For those with a taste for the out-of-the way, the insightful and the different, here is a fascinating small book: Pollution Problems in the Mineral and Metallurgical Industries by Fathi Habashi, Professor Emeritus at the Department of Mining, Metallurgical, and Materials Engineering at Laval University, Quebec.

I particularly enjoyed reading about INCO’s Sudbury, Ontario stack (chimney) and a similar stack at Bingham Canyon, Utah. As tall as the Empire State Building, these stacks now lift things high into the air. Sadly, Fathi does not tell us why putting things into the air high up is legal whereas putting those same things down low is not legal. I bet there are clean air act issues there now.

I have never had the courage to try to write about dust separation. So I was delighted to be able to read what I know I should have written in Fathi’s chapter on Dust Separation. All you need to know on gravity and baffle chambers, cyclones, filter, electrostatic precipitators, spray towers and venture scrubbers.

His chapter on radioactive ores is long on theory and almost entirely devoid of practical mining or milling focus. Good for reminding us of basics. A fun little book to read to recall the great days of yore and get a quick introduction to topics previously avoided as being too arcane and obtuse.