NET NIT Statistics and damned statistics

Last week's editorial on pollution statistics caught the eye of Bill Thuma, an international mining consultant at G...
Last week's editorial on pollution statistics caught the eye of Bill Thuma, an international mining consultant at GeoTec/Plus Ultra in Toronto. He wrote:

"I tend to be a critic of open-ended stats like you reported on the mining companies. How about reprocessing these with some form of normalization (kg/worker, per $1 million gross, per $100,000 profits, per kilogram of metal, etc.) and then restacking the deck. Then just for the hell of it, compare these to the kilograms of CO2, NOx and SO2 coming out of Joe Kool's Hummer times the number of SUVs cranking out pollutants. Maybe the Inco [smelter] would still look bad, but let them have a fair trial.

"People of all stripes tend not to normalize, just home in on prime numbers, which is misleading. Can you imagine carrying this news in a mining publication:'XYZ Mining reports intersection 135 g/t Au' and saying nothing more? Like the intersection was over only 13 mm in one hole on a grid of 100 holes!"

If any of our readers wish to provide the calculations suggested above, we would be happy to have them.

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