Reader Rebuttal (June 01, 2000)
Canadian Mineral Processors Feedback
Thank you for your write up on SIDMIN (CMJ, April 2000, p.23). I was happy to note that it is concise yet covers all the important points well. Please note one small correction in the last paragraph: “leach plant” should read “leach residue”. Any readers wishing to learn more about SIDMIN are welcome to send me an e-mail request for an electronic copy of the full paper.
Dr. Fuzail Siddiqui,
Mineral Resources Research
Roboscribes and Teleremote Operators
I just read your article on Roboscribe (CMJ, April 2000, p.5) and had to chuckle. Being someone who is constantly taking/e-mailing work home because there are never enough hours in the day to get everything done, your reference to “seamless” made me laugh.
There are some pitfalls to taking work home; let me tell you about a few:
having a pressing deadline and arriving home to find 0.5 meg remaining on my hard drive due to a new game my son and his friend just had to try.
e-mailing work home only to find out that the server is down and I am unable to retrieve my work.
e-mailing work home and learning the hard way that my internet server has a limit to the size and number of e-mails allowed in my account at one time.
and let’s not forget the error messages and system failures caused by certain children who delete games instead of uninstalling.
I don’t mean to pick holes; I am just sharing a little of the down side. I live on a computer and I can’t imagine life without one.
You wrote a good article (“Inco Innovations”, p.10). Technology is advancing at an alarming pace and I can easily see it advancing to the level when men, and women, will no longer be required to go underground to do their jobs. And the wives of miners will no longer be wondering if this will be the day when their husband’s luck runs out. My husband is a hard rock miner, and I look forward to the day when technology advances to the point where he is no longer in danger of rockbursts, cave-ins, flooding, etc. when he goes to work.
Northern Consolidated Equipment Sales & Service Inc.
Allow me to commend you on an excellent article on teleremote mining (CMJ, April 2000). Congratulations to Inco. They have an R&D budget that other companies can only dream about, and they have used that money wisely. But quite frankly, as a traditional miner, it scares the hell right out of me to think of the implications if all companies were to adopt these techniques. The Luddites were right, of course; this new technology will reduce wages and increase unemployment. Great for the corporations’ bottom line, but not for employees.
While teleremote mining technology is here, I am wondering whether it will only thrive in new mines that can incorporate the infrastructure easily into its mining plan. That feat will probably be much more difficult and costly in established mines. One thing I’ve noticed for teleremote mining to be successful is that the mining equipment and electronic devices must be in top notch condition. Underground conditions are rather hostile, and the tendency is for mining equipment to sink into poor operating condition due to lack of proper maintenance.
It also seems that sitting in a control room for an eight-hour shift is akin to gutting the miner’s job. It would be hard to feel a miner’s sense of pride in his job in this environment, not to mention trying to stay awake through this tedium.
Ron Jessulat, development miner
Brunswick Mining Division, Noranda Inc.