Digging Deeper is a quarterly newsletter from AMC Consultants of Australia and England. I recommend you sign up for a free e-copy at this link: http://www.amcconsultants.com.au/ These articles appear in the most recent issue:

  • Stability of Raisebored Shafts The Limitations of the McCracken & Stacey Raisebore Risk Assessment Method.
  • Life of a Mining Consultant
  • Optimisation of Open Coal Resources

Here is an extract from the Life of a Mining Consultant to give you the flavor of the prose:

Today any person contemplating the life of a mining consultant must be fully prepared to:

  • travel to mine sites at a moments’ notice
  • use their own measuring instruments and undertake all appropriate measurements
  • work with the most junior engineer on site who generally needs training, mentoring and encouragement
  • search through mine records for any information that may be available
  • coerce information from any number of sources
  • undertake all of the necessary calculations
  • provide a solution that doesn’t require capital expenditure because there is no money in the budget
  • be prepared to undertake pre-feasibility studies with detail normally expected in a 5 year plan run at least two, possibly three, studies at one time
  • answer of-the-cuff questions from clients, even though you finished their study a couple of years ago.

Anyone for golf?

I also liked the Message from the Managing Director—actually not a message, just a few thoughts on the history of uranium mining in Australia. Here is the guts of it:

“..our first uranium deposit was discovered 100 years ago at Radium Hill (near Broken Hill) by prospector A J Smith, who at first thought the heavy dark rock to be an ore of tin. The Radium Hill Company had produced six hundred tonnes of ore by 1911, with radium being sent to the Curies in France. Also in 1906 Auguste De Bavay patented his 'skin' or 'film' flotation process and opened what was to become a successful plant at Broken Hill. The process was the basis of Amalgamated Zinc and the Zinc Corporation, a grandparent of today’s Rio Tinto.

Zebina Lane died in 1906 after a successful mining engineering career in California and Victoria. He was particularly known for his work in reviving the Lord Nelson mine at St Arnaud. His son Zebina B Lane became better known through his mining engineering achievements in Broken Hill and Coolgardie, and was a member of the Legislative Council in Perth at the time of his father’s death. Broken Hill has a Zebina Street and a Lane Street, and because each east-west street has a parallel lane of the same name (for the night carts) there is a Zebina Lane and a Lane Lane.

1906 also marked the start of phosphate mining in Nauru and the beginning of the copper rush in Queensland, with the railway extended from Richmond to Cloncurry. Worldwide, the most newsworthy event was the Courrières mine disaster in France, where 1,099 miners lost their lives in a coal dust explosion.

George Lansell, who died in 1906, was known as 'Australia's Quartz-King' and was director of thirty-eight mines in Bendigo, some being the deepest mines in the world by the turn of the 20th Century. He pioneered the use of diamond drilling in Australia and had made his fortune by the age of fifty, but continued to support the industry into his eighties.”