The View from England: Win their hearts, and minds will follow – by Chris Hinde (Northern Miner – May 19, 2023)

I shed tears within 30 pages. I expect you would too and, if you’re a miner, so you should. In a recently-published novel we are taken back to a small mining town in October 1966 when our industry killed children, young children, half a school of them.

Published by Faber & Faber, ‘A Terrible Kindness’ reminds us (as Jo Browning Wroe writes in her opening sentence) of when “something dreadful happened in Wales.” In Aberfan on that dark morning, 116 children (mostly between the ages of seven and 10) went to school and didn’t come back.

Read more

History of mining: Mining the Americas in deep time – by John Sandlos (Canadian Mining Journal – May 4, 2023)

If you ask the average person in the street when they think the history of mining begins in the Americas, they might pinpoint the throng of the forty-niners who migrated to California in search of gold (bequeathing a name to San Francisco’s NFL team). Or perhaps they would recall the mad dash northward to the Klondike in 1898, made famous in the fiction of Jack London, the poetry of Robert Service, the popular history of Pierre Berton, and even a classic film by Charlie Chaplin.

Some might go as far back as the large-scale precious metal mines that brought the Spanish to Central America in the 16th century. But almost nobody would acknowledge that mining in the Americas originated thousands of years ago as a critical cultural and economic activity of Indigenous People.

Read more

Copper ore analyses reveal deep connections between ancient African civilizations – by Staff ( – April 2, 2023)

An international team of researchers ran chemical and isotopic analyses of copper artifacts from southern Africa and discovered new cultural connections among people living in the region between the 5th and 20th centuries.

In a paper published in the journal Plos One, the researchers explain that people in the area between northern South Africa and the Copperbelt region in central Africa were more connected to one another than scholars previously thought.

Read more

Mystery of why Roman buildings have survived so long has been unraveled, scientists say – by Katie Hunt ( – January 9, 2023)

The majestic structures of ancient Rome have survived for millennia — a testament to the ingenuity of Roman engineers, who perfected the use of concrete. But how did their construction materials help keep colossal buildings like the Pantheon (which has the world’s largest unreinforced dome) and the Colosseum standing for more than 2,000 years?

Roman concrete, in many cases, has proven to be longer-lasting than its modern equivalent, which can deteriorate within decades. Now, scientists behind a new study say they have uncovered the mystery ingredient that allowed the Romans to make their construction material so durable and build elaborate structures in challenging places such as docks, sewers and earthquake zones.

Read more

The View from England: When copper production was dominated by the Welsh -by Chris Hinde (Northern Miner – January 5, 2023)

Global mining news

The U.K. no longer springs to mind as a mining giant, but we used to have a dominant role in the global industry. The extraction of non-ferrous metals on these islands, particularly copper and tin, dates back to before 2000 BC, and surface workings for coal and iron ore were widespread after the beginning of the Iron Age around 750 BC. This mineral wealth was one of the things that attracted the attention of Rome.

The nation’s mining history comes to mind with the recent news (courtesy of the ‘North Wales Live’ website) that after 37 years of clearance work, volunteers are nearing their goal of breaking through to an unexplored section of Llandudno’s Ty Gwyn copper mine.

Read more

How This Abandoned Mining Town in Greenland Helped Win World War II – by Katie Lockhart (Smithsonian Magazine – December 27, 2019)

It was a foggy morning in south Greenland as I stood on deck and peered at the mountains poking through the clouds. Our Adventure Canada expedition ship docked offshore, and we disembarked on Zodiac boats to what looked like a ghost town.

Scattered on the rocky shore were little white chunks of cryolite, a mineral once used in the production of aluminum. As the mist swept through the empty houses dotting the shorelines, we walked up to the mine—a pit spanning 755 feet long and 656 feet wide—and looked over at a glassy, water-filled bottom. Meandering through the abandoned mining town, relics of the past—old engines and bottles—mixed with fresh tire tracks and cigarette butts left by musk ox hunters passing through the area.

Read more

North America is seeing a hiring boom in mining industry IoT roles (Mining Technology – July 13, 2022)

Some parts of the world are investing more heavily in internet of things roles than others

North America extended its dominance for internet of things (IoT) hiring among mining industry companies in the three months ending May. The number of roles in North America made up 50.8% of total IoT jobs – up from 42.1% in the same quarter last year.

That was followed by South & Central America, which saw a 0.1 year-on-year percentage point change in IoT roles. The figures are compiled by GlobalData, which tracks the number of new job postings from key companies in various sectors over time. Using textual analysis, these job advertisements are then classified thematically.

Read more

Egypt’s emerald mines fell under the control of the Blemmyes in the Early Middle Ages, archaeologists find ( – March 2022)

Control over emerald mines in Egypt shifted from the Roman Empire to the Blemmyes during the Early Middle Ages, archaeologists have found. These are the results from research carried out in 2020 and 2021 by an international team of archaeologists led by Joan Oller Guzmán of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

Digs were carried out at the Roman site of Sikait, a set of buildings surrounding Roman Egypt’s emerald mines, located in Egypt’s Eastern Desert. The area was known in Antiquity as “Mons Smaragdus”, given that it was the only place within the Roman Empire where emeralds could be found.

Read more

Japan Wants to Showcase Gold Mines’ History. Just Not All of It. – by Motoko Rich and Hikari Hida (New York Times – February 21, 2022)

A bid for a UNESCO World Heritage designation is the latest flash point between Japan and South Korea over Japanese colonial abuses during World War II.

SADO ISLAND, Japan — About 40 miles off the northwestern coast of Japan, Akiyoshi Iwasaki is eager to share some history of the mountainous, lightning-bolt-shaped isle where he grew up.

After years of lobbying by local residents, Mr. Iwasaki, a bar owner, is delighted that the Japanese government has nominated three gold and silver mines on Sado Island for UNESCO World Heritage designation, hoping to showcase them alongside Mount Fuji, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial and Kyoto’s shrines.

Read more

Top 10 risks to the mining industry – by Dominic Ellis (Mining Global – February 9, 2022)

EY report highlights 10 key risks to the mining industry – and chief among them ESG and decarbonisation

Disruption is fast reshaping the mining and metals sector’s perception of where the biggest challenges – and paths to growth – may lie, according to EY’s annual review of risks and opportunities in the global mining sector.

The climate crisis and rising stakeholder expectations are increasingly significant forces of change. Environment and social took the number one spot in our rankings for the first time, followed by decarbonisation and then license to operate (LTO), which had held the top position over the past three years.

Read more

Engine of civilization, fueled by mining – by A.J. Roan (North of 60 Mining News – October 29, 2021)

With such incredible technologies at mankind’s disposal today, it is easily forgotten the ingenuity and sheer gumption that our predecessors brought to solving some of the more rigorous and demanding jobs that construed early development.

The ever-present wheel, hand tools, weaponry, and beyond, the plethora of devices humanity has created, only expanded into breathtaking and mind-numbing concepts our forebearers could never fathom. Areas such as animal husbandry, agriculture, and architecture, the people of Earth have continued to refine and simplify whilst also creating complex machines to accomplish even the most menial of tasks.

Read more

The devil underground: Bolivia’s mining lord of the underworld – by Angelica Zagorski (CIM Magazine – October 27, 2021)

Deep inside the dark corners of Bolivia’s deadliest mine, an average of 14 lives are claimed each month. The deaths could be attributed to either the effects of continuously breathing toxic dust and fumes or unsafe working conditions underground, but to the locals it is the work of the devil-like deity known as El Tío.

El Tío, meaning “the uncle,” is worshipped by miners in the Cerro Rico mountain. Legend has it that any deaths that take place in the mine are said to have been caused by his hunger.

Read more

‘Get on with your jobs’: Keir Starmer takes aim at Rhodes row Oxford dons after they refused to teach students – by Eleanor Harding (Daily Mail – June 15, 2021)

Sir Keir Starmer has demanded Oxford dons ‘get on with their jobs’ after they refused to teach students in a row over a statue of Cecil Rhodes. The Labour leader told academics it was unfair to punish ‘hard-hit’ students in their quest to remove the colonialist.

He waded into the furore after 150 lecturers threatened to stop tutorials for Oriel College students until the statue is removed from its building.

When asked yesterday if he supported the dons, Sir Keir urged them to end their boycott immediately. He told LBC News: ‘Get on with the job of teaching people. Let’s get our feet back firmly on the ground and teach the students.

Read more

Stanford Historian Traces Colonial Origins of Conflict Diamonds in Namibia – by Sandra Feder (The Namibian – April 14, 2021)

WHEN STANFORD historian Steven Press was trying to unearth hidden narratives about Germany’s colonial activities in South West Africa’s highly secretive diamond industry, he pursued that age-old maxim to “follow the money”.

Steven Press is an assistant professor of history in the School of Humanities and Sciences. His new book, Blood and Diamonds, traces the devastating cost of diamond mining and German colonial domination in Namibia during the late 18th and 19th centuries.

Chasing that trail led to some disturbing discoveries about the full extent of Germany’s ruthlessness as it pursued its economic aspirations in the African country now known as Namibia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Read more

More drilling planned at Donlin this year – by Staff ( – March 29, 2021)

Donlin Gold, the 50:50 joint venture between Barrick Gold and Novagold Resources, has confirmed a follow-up drill programme for the Alaska project this year, following the strong outcome of its 2020 campaign.

Additional confirmation and extension drilling is planned, with specifics to be finalised once all assay results from the 2020 drill programme have been integrated into an interim model update.

Thereafter, the focus will shift to updating the feasibility study. Barrick and Novagold last week announced the final assay results from the 2020 drill programme, which the companies said exceeded expectations.

Read more