Was the SEC Encouraging Companies to use External QPs in S-K 1300?

Since the US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) passed its new mining property disclosure rules, I have heard many suggest that the SEC would prefer mining companies to use external professionals (i.e. consultants) as qualified persons (QPs) instead of their own employees. Such people cite the fact that the Commission, in the rules, allowed a third-party firm (i.e. a consulting company) to sign a technical report summary (TRS) and provide written consent on behalf of its employees who prepare the TRS. They point to the fact that the rules do not provide the same allowance for employees. This is simply not true and I will attempt to explain the Commission’s reasoning for arriving at this position in this post.

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Free OEM training courses: How free are they?

Yours truly training at Tinaja Hills in 2007

I have attended my share of “free” training courses offered by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and/or their vendors. Most of them have been very good. But the one that stands out the most was the training portion of Caterpillar’s Quarry Days in 2006 at their Tinaja Hills facility near Tucson, Arizona. I attended sessions on fleet management using FPC and ground engaging tools, among others. And I remember thinking how much all this is costing CAT to provide these “free” courses.

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The mine & its local community: Aiming for a sustainable relationship

Mining protest rally

A mine and its local community are inextricably linked. The two will thrive together or fail together but rarely will one thrive without the other for any length of time. Yet, mine planning engineers and mine managers often do not comprehensively evaluate the effect of the life-of-mine plan on the local community and vice versa. The quest for truly sustainable mines is unattainable without understanding how to ensure sustainable development of the local community.

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Bull/Bear Markets and Mine Plans

Gold bullion

This week, I read several articles on gold’s bear run on the markets (you can find my favorite here). Several news outlets noted that gold dipped below $1,500/oz., which takes it below 20% of its peak price (the official definition of a bear market). This made me wonder how this trend, if it were to continue (not that I think it will), affects the current mine plans at gold mines. If the trend continues, those of you in long-range mine planning are going to be getting calls from your boss (or the corporate office) asking for revisions to the current plan using different gold prices. In this post, I intend to share my thoughts on how mine engineers account for market volatility in long-range mine plans.

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