limited headscarp
remediation until either a safe method to mine could be
developed or the headscarp attained a more stable geometry.

Figure 9
Slope monitoring data prior to the December 24 Nine Points slope
failure. The area of primary interest was the head scarp as movement
within the upper slide mass includes remediation activity.

December 2009 slope failure: On Dec. 24, at approximately

7 am, a second large-scale slope failure developed within
the previous Nine Points slide (Fig. 8). A 1.25 Mt block,
extending nearly 40 m behind the original failure crest,
accelerated toward failure during the evening prior to the
event (Fig. 9). Average movement rates for the headscarp,
measured from a radar slope monitoring system, exhibited
a typical exponential increase prior to the second failure
reaching a maximum rate of 13.5 mm/hr. The movement
rates over the days leading up to the failure are summarized
in Table 2. The rates demonstrated an increase in the 24
hours prior to this slope failure, but exhibited a relatively
rapid failure mechanism that was unexpected based on 25
years of observational experience of highwall failures in the
Carlin Formation. The sudden change in loading condition at
the head of the slide mass caused the previous failure mass to
mobilize and run-out up to 850 m into the pit floor. The newly
formed headscarp was 90 m high. Although the instability
had developed within the 160 m Carlin Formation exposure,
the effect of the run-out resulted in 425 m of highwall height
impacted by the slide (Figure 10). The pit bottom was filled
with nearly 40 m of slide debris. The original estimated size
of this instability was 25 Mt. However, it was reduced to 12
Mt following a thorough investigation.
The sudden slope failure and extensive run-out of the
Carlin Formation could not be explained in the context of
historic observations of a slow-moving, plastic deformation
mechanism that were expected in the clay-rich, strainsoftening material that composed the highwall slopes.
During initial discussions with external soil mechanics
experts, it was determined that the Dec. 24 slide had
developed as a brittle failure. Although this type of

Table 2

Average movement rate of the Nine Points

scarp prior to the December 24 failure.

Average veloctiy

Dec. 20th 12:00 am


Dec. 21st 12:00 am


Dec. 22nd 12:00 am


12:00 pm


Dec. 23rd 12:00 am


12:00 pm


6:00 pm


Dec. 24th 12:00 am


4:00 am


(Failure) 7:00 am


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Figure 10

A cross-section through the Nine Points failure and the resulting slide mass through the bottom of the pit.

behavior would be the expected failure mechanism for rock,

it can occur when an area of the strain-softening material
is relatively unsupported, such as an over-steepened slope
or near vertical headscarp, subjected to a significantly high
overburden pressure that would be capable of driving the
material to its inherent residual strength. Following the April
2009 failure, continued deformation of the slide mass and its
removal during remediation allowed the scarp to become
progressively over-steepened. Deformation along the clayrich, high plasticity basal subunits was likely continuing
along the slip surface and propagating into the Carlin
Formation beneath the headscarp. This progressed until the
stress-state approached the failure envelope, which allowed
the rapid, brittle failure to occur. Previous slope failures in
the Carlin Formation occurred within highwalls that were
established over a range of slope angles (20-42) that were
too steep to remain stable. However, the slope geometry
provided sufficient support to allow those slopes to slowly
deform allowing progressive failure development over time,
following a strain-softening path.
The rapid run-out of the slide mass across the pit was
not expected based on the behavior of previous Carlin
Formation slope failures. Newmont technical staff and
external consultants discussed whether the large run out
was the result of liquefaction or air entrainment. The
liquefaction hypothesis presumed that the April 2009 slide
mass had become saturated as a result of continual recharge
from Carlin Formation ground water, and that the slide mass
became liquefied due to the December 2009 failure acting as
the trigger event. The air entrainment hypothesis proposed
that a sudden collapse of the scarp induced high energy
within the April 2009 slide mass causing the unconsolidated
grains to rapidly displace within and upon air as the fluid.
It is very important to note that there was no uniform
consensus among all parties involved; however, based on
observations and experience with the Carlin Formation, the
authors have believed the air entrainment hypothesis as the
more plausible case. This is primarily because of the lack of
significant ground water or saturated material within the
slide mass, and observations of the morphology of the runout material.
During the remediation effort following the April 2009
slide, up until the December 2009 slide, there were only a
couple areas where saturated material was encountered.
When this material sloughed or flowed, displacement would
immediately cease when the viscous material encountered
a shallow, flat surface or a berm. It was common to then


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observe ground water

seeps emanating from this
material. Conversely, the
portions of the December
2009 slide mass that could
be safely inspected showed
the slide mass to be light
density, fluffed material.
There were no signs of
seepage from the slide
toe, including material
that was deposited on a
downward 10% grade
pit ramp that would have
been conducive to flow.
Another peculiarity was an open trough between the toe
of the slide mass that accumulated on the 1,420 m mining
phase (nearly 100 m below the Carlin Formation and bedrock
contact) and a crest berm above the interramp slope to the
bottom of the pit at the 1,225 m elevation. The slide mass was
presumed to have been buffered from contacting the berm as
air escaped from beneath the failure and carried material to
the bottom of the pit. The furthest extent of run-out then had
sufficient momentum to flow 400 m up a 10% grade ramp on
the opposite side of the pit bottom. Up-gradient slide mass
flow was never previously observed with saturated Carlin
Formation slope failures.
Finally, mining activity to remove the run-out material
on the 1,420 m elevation was completed during spring 2011,
while the slide mass in the bottom of Gold Quarry was
removed during late summer and early fall 2013. Mining did
not encounter significant saturated material within either
the upper nor lower extent of the slide run-out. Drainage
into the bedrock from the lower run-out would likely have
been difficult, because the contact between the Rodeo Creek
Formation and Popovich Formation, which runs through the
lower part of the pit, is known to be clay-rich, sheared along a
fault contact. While mining a previous phase two years prior to
the Nine Points slide, perched ground water was encountered
along the contact, which could only be mitigated by engineered
methods (vertical drains, sumps with pumps, etc.). Therefore,
it was unlikely that ground water within the slide mass would
have been capable of draining through the slide material and
then across the contact and into the bedrock.

Nine Points slope failure mitigation

Safe working procedures for the slide area: Special

procedures were implemented to govern all activities related
to the remediation. These procedures were designed to
ensure the safety of Newmont and contractor personnel and
equipment working within and adjacent to the slide failure
area. Prior to work commencing and when changes to the
procedures were necessary, the new procedures would be
discussed and communicated to the work force. The area(s)
for which these procedures were applicable was visible on a
display monitor installed on the shovels, front-end loaders
and dozers. For all other personnel and equipment, the
boundary was marked in the field with stakes and signage.
The boundary was also included on a daily plan map that
was distributed to the entire workforce with the special work
procedure document.

Technical Papers

Figure 11

Progressive images of a headscarp blast.

The most basic requirement to work within the slide area

was that the area had been evaluated and determined to be
safe by geotechnical staff and the mine operations foremen.
A qualified spotter was stationed in a dispatch tower that
had a view of the entire failure area. Any personnel that
needed to enter the area were required to contact the spotter
to confirm that it was safe to enter. Personnel also were
required to communicate to the spotter when they were
exiting the area. Additional spotters would be strategically
located as mining progressed to ensure visibility of the
failure and personnel working in the area.
All spotters were trained by geotechnical staff to
understand visible signs of movement. The spotters
stationed in the dispatch tower received training on the
slope monitoring software. This training was not intended
to enable spotters to interpret the deformation data, but to
simply recognize if or when conditions had changed and to
contact the shift foremen and geotechnical staff. The slope
deformation monitoring system was required so that real
time data were available to the spotters in the old dispatch
tower, and in Mine Control, so that if alarms were triggered
personnel working in the hazard zone as well as geotechnical
staff could be notified and immediately evacuated. When
conditions visually changed, or the slope monitoring system
indicated a movement alarm, the mining area would be
evacuated until the proper inspections could be conducted
and the potentially hazardous condition no longer existed.
Headscarp drill-and-blast program: The geometry of
the headscarp and potential for brittle failure of partially
cemented sands exposed in the scarp prohibited the use
of standard mining methods and equipment near the crest.
Since safety restrictions precluded access to an area within
25 m of the failure escarpment crest, it was determined
that a drill-and-blast approach was a potential solution.
The concept was to use angle-drilled blast holes that were
sequentially timed to initiate small, controlled slope failures
around the headscarp crest to develop a shallower slope that
could be remediated using typical mining methods (Acorn,
2011). A key blast design criterion was to minimize damage
to the wall behind each blast.
Surveying of the headscarp was completed using a laser
scanner. Detailed surface topography was necessary to design
each blast hole to be drilled perpendicular to the scarp with
the appropriate burden. A reverse-circulation drill was used

to drill blast holes that varied in length from 45 to 70 m. Blast

hole inclination was originally designed between -60 to -65
below horizontal to ensure that the blast product could be
placed down an inclined borehole that was lined with PVC
casing. Over the course of the project, the inclination was
successfully decreased to -45. Borehole deviation surveys
were conducted as drilling advanced to ensure that each
borehole was not deviating significantly, which allowed
the current and subsequent drill holes to be redesigned as
necessary to maintain the appropriate drill hole spacing.
Each blast hole was loaded with two charge decks. These
were not cast blasts. Instead, the intent was to create a
failure plane and induce material failure. The bottom charge
generated the largest displacement by pushing out the toe,
destabilizing the upper scarp in the process. The top charge
created a crack between the holes, similar to a presplit, which
acted as a failure plane for the material to displace down onto
the slide mass. The actual blast initiation and performance
was evaluated from review of high speed and normal speed
video recordings. A post blast survey was conducted with a
laser scanner to assess the new slope geometry with respect
to the designed post blast geometry.
A series of photographs in Fig. 11 depict one of the
headscarp blasts. Figure 11a shows the area of the scarp
prior to the blast. In Fig. 11b, the lower portion of the blast
area is being displaced outward; stemming material from
three blast holes is visible being ejected from the collars. The
third image, Fig. 11c, shows the upper portion dropping into
the slide mass. The final picture in Fig. 11d shows the area
following the blast. The eight light colored vertical traces
are the scars of the blast holes, which visually indicate that
the upper charge was able to create the necessary plane
upon which the material could slide. A visual inspection of
the scarp following the blast did not locate signs of backbreak. The drill-and-blast approach was very successful in
developing a stable scarp configuration that could be mined
using standard methods. Between February and July 2010,

Figure 12

Modified preliminary Nine Points slope remediation design that

depicts the preliminary design limit (dashed green line), the
inner cut limit (dashed orange line), the transition to a 12 slope
(dashed red line) and the buttress foundation located on bedrock.
The grid spacing is 200 m by 200 m. The contours represent the
middle bench face elevation at 6 m intervals.

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Figure 13

Southwest-northeast cross-section, location identified in Fig. 12,

looking northwest, through the centerline of the Nine Points modified
preliminary slope remediation design topography that depicts the basic
Carlin Formation geologic model. The scale of this cross-section is
shown in feet rather than meters (Call & Nicholas, 2010). The vertical
lines represent sections or slices developed within the analysis.

seven blasts were carried out; the number of blast holes in

a shot varied from a minimum of eight holes to a maximum
of 43 holes.
Preliminary slope remediation design: In January 2010, a
major drilling campaign was initiated to improve the detail of
the Carlin Formation geological model. The program included
reverse-circulation drilling, core drilling and sonic drilling.
The reverse-circulation drilling was primarily conducted for
hydrogeological purposes. Boreholes either were completed
as drains for passive dewatering of the Carlin Formation
by providing a conduit for intersected ground water to the
underlying dewatered Rodeo Creek Formation, or were
completed with fully grouted, vibrating wire piezometers
(two to four per borehole) to assess ground water and pore
pressure conditions. Several boreholes also had inclinometer
casing installed to identify zones of slope deformation.
Core holes were drilled to obtain HQ3 size core (61.1
mm) to have sufficient samples for soil characterization and
strength testing. Representative core samples (average 0.3
m length) were selected at 7.5 to 15 m intervals, dependent
on the observed variation within the subunit. Total drill
hole lengths varied between 150 and 450 m, depending on
Carlin Formation thickness and borehole inclinations. All
core holes were completed a minimum of 15 m into the
underlying bedrock. Sonic boreholes were drilled through
the slide mass in an effort to locate and confirm the basal
failure surface. The entire drilling campaign was carried
out in 2010. The combined drill programs resulted in nearly
25,000 m of total drill length along the east-northeast sides
of Gold Quarry.
A preliminary remediation design was necessary to
direct a near-term deweighting effort while the investigation
progressed. The preliminary design analyses incorporated
material strengths obtained from testing of core samples
collected during a previous small-scale drilling program and
back-analyses using limit equilibrium modeling software.
The design assumption was based on interpretations that the
instability had been located within the basal clay subunit at
the Carlin Formation and bedrock contact. The preliminary
remediation design developed in January 2010 required an
overall 12o slope angle through the Carlin Formation around
the slide area. This design would attain an overall FOS of 1.0
with the slope cut. In order to raise the overall FOS to a
minimum acceptable value of 1.20, the design incorporated
a wide bedrock bench at the bedrock contact upon which a


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buttress could be constructed.

In June 2010, the preliminary design was modified to
split the upper portion of the remediation layback into two
phases to limit the extent of the unweighting cut through the
more competent upper sand subunits. After mining the first
three benches (12 Mt, 37 m height) to the overall remediation
design limits, indicated by the dashed green line in Fig. 12, the
unweighting cut would step-in to develop a 20 interramp
slope through the remaining upper sands and silts, between
the dashed orange and dashed red lines. The remediation
design resumed the 12o slope through the lower laminated
tuff, basal clay and slide mass (the slope to the west of the
dashed red line in Fig. 12). The modified remediation design
still assumed that the slope failure developed within the basal
clay along the bedrock contact to develop a slope that had an
initial FOS of 1.0 (Fig. 13), while incorporating a buttress that
would raise the FOS to 1.20 (Call & Nicholas Inc., 2010).

Nine Points slope remediation design

The preliminary slope remediation plan was followed,

while details for the final design were developed during
the ongoing investigation and characterization work. Backanalysis slope stability models were regularly updated as
new interpretations or results were obtained. The analyses
used limit equilibrium software packages (RocScience Inc.
SLIDE and GEO-SLOPE Inc. Slope/W) similar to studies
of previous Carlin Formation slope failures. However, it was
recognized that these tools did not readily lend themselves
to the time-based, progressive nature of the Nine Points
slope failure. Therefore, numerical methods were used to
provide more representative modeling of the failure.
Carlin Formation characterization and strength results:
Nearly 250 samples were collected from the 2010 core drilling
program to characterize the various Carlin Formation
subunits within and around the Nine Points failure. Grain
size distribution curves were developed from wet sieve and
hydrometer analyses. Atterberg limits were determined to
classify the plasticity of the material. A total of 31 slow-rate,

Figure 14

Numerical modeling back-analysis study conducted with phase 2 on

the southwest-northeast cross-section, looking northwest, identified
in Fig. 4. The hypothesized shallow failure base more readily explained
the initiation of slope deformation of the Nine Points highwall and
progressing into overall slope failures (Knight Pisold, 2011).

Technical Papers

Figure 15
Numerical modeling back-analysis study conducted with FLAC on the
northeast-southwest cross-section, looking southeast, identified in
Fig. 4. This independent study also found that the Nine Points slope
failures could be more readily explained with the presence of another
shallower weak subunit, rather than the Basal Clay (Itasca Denver, 2010).

direct shear tests were conducted to determine the drained

effective residual strength of the subunits. Samples had water

added to induce moisture content similar to that determined

from the field samples. The applied normal stresses ranged
from 100 to 2,070 kPa. The samples were then sheared at
a rate of 0.00127 cm/min to minimize excess pore pressure
from developing. These tests were reversed two to four times
to achieve residual strength conditions.
The material strength results, summarized in Table 3,
confirmed that the limited findings of the testing program
completed in 2008 were within the range of Carlin Formation
strengths from the NWRF failure investigation. Furthermore,
the laboratory test results correlated with the range of strength
values that were being developed from the four separate
back-analysis studies, also shown in Table 3. These findings
were strong evidence that the Carlin Formation would exhibit
behavior closer to its residual strength rather than its peak
strength when a pit slope is excavated through the material.
Numerical model back analyses: Two external consulting
groups were tasked with developing numerical models to
analyze the Nine Points highwall through various stages of
progressive instability, one using RocScience Inc. Phase2
and the other Itascas FLAC2D. The preliminary numerical
models were based on the observational data. Observations
indicated that the toe was within the basal clay subunit along
the bedrock contact, so initial modeling focused on that
scenario. However, it was soon recognized that the numerical
models had difficulty re-producing a failure surface within
the basal clay or along the bedrock contact (Yang et al., 2011
and Itasca Denver Inc., 2010).
Both consulting groups found that their numerical
models generated shallower failure surfaces that were not
within the basal clay. In both cases, a hypothetical, shallower
weak subunit or surface was incorporated into the models
between 45-80 m above the basal clay and bedrock contact.
Examples of these results are illustrated in Figs. 14 and 15.
The model simulations were able to reproduce the headscarp

Table 1

Current Carlin Formation material properties and slope design recommendations.

Carlin fm.

conductivity (cm/s)

Laboratory test residual


Hydraulic Conductivity (cm/s)

model simulations



angle ()


angle ()

index (%)

















6.3 x 10-5
3.0 x 10-4

2.1 x 10-6
3.0 x 10-5

4.0 x 10-4






3.5 x 10-7

3.5 x 10-7

7.0 x 10-5






3.5 x 10-8
3.5 x 10-7

3.5 x 10-8
3.5 x 10-7

6.0 x 10-5






3.5 x 10-8
3.5 x 10-7

3.5 x 10-8
3.5 x 10-7

9.0 x 10-5


flow cemented
sands &

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Figure 16

Southwest-northeast cross-section through the Nine Points remediation final slope design with the toe
buttress and the updated Carlin Formation geological model. Along the central axis of the slide area, there was
a portion of the slide mass, approximately 100 m wide, which was left in place, as shown behind the buttress.

and toe locations with the shallower failure surface. Due to

the lack of a detailed geological model at the time, there was
no definitive evidence to confirm the proposed modeling
results, specifically with respect to the slip surface above the
basal clay. Thus, the analyses moved forward considering
both the deep- and shallower-seated scenarios until the slide
mass could safely be drilled to locate the failure surface.
Basal failure surface investigation: In September and
October 2010, a sonic drilling program was conducted to
drill through the slide mass and intersect the base of the
failure surface. Given the uncertainty regarding how the
characteristics of the failure surface would visually compare
to surrounding material, the large diameter samples
(approximately 15 cm) provided by the sonic drill would
be critical to recognition of the failure plane. Sonic coring
also provided a high probability of sample recovery through
the unconsolidated slide mass. The core was logged, and
photographed, at the drill hole to characterize the soil and
geotechnical properties. Notes were made regarding where
the drillers encountered ground water within the slide mass,
and the drill penetration rate, anticipating a reduction in
penetration rate in intact material. The penetration rate was
tracked as a potential identifier of the contact between the
slide mass and intact material. The other empirical method

Figure 17

Limit equilibrium analysis for the Nine Points remediation slope

design, along the southwest-northeast crosssection identified in
Fig. 12, with the toe buttress indicates an acceptable overall FOS
of at least 1.2 can be achieved (Knight Pisold, 2011).

used to identify the

contact between the
slide mass and intact
material was comparing
sonic core to the
HQ3 core obtained
during the geological
program for differences
or similarities.
Five sonic holes
were drilled through
the slide mass in the
attempt to identify the
failure surface. Only the northern most sonic hole did not
provide conclusive evidence of the failure surface because
it drilled through unconsolidated sands and silty sands and
passed into consolidated sands and silty sands. This borehole
was drilled to the north of an observed change in the Carlin
Formation fabric. It appeared that this borehole intersected
a portion of the backplane rather than the base of the failure.
The remaining four drill holes encountered sequences that
were similar from hole to hole. The uppermost 20-35 m
consisted of unconsolidated sands and silty sands. The next
30-75 m consisted of disturbed, remolded clayey silts and
silty clays. Finally, consolidated clayey silts and silty clays
were encountered. Laminations, bedding and slickensides
could be observed within the core, similar to core obtained
in the diamond core drilling programs throughout the Carlin
Formation. A significant decrease in the drill penetration rate
was also observed with 6 m runs going from 15-30 minutes
to taking between two and four hours upon intersecting the
consolidated clayey silts and silty clays.
Comparing and correlating the observed slide mass core
material to core obtained from intact Carlin Formation, the
sonic drill core showed that the majority of the base of the
failure surface had developed along the lower laminated
tuff and basal clay contact. This was in contrast to the to the
initial interpretation of a deep-seated failure, an assumption
that the entire base of the failure was within the basal
clay at the bedrock contact, which solely had been based
on the observed location of the slide toe within the basal
clay. The identification of a shallow failure surface in sonic
core confirmed the alternate failure surface identified in
numerical modeling, and resulted in a decrease in the overall
size of the slope failure from initial estimates of 25 Mt to
approximately 12 Mt.
Final remediation slope design: The location of the
failure surface was incorporated into the new, detailed
Carlin Formation geological model to develop the final
remediation design as shown in Fig. 16; the section
location is identified in Fig. 12. The significantly improved
Carlin Formation geological model can readily be seen in
geological detail in Fig. 16 compared to the geology in Fig.
5. Due to the presence of strain-softened, high-plasticity
clay, and low-strength preferential slip surfaces within the
Carlin Formation, a slope design with an acceptable FOS
based on the slope angle would be problematic because
of the necessary stripping, the proximity of infrastructure,



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Technical Papers

Figure 18
Numerical modeling results for the Nine Points remediation slope design,
along the northeast-southwest cross-section identified in Fig. 12, with the
toe buttress that indicate an acceptable overall FOS of at least 1.20 can be
achieved. (Itasca Denver, 2010; Itasca Inc., 2011).

The final design analyses considered whether the

preliminary design geometry that had been the basis for
nearly 10 months of mining activity could be incorporated
into the final design. If this was not feasible, continued mining
of the exterior cut (stopped after three benches) would be
required to achieve the necessary slope geometry through
the Carlin Formation. Conceptual designs were analyzed
with numerical models as well as limit equilibrium models for
comparison to historic stability analysis studies. The numerical
models incorporated pore pressure conditions obtained from
vibrating wire piezometers into the stability analysis, and the
limit equilibrium models used the measured water levels
while adjusting the Hu or Ru in the stability analysis.
Results of the stability analyses indicated that it would be
possible to attain an overall slope with a FOS of 1.0 based on
the existing slope geometry, meaning the preliminary design
could be incorporated within the final design. However, a
modification was necessary in order to allow the entire lower
lift of the buttress to be constructed on a bedrock foundation.
Stability analyses indicated that a minimum buttress height
of 36 m with a total weight of nearly 2 Mt would be required
to cover the lower laminated tuff and basal clay contact in
order to provide sufficient reinforcement of the clay-rich
subunits and to achieve a minimum FOS of 1.20. Examples
of the numerical modeling results are shown in Figs. 17 and
18, section locations identified in Fig. 12, (Knight Pisold,
2011 and Itasca Inc., 2011). Figure 17 displays the sensitivity
of the FOS results with respect to the average ground
water elevation to show the potential benefit of successful
depressurization. It also indicated that by increasing the
buttress height an additional 6 m, the FOS improved by
more than 0.1.

Nine Points buttress construction

and an abandoned tailing storage facility located along

the eastern crest of Gold Quarry. Previous experience had
demonstrated that when the Carlin Formation slope was
mined at a geometry that would remain temporarily stable,
either a timely layback to reduce driving force or a rock
buttress constructed along the toe to increase the resisting
force could be used to control deformation. Based on the
schedule for the next openpit layback, the decision was to
pursue a remediation design that incorporated a buttress.
The design integrated empirical observations and
understanding of stand-up time for previous Carlin Formation
slope failures that exhibited strain-softening behavior (Call &
Nicholas Inc., 2011; Sheets, 2014). The slope design required
a FOS of 1.0 based on modeling the material strength of
key subunits scaled at a Skempton R-value between 0.8
and 0.9 (Skempton, 1964; Mesri and Shahien, 2002). The
stand-up time provided by designing the slope near residual
strength condition allows for construction of a rock buttress
that increases the minimum FOS to 1.20 if the uppermost
observed ground water levels remained approximately 1,530
m.r.s.l. This was considered feasible, because of an improved
understanding of geological and hydrogeological conditions,
an enhanced understanding of residual shear strength behavior
of key subunits, the ability to determine the Skempton
R-value and stand-up time for previous slope instabilities, and
previous operational experience with buttress construction to
mitigate slope instabilities.

Excavation of the final four benches (49 m height)

of the remediation cut for the Nine Points slide was
temporarily suspended to focus the remediation effort on
the Challenger/Gray-Tuff Graben failure located south
of the Nine Points failure. This was a concurrent, separate
Carlin Formation instability, not discussed in this case
history, which was similarly remediated with a 1 Mt buttress
along the bedrock contact. Remediation mining had been
at pace to simultaneously expose the lower laminated tuff/
basal clay/bedrock contacts of both instabilities. Given that
buttress material could not be placed at a rate sufficient to

Figure 19

Nine Points buttress progress on February 8, 2011; the extent

of the buttress is indicated by the dashed red line.

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Figure 20

Carlin Formation highwall and buttresses on 27 August, 2013.

construct two buttresses, it was decided to first complete the

Challenger/Gray-Tuff Graben buttress. A benefit derived
from completion of this buttress was that it decreased the
haulage distance for buttress material to the Nine Points
slope toe by 2 km, thereby reducing the slope toe exposure
time if unplanned movement occurred.
The buttress design mitigated the potential development
of increased pore pressure in the adjacent highwall with
two passive methods. First, a series of vertical drains were
constructed upslope of the buttress to intercept ground
water flow and direct it downward into the dewatered
bedrock. Second, a drainage blanket was incorporated into
the buttress design to provide a permeable zone for flows
that were not captured by the vertical drains. The drainage
blanket provided a path for flow underneath the buttress
to the toe, then flows can either evaporate or will infiltrate
into the underlying bedrock. The drainage blanket was
constructed with selectively blasted and stockpiled material,
the majority of which had a minimum diameter of 1-2 m.
The drainage blanket was designed to be 6-m-thick on
the bedrock foundation and on the two Carlin Formation
benches immediately above the foundation. Additionally,
the designed drainage blanket thickness along bench faces
was to be 15 m. The remaining buttress fill material was
competent waste rock with minimal fines.
Southern portion of the Nine Points buttress: Mining
activity resumed on the Nine Points slide when the
Challenger/Gray-Tuff Graben buttress was nearly
complete in December 2010. The Nine Points slide mass
was split, allowing remediation activity to focus initially
on the southern extent of the instability. The mining and
construction plan required that no more than approximately
45 m of the contact, measured along strike, should be
exposed before placing buttress material. This dimension was
based on previous experience at Gold Quarry with buttress
construction to stabilize the Carlin Formation. However, due
to the geometry of the contacts and the slope, portions of
the buttress were constructed from the top elevation (1,520
m.r.s.l.) down to the base elevation (1,480 m.r.s.l.), while
maintaining sufficient width on the pit side of the bench for
access around the buttress. Bench-scale stability analysis
showed that 10-15 m of buttress width could be constructed
without impacting the stability of the underlying bench that
was to be subsequently excavated. After the last foundation
slot was excavated and backfilled, buttress construction was
extended pitward to the limits on the lower two lifts.
Northern portion of the Nine Points buttress: Bench
geometry and limited access width hindered the ability


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to mine slide material and concurrently place buttress

material while maintaining access to excavate the
foundation. Simply stated, the majority of the cut (along the
prescribed 45 m strike length) had to be excavated prior to
buttress construction. Safety protocol stated that buttress
construction was to begin immediately after excavation.
However, this protocol was not followed in one instance,
resulting in a clear demonstration of the sensitive nature of
Carlin Formation stability.
On the morning of Jan. 12, 2011, excavation of the
foundation elevation for the northern portion of the buttress
began. By that afternoon the excavation had advanced to
expose nearly 100 m of the basal clay/bedrock contact. An
equipment operator, working 36 m above and 150 m to the
east, recognized new settlement cracks that had developed
since the beginning of shift. An inspection of the slope toe
found that the basal clay had displaced outward 15 cm
along portions of the bedrock contact. Mining activity was
temporarily halted to evaluate displacement data from the
slope monitoring systems. Mine operations initiated buttress
construction in the evening. The following morning the first
lift of the buttress had extended to the mining dig face, after
which there was negligible slope movement.
Mining activity and buttress construction progressed
thereafter without incident. After the base lift of the
northern portion of the buttress was completed in the middle
of January 2011, a second lift was advanced from south to
north and was completed in late January. Completion of the
second lift provided sufficient confidence in the stability of
the Carlin Formation to allow mining of the slide material
that had overflowed onto the bedrock working benches
below the buttress to begin. The final lift was constructed
from both the south and east, and was completed by the
middle of February 2011. The Nine Points buttress, near
completion, is shown in Fig. 19. Initial mining progress
through the overflow slide material is shown in the lower
half of the photograph.

Carlin Formation post-remediation

The remediation cut through the Carlin Formation

totaled approximately 65 Mt. An additional 5 Mt of slide
material were removed to allow mining to resume on the
bedrock working benches that were covered by debris
during the December 2009 failure. In August 2013, mining
activity had advanced into the slide material that filled the
bottom 40 m of the pit. The slide material was removed to
complete the current layback by the end of 2013. To date,
no significant deformation within the Carlin Formation has
been observed following the remediation. An Aug. 27, 2013
photograph of the Carlin Formation highwall is shown in Fig.
20. It has been 5 years since the last major Carlin Formation
slope failure (December 2009), and almost 4 years (February
2011) since buttress construction was completed. This follows
more than 10 years of frequent Carlin Formation slope
failures that adversely impacted mine development. This
outcome validates the geotechnical and hydrogeological
characterization and modeling work, and points to the
importance of this type of work during the early stages of
a new layback evaluation or new openpit development.
At Gold Quarry, it has improved potential to decrease the
overall mining costs and has provided a higher probability

Technical Papers
of completing an openpit as scheduled.
Subsequent to the post-slope failure geotechnical and
hydrogeology investigation program conducted throughout
2010, investigation of the Carlin Formation has continued in
advance of the next planned layback, particularly to identify
the contacts between the lower laminated tuff/basal clay/
bedrock. The objectives are to expand the Carlin Formation
model to the east and southeast of Gold Quarry where the
planned layback would excavate a new highwall. In addition
to drilling, geophysical techniques have been used in the
investigation. The methods that have been successful with
the Carlin Formation include controlled source audiofrequency magnetotelluric (CSAMT) surveys and gravity
surveys. Data from this work have expanded the area in
which the Carlin Formation and bedrock contact has been
modeled, identified additional structures and provided a
map of likely ground water within the upper sands and silts.
These new data have also provided potential targets for wells
to depressurize the upper sands and silts in advance of the
layback. Removing this ground water will prevent it from
draining into the lower laminated tuff and basal clay, should
slope deformation occur, which otherwise would enhance
the strain-softening deformation of these units.
With the increased understanding of the subunits and
hydrogeology of the Carlin Formation, the location of
additional drains and pumping wells to dewater the Carlin
Formation can accurately target structural intersections. As
a result, the potentiometric surface has been drawn down
between 20 and 43 m in the Nine Points slope area since
summer 2010. A sensitivity analysis with respect to ground
water on overall slope stability found that, for every 15 m
of average drawdown, the FOS would improve by nearly 10
percent. With more accurate information, geotechnical and
hydrogeological staff will be able to develop more confident
and accurate pit slope design inputs for future Gold Quarry
laybacks. Prior to acquiring the necessary data, the projected
design for the next layback through the Carlin Formation
maintained a conservative overall 12 slope angle through
all subunits, along with a foundation bench on the bedrock
to allow construction of a buttress across the exposed critical
Carlin Formation contacts. Further geologic definition
and dewatering progress during the past three years have
allowed the slope angle to be improved, up to 18 slope
for specific domains. However, a buttress across the critical
Carlin Formation subunit contacts is still required.


The impact of the Nine Points instability on Gold Quarry

required that the investigation of the large-scale slope failure
be conducted simultaneously with mining activity necessary
to remediate the instability and prevent it from propagating
into nearby infrastructure. This case study summarizes
important aspects that were encountered to safely implement
this dual approach at Gold Quarry. In order to accomplish
this, the preliminary remediation recommendations had to
leverage the experience and judgment of on-site personnel
from observations of previous Carlin Formation instabilities.
The information necessary to finalize the remediation design
details was collected throughout 2010 and implemented as it
became available.
Remediation of the Nine Points slope instability

resulted in a Carlin Formation highwall that has remained

stable, in contrast to nearly 10 years of slope instability
experience. Moreover, the performance of the highwall since
remediation has reinforced the need to conduct thorough
geological, geotechnical and hydrogeological investigations
prior to mining large, deep openpit expansions. These efforts
will significantly increase the capability of geotechnical and
hydrogeological personnel to develop recommendations that
support reliable openpit slope designs, which increases the
probability that mine operations can safely and efficiently
achieve the mine plan.


Acorn, T., 2011, Geotechnical slope remediation via rc-drilling and controlled slope
failure blasting, Proceedings, 37th Annual Conference on Explosives and
Blasting Techniques, Feb. 6-9, 2011, San Diego, CA, USA, International Society
of Explosives Engineers, pp. 663-776.
Bates, E., St. Louis, R., Douglas, S. and Sheets, R., 2006, Slope monitoring and failure
mitigation techniques applied in the Gold Quarry openpit, Proceedings, 31st
U.S. Rock Mechanics Symposium, D.P. Yale et al. (eds), July 17-21, 2006, Golden,
CO, USA, American Rock Mechanics Association, Digital Proceedings.
Beale, G., De Souza, J., Smith, R., and St. Louis, B., 2013, Implementation of Slope
Depressurisation Systems, in Guidelines for Evaluating Water in Pit Slope
Stability, G. Beale and J. Read (eds), CRC Press/Balkema, The Netherlands,
pp. 298, 313, 331-332.
Call & Nicholas Inc., 2010, Preliminary Runs for the Accelerated Phase 1 Design,
June 23, 2010.
Call & Nicholas Inc., 2011, Nine Points Failure Geotechnical Investigation Failure
Mechanisms Report, April 2011.
Harlan, J.B., Harris, D.A., Mallette, P.M., Norby, J.W., Rota, J.C., and Sagar, J.J., 2002,
Geology and mineralization of the Maggie Creek district, Gold Deposits of
the Carlin Trend, T. Thompson, L. Teal, and R. Meeuwig (eds), Nevada Bureau
of Mines and Geology, Bulletin 111, Bear Industries, Sparks, NV, USA, pp.
Itasca Denver Inc., 2010, Gold Quarry Pit Design Section 600-Summary of
MINEDW and FLAC Modeling Technical Memorandum, Aug. 13, 2010.
Itasca Inc., 2011, Gold Quarry Pit Design Sections 600, III, VI, D, and G Technical
Memorandum, April 26, 2011.
Knight Pisold Consulting, 2011, Nine-Points Slope Stability Assessment, March
25, 2011.
Mesri, G. and Shahien, M., 2002, Residual shear strength mobilized in first-time
slope failures, Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering,
American Society of Civil Engineers, Vol. 129, No. 1, pp. 1231.
Regnier, J., 1960, Cenozoic geology in the vicinity of Carlin, Nevada, Geological
Society of America Bulletin, Vol. 71, No. 8, pp. 11891210.
Sheets, R.J., 2011, Lessons from Carlin Formation slope instability at the Gold
Quarry operation, Mining in Saprolites Workshop, P. Dight (ed), Sept. 18, 2011,
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Australian Centre for Geomechanics,
Digital Publication.
Sherman, C.S. and Sheets, R.J., 2008, Gold Quarry Phase 4 North slope failure,
Proceedings, 41st Symposium on Engineering Geology and Geotechnical Engineering, T. Weaver and S. Sharma (eds), April 9-11, 2008, Boise, ID, USA, pp.
Skempton, A.W., 1964, Long-Term Stability of Clay Slopes, Fourth Rankine Lecture, Gotechnique 14(2) pp. 77-101.
Yang, D.Y., Brouwer, K.J., Sheets, R.J., St. Louis, R.M. and Douglas, S.J., 2011, Largescale slope instability at the Gold Quarry mine, Nevada, Proceedings, 2011
International Symposium on Rock Slope Stabili ty on Openpit Mining and Civil
Engineering, E. Eberhardt and D. Stead (eds), Sept. 18-21, 2011, Vancouver,
British Columbia, Canada, Canadian Rock Mechanics Association, Digital
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Coming Events/Short Courses

Upcoming SME Events
Arizona Conference
Dec. 7-8, 2014
JW Marriott
Starr Pass Resort
Tucson, AZ, USA

George A. Fox Conference

Jan. 27, 2015
Graduate Center
City University of New York
New York, NY, USA

SME Annual Conference and Expo

Feb. 15-18, 2015
Colorado Convention Center
Denver, CO, USA

For additional information, contact: Meetings Dept., SME

Phone 800-763-3132 303-948-4200 Fax 303-979-3461 email

Visit for more industry events or to list your event online.

November 2014

5-6 AusRock 2014 - Third Australian Ground Control in

Mining Conference
University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Phone: 03-9658 6126 Fax: 03-9662-3662

17-19 Process Mineralogy 14

Vineyard Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa

Phone: 44-0-7768-234-121

24-26 Ore Body Modeling and Strategic Mine Planning

Hyatt Regency Perth, Perth, WAS, Australia
Phone: 61-3-9658-6105

26-27 Second CIS Responsible Mining Forum

Astana, Kazakstan
Phone: 971-46091570

December 2014

1-5 American Exploration and Mining Association Annual


JA Nugget Resort and Casino, Sparks, NV, USA

Phone: 509-624-1158 Fax: 509-623-1241

1-5 Mines and Money

Business Design Center, London, UK

Phone: 44-0-20-7216-6060

10-12 Global Anti-Corruption & Compliance in Mining

The Grand Hotel and Suites, Toronto, ON, Canada
Phone: 44-0-20-7216-6080


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January 2015

15-16 Missouri Mine Safety and Health Conference

Tan-Tar-A Resort, Osage Beach, MO, USA
Phone: 573-635-0208 Fax: 573-634-8006

20-22 47th Canadian Mineral Processors Conference

Westin Hotel, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Phone: 613-996-8985

26-29 Mineral Exploration Roundup

Vancouver Convention Center East, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Phone: 604-689-5271 Fax: 604-681-2363

February 2015

1-4 ISEE Annual Conference on Explosives and Blasting


Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, New Orleans, LA, USA

Phone: 440-349-4400

March 2015

1-4 PDAC 2015 International Convention, Trade Show and

Investors Exchange

Metro Toronto Convention Center, Toronto, ON, Canada

Phone: 416-362-1969

15-19 TMS Annual Meeting and Exhibition

Walt Disney World, Orlando, FL, USA

Phone: 805-677-4293 Fax: 805-654-1676
email: n

SME News

SME Foundation

What are you thankful for?


s 2014 comes to a close, please keep the SME Foundation in mind when you plan your holiday giving. By
giving a gift that gives back to your industry, you will support the next generation of global leaders. The SME Foundation is your resource through every stage of your career
and provides opportunities at every age level. Contributions to the SME Foundation support:


ABET recruits, trains and deploys professionals who

visit colleges or universities that offer B.S. degrees in several mining engineering fields to ensure that the programs
maintain the ABET accreditation.

NCEES and the Professional Engineers Exam Committee

A record number of attendees registered for the mining/mineral PE exam review course in September 2014.
During the last nine years, the number of candidates for the
exam has been steadily increasing.

other school-related expenses, as well as a stipend for living

expenses, at a rate of $60,000 per year for a maximum of
four years.
This career grant initiative is designed to provide newly
employed, nontenured assistant or associate professors with
the financial support needed to better participate in activities, such as research, publication and professional service,
which are necessary to achieve tenure and promotion.
The proposed actions are two-fold: the development of
a four-year, graduate fellowship for qualified Ph.D. students
who are committed to pursuing careers in academia and the
awarding of career grants intended to assist new faculty in
establishing research and publication records necessary to
achieve tenure and promotion.


Minerals Education Coalition

Minerals Education Coalition (MEC) reached 16,000

science educators through the American Geosciences
Institutes Earth Science Week packets that are distributed
nationally. MEC also developed aggregates-themed
material for back-to-school activities and released an
18-minute video, Iron in Our Electrical World, which is a
valuable resource for educators and students.

Miners Give Back

This program supports worldwide initiatives focused on

humanitarian efforts. The program will contribute to improving the lives of individuals in local mining communities.

Ph.D. career grants

The Ph.D. grant initiative focuses on providing financial

support to qualified candidates with industry experience
and a desire to pursue an academic career with the means
of acquiring a Ph.D. at a U.S. accredited university in mining or extractive metallurgy/mineral processing. The fellowship is intended to cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and

MMSA/SMEF Presidential Scholarship.

McIntosh Engineering Scholarship fund.
Syd S. & Felicia F. Peng Ground Control in Mining
George V. Weisdack Scholarship.
Rong-Yu Wan Scholarship.
J.H. Fletcher & Co. Scholarship.

SME is your Society, this is your Foundation, and we

are here for you. Your tax-deductible contribution makes a
difference. There are many ways to give to the Foundation.
When you go online to renew your membership, round up
your renewal dues to an even $200. You can make a contribution by visiting the SME Foundation website at www. And, you
can always mail your contribution to the SME Foundation,
12999 E. Adam Aircraft Cir., Englewood CO 80122, USA.
The SME Foundation Gala Dinner and Silent Auction
is THE event to kick-off the SME Annual Conference and
Expo. Make it a great night and get your tickets today.
Tickets can be
purchased online
when you register for
the conference. n

SMEF needs auction items

how us how much you love mining by contributing to the SME Annual Conference and Expo Foundation Dinner and Silent Auction in Denver, CO. Yes,
its time to start thinking about what you will be donating to the SME Foundations auction on Feb. 15, 2015. The auction is an excellent way to help raise
funds for the educational programs that the Foundation supports annually. You
will be recognized in the April issue of Mining Engineering magazine as a contributor to the auction. You will also receive a thank you receipt for tax purposes
should you choose to take the donation as a deduction.
Items that generate great interest include:
(Continued on page 74)

SME News


Minerals Education Coalition


Local Section Hero


Rock in the Box


Fine Grind



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SME News

Minerals Education Coalition

Mining In Society merit badge

launched in southern Illinois
by Rachel Grimes, MEC Outreach Coordinator

en Boy Scouts from southern Illinois and the St. Louis

metro area spent two Saturdays in September 2014
earning the new Mining in Society merit badge. The workshop was sponsored by the Illinois Mining Institute and
hosted by Rend Lake Colleges Coal Mining Technology
Department and Knight Hawk Coal Co. The workshop
was organized by Joseph Hirschi, a member of the SMEs
content development team that established the merit
badge requirements and wrote the handbook.
The event included learning about important minerals
and how they are used. Boy Scouts learned If it cant be
grown, it has to be mined and how even the pizza they
had for lunch is a product of the mining industry. They
discovered that mining operations exist all around them,
whether they live in the big city or in a rural area.

To learn more about the Mining In Society merit

badge and to read the entire story on the southern Illinois
launch, visit

The Scouts toured an underground, surface, reclamation and

preparation plant at Knight Hawk Coal Cos Prairie Eagle Mine

Joseph Hirschi, SME member and event organizer, showed the

Scouts how to read underground coal mine maps.

Presentation resources available

Thank you to the SME members, sections and student

chapters who continue to conduct local outreach about
the importance of mining and minerals in everyday life.
Are you interested in conducting presentations in your
Visit for PowerPoint presentations, handouts
and presentation tips. Contact for more
information. n

SMEF Auction
(Continued from page 73)

Trips, timeshare weekends, mining tours.

Maps, engineering drawings of mines and
similar collectibles.
Scale models of mining equipment
(trucks, dozers etc.).

Antique lamps or other mining memorabilia.

Old mining company stock certificates.
Rock and mineral samples.
Sports jerseys.

We would also like to offer vacation packages. Do you have a timeshare or vacation home to donate? To donate auction items, please visit the Foundations website at Click on the SMEF
Silent Auction Donation Form button, complete the form and submit it online. Then send in your item. Or, print your form
and send it with your item. For additional questions and information, or to share your ideas, contact Megan Wayne at 303948-4224 or n


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Local Section Hero

SME News

Harvey Thorleifson is a
Local Section Hero

arvey Thorleifson is a local section hero. At the core of

each local section is a group of dedicated volunteers
who organize section activities, recruit members and raise
money for local activities. To recognize our member volunteers for their hard work at the local section level, SME
created the Local Section Hero program. Harvey Thorleifson, of the SME Minnesota Section, is Novembers Local
Section Hero.
Thorleifson joined SME in 2009 and was already active in the Minnesota local sections. He was the 2013-2014
chair of the Minnesota Section and the 2008-2011 chair of
the Twin Cities subsection. He is currently a member of the
Mining & Exploration Division, a director of the Minnesota
Section and a director of the Twin Cities subsection.
Thorleifson is director of the Minnesota Geological
Survey, the state geologist for Minnesota and a professor
in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of
Minnesota. He holds a masters degree in geology from the
University of Manitoba and a Ph.D. in geology from the
University of Colorado. He was the founding chair of the
Minnesota Center for Mineral Resource Education, 20022003 chair of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy
and Petroleum (CIM), Ottawa Branch and, in the late
1990s, he toured Canada as a CIM Distinguished Lecturer
speaking on The Search for Diamonds in Canada. He was
with the Geological Survey of Canada from 1986 to 2003.
The focus of the Minnesota Section, led by Thorleifson,
is its successful conference in Duluth. This year, more than
600 registrants and more than 200 exhibitors attended the
three-day conference held April 21-23, 2014 at the Duluth
Entertainment Convention Center. The SME Northern
Minnesota Subsection and the Twin Cities Subsection
played major roles in planning the 2014 conference. The

Personal news

STEVE NYE (SME) has recently joined the sales staff at J.

H. Fletcher & Co. as regional manager of the Western U.S.
district. Most recently, he was regional manager for Strata
Worldwide for the Western U.S. and
Canadian mining industry. In his 22-year
career, Nye has worked for Dwidag
Systems International, Hilti, Shell Mining, Arco and Arch Coal Co. He was the
SME Student Chapter president at the
University of Utah. JOHN RICH has
also joined the sales staff at Fletcher as
a field service representative for the U.S.
Midwestern region. During his 24-year
mining career, he has held positions at
Pyro Mining, Smith Coal, American Coal
and Gibson County Coal. Most recently, he was maintenance
manager at Patriot Coals Highland #9 Mine.

Minnesota Section is
now a partner with
CIM in hosting the
North American Iron
Ore Symposium every
other year, alternating
between Duluth and
In 2015, the annual
conference in Duluth
will be held on April
13-15, supported by
a strengthened SME
partnership that Thorleifson worked to
Outgoing Minnesota Section chair
establish. Minnesota is Harvey Thorleifson addresses the
also preparing to host banquet at the conclusion of the 2014
the SME Annual Con- SME Duluth conference.
ference and Expo in
Minneapolis, Feb. 25-28, 2018.
Meanwhile, the Twin Cities Subsection has been holding a successful conference in the autumn, focusing on
silica sand, crushed stone, sand and gravel. This year, 200
people attended a joint conference on Oct. 7-8 in Eau
Claire, WI co-hosted by the Twin Cities Subsection and the
Wisconsin Local Section. In addition, there are three thriving SME Student Chapters in Minnesota, and a Friends of
Minnesota reception is held every year at the SME annual
Things are going well in the Minnesota Sections, and
Harvey Thorleifson reports that he is proud to be a member of the highly capable team that organizes it all. n

R.J. GANEY (SME) has joined Syntron Material Handling

as underground product manager. Prior to joining Syntron,
Ganey held positions with Walter Energy and the Drummond Co. He has more than 30 years of
experience in the mining industry working directly for mining companies as well
as manufacturers, which has provided
him with an understanding of the underground and mining industry from the
perspectives of the producer and manufacturer. He earned a B.S. in mineral
engineering from the University of Alabama and acquired multiple certifications
in the mining field.
Midway Gold Corp. has appointed TIMOTHY HADDON
(Continued on page 79)
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SME News

Rock in the Box

M&E issues call for auction items

by Bob Washnock, M&E Fundraising Chair

ear fellow Mining & Exploration (M&E) Division

members: I am pleased to announce the upcoming
Richard E. Gertsch Memorial Silent Auction at the 2015
SME Annual Conference and Expo. The Mining & Exploration Division has given three to five scholarships annually
for many years. These scholarships are needed to attract
and retain the most promising students to the mining and
geology fields. We depend on your generous donations
to supply us with the auction items needed to bolster our
scholarship fund. This year, the auction will take place during the M&E luncheon at the SME Annual Conference and
Expo in Denver, CO on Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015. We encourage you to attend both the Annual Conference and the
M&E Division luncheon. All proceeds of the auction (yes,
100 percent) will be deposited into our Scholarship Endowment Fund.
Would you or your organization please consider a donation for this event? Items auctioned in the past have

Mining related memorabilia.

Historic mining artifacts.
Outstanding mineral samples.
Maps, publications and pictures.
Commemorative coins.
Statues and limited edition prints.
Sports memorabilia or sports jerseys.
Old mining company stock certificates.
Scale models of mining equipment.
Cash donations are gladly accepted.

If you are able to participate in this effort to raise

scholarship funds, please send the donation, with a brief description and a suggested retail price to Robert Washnock,
Chair, Richard E. Gertsch Memorial Auction, SME, 12999
E. Adam Aircraft Cir., Englewood, CO 80112. All donations
should be received by Jan. 31, 2015 to allow time to record
your donations and prepare them for auction. Full acknowledgment of all contributions will be made during the division luncheon.

Luncheon table sponsors

M&E is also offering division members the opportunity

to sponsor tables at the Wednesday luncheon, which will be
held at the Colorado Convention Center. Table sponsorships are $1,000 and provide the following benefits.

Reserved table of 10 (including reserved sign with

logo) at the M&E luncheon. Having a reserved
table gives you the opportunity to fill the table with
your organizations employees, vendors, customers
or students you are recruiting to join your organization.
Table sponsor acknowledgment during the program.
Logo recognition in the M&E luncheon PowerPoint presentation.

If you would like to support the M&E Divisions

Scholarship Fund with a silent auction donation and/or a
table sponsorship, please sign up at www.surveymonkey.
com/s/2015_med_donations. If you have any questions,
please contact Steve Kral at SME, or 303948-4245. Thank you for helping us with our scholarship
fundraising efforts. n

Hartman Award issues call for nominations

he Coal & Energy (C&E) and the

Mining & Exploration (M&E) divisions of SME have issued a call for nominations for the 2015 Howard L. Hartman
Award. The Hartman Award was established in 1989 to recognize distinguished
contributions in practice, teaching or research in the field of underground ventilation engineering. There are no restrictions
regarding nationality, age professional
field or membership in SME.
The nomination should provide a
complete statement of the reasons for the
nomination. It should include a record of
the nominees professional and industrial
achievements in sufficient detail for the



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Hartman Award Committee to judge the nominees worthiness for the award.
Recipients of the award are selected by the
award committee and are subject to approval
by the executive committees of the C&E and
M&E divisions, with notification to the SME
Board of Directors.
The award, which consists of an engraved
plaque, is normally presented at the U.S. Mine
Ventilation Symposium.
To submit a nomination, please download
the nomination form at
awards and submit the completed form to by Dec. 31, 2014. Nominations will be forwarded to Phil Patton, chair of
the Underground Ventilation Committee. n

SME News

Fine Grind

MPD will hold plenary session

at Denver meeting

he Mineral & Metallurgical Processing Division (MPD)

will host a plenary session on Monday afternoon, Feb.
16, during the 2015 SME Annual Conference and Expo.
During past MPD plenary sessions, the winners of the
Antoine M. Gaudin, Robert H. Richards and Milton E.
Wadsworth awards have given talks on flotation innovation,
the impacts of super cycles on the mining industry, lessons
learned in project and technology developments, bio-leaching and other relevant topics.
The 2015 MPD plenary session portends to be very
interesting and a must-attend event for MPD members.
This years presentations will be given by Phil Walker, the
Gaudin Award winner, Rick Honaker, the Richards Award
recipient, and David B. George, recipient of the Wadsworth
Award. Walker is being recognized for advancing process
oxidation through the implementation of new engineering

concepts and designs. Honaker has made substantial contributions to the advancement of mineral and coal processing
research, technology, education and professional service.
George is being honored for his accomplishments leading
to the pioneering development of extractive metallurgy
technology, especially the Kennecott-Outotec flash converting process.
The MPD would like to thank BHP Billiton for sponsoring the Robert H. Richards Award.
Other MPD events scheduled for the 2015 conference
include the unit committee meetings on Sunday afternoon,
the Scotch Night Cap on Tuesday night, the Student Poster
Session on Wednesday morning, the division luncheon on
Wednesday and 13 other technical sessions, More details
will be given in future Fine Grind articles, so check back
next month. n

Student chapter members at ISM present papers

he SME Student Chapter at the Indian School of Mines

(ISM) encourages students at all levels of schooling to
participate in educational group activities and gain valuable
experience. The student chapter has taken on the tasks of:

Introducing new students to the mining department.

Networking with graduate students, professors and
industry professionals.
Exposing students to all aspects related to mining,
ranging from conferences to underground tours to
summer employment.
Helping students gain leadership skills.

The SME student chapter experience at ISM is one of

the most significant in the mining students academic and

professional careers.
This active chapter recently conducted a presentation of
papers on the theme, Mineral Conservation and Development. Teams wrote papers and presented their findings on
topics such as deep sea mining, mineral mapping through
remote sensing and cutting edge technology in mine safety.
The first place team was Shubham Chaudhary and
Piyush Kumar Prasad, second year mining engineering students. Second place was taken by Tejasvi Agarwal and Abhay Kumar, second year mining engineering students. Third
Place winners were Aditya Shrestkar and Gaurav Gehlot,
third year environmental engineering students. n

ISM chapter members and team winners of the paper-presentation contest.

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SME News

Local Section News

Engineering, Cool!
Turning ideas into reality
By Julie Varichak, Minnesota Section and SEH Inc.

aunching a rocket into the sky one that you have

built this brings engineering to life. What better way
to learn about how cool engineering really is than through
hands-on, active learning. This is the goal of Engineering,
Engineering, Cool! is an interactive program offered
to middle school students in the Hibbing and Virginia, MN
schools. Real-life engineers volunteer their time to teach the
students about science, technology, engineering and math
(STEM) and share their personal stories about how they
ended up being an engineer or scientist. Engineering, Cool!
is designed to dispel the fear of engineering and show that
there is an opportunity for all students to pursue a career in
the STEM fields.
Engineering, Cool! is a two-hour after-school program
featuring classes such as mining, ground water aquifers, physics in the real world, surface water quality, chemistry, geology
of the Iron Range, rockets, circuits, watercrafts and bridge
design. All classes cover a bit of the theory, but they primarily focus on hands-on application and experiments. Sixth
grade students are at a pivotal age where they will start to
choose classes that may affect future career paths. Engineering, Cool! encourages students to continue in elective math
and science courses by connecting the dots between school
courses and future STEM career paths. And who wouldnt
want to learn how to build and test a rocket, make invisible
ink, create a lake, mine chocolate chips from cookies, learn
about the physics of curling or build a life-size crossable
bridge in the classroom?

Cool! offers a
capstone field
trip to the Duluth Childrens
Museum. This
field trip is full
of unique learning opportunities, including
a simulation of
the moon landing. How do
you drop an egg
from the top of
Three students prepare their rockets prior to
a three-story
blast off.
building without
breaking it? The students had to work together to create a
light weight, yet safe, lunar landing device to protect their
cargo, the egg.
Engineering, Cool! would not be possible without the
support of the dedicated engineers who are willing to share
their time and experiences with the students and the sponsors who provide financially to ensure that all interested
students are able to participate. SME has been instrumental
in making this program a success through Minerals Education Coalition materials and the local section grant program.
This support has allowed Engineering, Cool! to expand into
a third school district.
If you would like additional information on Engineering,
Cool!, please contact Julie Varichak at SEH, or Christie Kearney, Barr Engineering, ckearney@ n

Facility design taught these students the efficiency of an

assembly line using Legos as their materials.

Sixth grade students learned the art of gold panning and got to
take home real gold.



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Professional engineers

SME News

Professional Engineers Survey

SME needs your help to complete

a survey
By Andrew Schissler, Coordinator, Professional Engineers Exam Committee

ME needs the assistance of licensed professional engineers in a mining or a mining-related field who will soon
receive a request, either by email or by letter, to complete a
web-based survey. Why?
The individual states that license engineers have engaged the National Council for Examiners for Engineering
and Surveying (NCEES) to administer the professional
examination process for all engineering disciplines, including mining/mineral processing. SMEs 43-member PE Exam
Committee supplies the questions, in four topical areas, for
the mining/mineral processing PE exam. Parallel efforts occur for mechanical engineering, civil engineering, nuclear
engineering, chemical engineering and others. NCEES
and many states require that the licensure examinations
for professional engineers be reviewed and updated every

seven years. The mining/mineral processing exam is currently under this cyclic review, and we need and respectfully ask you to complete a survey that will ensure that the
exam continues to contain questions that are pertinent for
current practice. The mining/mineral processing exam also
includes environmental engineering. This seven-year cycle
of examination review is named the Professional Activities
and Knowledge Study PAKS.
Your responses are completely confidential. Those filling out the survey will placed in a drawing to receive a
scientific mining antique. Your completion of this survey is
critical in setting the mining/mineral processing PE exam
for the next seven years. The PE Committee and Michael
Schlumpberger, 2014 committee chair, thank you for your
time and consideration. n

Syd and Felicia Peng endow professorship in

mining/mineral engineering

or more than 40 years, Syd and Felicia Peng have been

important contributors to the future of countless mining engineering students at West Virginia University. Their
contributions have been financial as well, and they have now
established the Syd and Felicia Peng Professorship in Mining
Engineering. Syd Peng, the Charles E. Lawall Chair Emeritus, and his wife, Felicia, an associate professor of mining
engineering, donated an additional $150,000 to establish the
professorship, making their total contribution to the department $500,000.
During the past two decades WVUs mining engineering program has grown to become one of the premier programs in the world mining community, said Syd Peng. It is
absolutely essential to maintain this reputation, and our hope
is that this professorship will contribute in some way toward
this goal.
The endowment will provide the holder of the professorship, who has yet to be selected, with support for research,
teaching and service. While there are
several endowed professorships available within the department, all have an
emphasis on mining. This professorship
will also be available to specialists in the
mineral processing area, which is Felicia
Pengs area of research expertise.
Syd Peng has written numerous
textbooks and journal and proceedings
articles in the areas of longwall mining,
ground control, surface subsidence and

respirable dust. He initiated the annual

International Conference on Ground
Control in Mining in 1981.
In addition to her work in mineral
processing, Felicia Peng specializes in
coal preparation, interfacial phenomena,
modeling and simulation of processes and
computer applications. She is an associate
editor of Coal Preparation, an internaFELICIA PENG
tional journal. Both are members of SME
and other professional societies. n

Personal News
(Continued from page 75)

(SME) as its new nonexecutive chairman. KENNETH

BRUNK (SME), who has retired as chairman and chief
executive officer (CEO), will continue to serve as president
and CEO until a new CEO is appointed. Haddon is currently chairman of Thompson Creek Metals and president and
CEO of International Resource Management. He will also
replace ROGER NEWELL (SME), who is retiring from
Midways board of directors after five years of service.
Sierra Metals Inc. has appointed AUDRA WALSH (SME)
as CEO and president. Walsh was the CEO and president of
Minera SA and the controlling shareholder of Orvana Minerals Corp. DANIEL TELLECHEA will retire as CEO and
president of Sierra Metals. n
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ee R. Rice died Aug. 20, 2014 at the age of 70. Rice

was born Oct. 20, 1943 in Bryn Mawr, PA. He received
a B.S. degree (honors) in chemistry from Case Western
Reserve University and an M.A. in
geology (high honors) from the South
Dakota School of Mines and Technology. He served as airborne combat crew
commander in the U.S. Air Force during
the Vietnam war and later as a nuclear
missile commander for the Strategic Air
Rice began his career as an exploration geologist at the Humble Oil and
Refining Co.s (Exxon), Western Metals
Division in 1970. He then worked for the U.S. Bureau of
Mines, Intermountain Field Operations Center in Denver,
CO, until he left to found Lee Rice & Associates in 1985.
He then founded Data Technology Services in 1990, a
company that provided mapping and deposit evaluation
services and developed processing automation and control
systems for the minerals and petroleum industries around
the world.
At the time of his death, Rice was president, chief
executive officer and director at Colorado Goldfields;
vice president and chief engineer for Data Technology
Services; director of IBC Advanced Alloys Corp., director

of Alto Group Holdings, chairman of the board of Great

American Minerals Exploration and treasurer of the Denver Mining Club.
Rice was a licensed professional engineer in Colorado
and a registered member of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME). For 23 years, Rice worked
with the National Council of Examiners for Engineers and
Surveyors as a member of SMEs Professional Engineers
Exam Committee, writing and grading the national mining
and mineral processing professional engineers exam. He
made numerous technical presentations at professional society meetings and was a contributing author or editor of
several publications. He was always ready to assist minerals organizations at science fairs and at mining events.
During his career, Rice also served as president and
member of the Colorado Engineering Council, chair of the
Colorado Section of SME, regional vice president and director of SME and chair of SMEs Mining & Exploration
Division. He was a member of the Geological Society of
America, Sigma XI and the Society of Economic Geologists. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from
SMEs Colorado Section in 2010.
Rice is survived by his son, Lee K. Rice; his companion, Marina LaFore; stepchildren Renee LaFore, David
LaFore and Dan LaFore; six grandchildren and a sister,
Mary Rice. n

Chandler Absher, Nancy, KY
Jason Agdeppa, Quezon City, Philippines
Spencer Allen, Salt Lake City, UT
Briana Anderson, Tucson, AZ
Mark Anderson, Tucson, AZ
Williams Amadeus Apaza M., Juliaca, Peru
Yony Valer Apaza P., Juliaca San Roman, Peru
Carlos Arevalo, Medellin, Colombia
Julio Arrieta, Medellin, Colombia
Stephane Assembe, Yaounde, Cameroon
Frank Michael Barrios C., Juliaca, Peru
Malkit Basi, Teaneck, NJ
Nicholas Bassi, Claypool, AZ
Veronica Bedoya, Pflugerville, TX
Mackenzie Bennett, Herriman, UT
Gheorghe Bonci, Burnaby, BC, Canada
Daniel Brosig, Terrell, TX
Dan Brown, Boalsburg, PA
Nathan Brownell, Evansville, IN
Ricardo Caceres, Lima, Peru
German Alberto Calizaya F., Juliaca, Peru
Stephen Candelaria, Golden, CO
Pieter Caneele, Zwevegen, Belgium
Karena Carpenter, Reno, NV
Philip Carrier, Lynchburg, VA
Jesus Catao, Medellin, Colombia
Erik Charrier, Golden, CO
Saurabh Chaturvedi, Dhanbad, India
Brian Chronowski, Morenci, AZ
Kyle Cleary, Halifax, NS, Canada
Franklin Junnior Condor H., Lima, Peru
Erick Condori C., Lima, Peru
John Conyer, Sahuarita, AZ



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Becky Copp, Scottsdale, AZ

Felipe Correia S., Houghton, MI
Kin Craig, Sandy Springs, GA
Richard Cubeta, Houston, TX
Justin Cunningham, Climax, CO
Paul D. Antonio, State College, PA
Alexander Davidson, Spring Creek, NV
Ed Desjardins, Tucson, AZ
Michael DeVasto, Milwaukee, WI
Christopher Durham, Saint-Redempteur, PQ,
Oscar Echeverri, Medellin, Colombia
Erin Epperson, Boone, NC
Miguel Espitia, Medellin, Colombia
Leandro Fagundes, Porto Alegre-RS, Brazil
Jeffrey Fiorenza, Lexington, KY
Alexandra Foty, Montreal, PQ, Canada
Kaitlin Frary, Provo, UT
Andreana Galvan, Lakewood, CO
Andrii Garan, Fairbanks, AK
William Garcia, Medellin, Colombia
Cristian Garrido-Cisterna, Santiago, Chile
Andrew Geilenfeldt, Salt Lake City, UT
Craig Gelber, Carlin, NV
Ricardo Gimenez, Antofagasta, Chile
Harsh Golia, Dhanbad, India
Matthew Gore, Austin, TX
Vincent Gozdz, Quebec, PQ, Canada
Michael Gross, Lakewood, CO
Rick Guillen O., Ate, Peru
Abdelhamed Hamed, Lexington, KY
Yojan Rodrigo Hancco F., Juliaca San Roman,

C. Jane Heard, Butte, MT

Javier Hernandez H., Nazca Ica, Peru
Zachery Hibdon, Elko, NV
William Hofer, Elko, NV
Matthew Hoffer, Frankfort, IL
Greg Horne, Dartmouth, NS, Canada
Connor Husman, Carbondale, IL
Salihi Iliasu, Carbondale, IL
Idowu Itiola, Torino, Italy
Andrew Jackson, Lexington, KY
James Johnson, Kansas City, MO
Kira Johnson, Arvada, CO
Deborah Johnston, Missoula, MT
Tannyr Jones, Rapid City, SD
Shubham Kankane, Dhanbad, India
Tyler Kaplan, North Balgowlah, NSW, Australia
Hasan Kazmee, Rantoul, IL
Harman Khosa, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Andra Kidd, Denver, CO
Scott Kier, Racine, WI
Prasun Kumar, Dhanbad, India
Rohit Kumar, Dhnabad, India
Rajendra Prasad KVSR, Golden, CO
Dominic Lamaro, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Justin Lawrimore, Sandy, UT
Chieh Liu, Green Valley, AZ
Juan Carlos Llerena S., Lima, Peru
Chun Xiao Lu, Burnaby, BC, Canada
Hilda Lujan, Ruth, NV
Mohamed Maghari, Golden, CO
Mario Juyaki Mamani A., Puno, Peru
Manuela Marin, Medellin, Colombia
James Martinez, White Plains, NY

SME News



ernard (Fumagalli) Scheiner, Sr., 76, died July 31, 2014

in Las Vegas, NV from a blood clot to the heart. He was
born in Atlantic City, NJ, March 12, 1938 and married Estelle Barker on March 26, 1959.
Scheiner earned a B.S. degree
in chemistry from the University of
Nevada-Las Vegas in 1961 and a Ph.D.
in chemistry from the University of Nevada-Reno in 1969. He remains number
26 on the all-time scoring list in basketball at UNLV.
Scheiner served with U.S. Bureau
of Mines (USBM) for 30 years. He was
a research chemist and project leader
in Reno, NV from 1966-1979 and a research supervisor in the fine particle waste and technology
section in Tuscaloosa, AL from 1979 until he retired in 1996.
He wrote more than 200 scientific publications, edited five
books and held 17 patents. He received the Meritorious
Service Award from the U.S. Department of the Interior in
In the 1970s, Scheiner developed a number of processes
for the recovery of metal values from off-grade ores and
concentrates. The research centered around the use of
chlorine-hypochlorite generated in situ in the ore pulp. The
technique was successfully used in pilot plant studies to recover mercury from low grade ores and to recover rhenium
and molybdenum from ore grade concentrates. Scheiners

group was also instrumental in developing the chlorine oxidation technique for treatment of carbonaceous gold ores
prior to cyanidation. The initial, full-sized plant to use the
technology operated at Newmonts Carlin #1 Mine. For this
research, he received the AIME Richards Award in 1994 and
was listed number one on the patent granted to the USBM.
Scheiner joined BCD Technologies, a small company
dealing with modeling, mineral process and computer control, as president in 1996. He later served as an adjunct chemistry professor at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa
until his death.
Scheiner was active in SMEs Mineral & Metallurgical Processing Division, serving on many committees. He
became a Distinguished Member of SME in 1990. He was
president of the American Filtration & Separations Society
(AFS) in 1992 and received the AFS Frank Tiller Award in
1995, the Wells Shoemaker Award in 1996 and the Fellow
Member Award 2000. He also served as editor of the AFS
Fluid Particle Separation Journal.
Scheiner resided in Northport, AL with his wife for the
last 35 years of his life. A member of the Church of Christ for
55 years and a former elder, he was currently a member of
the Northwood congregation. He is survived by his wife of 55
years; a son, Bernard Jr.; a daughter, Charlotte; four grandchildren; and his brother, Stanley Scheiner.
All who knew him will remember and admire him for his
dedication, scientific contributions, sense of humor, generosity and his passion for teaching. n

Daniel McCormick, Salt Lake City, UT
Liam Mcgrail, Golden, CO
Elaina McPhetridge, London, KY
Irving Mendoza, Rapid City, SD
Charles Merchant, Heflin, AL
Alex Ruben Merma C., Puno, Peru
Jacob Milleville, Littleton, CO
Ketan Mishra, Dhanbad, India
Paul Moir, Ballarat, VIC, Australia
Bob Mueller, Reno, NV
Donna Mullenax, Savannah, GA
Geison Munante P., San Pedro, Honduras
Fabricio Muniz A., Cusco, Peru
Brad Munns, Bountiful, UT
Robert Murray, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Kaleigh Mutch, Provo, UT
Jeff Myerski, Pittsburgh, PA
Karolina Naranjo, Medellin, Colombia
Mark Neuroth, Fairbanks, AK
Kevin Neville, Salt Lake City, UT
Laura Nugent, Morgantown, WV
Johnathan Oldham, Lexington, KY
Tom Palmer, Thatcher, AZ
Sidhant Panda, Dhanbad, India
Daniel Paquette, Los Angeles, CA
Hannah Parker, Lexington, KY
Dhiren Patel, Elko, NV
Meisam Peiravi, Carbondale, IL
Bradley Pekas, Tampa, FL
Kevin Peterson, Salina, KS
Steve Peugh, Tucson, AZ

Thomas Pickett, Salt Lake City, UT

Mujamet Conrac Poma H., Rimac, Peru
Laura Porras, Golden, CO
Theresa Poruznick, Climax, CO
Matthew Powers, Lakewood, CO
Justice Price, Morgantown, WV
Michael Priebe, Anchorage, AK
Max Hubert Quilla Q., Juliaca San Roman, Peru
Miguel Angel Quilla Q., Juliaca San Roman,
Edwin Quispe, Puno, Peru
Pammela Ribeiro, Carbondale, IL
Richard Richards, Tucson, AZ
Taylor Richmond, Knoxville, TN
Alberto Rios, Lima, Peru
Matthew Robison, Salt Lake City, UT
Sebastian Rojas, Medellin, Colombia
Trevor Rosania, Lexington, KY
Charlie Rossman, Lakewood, CO
Cristian Ruelas F., Puno, Peru
Clayton Russell, Sandy, UT
Joao Paulo S Aguiar, Golden, CO
Jaidev Sankar, New York, NY
Gireesh Sankara Raman, State College, PA
Nestor Santa, Medellin, Colombia
Prince Sarfo, Butte, MT
Matthew Savas, West Jordan, UT
Daniel Schwendeman, Winchester, KY
Richard Sellschop, Stamford, CT
Wesley Shafer, Lexington, KY
Evan Shefik, Littleton, CO

Bailey Simmons, Midvale, UT

Gabrielle Smith, Lexington, KY
Cristian Soto, Medellin, Colombia
Benjamin Sovinski, Houghton, MI
Robert Stall, Atlanta, GA
Steven Stansfield, Bluefield, VA
Jacqueline Star, Bungowannah, NSW, Australia
Brad Stilley, Tucson, AZ
Keith Strickling, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Theodore Sutton, Salt Lake City, UT
Fox Thorpe, Lexington, KY
Angel Ruben Ticona A., Juliaca, Peru
Nicole Torguson, Superior, WI
Noelia Valencia, Lima, Peru
Catalina Vanegas, Envigado, Colombia
Kevin Walker, Oxford, MS
Li-Peng Wang, Montreal, PQ, Canada
Megan Wanlass, Tooele, UT
Ethan Watson, Morgantown, WV
Gary Weaver, Orem, UT
Olivia Welch, Butte, MT
Wesley Whittington, Roy, UT
Phillip Wicklein, Arlington Heights, IL
Sarah Williams, London, United Kingdom
Raphael Woolley, Tucson, AZ
Michael Wrona, Lake Havasu City, AZ
Albert YoshidaJ r., Alamogordo, NM
Jaime Gerardo Yupanqui S., Comas, Peru
Cristian Zapata, Medellin, Colombia n

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Industry Newswatch

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Executive Committee

WAAIME Executive Committee

issues call for nominations

he WAAIME Executive Committee is seeking nominations for the incoming Executive Committee member.
Nominees will be selected from the outgoing committee
members area. Since the outgoing committee member is
the eastern representative, the incoming committee member will be from a eastern section. Please email an electronic copy of a photo and a brief biography of the nominee
to AnnMarie Kochevar at If you
have any questions, contact Kochevar, WAAIME, 12999 E.
Adam Aircraft Cir., Englewood, CO 80112, phone 303-9484239, fax 303-948-3845,

The due dates for nominations are:

Nov. 28 - All nominations with photos and biographies must be received at SME headquarters.
Dec. 1 - SME headquarters will forward the nominees to the WAAIME Executive Committee.
Dec. 15 - WAAIME chair will notify SME headquarters of the incoming committee member.
Dec. 22 - WAAIME chair will notify the incoming
committee member and invite her to the 2015 SME
Annual Conference and Expo. n

Executive Committee will meet in Denver

he WAAIME Executive Committee will meet at the

Hyatt Regency Convention Center Hotel on Sunday,
Feb. 15, 2015, 8 am to noon. On Monday, Feb. 16, from
5-6:30 pm, WAAIME will host a reception for members and
scholarship recipients, also at the Hyatt.
If you are interested in sponsoring the reception, please

contact Laura Johnson,, or phone 303948-4222. This year, WAAIME will host a silent auction in
the Hyatt lobby. Please see the midyear report below for
details. If you have any questions regarding the WAAIME
events, contact AnnMarie or phone
303-948-4239. n

Synopsis of the WAAIME midyear meeting

by Jean Davin, 2014 WAAIME Chair and Eastern Representative

ello WAAIME members. The WAAME Executive

Committee met during the SME midyear meeting in
Phoenix, AZ and packed in a lot of meetings in that short
time. Following is a summary of our discussions and decisions including some that will directly affect the WAAIME


WAAIME is currently using UBS as its brokerage firm.

Growth has been steady with a well-diversified portfolio
emphasizing the interest and dividends needed to support
our scholarships and expenses. All sections are required to
complete their annual financial report for our audit.
WAAIME received a wonderful letter from Howard
Kraus, a former scholarship recipient, who has given us
permission to share his story and who has donated $9,000
to our funds. A copy of his heartwarming story follows this
article. The executive committee discussed plans to reach
out to other scholarship recipients asking them to send
support for future generations of students.
At the 2015 SME Annual Conference and Expo,
WAAIME will sponsor the Iris Whinnen-Owen Silent Auction featuring mining and nonmining items donated by
our members. Earnings will be distributed to the sections.
If you have any items you would like to donate, please
forward them to us at SME headquarters, 12999 E. Adam

Aircraft Cir., Englewood, CO 80112 USA.

The section grants of $2,000, given out to 10 sections,
were very popular, and that program will be reviewed at
our annual meeting. WAAIME has applied for a co-operative grant program with AIME and is waiting for a decision
from the AIME board.
The five WAAIME international sections will receive
an increase in their yearly scholarship funds to $12,000 next
year. The yearly stipend has not been increased since its inception, and current market conditions permit this increase.


SME implemented new scholarship program software

for its divisions (currently on SMEs website at www. and WAAIME has been included.
The committee asked that the WAAIME financial page
include the requirement of a copy of the assistantship
agreement for all Ph.D. candidates. Also, a new interviewer
review form has been forwarded to all sections to assist the
interviewers with their decisions. WAAIME has decided to
limit student scholarships to three years. This will accommodate fifth year seniors and graduate students.

SME Foundation

An SME ad hoc committee proposed that WAAIME

(Continued on page 84)
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Section News

Missouri-Rolla Section uses

grants for student activities
By Laurie Miller, Education for Tomorrow Chair

he Missouri-Rolla WAAIME section is thankful for the

WAAIME grant money that the section was able to use
to help our rural schools. They are so often overlooked and
underfunded in the area of science. Through the grant, the
section sent the eighth grade class of Salem, MO on a field
trip to the Doe Run Mining Co. This trip is important to the
children because many of their parents or family members
work in the mines, and they can see geology, metallurgy and
mining in action.
The section also sent a student to a summer program
called Its a Girl Thing at the Missouri University of Science
and Technology (S&T). This is a week-long residential program designed to provide fun along with an introduction to
engineering, science and technology for girls entering sev-

enth or eighth grade. The girls are exposed to the various

science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)
careers and encouraged to explore their personal interests
through group projects and design competitions.
It was a $400 scholarship open to a girl who was good
student. The teacher had several students who wanted to
go, so she had a competition for the scholarship. This is a
pivotal age for girls to see women in science. They make the
camp fun, and the women of Missouri S&T are great role
models for the girls.
Alicia Barnett, who attended the camp this summer,
said, I want to thank you for supporting me with the tuition that allowed me to attend the camp. I learned about
(Continued on page 86)

Midyear report
(Continued from page 83)

align itself with the SME Foundation, since we have many

of the same goals. The WAAIME Executive Committee is
currently reviewing this proposal, and details will be forwarded to the dections for comments. SME has assured us
that the choice is ours to make, and the executive committee will examine this thoroughly before contacting our sections for questions or concerns.

Founders Award

The bid from a Mexico-DF member has been accepted

for creating this award. The first award is scheduled to be
presented at the annual meeting in Denver, CO in February

100-year anniversary

It was noted that WAAIME will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2017. An ad hoc committee has been appointed
to develop ideas and a budget for this celebration. Any
suggestions are welcome and should be forwarded to the
WAAIME liaison at SME headquarters.

Personnel change

It is with deep regret that we announce that two of the

assistants who have been with us since our merger with
SME have announced their resignations. We wish Mary
OShea and Tessa Baxter the best of luck in their new positions. AnnMarie Kochevar ( has
been assigned to be the SME liaison for the WAAIME
As Executive Committee chair, I will try to update our
members by email when things develop. So, it would help
us tremendously if all sections provide email addresses for
their members, even if it is a family members address who
will assist the section member. As always, any questions,


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concerns or feedback is welcome. Hope you are having a

good Fall. n

Letter from Howard Kraus

Dear Ladies,
I am a 1960 graduate of Washington State University
(WSU)with a degree in mining engineering. During the
1956-1957 academic year, I was awarded a WAAIME
scholarship in the amount of $300. I promptly misspent the
money by buying myself a pair of skis; shortly thereafter, I
found myself on academic probation. I have felt embarrassment over how I treated the generosity that was extended
to me. I now wish to repay that amount. I compute the
$300 from1956 would have a present worth of approximately $8,830, assuming a 6 percent annual inflation rate
compounded for 58 years. Please accept my check in the
amount of nine-thousand ($9,000) dollars for your current
scholarship fund.
I ultimately graduated from WSU at the top of my class
and worked in the engineering field until my retirement in
January 2001. My consulting firm, though small, competed
successfully with very large international firms and received
two national awards for engineering excellence.
Thank you for your generosity. Hopefully, this money
will benefit a worthy recipient. WSU no longer has a mining engineering program, however, the University of Idaho
does. Perhaps you will give a student in that program special consideration.
Best regards,
Howard Kraus n

Section News

Susan Harwood is honored by

Virginia Techs mining department

he Virginia Tech Department of Mining and Minerals

Engineering honored WAAIME member Susan Harwood at its annual scholarship and awards banquet held
in April 2014 at the Inn at Virginia Tech. Harwood was
taken by surprise by the recognition, which was accomplished with the assistance of various members of the West
Virginia-Southern (WV-S) section of WAAIME. According
to department head Greg Adel, Harwood was recognized
for her tireless support of Virginia Tech mining engineering students and her strong advocacy on their behalf in her
role with WAAIME. She was given a Gary Prazen statue
entitled Dedicated.
Adel noted that Harwood is a past national president of
WAAIME and currently serves as vice chair of the WV-S
section, which supports students in the mining programs at
several schools, including Virginia Tech. In her various roles
with WAAIME, Adel said that Harwood has provided unparalleled support to mineral-related education programs
around the world.
Since 2000, WAAIME has awarded more than
$750,000 in scholarships to Virginia Tech mining engineering students. According to Adel, while many members of
WAAIME make this possible, none has represented the
face of the organization in the Appalachian region and at
the national level like Harwood. In addition to securing
scholarships, she has been a strong advocate for getting
extra support for students in difficult financial situations at

Susan Harwood receives the Prazen statue from Greg Adel in

recognition of her service to students in the Mining and Minerals
Department at Virginia Tech.
risk of having to drop out of school. Numerous mining engineers today attribute their success to her help. n

Utah-Coal Section awards nine scholarships

by Gail LaFrentz, Scholarship Committee Chair

he Utah-Coal section is fortunate that it has been able

to sponsor the Coal Country Classic Scholarship fundraiser, in conjunction with Ellis Pierce of Pierce Oil/Golden
West Industries, for the past 19 years. Because of this event,
the section is able to award several academic scholarships
each year and to help our community with earth science
educational projects.
The section starts sending out scholarship applications
in January, which also requires a essay on a topic of our
choosing. This years topic was the future of the steam coal
industry in America reserves, market, labor forces, energy policy and environmental concerns. I am lucky to have
two great WAAIME ladies on my scholarship committee,
Jenny Richins and Danelle Boren, and our treasurer Lisa
Mortenson. She does a great job writing the checks for us
to take to the awards banquet. We each receive a copy of
the students applications, and we read and re-read them
before making our final decision. This year we were able to

Scholarship recipients from the University of Utah Department

of Mining Engineering were: front row (l-r) Jason Young, Crystal
Darger, Natalia Healey and Kendal Bergman. Back row (l-r)
Gail LaFrentz, WAAIME, Ryan Burton, George Chapin, Russel
Spaulding and Mark Smith. Not pictured is Kameron Stilson,
(Continued on page 87) Chemical Engineering Department.

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Section News
(Continued from page 84)

several new and interesting things, not to mention I had a

lot of fun, too. My favorite experience at camp was the glass
blowing shop. It was really cool how they melted the sand
and other elements to form the beautiful colors and made
vases, flowers and paperweights. I wish that every girl could
share the same experience that I got to have by attending
this camp.

Funds for the science wish list

The section also decided to give $325 to each of the

following schools: Dent-Phelps R3 school, Licking junior
high school, Maries County R2 school and St. James middle
school. Once we approve the science wish list, we will send

the money. The teachers are happy to send

us pictures of the
children with the new
equipment. The section
would like to continue
to fund the mine trip
and to send more girls
next year to camp.
And, of course, we
place a lot of value on
continuing the science
equipment wish lists.

A teachers thank you

The glass-blowing demonstration at Its a Girl Thing was a

favorite activity.

Thank you for allowing us to go to the

mines again. We had a
wonderful time. As you
can see from the pictures we even had students drive the remote
control dump truck.
A student at the Doe Run Mine field
While at the mines
trip got to try his hand at running the
students learned about remote control dump truck.
drilling for core samples and did a hands on simulation. They met with a geologist and identified minerals based on density. They visited
the smelter and were able to see slag for the first time, some
even got to touch it. And of course we went underground to
see the actual mining. Doe Run gave each of the students a
piece of Galena, the state mineral.
This is the field trip that the students look the forward
to all year. It is such an awesome opportunity to be able to
take the entire eighth grade to the mines and let the curriculum come to life for them. Thank you for providing the
funds to make that happen for us.
Debbi Ritchey, eighth grade science teacher,
Salem Middle school n

Santiago section honors scholarship students

Members of the Santiago Section of
WAAIME presented scholarships to
several students during a section
luncheon. Those attending the
scholarship presentation included
(l-r) Claudia Barra, scholar; Benilda
Dahmen, section chair; Nadia Mery,
scholar; Alejandra Gomez, scholar;
Betty Vargas, WAAIME vice chair;
Rosita Klohn, WAAIME Hospitality
chair; Andrs Velasco, scholar; Boris
Leal, scholar; Gonzalo Sepulveda,
scholar; Hector Painevilo, scholar and
Pablo Hechersdorf, scholar.



Mnng engneerng


Section News


ong time WAAIME member, Phyllis

LaPrairie, passed away Aug. 8, 2014. She
was an important member of the Reno, NV
WAAIME section and served at various times
as the chair and co-chair of the section. She frequently hosted the meetings at her house as well
as hosting the summer picnic, so we could use
her swimming pool. In addition, her son, Roger,
was the chef for the sections picnics.
LaPrairie was born Oct. 13, 1926. Her father,
Waldron Green, was a mining engineer, and
her husband, Jules LaPrairie, was also a mining
engineer. She lived in many mining towns, including Flin Flon in northern Canada, Leadville, CO, Ely, NV, Butte, MT,
Balmat, NY and Vancouver, BC, Canada. She was a nurse and found time
and energy to raise five children. Two of her sons also became mining
engineers. n



Name, City, State

Year joined

Ruth Bryant
Salt Lake City, UT


Shirley Day
Rolla, MO


Joyce Fuerstenau
Yuma, AZ


Sally Klein
Tucson, AZ


Phyllis LaPrairie
Reno, NV NV-R

Josephine S. Leonard
he Missouri Rolla section has donated $150 to the Expanding Your
State College, PA
Horizons program in memory of Shirley Day, a recently deceased, longtime member of WAAIME. Day was an enthusiastic supporter of educaBonney M. Sayre
tion. She was the wife of Delbert Day, a ceramics engineering faculty memCO
ber at the Missouri University of Science and Technology since 1961.
The Expanding Your Horizons program is a one-day camp for more
than 500 girls in seventh and eighth grades from across the state of Missouri. It gives them an opportunity to learn about careers in science and engineering by attending presentations and workshops by women who have chosen careers in math, science and engineering. The donation will provide lunch for two tables
of students at the Nov. 7, 2014 event. n


(Continued from page 85)

give out $12,500 divided among nine students. Eight of the

students were from the University of Utahs Department of
Mining Engineering and one was from the Chemical Engineering Department.
In April 2014, the Department of Mining Engineering held its annual awards banquet, and the author was
able to attend. This years event was held at the University
Guest House in Salt Lake City, UT. There are more than
17 awards given out at the banquet, some for academic
excellence, others for leadership. A new one was given to
recognize a faculty, staff or student member that showed
exemplary service in support of the Mining Engineering
It is always rewarding to talk to the students to whom
we have given scholarships, both this year and in the past.
The graduating class always receives their hard hats, presented by the professors. And the newer students, who have
just began their journey, are eager to start their summer internships with companies across the United States. They all
are so grateful for the help they get from the scholarships,
that we always come away with a full heart and a smile on
our faces.

Future section plans

In August, the section had it first meeting to make plans

for the coming year. We will again give out scholarships and
help with the Carbon Science Fair, but we are always open
to new ideas to help our community with earth science
projects. We also made plans for the 20th Coal Country
Classic fundraiser that would be held in September. Everyone spends the day at the event, and we have made many
friends in our industry. Look for more details in the May

Coal Country Classic

Our section would like to give a special thank you to

the Coal Country Classic Committee. It doesnt matter how
busy everyone is, they still find enough time to help put this
event together. Ellis Pierce has been the chairman for this
event for 20 years, assisted by committee members Jim Kulow, Tony Martines, Charlie Philips, Robert Richins and the
WAAIME UT-Coal Section. And another big thank you to
all the sponsors and players who give so generously to our
event each year. We would not have the scholarship and
educational programs without your help. n
Mnng engneerng




Scholarship album

WAAIME presents scholarships

at Virginia Tech
by Susan Harwood, West Virginia-Southern Section

n April 4, 2014, Virginia Tech held its annual mining

banquet to honor its students achievements in 20132014. At the banquet, the WAAIME West Virginia-Southern (WV-S) section presented scholarship certificates to students sponsored by the Pennsylvania Western (PA-W) and
WV-S sections and also to those students receiving Young
Lydia Hull, scholarship chair for PA-W, was unable to

attend the banquet and asked the WV-S section to present

the PA-W section awards. It is always wonderful to see our
students working toward the future. Erik Westman, assistant professor at Virginia Tech, joined the WAAIME sections in presenting the scholarship awards. n

Students sponsored by the WAAIME WV-S received

scholarship awards, (l-r) Susan Harwood, WAAIME;
Andres Dahmen, Aubrey Athey, Chelsea Barrett, Izaak Dail,
Greg Jennison, Jack Maxey and Marion King.

Students sponsored by the WAAIME PA-W received their

awards from Susan Harwood, WAAIME (far left) and Erik
Westman (far right). They are (l-r) Tyler Faulkner, Megan Huber,
Tyler Daugherty and William Thomas.

The Young Scholarships

he Lewis E. and Elizabeth W. Young scholarship grants are administered by WAAIMEs Pennsylvania-Western section. The funds are
awarded as grants and may vary in amount depending on the money available from the investment of the capital funds donated to WAAIMEs by
Lewis and Elizabeth Young. An eligible recipient must be a graduate from
a high school located in the general area of the Pennsylvania-Western Section (western Pennsylvania, West Virginia or Virginia or a student enrolled
in a college or university in the general area of the section. The grants are
awarded on the basis of need, satisfactory scholastic achievement (C+ or
better) and good character. Students must plan to study mining engineering,
metallurgical engineering, material science or petroleum engineering in a
four-year curriculum.
Lewis Young was a noted mining engineer and president of AIME in
1949. Elizabeth Young was an active member of the Pennsylvania-Western
section for many years. n

University of Pittsburgh students received

Young Scholarships presented by Badie I.
Morsi, director of the petroleum engineering
program. They are Payton Forrest, Yemin Hong,
Morsi and Patrick Soloski.

Susan Harwood, (far

left) and Erik Westman
(far right) presented
Young Scholarships to
Virginia Tech students
(l-r) Dillon Clark, Adam
Lis, Stephanie Poole,
Elizabeth Van Nostrand,
Brittany Wilson and Sam


Mnng engneerng


Scholarship Album

WAAIME scholarship album 2015

West Virginia University (WVU) students (l-c) Jeffery

Stevens and Mehdi Rajaeebaygi received WAAIME
scholarship checks from Christopher Bise (r), chair of the
Department of Mining Engineering at WVU, presented on
behalf of the WAAIME WV-S section.
University of
Kentucky students
(l-c) Douglas Addo
and Kevin Harris
received WAAIME
checks, which
were presented
by professor Rick
Honaker (r).

University of Nevada-Reno scholarship recipients, back row,

D.D. LaPointe, NV-Reno scholarship chair, Chase Barnard and
Rahul Thareja. Front row, Prasoon Tiwari, Pedram Roghanchi,
Nick Potter and Beth Price, NV-Reno section chair.
University of
recipients (l)
Virginia Ibarra
and (r), Ebrahim

The University of Utah WAAIME scholarship recipients were recognized April 22, 2014 at the Department of Mining Engineerings
annual awards dinner. They are: back row (l-r) Aaron Young, Nathan Ellgen, Nathan Rigby, Olan Nielson, Ryan Burton, Joshua Howard,
Russ Spaulding, Kyle Spaulding, Sheldon Kargis and Jake Seiter, Front row (l-r) Ashley Hodgson, Natalia Healey, Michale Stine, Tyler
Peck, Kendall Bergman, Oleg Serdyuk, Jordon Prestwich, Crystal Darger and Dixie Hale, UT-Northern scholarship chair.

Mnng engneerng



New Products
Terra Sonic introduces SPT automatic hammer

erra Sonic International (TSi), manufacturer of Sonic

drill rigs and provider of Sonic drill services, has introduced a standard penetration test (SPT) automatic hammer
to maximize the capabilities and efficiency of all Terra Sonic
drilling rigs.
Previously available only with conventional drilling methodologies, the SPT automatic hammer enhances what the
advanced Sonic drill rigs can accomplish in the field.Unlike
portable SPT hammers, the SPT automatic hammer is permanently mounted to the TSi 150T truck-mounted rig, the TSi
150C crawler-mounted rig or the TSi 150CC compact crawler.
Because the SPT automatic hammer is permanently
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since no time is required for set-up and take-down.The SPT
automatic hammer can hinge directly over the hole and then
moved out of the way rapidly when not in use.

The Terrasonic hammer is operated from an easy-to-use, hydraulically powered control panel.

Remotox precipitates heavy metals from

process wastewater

emotox from Graus Chemicals is a calcium polysulfidebased liquid designed to bring practical and cost-saving
advantages to wastewater treatment, while ensuring that
discharge limits on heavy metals are consistently met. The
product is effective even when treating chelated or complexed metals. It also removes chromates and dichromates
without preliminary reduction of the chromium to the trivalent state.
Advantages of Remotox include a high reactivity with

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solid sludge. It is also able to remove metals from chelated
metal compounds by a ligand exchange process. Selective
metal precipitation allows for recovery of valuable metals.

ClearSpan offers new lengths in tension fabric buildings

learSpan, manufacturer of tension fabric structures,

has added additional length options to its line of HD
buildings 49, 55 and 61 m (160, 180 and 200 ft).
The HD buildings are available in gable- and roundstyle designs and can be mounted as freestanding structures

or affixed to other foundations, such as ponywalls or containers. The building frame is made from triple-galvanized
structural steel tubing with a 354-g (12.5-oz), high-density
polyethylene rip-stop fabric cover.
There are no internal support posts, which provides
maximum usable internal space. The
fabric cover is available in several colors, and its permeable properties make
it energy efficient. The polyethylene
material allows the transmission of
abundant natural light, cutting the cost
of supplemental lighting.
The prefabricated design of 6.1 m
(20 ft) on center truss rafter spacing
yields an expedited production time,
so customers can receive their building

The ClearSpan buildings start at 7.6 m (25 ft) wide.

Endpanels and accessories are sold separately.


Mnng engneerng

New Products
Boart Longyear designs TruCore for drillers

oart Longyear has introduced TruCore, an integrated core orientation

system that enables drillers to increase
productivity and decrease spending on
consumables. This innovation improves
productivity and reduces the number of
parts drill crews need to maintain a core
orientation system.
Compared to other systems, additional extensions are not needed
when the integrated TruCore housing is
combined with Boart Longyears outer
tubes, reducing the number of joints
and high wear on outer tube extension
barrels. TruCores unique core marking
technology allows one tool to always be
in the hole.
The ability to send a second TruCore tool down the hole immediately after the first tool is

Highly visible flashing LEDs direct alignment,

which reduces total measurement time. TruCore is offered in sizes BQ through PQ.
retrieved, combined with wireless communication, means core readings can be
taken without having to break a joint in
the inner tube.
The design uses optical communication to send measurements to a handheld control device allowing the drill
string to stay assembled. The pocketsized controller simultaneously controls
the two core orientation instruments, increasing productivity by validating measurements while minimizing errors.

HydroFloat from Eriez recovers coarse particles

up to 6 mm

The HydroFloat separator combines the functions of a flotation

device and a density separator.

o effectively recover coarse particles, the Eriez Flotation Division has combined the advantages of traditional teeter-bed separators with the selectivity of flotation
cells to develop a new separation device, the HydroFloat
separator. The primary benefit is the flotation of very coarse
material, up to 6 mm (0.23 in.), that is otherwise lost using
conventional methods.
The HydroFloat separator is a flotation device and
a density separator, combining the advantages of froth
flotation and gravity separation. With this technology, the
HydroFloat enhances coarse particle recovery, produces
higher throughout capacity and reduces reagents and air
The fluidization (teeter) water is supplied through a
network of pipes that extends across the bottom of the
cross-sectional area of the separation chamber. The teeter
bed is constantly aerated by injecting compressed air and a
small amount of frothing agent into the fluidization water.
As the air bubble dispersion rises through the teeter
bed, the bubbles become attached to the hydrophobic particles, reducing their effective density and increasing their
buoyancy. The lighter bubble particle aggregates rise to the
top of the denser teeter bed and overflow the top of the
separation chamber.
Hydrophilic particles that do not attach to the air
bubbles continue to move down through the teeter bed and
eventually settle into the dewatering cone. These particles
are discharged as a high-solids stream through a control
valve at the bottom of the separator.
Mnng engneerng



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(Required by 39 U.S.C. 3685)
1. Title of Publication: MINING ENGINEERING
2. Publication no.: N/A
3. Date of Filing: September 30, 2014
4. Frequency of Issue: Monthly
5. Number of issues published annually: 12
6. Annual subscription price: $245
7. Complete mailing address of known office of publication:
12999 E. Adam Aircraft Circle, Arapahoe County, Englewood, CO 80112
8. Location of the headquarters or general business offices of publisher:
12999 E. Adam Aircraft Circle, Arapahoe County, Englewood, CO 80112
9. Full names and complete mailing addresses of publisher and editor: Publisher,
David Kanagy, 12999 E. Adam Aircraft Circle, Arapahoe County,
Englewood, CO 80112; Editor, Steve Kral, 12999 E. Adam Aircraft Circle,
Arapahoe County, Englewood, CO 80112
10. The owner is The Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc.,
12999 E. Adam Aircraft Circle, Arapahoe County, Englewood, CO 80112.
A membership corporation organized as a nonprofit, nonstick corporation
11. Known bondholders, mortgagees and other security holders: none
12. Tax status: Has not changed during preceding 12 months: 501 (c) 3
13. Publication title: Mining Engineering
14. Issue date for circulation data below: September 2014
15. Extent and nature of circulation:

Average number
Average number

copies each issue
copies each issue

during preceding 12 months published September

a. Total no. copies printed
b. Paid and/or requested circulation
1) Paid/requested outside-county mail


2) Paid in-county subscriptions

3) Sales through dealers and carriers,

street vendors, counter sales and

non-USPS paid distribution

4) Other classes mailed through USPS
c. Total paid and/or requested circulation
d. Free distribution by mail

1) Outside-county

2) In-county

3) Other classes mailed through USPS
e. Free distribution outside the mail
f. Total free distribution
g. Total distribution
h. Copies not distributed
i. Total

j. Percent paid and/or requested circulation











16. Publication of Statement of Ownership

Printed in the November 2014 issue of Mining Engineering
I certify that the statements made by me are correct and complete.
David Kanagy

Mnng engneerng



Colorado School of Mines
Faculty Openings
Department of Mining and
Department of Metallurgical/Materials Engineering
Colorado School of Mines invites applications for multiple faculty positions in the departments of Mining Engineering and
Metallurgical/Materials Engineering.
Professor and T.J. Haddon/Alacer Gold Chair
The successful candidate will teach at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and develop a strong externally
funded research program. The successful applicant will also be appointed to manage the Edgar Experimental Mine.
Applicants will be expected to have strong network connections with both the national and international mining industry.
The successful candidate must bring the management skills needed to develop a world class research program that
would take advantage of the CSM Edgar Experimental Mine. An operational background with mining experience is
Assistant/Associate Professor Underground Construction and Tunneling
The successful candidate will teach at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Teaching responsibilities will include
both core courses for the department and UC&T degree program courses. Areas of particular interest include hard rock
tunneling, advance numerical modeling, rock cutting, disk and bit cutting performances, cutter head design, tunnel
construction management, deep tunnels, tunneling under squeezing and swelling conditions, dynamic loading and rock
burst conditions, drilling and blasting, tunnel support design.
Assistant ProfessorMetallurgical/Materials Engineering
The successful candidate will teach existing undergraduate and graduate level courses in the Department of Metallurgical
and Materials Engineering. Candidates will demonstrate potential for research excellence in an area of metallurgical and
materials engineering preferably with strong experimental or computational expertise in one of the core areas in the
department, namely, (1) extractive metallurgy/chemical processing primarily particulate, electrochemical, aqueous,
and/or high-temperature chemical processing, (2) physical metallurgy or (3) ceramics.
For the complete job announcements and directions on how to apply, visit:

School of Virginia Tech Department of Mining and Minerals Engineering

Faculty Position - Natural Gas Production

The Department of Mining & Minerals Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) invites nominations and
applications for a tenure-track faculty position at any level (Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor), with rank to be determined by applicant
qualifications. Endowed professorships/chairs may also be available for well-qualified individuals. Faculty members at Virginia Tech are expected to pursue
and sustain a high level of scholarly research and publication; teach and advise undergraduate and graduate students; and contribute quality service and
outreach to the department, college, university and profession.
The successful applicant is expected to develop an internationally recognized and externally funded research program in the broad area of energy, materials
and the environment with a specific focus in natural gas/shale gas production (Reservoir Modeling, Advanced Drilling, Geomechanics, Hydraulic Fracturing,
Well Stimulation, Geophysical/Well Monitoring, Petrography, Health and Safety, Sustainable Practices and Environmental Considerations). The successful
applicant will be expected to assist in the development of a new graduate degree program in Natural Gas Engineering. A Ph.D. in petroleum engineering,
natural gas engineering, chemical engineering, mining engineering, geosciences or closely related field is required. Demonstrated practical and/or research
experience in upstream natural gas/shale gas production is preferred. All candidates are encouraged to have, or seek upon employment, professional
engineering registration.
Virginia Techs Mining and Minerals Engineering Department is one of the largest mining engineering programs in North America. The Department
currently enjoys a strong international reputation for its academic, research and outreach programs. The Department is currently comprised of 9 full-time
faculty members, with an enrollment of +200 undergraduate and +35 graduate students. Research expenditures in the Department are in excess of $6 million
per year. External funding for ongoing research includes support from state, federal and industry sources. The Department is housed within a nationally
ranked College of Engineering at Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech, the land-grant University of the Commonwealth, is located in Blacksburg, Virginia, adjacent to
the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains. The university has a total enrollment of +30,000 with +7,000 students enrolled within the College of Engineering.
Candidates who wish to be considered for these positions should apply online at to posting number 117604. Please submit online a vitae,
transmittal letter, statement regarding research/teaching interests, and names/addresses of three references (including contact phone numbers and email
addresses). The review of applications will begin on December 15, 2014, with the intent to have the position filled before August 10, 2015. For further
information regarding this announcement, please visit the Mining & Minerals Engineering Department web site at Questions regarding
the search may be directed to Dr. Gerald Luttrell ( who serves as chair of the departmental search committee.
Virginia Tech is committed to the principle of diversity and, in that spirit, seeks a broad spectrum of candidates including women, minorities and people with
disabilities. Virginia Tech is a recipient of a National Science Foundation ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Award to increase the participation of
women in academic science and engineering careers.



Mnng engneerng


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Non-credit Cost: $600
Courses are available on-site, via live internet streaming, or
on-demand internet. Additional information can be obtained by
contacting the Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources.
Non-credit registration deadlines is 4 weeks prior to the course. 520.621.6063


November 13-15

Modern Mining Information Systems:

Data Integration Contact Sean Dessureault

February 12-14

Integrated Industrial Information Systems

with Case Studies in Mine to Mill Contact Sean Dessureault

March 6-7

Basic Concepts in Mineral Economics

March 27-28

Introduction to Stakeholder Engagement

April 16-17

Modern Mining Information Systems:

Data Mining - Contact Sean Dessureault

April 22-24

Mining Institute for Supervisor Leadership

Contact Eric Lutz,

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More Efficient, Longer Lasting

Wear Parts
Engineered For Your ApplicationLess Maintenance & More Profit!
Simple Installation And Replacement
Custom Fit For Many Common Systems
Extended Life, Lower Maintenance Costs

62 NO 0
. 12

ial Ed

Tun rial Secti

Und neling on:
truc d

save m logy

Department of Materials Engineering
Extractive Metallurgy Chair
Assistant Professor Position
The Department of Materials Engineering at the University of British
Columbia seeks an outstanding individual for a grant tenure-track
position at the Assistant Professor level in the field of Extractive
Metallurgy with an emphasis on high temperature processing. The
starting date of the position will be May 1, 2015, or as soon as possible
The Extractive Metallurgy Chair has been funded by 4 Canadian and
international companies and is strongly supported by the Faculty of
Applied Science at UBC. The successful candidate for this competition
will be expected to complement UBCs existing strength in extractive
metallurgy and will develop an internationally recognized, externally
funded research program in the field of high temperature processing.
The candidate will be expected to teach undergraduate and graduate
level courses and to supervise graduate students at the Masters and
Ph.D. level. In addition, as part of the Chair program, the candidate will
be expected to teach short courses at sponsor sites, develop industrial
research proposals and programs and generally support the activities
of the Chair.
The candidate will hold a Ph.D. degree or equivalent in Metallurgical or
Materials Engineering or a closely related field and will be expected to
register as a Professional Engineer in British Columbia.
Further information on the department is available at www.MTRL.ubc.
ca, and information on the employment environment in the Faculty of
Applied Science is available at



Applicants should submit a curriculum vitae, a statement (1-2 pages)

of technical and teaching interests and accomplishments, and names
and addresses (e-mail included) of four referees. Applications must be
submitted online at

Y 2011
NO. 1
VOL. 63




The initial closing date for applications is February 28, 2015 but
applications will be accepted until a suitable candidate is found. All
Canadian, permanent residents and international candidates are
strongly encouraged to apply.

Future of arketing






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UBC hires on the basis of merit and is committed to employment

equity. All qualified persons are encouraged to apply. UBC is strongly
committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes
applications from visible minority group members, women, Aboriginal
persons, persons with disabilities, persons of any sexual orientation
or gender identity, and others who may contribute to the further
diversification of ideas. Canadians and permanent residents of Canada
will be given priority

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Gravity Sedimentation (Thickening & Clarification)



Corrosion is a critical issue in mining, due to extreme

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Filtration (Pressure and Vacuum Applications)

Rheological Properties Measurement

Foam-in-place blast hole stemming and decking

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Solids/Liquid Separation Systems Optimization

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Preston Montalvo Michael Wirthlin
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Mechanical, Electrical, Instrumentation and Control

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Contact: Mathew Watt

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Index of Display Advertisers

Mining Engineering

November 2014



Agru America


American Peat Technology LLC


Atlas Copco Construction & Mining USA LLC


Barrick Gold of North America

Chemineer Inc


Colorado MPD Subsection


Cummins Filtration

Donaldson Torit




GEA Westfalia


GIW Industries Inc

HYTORC Industrial Bolting Systems


Independent Mining Consultants



Outside Back Cover


Naylor Pipe Co


Pemo Pumps/Applied Process Equipment Inc


Sandvik Mining Americas


SRK Consulting




Thyssenkrupp Resource Technologies GmbH


Viega LLC
Veolia Water Technologies
Wirtgen America

Inside Front Cover


Business Office

12999 E. Adam Aircraft Circle

Englewood, CO 80112 USA
Main Tel: 1-303-948-4200

Fax: 1-303-973-3845


Ken Goering

Sales Offices

Hooper Jones
Central, NW U.S.
1-847-486 -1021
Cell: 1-847-903-1853
Fax: 1-847-486-1025
Marsha Tabb
East, South, West U.S.
Fax: 1-215-794-2247
Sherri Antonacci
East, South, West U.S.
Fax: 1-215-822-4057
Darren Dunay
Cell: 1-201-873-0891
Eberhard G. Heuser
+49 202 2838128
Fax: +49 202 2838126
Patrick Connolly
United Kingdom
+44 1702-477341
Fax: +44 1702-477559
Ken Goering
International Sales
Fax: 1-303-973-3845
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The Drift of Things

Mines support manufacturers

From mines
to manufacturing

Steve Kral,



he National Mining Association

(NMA) earlier this year
commissioned a study to track
minerals mined and refined in the
United States through to their end
uses in finished products. The goal
was to find out which minerals mined
in the United States feed domestic
manufacturing industries.
SNL Metals & Mining carried out
the study, which can be found on the
NMA website,
The SNL study said the average American born in 2013 will require about
1.36 kt (3 million lbs) minerals, metals and fuels
throughout their lifetimes. That includes 12.4 t
(27,416 lbs) of iron ore, 444 kg (978 lbs) copper,
236 kg (521 lbs) of zinc and 56 g (1.8 oz) of gold.
The NMA report found that there is a sizable
mismatch between domestic supply and demand
for minerals. Although the United States is a
major mining country, it enjoys a much higher
global ranking as a manufacturer than a miner,
the report stated.
The United States is the largest manufacturing nation in the world, followed by China and
Germany. Value-added products from industries that consume processed mineral materials
amounted to about $2.4 trillion, or 14 percent
of the nations gross domestic product (GDP)
in 2013, the report said. And given the nations
wealth of mineral resources and reserves, that
figure could be even higher.
However, several domestic issues have kept
the United States ranked as only the seventhlargest global producer of metals and industrial
minerals, the report said. In 2013, the nations
mines produced about $74.3 billion worth of mineral raw materials. That said, the country is a top
ten producer of copper, gold, silver, zinc and iron
ore, among other metals. But the United States
is import-dependent on several critical materi-

Mnng engneerng

als that are needed for traditional and high tech

manufacturing applications, including lithium,
platinum, cobalt and rare-earth elements.
The SNL report said that to produce one
wind turbine, about 3.6 kt (8,000 lbs) of copper
is required, while about 4 kg (9 lbs) of nickel are
used in a single hybrid vehicle. And another 4
kg (9 lbs) of lithium is needed to produce one
battery for an electric vehicle.
On the manufacturing side, the report points
out that some American manufacturers are
returning to the United States. This move is
being driven by manufacturers desire to reduce
the risks in their supply chains, which are highly
complex, fragmented and multi-layered, often
extending to more than seven tiers of suppliers
for any given product, the report said. In addition, U.S. consumers are holding large companies accountable for the way they do business.
Consumers want to see evidence of sustainable
production processes, use of recycled materials,
sound environmental practices and that raw materials are not sourced from conflict zones.
A third important finding from the study
is that the domestic mining industry has many
competitive advantages over other nations. U.S.
miners are highly efficient, often exemplifying
best practices with regard to productivity, sustainability and safety. The United States remains
highly prospective from a geological standpoint,
the report said, with abundant, diverse minerals
of high quality.
Along with that is the notion that the nations mining industry is in a position to support
manufacturers need for greater sustainability
and shorter supply chains in the the production
process, the report said. However, the United
States has an outdated and inefficient permitting system that presents a barrier to American
companies access to the minerals they need and,
thus, to economic competitiveness.
The SNL study concludes that the U.S. mining industry can contribute even more to the
nations manufacturing sector and the economy
through a well-managed, sustainable supply
chain. n