Sunday, February 05, 2017

There is more to present including mining technology that is antiquated for the modern era.

I hope Americans are taking notes, the Republican Congress and Executive Branch are ravaging the government with complete disregard of the well being of any voter.

Be careful in the way you live and the items you consume and the water you drink. We have seen slack government in West Virginia and the water crisis created there. It is going to be the same all over the country.

Republicans, including their President, are about corruption in government. Just that simple.

February 2, 2017
By Bard Plumer

With everything that Republicans want to do (click here) — repeal Obamacare, overhaul the tax code — it might seem odd that one of Congress’ very first acts would be to kill an obscure Obama-era regulation that restricts coal companies from dumping mining waste into streams and waterways.
But that is indeed what’s going on. On Thursday, the Senate voted 54-45 to repeal the so-called “stream protection rule” — using a regulation-killing tool known as the Congressional Review Act. The House took a similar vote yesterday, and if President Trump agrees, the stream protection rule will be dead. Coal companies will have a freer hand in dumping mining debris in streams.
Killing this regulation won’t really fulfill Trump’s goal of reversing the coal industry’s decline; that decline has more to do with cheap natural gas than anything else. Instead, Republicans are mostly focusing on this rule because they can. Because the stream protection rule wasn’t finished until very late in 2016, it’s much, much easier to kill than most of the other Obama-era rules around coal pollution. It was a ready target, so long as the GOP acted fast....

These laws have been developed and legislated over decades if not a century by now.

These laws are more important today than ever before with climate compounding what were concerns in the 1960s and 1970s; today require caution in changing anything except to be more protective.

Some major federal laws and regulations affecting the mineral industry include the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), commonly known as Superfund, enacted in 1980. This law requires operations to report releases of hazardous substances to the environment and requires cleanup of sites where hazardous substances are found. The Superfund program was established to locate, investigate, and clean up the worst abandoned hazardous waste sites nationwide and is currently being used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to clean up mineral-related contamination at numerous locations. The Federal Water Pollution Control Act, commonly referred to as the Clean Water Act, came into effect in 1977. The act requires mining operations to meet standards for surface water quality and for controlling discharges to surface water. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), enacted in 1976, regulates the generation, storage, and disposal of solid waste and hazardous waste, using a "cradle-to-grave" system, meaning that these wastes are governed from the point of generation to disposal. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), enacted in 1970, requires federal agencies to prepare EIS for major federal actions that may significantly affect the environment. These procedures exist to ensure that environmental information is available to public officials and citizens before actions are taken. NEPA applies to mining operations requiring federal approval.

Artisan mining is causing problems. Low budget operations with low profitability. It isn't worth it for the larger society.

December 21, 2015
By Nils Cowan

...The water and sediment rush (click here) through the hose back to the main part of the dredge and spill out of over a series of baffles that look like a huge washboard. “Gold is heavier than every other mineral in the stream,” says Larson. “So it will fall and get trapped in the grooves while the rest of the sediment goes back into the river.”
Hydraulic – or suction – dredges allow miners to go through many times more sediment than a traditional gold pan. Over the last few decades they have emerged as the preferred tool for most serious miners. But their activities haven’t gone without notice.

Calling For Tighter Controls
Beginning in California, where portable gold dredges first became popular in the 1990s, environmentalists, anglers and native tribes have built an activist movement against suction dredging. They contend it degrades fish habitat and causes water and noise pollution. It’s a movement that’s been steadily growing throughout the West. 

In 2009 California enacted a statewide moratorium on dredging. Oregon’s own ban on motorized mining takes effect Jan. 2. In Idaho, pressure from the Environmental Protection Agency resulted in severe restrictions on dredging that outlaw the practice in nearly every watershed. And north of the border in British Columbia the government has banned dredging pending further study....

Acid Mine Drainage (click here)

How Can It Be Treated?
Here in the United States, the Bureau of Land Management estimates that between 80,000 and 100,000 abandoned mines exist within the US. Fortunately, most of these mines are relatively small in size, as are the acidic streams coming out of them. As such, these mines can be treated by smaller, more passive-type systems. Some of these passive-type systems are shown in the diagram below – limestone drains or open limestone channels:

Water. Water-pollution problems caused by mining include acid mine drainage, metal contamination, and increased sediment levels in streams. Sources can include active or abandoned surface and underground mines, processing plants, waste-disposal areas, haulage roads, or tailings ponds. Sediments, typically from increased soil erosion, cause siltation or the smothering of streambeds. This siltation affects fisheries, swimming, domestic water supply, irrigation, and other uses of streams.

The map (click here) is from a study by Michigan State University. It maps rivers and streams that have been effected by increased sediment levels and chemicals in the water from mining.

Fish have to swim in water. When sediment builds up the fish cannot navigate the stream and their ability to spawn is ultimately eliminated. Additionally, chemicals alter the DNA when fish do spawn. As climate problems continue to compound the importance of clean water and good habitat are vital.

Acid mine drainage (AMD) is a potentially severe pollution hazard that can contaminate surrounding soil, groundwater, and surface water. The formation of acid mine drainage is a function of the geology, hydrology, and mining technology employed at a mine site. The primary sources for acid generation are sulfide minerals, such as pyrite (iron sulfide), which decompose in air and water. Many of these sulfide minerals originate from waste rock removed from the mine or from tailings. If water infiltrates pyrite-laden rock in the presence of air, it can become acidified, often at a pH level of two or three. This increased acidity in the water can destroy living organisms, and corrode culverts, piers, boat hulls, pumps, and other metal equipment in contact with the acid waters and render the water unacceptable for drinking or recreational use. A summary chemical reaction that represents the chemistry of pyrite weathering to form AMD is as follows:

Pyrite + Oxygen + Water = "Yellow boy" + Sulfuric Acid

"Yellowboy" is the name for iron and aluminum compounds that stain streambeds. AMD can enter the environment in a number of ways, such as free-draining piles of waste rock that are exposed to intense rainstorms, transporting large amounts of acid into nearby rivers; groundwaters that enter underground workings which become acidic and exit via surface openings or are pumped to the surface; and acidic tailings containment ponds that may leach into surrounding land.
Waste rock pile (click here)

Land. Mining can cause physical disturbances to the landscape, creating eyesores such as waste-rock piles and open pits. Such disturbances may contribute to the decline of wildlife and plant species in an area. In addition, it is possible that many of the premining surface features cannot be replaced after mining ceases. Mine subsidence (ground movements of the earth's surface due to the collapse of overlying strata into voids created by underground mining) can cause damage to buildings and roads. Between 1980 and 1985, nearly five hundred subsidence collapse features attributed to abandoned underground metal mines were identified in the vicinity of Galena, Kansas, where the mining of lead ores took place from 1850 to 1970. The entire area was reclaimed in 1994 and 1995.

Speaking of Kansas, all the companies of Koch Industries don't carry the family name. (click here) With thousands upon thousands of global employees.

January 24, 2017
By Kara Lofton

James Bounds is a West Virginia miner with black lung disease; it took him 4 1/2 years to get compensation benefits. A provision in Obamacare later made qualifying for those benefits much easier.
Kara Lofton/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

At the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Clinic in Scarbro, W.Va., (click here) oxygen tubes dangle from the noses of three miners slowly pedaling on stationary bikes. All of these men have black lung — a disease caused by breathing in coal dust. Over time, the dust coats the lungs and causes them to harden. Hard lungs don't easily expand and contract, and that makes it difficult to breathe.

"You try to get air in them, and they don't want to cooperate with you as they did before," says retired miner James Bounds, speaking with great effort. Not every coal miner gets black lung, just as some smokers don't get cancer. But for those who do, Bounds says, the disease is devastating.

"There's no cure at all," he says. "It keeps getting harder and harder until one day, I guess, you take your last breath and they won't expand for you no more."
Air. All methods of mining affect air quality. Particulate matter is released in surface mining when overburden is stripped from the site and stored or returned to the pit. When the soil is removed, vegetation is also removed, exposing the soil to the weather, causing particulates to become airborne through wind erosion and road traffic. Particulate matter can be composed of such noxious materials as arsenic, cadmium, and lead. In general, particulates affect human health adversely by contributing to illnesses relating to the respiratory tract, such as emphysema, but they also can be ingested or absorbed into the skin.

This is just one study. There are plenty more.

Cardiac and Mitochondrial dysfunction following acute pulmonary exposure to mountaintop removal mining exposure

Abstract (click here)

Throughout the United States, air pollution correlates with adverse health outcomes, and cardiovascular disease incidence is commonly increased following environmental exposure. In areas surrounding active mountaintop removal mines (MTM), a further increase in cardiovascular morbidity is observed and may be attributed in part to particulate matter (PM) released from the mine. The mitochondrion has been shown to be central in the etiology of many cardiovascular diseases, yet its roles in PM-related cardiovascular effects are not realized. In this study, we sought to elucidate the cardiac processes that are disrupted following exposure to mountaintop removal mining particulate matter (PMMTM). To address this question, we exposed male Sprague-Dawley rats to PMMTM, collected within one mile of an active MTM site, using intratracheal instillation. Twenty-four hours following exposure, we evaluated cardiac function, apoptotic indices, and mitochondrial function. PMMTM exposure elicited a significant decrease in ejection fraction and fractional shortening compared with controls. Investigation into the cellular impacts of PMMTM exposure identified a significant increase in mitochondrial-induced apoptotic signaling, as reflected by an increase in TUNEL-positive nuclei and increased caspase-3 and -9 activities. Finally, a significant increase in mitochondrial transition pore opening leading to decreased mitochondrial function was identified following exposure. In conclusion, our data suggest that pulmonary exposure to PMMTM increases cardiac mitochondrial-associated apoptotic signaling and decreases mitochondrial function concomitant with decreased cardiac function. These results suggest that increased cardiovascular disease incidence in populations surrounding MTM mines may be associated with increased cardiac cell apoptotic signaling and decreased mitochondrial function....

The Trump White House states corruption and pollution is what business is all about.

February 1, 2017
By Lisa Lambert

Two major U.S. rules (click here) aimed at curbing corruption and pollution in the energy sector may be entirely wiped from the books by next week, after the Republican-led House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to repeal them.

The Senate is expected to take up repealing the rules, both of which were years in the making, as soon as Thursday.

Under the virtually untested Congressional Review Act (click here), the Republican-led Congress can vote to permanently undo newly minted regulations. Agencies cannot revisit overturned regulations and timing in the law means any regulation enacted in the Obama administration's final months are eligible for axing.

Required by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law, the Securities and Exchange Commission's "extraction rule" was approved this summer to require companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron Corp to publicly state the taxes and other fees they pay to governments.

Exxon, and other major energy corporations, fought for years to keep the rule from seeing the light of day. After a series of legal battles the SEC in June 2016 finally completed the rule, which supporters say can help expose questionable financial ties U.S. companies may have with foreign governments.

During Wednesday's debate, Representative Maxine Waters, the senior Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, raised concerns that Exxon's CEO during those fights was Rex Tillerson, just confirmed in the top diplomatic post of Secretary of State. During Tillerson's confirmation hearings, he raised Democrats' hackles by saying he did not know Exxon lobbied against U.S. sanctions on Russia, where he did business for years.

Republicans say the rule is burdensome and costly for energy companies, and also duplicates other long-standing regulations.

On the House floor Republican Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the Financial Services Committee, called the rule part of "a radical leftist elitist agenda against carbon-based jobs."...

Carbon based jobs are normally affiliated with steel production, not antiquated forms of energy. There is nearly nothing worthy of the USA economy to protect. The coal jobs in the USA number about 35,000.

Industries come and go. It is time for petroleum jobs to go!

8 July 2016
By Tom DiChristopher

...Recruiters (click herehave long warned that layoffs could come back to haunt an industry still dealing with a shortage of mid-career workers following the 1980s oil bust. As the United States reaches full employment, oilfield services companies and drillers could face a shortage of workers and may have to pay dearly for them.

Since the start of the oil price downturn in 2014, more than 291,500 energy jobs have been lost worldwide, estimates recruitment agency Airswift....

The petroleum industry is working as hard as it can for a resurgence, ie: Tillerson. But, the price is less than half at the time of high paying jobs working in oil fields. The modern jobs in alternative energies are clean and carry virtually no threat of serious injury or DEATH!

The stream buffer rule is intended to lessen the amount of waste from mountain-top removal coal mining deposited in local waterways.

Republican lawmakers, though, say it is hurting coal jobs by placing unworkable limits on the industry. Democrats, on the other hand, say it cuts down on water pollution....

Makin Metal Powders has an interesting timeline of mining.

The development (click here) of civilisation has relied heavily on the discovery of metals....

The Stone Age [unrecorded time to 1500 BCE (Before Common Era)]

The Copper Age (4200 BC to 400 BCE) came before the Bronze Age.

Europe, primarily Scandinavia, is the earlier findings of metal ages. The Copper age was during the time of the Greeks.

Following the Copper age, silver and lead were found. Tin was discovered and it was incorporated with copper to form the Bronze Age. The founding of tin is nearly synonymous with the creation of Bronze which began in about 2300 BCE to 1500 BCE to 700 BCE).

The Iron Age was pre-Roman Empire. It was the Germanic tribes that first discovered iron in 800 BCE to 400 BCE. Pre-Rome Iron Age was 400 BCE to 0. Roman Iron Age was 0 to 400 CE (Common Era).

Mercury came along at 750 BCE. Then came the Common Era with Platinum in 1557, Nickel in 1751, Tungsten in 1783, Uranium in 1789, Titanium in 1791 and Chromium in 1797.

All these metals were in place in Earth since it erupted into an individual planet. Eons of time and eventually human beings went by before fire facilitated the use of metals.

In 1823 Silicon was discovered which comprises about 25% of Earth's crust. Besides silicon the most common metal is aluminum. A large percentage of Earth's crust can be mined for one mineral or another. If mining went on and on there would be no usable land for human existence. There are more important things than money and methods of war.

In Australia, (click here) minerals have been part of the continent's culture and development since man's first appearance. Minerals were used to colour paints in ancient rock art which is an integral part of Aboriginal heritage. Minerals began to be produced in Australia in large quantities from the early days of European settlement at Sydney Cove. Within ten years of the First Fleet arriving in 1788, coal was discovered near Newcastle in New South Wales and later to the south and west of the settlement. These areas provided fuel for heating and cooking, and later steam locomotion in the young colony of New South Wales. The first metal mined in Australia was lead at Glen Osmond in South Australia in 1841. The young colony was quick to start exporting agricultural products but by 1850 exports of copper and lead from South Australia earned more than Australia's exports of wool and wheat.
January 4, 2017
Bu Lisa Demer

Two mining executives (click here) from Australia accused of polluting a salmon stream in far Western Alaska remain fugitives and only they know what, if anything, remains of the platinum mining company they once headed, federal prosecutors say in a new court filing.

The government is proposing to dismiss criminal charges against XS Platinum Inc. while extradition proceedings continue against its executives, Bruce Butcher and Mark Balfour.

"The United States has been unable to find any indication that the corporation continues to exist," prosecutors said in a motion filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court to dismiss charges against the company.

XS Platinum and five company officials were indicted in November 2014 on charges of conspiring to violate the federal Clean Water Act and of falsifying compliance reports to the government....

Adult salmon swim upstream (click here) to the same area where they hatched. This is thought to be accomplished by their outstanding sense of smell that 'imprinted' the smell of their natal stream on their brain at birth. This journey may be only a few hundred yards or over two thousand miles depending on the species and the stream...

Description: Mine Operator Convicted Of Clean Water Act Crimes. (click here)

U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced that James Slade, 57, of Calgary, Canada, was convicted after a two week jury trial of two counts of violating the Federal Clean Water Act by polluting the Salmon River with turbid waste water from the Platinum Creek Mine he was in charge of operating. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for November 12, 2015, and Mr. Slade was ordered to surrender his Canadian passport and remain in the United States pending his sentencing.

Evidence was presented at trial that the discharges from the mine were hundreds of times over the legal limits set in the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) water quality permit issued for the mine. The jury deliberated for two days before convicting the defendant of two misdemeanor Clean Water Act crimes for discharging polluted wastewater during the 2010 and 2011 mining seasons in violation of the NPDES permit. The jury was deadlocked and could not reach a decision on several felony violations, and found the defendant not guilty on other charges, including finding him not guilty of making a false annual report to the Alaska Department of Conservation that was submitted by another senior manager. That manager, Robert Pate, has previously pleaded guilty to making that false statement.

The Salmon River is located in Western Alaska, running past the Platinum Creek Mine and emptying into Kuskokwim Bay. It passes through the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge before entering the bay, and all five species of Alaska Salmon spawn in the river....

No spawning, no fish.

...Evidence at trial was that a flow of up to 1200 gallons per minute of wastewater was discharged from the mine’s processing plant into one or more settling ponds that were not lined, and that did not contain the wastewater. Instead, the wastewater flowed out of the ponds and into the Salmon River, turning it from crystal clear to dirty brown....

Fisheries are vital to any country, however, the coast line of the United States has been plagued with mining and/or petroleum pollution. The American taxpayer invests in understanding these habitats and protecting them for the meals they put on the American table. 

Alaskan Salmon are important and their protection from toxins of any kind is vital.

This chapter (click here) is organized broadly into background information and outstanding questions on the physical environment of Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim (AYK) salmon; their population structure and life cycle; their ecological interactions throughout the life cycle; and the human dimension including population trends and resource use, legal and policy analysis, and restoration opportunities. It ends with a discussion of the importance of including traditional ecological knowledge in research on AYK salmon, along with strategies for achieving that goal. We have attempted to identify questions of most interest to scientists and stakeholders. Many of these questions emerged from site visits to AYK communities in 2003 and 2004 and from the workshop held in Anchorage in November 2003....
The amounts (click here) and proportions of PGM's (Platinum group metals) depends on the age and type of vehicle.
  • Cars, light-duty trucks, and motorcycles average total is 2-6 grams.
  • Larger-engine SUV's and trucks average total can range anywhere from 6-30 grams.
28.35 grams equals an avoirdupois ounce. 31.1 grams equals a troy ounce.

Gasoline-powered-vehicle catalytic converters use all three of the aforementioned rare-earth metals. Diesel-powered-vehicle catalytic converters use only platinum and rhodium....

It's Sunday Night

"Sometimes it is in the hair color."

"stories behind the songs"

My disposition permeates
The room when I walk in the place
I'm sorry!
By calculation I'm way too much
Pretentiously I bitch a bunch
But you bought it!
I can't exceed my reputation
A small town girl with compensation
Exploitin' all my possibilities
Well don't you know I'll blaze a trail
But hell
You can come with me
What doesn't kill you
Only makes you blonder
My heels and my hotel
They just got taller
Somethin' bout platinum irrefutably
Looks as good on records
As it does on me
Historically real men prefer
The Marilyns with curls and curves
And I've got it!
Genetically or chemically
As long as it contains some bleach
I want it!
You don't need to be a fighter
Honey, just go one shade lighter
You'll acquire everything you want
When your roots grow out
And things go South
Hey, go back to the salon!
What doesn't kill you
Only makes you blonder
My heels and my hotel
They just got taller
Somethin' bout platinum irrefutably
Looks as good on records as it does on me
Hey! What doesn't kill you
Only makes you blonder
In fact, my heels and my hotel
They just got taller
Somethin' bout platinum irrefutably
Looks as good on records as it does on me
Somethin' bout platinum irrefutably
Looks as good on records as it does on me
Somethin' bout platinum