What Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin taught us about ourselves – by Maura Forrest (National Post – July 20, 2019)

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https://nationalpost.com/

The moon landing wasn’t about Armstrong or Aldrin; it was about us. Fifty years on, the two men who took those first steps are extensions of us, partly real, partly imagined

Norman Mailer once wrote of Neil Armstrong that he was “as much a spirit as a man,” “of all the astronauts the man nearest to being saintly.”

This was gleaned from a press conference Armstrong gave with his fellow Apollo 11 crew members, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, on July 5, 1969, less than two weeks before the launch of the spaceflight that first put humans on the moon.

Armstrong was “extraordinarily remote,” Mailer wrote. “Something particularly innocent or subtly sinister was in the gentle remote air. If he had been a young boy selling subscriptions at the door, one grandmother might have warned her granddaughter never to let him in the house; another would have commented, ‘That boy will go very far.’ He was apparently in communion with some string in the universe others did not think to unravel.” Continue Reading →

Elon Musk: Revolutionising Space Transportation with Stainless Steel – by Benjamin Spilker (Matmatch.com – July 12, 2019)

https://matmatch.com

SpaceX has come a long way. After being shocked by the absence of NASA’s concrete plans for a manned mission to Mars in the early 2000s, Elon Musk, the well-known entrepreneur and engineer, founded SpaceX in order to establish affordable access to space.

After spending a couple of years on designing, building and testing the first privately developed orbital rockets, the fourth launch of the Falcon 1 rocket into orbit was successful, marking the dawn of private space transportation.

With its proven capabilities, SpaceX was awarded a substantial contract from NASA for supply missions to the International Space Station, providing the funding for a rapid development of new launch vehicles. Continue Reading →

Metals in Space: How Superalloys Changed the Rocket Landscape – by Benjamin Spilker (Matmatch.com – March 26, 2019)

https://matmatch.com/

There is a high chance that a large variety of metals is in your proximity at this very moment. Metals are found and used virtually everywhere, from the iron in your red blood cells to the rare earth metals in the screen you are reading these lines from.

Many of the greatest advances in technology can be traced back to the exceptional characteristics that can be achieved by manufacturing parts from metal or alloying different metals to obtain even more superior materials.

Apart from the materials themselves, the manufacturing techniques evolved from hammering copper in approximately the 6th millennium BC [1] to, more recently, 3D printing of titanium. Continue Reading →

10 Gold Rushes You Should Know About – by Brandon Christensen (Real Clear History – July 12, 2018)

https://www.realclearhistory.com/

Gold! Gold! Gold! What is it about this precious metal that causes such a rush among human beings? Throughout history, the discovery of gold veins has sparked mass movements of people and capital to hitherto unknown parts of the world. Gold rushes have been documented as far back as ancient Rome, but most of the major gold rushes occurred during the modern era, which runs roughly from 1500 AD to the present.

The most famous gold rush in American history is the California Gold Rush of 1849, (RealClearHistory covered it recently), but the history of gold rushes deserves a bit more scrutiny. Why on earth would a precious metal cause so much upheaval in population transfers, in spending on infrastructure, and on violence and property rights adjudication? Here are 10 gold rushes in history that deserve more attention:

10. Klondike Gold Rush (1896-99), Yukon Territory, Canada. Let’s start with Canada’s most famous gold rush. While gold was discovered in 1896, the Klondike was so hard to reach (the Canadian government required each potential miner to travel with a year’s worth of supplies before embarking on the journey) that the gold rush didn’t really get going until 1898. Continue Reading →

Barrick set to take full control of Acacia after raising bid – by Nichola Saminather, Barbara Lewis and Zandi Shabalala (Reuters Canada – July 19, 2019)

https://ca.reuters.com/

TORONTO/LONDON (Reuters) – Barrick Gold Corp has struck a deal to buy out its fellow shareholders in Acacia Mining with a higher bid than originally proposed, raising expectations Acacia’s long-running tax dispute with the Tanzanian government will finally be resolved.

The original buyout proposal from Barrick, which owns 63.9% of Acacia, drew accusations from minority shareholders that Barrick was taking advantage of the Tanzania-focused company’s woes to buy it on the cheap. But Acacia acknowledged that a takeover would be the best solution to its problems.

The improved bid was welcomed by the company and investors, with Acacia shares jumping as much as 20% on Friday. They were trading at 222 pence, their highest since April, at 1453 GMT (10:53 a.m. EDT). Continue Reading →

Twin Metals changes its plan to deal with mine waste — to a strategy lauded by some environmentalists – by Walker Orenstein (Minn Post – July 18, 2019)

https://www.minnpost.com/

The safety of storing mining waste in a tailings basin has been a critical part of the debate over copper-nickel mining in northern Minnesota, with some environmental advocates warning that failures and spills could unleash toxic slurry into nearby waters.

Now, in a major shift, one of two companies hoping to build a copper-nickel mine says it plans to store much of its waste using a “dry stack” method, an emerging technology that many of the same environmental nonprofits — and some mining experts — argue will better prevent water pollution.

Twin Metals Minnesota, which plans to mine just outside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, said Thursday it would abandon its plan to use a tailings basin, which entails waste rock being covered in a pond held back by a dam. Continue Reading →

[Ontario Mining History] The noise, the glow, the rush of sparks – by Susanna McLeod (Kingston Whig Standard – July 19, 2019)

https://www.thewhig.com/

An ocean away, discussions about iron mining and processing in Upper Canada progressed. Kingston’s Royal Naval Dockyards needed a local supply of iron to augment security after the War of 1812. Initial negotiations with a local merchant in 1816 fell through, but Charles Hayes in Ireland was interested.

Before Hayes came to Ontario, he had been in touch with Maj. George Hillier, civil secretary to governor general Peregrine Maitland. Delaying his voyage until a determination on timber duties was reached, Hayes and his wife sailed for North America in autumn 1820.

“Upon his arrival he went to York [Toronto] to petition the governor for land on which to establish his works,” wrote Rita Michael in “Ironworking in Upper Canada: Charles Hayes and the Marmora Works” (Report to Ontario Heritage Foundation, 1982). Continue Reading →

B.C. mining touted as green solution even as environmental groups warn of lax industry regulations – by Ainslie Cruickshank (Toronto Star – July 17, 2019)

https://www.thestar.com/

VANCOUVER—A B.C. environmental organization says lax mining regulation is putting B.C. waterways at risk, even as resource ministers on Wednesday touted Canada as a top source for the metals and minerals the world needs to transition to a green economy.

“Our big concern is how much of B.C.’s competitive advantage, as they call it, is actually just weak environmental regulations,” said Lars Sander-Green, a science and communications analyst with Wildsight.

Sander-Green’s comments came as the annual conference of ministers responsible for energy and mines wrapped up. This year’s conference was held in Cranbrook, B.C. Continue Reading →

Sudbury was a stand-in for the moon and other little-known (Canadian) things about the Apollo program – by Nicole Mortillaro (CBC News – July 12, 2019)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/

While Canadian astronauts may not have visited the moon yet, our achievements are part of Apollo history

In a few days, the world will mark the 50th anniversary of humans first setting foot on the moon. Apollo 11 was an ambitious mission that would see three men — Neil Armstrong, Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin and Michael Collins — head to the moon, with the ultimate goal of walking on its surface.

The almost-Herculean task on July 20, 1969 wasn’t only made possible by the effort put forth by the three men, with Armstrong and Aldrin being the first men to set foot on another world. It was also thanks to more than 400,000 people who worked behind the scenes.

And you may be surprised to know that Canada played an important role in the ambitious project that took humans far from home. Here are a few facts about Canada’s role in this historic mission. Continue Reading →

NDP and PCs at odds over which party supports the mining industry more (Thompson Citizen – July 18, 2019)

https://www.thompsoncitizen.net/

Manitoba’s NDP and Progressive Conservative parties are engaged in a war of words over which party is more supportive of mining in the run-up to the Sept. 10 provincial election.

NDP leader Wab Kinew said in a press release July 18 that Manitoba has lost two-thirds of its active mines since Brian Pallister became premier in 2016 and that Statistics Canada says there are 500 fewer natural resources workers in the province than there were in 2017.

“The Pallister government has stood idly by while northern communities struggle to stay afloat in the face of multiple mining closures,” said Kinew. “At a time when workers and their families need protection, how does the Pallister government respond? By calling it ‘business as usual.’” Continue Reading →

Mining Giant to Spend Billions to Halt Indonesian Metal Imports – by Eko Listiyorini and Tassia Sipahutar (Bloomberg/Yahoo Finance – July 18, 2019)

https://finance.yahoo.com/

(Bloomberg) — Indonesia plans to spend billions of dollars in building aluminum and nickel smelters as it seeks to cut reliance on imports of finished metal and stem exports of raw minerals.

State-owned PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium will earmark as much as $10 billion over the next five years to develop refineries and smelters, according to President Director Budi Gunadi Sadikin. The investment will be made by the company and its units including nickel and bauxite miner PT Aneka Tambang, he said.

Indonesia is seeking to reshape its mining industry by making it mandatory for miners to build smelters after decades of free exports of raw materials left it reliant on costly imports to meet demand. Continue Reading →

Send in the troops: Congo raises the stakes on illegal mining – by Aaron Ross (Reuters U.S. – July 17, 2019)

https://www.reuters.com/

DAKAR (Reuters) – A Congolese army officer arrived in the village of Kafwaya in June and warned residents not to trespass on a major Chinese copper and cobalt mine next door. As night fell about a week later, the soldiers moved in.

“They didn’t say anything to anyone,” said Fabien Ilunga, an official in Kafwaya, which is home to thousands of miners eking out a living by illegally exploiting the nearby mineral resources. “The army started to burn down the tarpaulin houses.”

Deploying soldiers to clear tens of thousands of illegal informal miners from mining concessions is a new approach by the authorities in Democratic Republic of Congo, who have wrestled with the problem for decades. Continue Reading →

Canada urged to address declining mining competitiveness – by Claire Cuddihy (Global Mining Review – July 18, 2019)

https://www.globalminingreview.com/

A national alliance of mineral exploration and mining associations are urging Mines Ministers, having convened for their 76th annual conference in Cranbrook (British Columbia), to take action to ensure Canada remains a globally competitive jurisdiction and can continue to attract mineral investment.

A brief submitted by the Canadian Mineral Industry Federation (CMIF) proposes a series of recommendations organised under the six strategic directions identified in the Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan (CMMP) published earlier this year.

The plan, developed by Natural Resources Canada with the support of most provincial and territorial governments, identifies specific areas where collaboration and action by federal, provincial and territorial governments can boost Canada’s ability to attract new mineral investment. Continue Reading →

Australia Sees Jobs Boom in West as Resources Comeback on Cards – by Michael Heath (Bloomberg News – July 17, 2019)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Employment jumped and the labor force swelled in Australia’s western mining heartland, offsetting job losses in every other state, suggesting forecasts of a resource investment revival might be coming to pass.

In Western Australia, 13,800 jobs were added in June, the participation rose 0.3 percentage point and unemployment fell almost half a percentage point to 5.8%, data from the statistics bureau showed in Sydney Thursday. In contrast, New South Wales, the economy’s growth driver in recent years and Australia’s biggest state, shed 17,400 positions.

“The pickup in full-time hiring in Western Australia may be a sign that the trough in resource investment may soon come to an end,” said Tamara Mast Henderson, an economist at Bloomberg Economics. Continue Reading →

Washington continues critical inquiries into rare earths and uranium supply chains – by Greg Klein (Resource Clips – July 15, 2019)

http://resourceclips.com/

While somewhat relaxing its concern about uranium, the U.S. appears increasingly worried about rare earths supply. A Reuters exclusive says Washington has begun an inventory to itemize domestic RE projects.

“The Pentagon wants miners to describe plans to develop U.S. rare earths mines and processing facilities, and asked manufacturers to detail their needs for the minerals, according to the document, which is dated June 27,” the news agency reported.

“Responses are required by July 31, a short time frame that underscores the Pentagon’s urgency.” The request mentions the possibility of investment by the military, Reuters added. Continue Reading →