Jack Caldwell - Mining Engineer - Robertson GeoConsultants

It was almost six months ago that we met at the 2011 Tailings and Mine Waste Conference in Vancouver. It is only six months until we meet at the 2012 conference in Colorado, and before that we have to write the papers.

At the 2011 Vancouver conference, I chatted with Michael Davis. Then he was with AMEC. Now he is VP of Environmental Affairs for Teck. We congratulate him on this new job, and know he will do well. I suggested to him that we write a series of courses on tailings for EduMine. We asked others from other consulting companies to join us in this undertaking.

Mike went away and as is wont, made things happen. Today we see an announcement that AMEC will present a webcast on EduMine on the topic of tailings. Todd Martin of AMEC and Kimberly Morrison of Morrison Geotechnical Solutions will present this three-day course from 22nd to the 24th May. I will try my best to sit in, for I am sure we can all learn a great deal from them.

I went away and went to Huntington Beach for a month. There I wrote a course for EduMine on the topic of tailings. It went live last Friday. Here in breathless words is a description of the course. I did not write this advertising copy. The writer is the young man who loaded the course. I thank him, for he has done a great job with my original text.

Jack Caldwell’s anticipated online course, Tailings Facility Design, Operation, and Closure, is now live! The course offers accessible instruction on key tailings topics: from tailings types and their place in the mining process, to the design of tailings facilities and their performance, construction, operation, and closure. The course is designed to give anyone involved with tailings a better understanding of tailings, tailings facilities, and the risks associated with both.

In practice, I wrote the course as a personal journey through nearly 40 years of tailings experience. I tried to keep it chatty, easy to read, and yet up-to-date. I acknowledge the great works on tailings by Steve Vick and Geoff Blight. They are the classics. And like all classics, they stand the test of time and the honor of additions. I see my course as an addition, for I go beyond South African practice, which is Geoff’s focus, and I deal with things that were not thought of when Steve wrote his book.

My course is complimentary to what Todd and Kimberly will do. They are the North American experts; they work in a big company context; they look to risk, social license, and responsible mining. None of which do I do. And they have many fine pictures of tailings facilities–including some of tailings dams that I designed.

Thus if you seek to enter the field of tailings, or you seek to expand your knowledge of tailings, now the opportunities are there. If you do go to either or both the webcast and the written course, let me know what you think.