Dalit man’s body exhumed for autopsy

first_imgA day after an FIR was lodged in connection with the death and burial of a 22-year-old Dalit man in the Sirka area of the district, the police on Friday exhumed the body in the presence of a magistrate and sent it for autopsy, official sources said. Mukesh Ram was allegedly beaten up by three men around 12 days ago. He succumbed to his injuries a week later. In a complaint filed on Thursday, Mukesh’s elder sister Champa Kumari said the three men not only assaulted his brother, but also forced her family members to bury the body, Sub-Divisional Police Officer Radha Prem Kishore said. “Mukesh, who was allegedly beaten up on July 23, underwent primary treatment at a local hospital and returned home. A week later, however, his condition deteriorated and he died on the way to hospital,” Mr. Kishore said quoting the FIR.Ms. Kumari also alleged that her family was not allowed to perform the last rites of her brother. Minutes after Ms. Kumari filed the police complaint on Thursday, representatives of various socio-religious organisations, along with local people, gheraoed the Ramgarh police station, demanding immediate arrest of the accused, the officer said. Two of the three accused have been identified as Samir Ansari and Ashique Ansari, the SDPO said. “All three are at large and a team of officers is looking for them. The police are also trying to ascertain the reason behind the assault.”last_img read more

Ecologists protest against govt’s plan to turn Pichavaram mangrove forests into a resort

first_imgThe Pichavaram tourist complex: battlegroundEcologists in Tamil Nadu have declared war on the state Government. The battleground is Pichavaram, 200 km out of Madras, one of the best preserved mangrove forests in the country. The state Government is keen on developing this magnificent 5,000-acre forest into a tourist resort with,The Pichavaram tourist complex: battlegroundEcologists in Tamil Nadu have declared war on the state Government. The battleground is Pichavaram, 200 km out of Madras, one of the best preserved mangrove forests in the country. The state Government is keen on developing this magnificent 5,000-acre forest into a tourist resort with boating, surfing and water-skiing facilities along with cottages located in the area.To fight this, the Tamil Nadu Science Forum and the Madras Naturalists Society recently convened a meeting of prominent biologists, zoologists, naturalists and marine biologists who have cried halt to the project and want the setting up of an expert committee on how to best utilise this “natural laboratory”.Mangrove forests are found only in the tropics where they grow by the seaside and along river banks where the water is brackish. The vegetation is distinctive as it is able to take root in the loose and highly saline soil. India has an estimated 20 lakh acres of mangrove forests, the largest ones being in West Bengal and the Andamans.The reason why Pichavaram has so many crusaders is that it is one of the few left where the complete sequence of mangrove zonation is in evidence from dense foliage with stilted roots on the banks to sparse vegetation at the edge.Increased Erosion: Another factor that has contributed to the lushness of Pichavaram is the three rivers that flow through its 10 km long and 3 km wide area. The rivers form a maze of shallow channels which are so numerous and tricky that the local populace jokingly remarks that even the egrets which are familiar with the waterways get lost in Pichavaram. However, studies done by the French Institute indicate that the development work has already increased coastal erosion.Said Professor V. M. Meher Homji, a botanist at the Institute: Pichavaram must be preserved not only because it is a natural laboratory but also because it has been an important factor in stabilising the shifting coastline. The felling of trees has also led to salt encrustment on the soil thus preventing any new vegetation in the denuded sections.advertisementThe location of the cottages within the wooded area will lead to other problems: ecologists feel that with a growing tourist trade the populace would soon start plundering the forests for fuel and fodder.The repercussions are likely to extend beyond the ecological field. Reports from the Centre for Advanced Studies in Marine Biology of the Annamalai University at Perangipettai reveal that Pichavaram is a rich breeding ground and nursery for such lucrative seafood as prawns, lobsters and crabs.With building activities as well as the introduction of water sports once the resort is completed, the shallow channels which criss-cross the forest will no longer be able to harbour the varied marine life. Warns Meher Homji: Any further disturbances to the delicate balance of the eco-system will lead to the rapid deterioration of the mangrove forests.Limited Success: The ecologists have now asked the Government to stop all further construction in Pichavaram. They suggest that the cottages and the resort area be located in Chidambaram, a tourist centre just 11 km away, and groups be brought to the mangrove forests for day trips.After repeated letters to the Tamil Nadu Government, the Department of Environment and the prime minister, Meher Homji was asked last fortnight to meet the Committee on Tourist Excursions, chaired by V. Chandralekha, collector of Cuddalore district under which Pichavaram falls.The meeting was partly successful with the members agreeing to recommend to the Government a proposal to drop water sports and prohibit motor boats in the channels. Only row boats would be allowed. No decision, however, was taken on the shifting of the cottages. Chandralekha told India Today in Cuddalore: We have no intention of clashing with the ecologists.We are equally keen on preserving Pichavaram and will try our best to implement their suggestions. But with construction of the cottages proceeding briskly, the mangrove forests of Pichavaram may soon become a thing of the past.last_img read more

India-Pakistan bilateral series will benefit both cricket boards: Shoaib Akhtar

first_imgFormer Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar said a bilateral cricket series between India and Pakistan will bring in large sum of money for both the boards and said that the money could be used in helping grass roots cricket.He weighed in with his take on the long standing issue saying it was not just Pakistan which needed to play India but also India which needed to play Pakistan.”It is not just about us wanting to play them. I think it is also important for India to play us. And the fact is the financial rewards from a Indo-Pak series is immense for both boards and the positive is that money will eventually trickle down to the players and in helping the grass roots cricket,” Akhtar was quoted as saying by PTI.Also read: Shoaib Akthar keen on buying Pakistan Super League franchise “India might be a financial powerhouse but even they know they can earn a lot more from playing Pakistan. There are benefits for both boards,” he said.The Pakistan pacer also said that Pakistan and India, their cricketers, officials and politicians needed to refrain from making too many statements about the issue and concentrate more on staging the series. He said he considered India-Pakistan matches to be the pinnacle of international cricket and that a bilateral series will help both the countries.last_img read more

Boxing: James DeGale vacates his IBF Super Middleweight title

first_imgAdvertisementDeGale became the IBF champion in May 2015 compiling two title defenses and a draw with Badou Jack. In 2017, Caleb Truax dethroned him in a shocking defeat. He was able to get revenge in an immediate rematch for the same title he lost.Recently, it was beginning to look a little grim for DeGale as perceived by many boxing fans. A fight with the hard-hitting Jose Uzcategui was recently ordered by the IBF. Uzcategui has gained respect at super middleweight with a TKO win in his last fight over Andre Dirrell, a rematch of a bout that ended in a disqualification loss many fans didn’t agree with.Given the performance DeGale produced in his rematch against Truax, many fans gave him a slim chance of defeating the younger Uzcategui. Then there is Billy Joe Saunders, whom he may have had in mind when he stated “[…]as I look to secure fights in the final stage of my career.Advertisementlast_img read more

Dortmund bus bomber sentenced to 14 years

first_imgThe man who attacked Borussia Dortmund’s bus with a bomb has been found guilty of 28 counts of attempted murder and sentenced to 14 years in prison.A court in Dortmund convicted the man, a dual German-Russian national known as Sergej W, on Tuesday for the attack carried out on April 11, 2017 when the German side were en route to a Champions League clash against Monaco.The explosion occurred shortly after the team embarked on their journey from their hotel and left centre-back Marc Bartra needing surgery on a fractured wrist and shrapnel in his arm.  Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! A police officer was also injured in the attack, but no other Dortmund players or members of staff were hurt.The culprit admitted to making and setting off three bombs in the attack, but he has denied that he tried to kill anyone in the process.In fact, the bombing was part of a money-making scheme. On the day of the attack, the 29-year-old bought €44,000 worth of share options with the expectation that the club’s stock price would plummet and allow him to sell them on for a large profit.Instead, the share price rose in the wake of the attack.Bartra, now at Real Betis, described the incident as “the longest 15 minutes of my life”, while defender Matthias Ginter admitted he considered retiring from the game as a result of the attack.Then Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel, who currently manages Paris Saint-Germain, said in March that he would have stayed at the German club had the attack not happened.When asked by chief prosecutor Carsten Dombert at the trial whether he would have remained as BVB boss had the events of April 11 not occurred, Tuchel replied: “I would assume that.”Aki [Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke ] has already said publicly that there has been big dissent, which is true.”The big dissent was that I was sitting on the bus and Aki was not. That’s why there was a different approach to dealing with it, without wanting to reproach Aki for that.”The match against Monaco was rescheduled for the day after the attack, with the visitors claiming a 3-2 victory that they would duly close out with a 3-1 win in the return leg.After the rearranged game, Tuchel claimed neither he nor his players had been consulted over playing 24 hours on from ordeal – something Watzke denied.last_img read more

Juventus shares plunge; major brands ‘concerned’ over Cristiano Ronaldo allegations

first_imgJuventus’s brand value seems to have taken a major hit after an American woman accused Cristiano Ronaldo of raping her in 2009.The Italian club’s shares fell sharply on Friday and it is believed that it has to do with the rape allegations against its recently acquired star player.Juventus shares fell 7 percent by 1425 GMT. The stock is down 13 percent since the allegations first emerged on Tuesday.However, Ronaldo, who signed for Juventus from Real Madrid in July for 100 million euros, has denied the allegations and said that he awaits the completion of an investigation.”I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me. Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in. Keen as I may be to clear my name, I refuse to feed the media spectacle created by people seeking to promote themselves at my expense.Also read – Firmly deny the rape accusations issued against me: Cristiano RonaldoMy clear conscious will thereby allow me to await with tranquility the results of any and all investigations,” Ronaldo tweeted.I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me. Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in. Keen as I may be to clear my name, I refuse to feed the media spectacle created by people seeking to promote themselves at my expense.Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) October 3, 2018My clear conscious will thereby allow me to await with tranquillity the results of any and all investigations.Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) October 3, 2018Ronaldo also took to Instagram to deny doing any such thing.advertisement”No, no, no, no, no. What they said today? Fake, fake news,” Ronaldo said in an Instagram live video on Sunday, dismissing the claims.”They want to promote [themselves by using] my name. It’s normal. They want to be famous to say my name, but it is part of the job. I am a happy man and all good,” Ronaldo said.Also read – ‘Fake, fake News’: Cristiano Ronaldo denies rape claimsRonaldo’s headline brand endorsers — Nike and Electronic Arts (EA Sports) — also expressed their ‘concerns’ regarding the matter on Thursday.”We are deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and will continue to closely monitor the situation,” Nike said.”We have seen the concerning report that details allegations against Cristiano Ronaldo, We are closely monitoring the situation, as we expect cover athletes and ambassadors to conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with EA’s values,” read an Electronic Arts statement.However, Juventus backed their superstar and said that they stand by him.”Cristiano Ronaldo has shown in recent months his great professionalism and dedication, which is appreciated by everyone at Juventus.”The events allegedly dating back to almost 10 years ago do not change this opinion, which is shared by anyone who has come into contact with this great champion,” Juve tweeted..@Cristiano Ronaldo has shown in recent months his great professionalism and dedication, which is appreciated by everyone at Juventus. 1/1JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) October 4, 2018The events allegedly dating back to almost 10 years ago do not change this opinion, which is shared by anyone who has come into contact with this great champion. 2/2JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) October 4, 2018Also read – Cristiano Ronaldo lawyers to sue German magazine Der Spiegel over ‘illegal’ reportIt all started when German magazine Der Spiegel published an article which saying that the rape allegedly took place in June 2009 in a hotel room in Las Vegas, according to Leslie Mark Stovall, lawyer for the alleged victim.According to reports in the German magazine, the American woman had filed a rape report with Las Vegas police shortly after the alleged incident.Ronaldo and the American woman then reached an out-of-court agreement, according to Stovall as reported in the magazine.The report further said, according to Stovall, that she had pledged never to speak of the accusation again and Ronaldo allegedly paid her USD 375,000.Ronaldo’s lawyers on Friday had said that they would sue Der Spiegel after it published “blatantly illegal” accusations by the American woman.Ronaldo’s lawyer Christian Schertz said in a statement the report was “an inadmissible reporting of suspicions in the area of privacy”, and that he would seek legal redress for his client from the magazine.Ronaldo is one of the biggest names in world sport. He has been named player of the year five times and transferred to Juventus from Real Madrid this summer for 100 million euros. The Italian club declined to comment on the Der Spiegel report.(With reports from Reuters)advertisementlast_img read more

Mithali Raj backs women’s IPL after World Cup performance

first_imgMithali Raj on Sunday came out in support of starting a women’s version of the cash-rich Indian Premier League after having spoken against it earlier.”I felt that (way) before the ODI World Cup. At that point of time the players’ identity as individual players was not as big as the ODI World Cup where people started to understand what is Indian women’s cricket and who all play for the team,” said Mithali.She was speaking on the eve of the second One-day International against world champions England.”Now since a year or two people have gone beyond 2-3 players. They recognise other players in the squad and now is the right time to get in IPL because T20 is also a format that ICC is looking to promote in women’s cricket,” added Mithali.In the women’s 50-over World Cup, the Indian team made the final where they lost to England, generating a huge amount of interest in the country.Mithali felt that there will be cascading effect on their game’s structure with the introduction of women’s IPL.She spoke about the A tour concept to develop the women’s game.”We also have India A tour. I’m sure there is one in the near future. If we have more of that and we can give opportunity to the second string, not just playing versus the visiting teams, but also tours abroad to Australia or New Zealand. That exposure will help them immensely,” she remarked.”As far as IPL is concerned, if that can be a double-header, like how we had the T20Is in New Zealand, that will definitely garner more people to come and watch us play, and obviously televising it and marketing it will get a lot of people to follow it,” she added.advertisementThe India women’s ODI skipper also saw the plans to conduct U-19 and U-21 World Cups for women as an advantage.”It will be important because every country is looking forward to getting more girls to play the sport. And if you have another World Cup, of say Under-19 or Under-21, it gives an opportunity for young girls to compete at that level because there’s something to look forward to.”Someone who’s playing U-19, they have to straightaway aim for the senior level. That’s a long shot. Very few are able to make it. For the rest who don’t make it, at least they have another shot at playing or representing their country at the World Cup (at the juniors level).Also Read | India vs England: We need to have more partnerships, says Mithali RajAlso Read | During IPL, women’s T20 event with maximum 3 teamslast_img read more

Top Five: African World Cup qualifying flops

first_imgOpinion Top Five: African World Cup qualifying flops 04:15 11/10/17 Comments(0) 1/6 Top Five: African World Cup qualifying flops Ramy Bensebaini Algeria Gettyimages Cameroon, Hugo Broos Backpagepix Full screen 1 of 6 Share Close Algeria: Les Fennecs boast one of the strongest squads in the continental game—if not the strongest—but their World Cup qualifying campaign was a miserable affair that they’ll be desperate to forget in a hurry. Milovan Rajevac departed after the draw with Cameroon, while Georges Leekens and Lucas Alcaraz also held the reins before and in the aftermath of the disastrous Nations Cup campaign. Now the legendary Rabah Madjer is at the helm, but he arrives too late to take Algeria to Russia. Unfortunately, Riyad Mahrez, Islam Slimani, Yacine Brahimi et al. will miss the World Cup. FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Opinion Gallery Ghana A’ Algeria A’ Congo DRlast_img read more

Violence in Mogadishu swells number of displaced Somalis – UN survey

1 October 2010An estimated 410,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Somalia’s violence-wracked capital, Mogadishu, have sought refuge in the Afgooye corridor, a 20-kilometre strip of land north-west of the city, up from 366,000 in September last year, the United Nations refugee agency reported today. The rise in the number of people fleeing Mogadishu is a reflection of the deteriorating security in the city since 2007, according to the latest assessment by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).“We were able to identify and map every individual building and temporary shelter. Overall there are 91,397 temporary shelters and 15,495 permanent ones in the area,” UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming told reporters in Geneva.In addition to the 410,000 IDPs living in Afgooye, there are another 55,000 displaced people in Dayniile, north of Mogadishu, 15,200 in the Bal’cad corridor in the northern periphery of city, and 7,260 others in Kax Shiiqaal in the western outskirts, according to the UNHCR survey. The agency also estimated that Mogadishu itself has an estimated 372,000 IDPs.“Reflecting the increased population has been a rapid urbanization of the Afgooye corridor – clearly apparent in the satellite imagery. Entire new towns have replaced makeshift IDP sites with more people living in rudimentary buildings alongside the tens of thousands of shelters made of cloth and fabric,” Ms. Fleming said.“Overall it appears that structures in Afgooye are becoming more permanent as hopes fade for a safe return to the capital any time soon. Over the past four weeks alone, almost 12,000 people have fled to the Afgooye corridor, which has become the third largest urban area in Somalia after Mogadishu and Hargeisa,” she added, referring to the capital of the self-declared republic of Somaliland to the northwest.According to UNHCR, living conditions in the Afgooye corridor are extremely difficult, with people struggling to feed themselves and lacking other basic necessities, even as the precarious security situation prevents humanitarian agencies from accessing those in need.Some assistance is getting there through local partners, but the amounts are minuscule compared to the needs, Ms. Fleming said.The findings of the latest assessment in the Afgooye corridor have pushed upwards the overall estimated number of IDPs in Somalia to 1.46 million. In addition, Somalia has produced some 614,000 Somali refugees, most of whom live in camps in neighbouring countries.Meanwhile, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, Augustine Mahiga, has said violence remains the main impediment to human rights in Somalia.“It should be noted that without peace in south-central Somalia, it will be difficult to envisage profound and lasting changes in the precarious human rights situation there, especially with regard to the right to life, and even basic human rights such as the right to food, shelter, education and health,” Mr. Mahiga said in speech to the interactive dialogue on human rights in Somalia.“It is imperative therefore that all efforts are made to bring about a peaceful solution to this endless conflict,” he told the meeting in Geneva on Wednesday. He said the UN, the African Union (AU) and the AU’s peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM) are engaged in dialogue on the obligation to protect civilians and how to best do it in the volatile environment.“Protecting the right to life of the Somali people should continue to be one of our pressing priorities, not just through ending the conflict, but through life support by providing adequate food, shelter, water, sanitation and education wherever those in need may be,” Mr. Mahiga said. read more

Gampaha factory closed temporarily

As the protest continued and traffic was affected the army was deployed to disperse the protesters and the situation then turned violent.Earlier today a black flag protest was staged in Weliweriya, Gampaha over the contamination of drinking water as a result of chemicals released from a factory. The factory however insists it has nothing to do with the contamination. Earlier the porters blocked the Colombo – Kandy road at the Belummahara junction preventing the vehicles from going by. Shops in the area were closed while a monk who protested and called for the factory to be removed, resumed the protest today after suspending it earlier.From Weliweriya the protesters moved to the Belummahara junction blocking the traffic movement between Kandy and Colombo.The chief incumbent of the Galoluwa Buddhist Temple, the venerable Theripaha Siridhamma Thero had launched a fast unto death on Monday after talks held with the authorities to resolve the issue had failed. The drinking water in the area is believed to have been contaminated from chemical waste released from a gloves factory in the area. A five kilometer area is said to be contaminated and one resident told the Colombo Gazette that he even uses filtered water to have a bath.The venerable Siridhamma Thero said that the residents in the area are demanding that the factory be shut down and safe drinking water assured to them.Talks were held on Monday between government officials, the monk and public representatives in order to resolve the issue. Several people were injured when a protest over the contaminated water in Gampaha turned violent this evening when the army and police were deployed to disperse the crowd blocking the Colombo – Kandy main road. The government has decided to temporarily close a gloves factory in the Gampaha area following violent protests over allegations chemical waste from the premises is contaminating water in the area.According to the police, the decision to temporarily close the factory was taken at a meeting held between officials and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa today. However the venerable Siridhamma Thero said that the talks had failed and so he had decided to launch a protest.He suspended the protest later but resumed it today. (Colombo Gazette) read more

MR says crooks who were with him are now in the Government

Rajapaksa also said that the joint opposition is now weak as a result of some of its members joining the Government. (Colombo Gazette) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says the crooks who were with him are now in the unity Government.Rajapaksa told reporters today after meeting the head of the Ramanna Nikaya the venerable  Napana Premasiri Thera, that if there were crooks in his Government as claimed by some, they are now in the current Government. The former President said that he has no issues working with the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) but it must first severe ties with the United National Party (UNP).

Top UN official in Kosovo welcomes Yugoslav remarks on elections

“This is good news,” said Simon Haselock, a spokesman for Hans Haekkerup, who heads the UN mission. “Mr. Haekkerup would like to welcome President Kostunica’s remarks reported in the press that he and the Serbian Government would recommend to Kosovo Serbs that they should register as voters for the Kosovo elections.” While noting that President Kostunica’s statement was not a commitment to recommend that Kosovo Serbs participate in the 17 November elections, Mr. Haekkerup felt that an encouragement to register helped to keep their options open, the spokesman said. He stressed that from UNMIK’s point of view, all Kosovo citizens should fully participate in the elections.

DR Congo UN food supplies reach 60000 people displaced by fighting

Trucks from the UN World Food Program (WFP), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and NGOs have been able to negotiate insecure roads in the Katanga area, where 120,000 people have fled their homes since November, OCHA said.It called upon the local authorities to help arrange security for the displaced people and to put an end to impunity for rights violators in Katanga.Yesterday OCHA warned that fresh operations by the army against the Mayi-Mayi were sparking fears of a further flight of civilians.

ExWahlburgers employees sue claiming denied wages and tips

by The Associated Press Posted Aug 19, 2016 7:30 am MDT Last Updated Aug 19, 2016 at 8:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Ex-Wahlburgers employees sue, claiming denied wages and tips FILE – In this June 23, 2015, file photo, Donnie Wahlberg, from left, Paul Wahlberg and Mark Wahlberg attend the Wahlburgers Coney Island preview party in New York. Five former employees at the Coney Island location filed a federal class action lawsuit against Wahlburgers and the owners of the franchise on Aug. 18, 2016, alleging “rampant” violations of labor laws. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File) NEW YORK, N.Y. – Five former employees of the burger chain founded by celebrity brothers Mark and Donnie Wahlberg are suing the company over what they call “rampant” violations of labour laws.The ex-employees who filed the class-action suit in New York federal court Thursday previously worked at a Wahlburgers location in Brooklyn. They claim Wahlburgers failed to pay them the proper minimum wage and regularly kept tips designated for servers.The lawsuit claims employees at one time didn’t receive a $3,000 tip left for them following a private party for the cast of “Blue Bloods,” the CBS series starring Donnie Wahlberg.The suit names Wahlburgers and the owners of its Brooklyn franchise. The Wahlbergs aren’t named.Wahlburgers said Friday that it’s working with the franchise “to better understand the circumstances.” read more

Week in Brussels – Week ending Friday 17 January 2013

DOWNLOAD1. EU new car market contracts 1.3% in 20132. CO2 emissions from new light commercial vehicles proposal adopted by EP3. Industrial production up by 1.8% in euro area4. Education Commissioner calls for stronger partnerships between employers and education5. Week aheadClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)

Major fire guts Primark store in historic Belfast building

Parts of the roof then collapsed as thick black smoke and fire ripped through the rest of the flagship store.The building has survived bombs and fires throughout its long history in the city. Flames from a major blaze which has broken out at the Primark store in Belfast city centre The cause of the fire is so far, unknown Staff and shoppers were evacuated from the storeCredit:Liam McBurney/PA Staff and shoppers were evacuated from the store Primark customers and staff were evacuated from the building at around 11am on Tuesday after smoke could be seen billowing from the roof.Flames reaching at least 50 feet could be seen right across Belfast’s skyline.The historic clock at the top of the building was engulfed in flames before the fire spread from the roof to the floor below. Michael Graham, assistant chief fire and rescue officer, said they would continue to deal with the fire into the evening and potentially overnight.He said he did not know what caused it, nor whether there were fire alarms or sprinklers in place. Nobody was injured. Flames from a major blaze which has broken out at the Primark store in Belfast city centreCredit:Liam McBurney/PA Firefighters helping to tackle the fire in BelfastCredit:Liam McBurney/PA Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Joan McCoy, president of the Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA), said that these types of buildings give Belfast a “unique identity and character”.”The Bank Building is a very important part of the city’s architectural heritage and is loved by many,” she added.”This building has survived bombs and fire before. We can only hope that the damage is not too severe and that the building can be saved.” The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service is currently in attendance at the scene Crews are fighting the blaze on several fronts.Last week, Primark announced a recruitment drive for more than 100 jobs as it is currently undergoing renovations to add 30,000 sq ft.Work to complete the bigger store was to be finished by the end of the year.The fire will have an impact on hundreds of jobs at Northern Ireland’s largest Primark store. Firefighters helping to tackle the fire in Belfast The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service is currently in attendance at the sceneCredit:PA/ Liam McBurney Hundreds of members of the public were removed from the area as they city went into lockdown with police closing roads and diverting traffic to allow firefighters to tackle the blaze.Loud bangs could be heard coming from the fire, while large pieces of debris were seen falling from the building. A senior fire officer has described the fire that gutted a Primark store in Belfast as one of the biggest they have battled in a number of years.Flames and thick black smoke engulfed the five-story historic building in the city centre.More than 100 firefighters battled for over six hours as the major blaze ripped through the Bank Buildings.CEO of Primark Paul Marchant said he is deeply shocked and saddened by the fire and moved to reassure staff that have been gravely impacted by the blaze, saying he will ensure they are “fully supported”.The building, which has been in the heart of Belfast’s shopping district since 1787, had recently undergone a multimillion-pound refurbishment. He expressed “concerns” over the structural integrity of the building, with part of it “prone to collapse” and said a 30-metre cordon had been established for that reason.”It was a difficult fire and a fire that has continued for approximately six hours,” he said.”It has been a long and arduous six hours for them but we will continue to fight the fire until we extinguish it.”It is one of the biggest we have experienced in the last two to three years.”He said he was concerned about the front and the two sides of the structure. The cause of the fire is so far, unknownCredit: Liam McBurney/PA In a statement, Mr Marchant said: “We are deeply shocked and saddened by the fire today at our Bank Buildings store in Belfast city centre.”The safety and wellbeing of our customers, colleagues and construction team is of course the most important consideration and we are truly relieved that all were evacuated safely.”We would like to thank the emergency services for their swift response and ongoing actions.”Our store is housed in an iconic building and much loved by the people of Belfast.”We would like to reassure our customers, colleagues and the wider community in Belfast that we are committed to working with the authorities and our building contractors to establish the cause of the fire.”We are working closely with our team in Belfast to ensure they are fully supported during this challenging period.”We would like to thank everybody for their support during this difficult time.” read more

Mining Exploration Technology

first_imgUDP platform in use at Pluton’s Irvine Island iron ore project, Western AustraliaIn 2011, exploration spending levels seem to have been fairly healthy according to available figures. In Australia, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, despite the imminent 22.5% mining tax, exploration spending figures for the September 2011 quarter for coal was up 12% to a new record high of A$227 million, while spending on iron ore exploration was up 9% to a new record high of A$235 million. The total number of metres drilled exploring for minerals climbed 28% in the year to September 2011. Total minerals exploration spending jumped 47%. Spending in New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia more than doubled. Exploration spending in Victoria jumped 56%, and spending in Western Australia 25%. However, the tax will be an important consideration for the industry going forward.Elsewhere the picture is mixed. Recently released figures for northern Canada from Natural Resources Canada show that C$395.5 million was spent on mineral exploration in Nunavut in 2011; C$309.2 million was spent in the Yukon Territory, and C$81.1 million was spent in the Northwest Territories. In Nunavut and Yukon, mineral exploration companies are spending more than previously projected, while in the Northwest Territories, expenditures are lower than projected. The diamond mining industry is reaching a plateau and grassroots exploration investment is lower than it has been.In late November 2011, Metals Economics Group (MEG) published its review of 2011 exploration activity, and estimated the total 2011 budget for nonferrous metals (excluding iron ore, aluminium, coal) exploration as having surged to $18.2 billion. Despite increased volatility in recent months, metals prices – the primary driver of exploration spending – remained relatively strong in 2011, say MEG. This in turn has given confidence to the industry and a resulting exploration budget increase by $6.1 billion, up 50% from 2010 has set a new alltime high. It was also noted that the proportion of overall exploration spending dedicated to early-stage and generative work has been fairly stable over the past three years; however, at just a third of overall allocations it is historically low. The decline in greenfield exploration has gone hand in hand with an upward trend in brownfield and near-mine exploration. However, the number of large-scale assets advancing to development has not risen proportionately due to this increased focus on existing projects, contributing to constraints on meaningful production increases for most metals.The following gives an overview of some of the current solutions, strategies and products utilised in the mineral exploration, from helicopter surveys to new analyser technologies and case studies from real projects.Aerial and ground surveyFor covering large areas early on in an exploration project, aerial survey can be a very cost-effective tool. SkyTEM is a time-domain (TDEM) airborne geophysical system capable of delivering accurate high resolution maps of changes in geology from the very near surface to depths of hundreds of metres. The SkyTEM method is able to match the results of ground based TDEM systems and is widely employed by mineral exploration companies worldwide. High signal to noise, all sensors positioned on the carrier frame as close as possible to the target and the latest time gates available are some of the differences that contribute to the high quality of the data.SkyTEM systems are available in three configurations based on the area of the transmitter loop, namely 100, 300 and 500 m2, and the most appropriate configuration for depth and resolution required can be selected. Preliminary data and 1D inversions can be delivered the day data is acquired. The SkyTEM101 is designed to map the very near surface to a depth of approximately 100 m. The system’s aerodynamic carrier frame reduces vibrations and system noise. Bias-free data is recorded at 8 microseconds (µsec) from the beginning of turn-off yielding resolution in the metre range. The system is also lightweight and useful for operating at high altitudes. In more gentle terrain the low weight allows for employment of less costly helicopter platforms that together with higher production speeds can result in more economical surveys. Helicopter cost is further reduced as there is no need for highaltitude calibration during the data collection phase as required by conventional systems.The SkyTEM304 is employed for mineral as well as ground water exploration. The system is unique due to the placement of all sensors on the carrier frame minimising the distance from the ground and ensuring all data is accurately positioned. The system is based on a dualmoment transmitter, a null-position receiver coil configuration and a transmitter able to turn off current in the coil within microseconds. These unique features allow the TDEM system to provide detailed high resolution of resistive and near surface layers in combination with a depth of investigation in the range of 300 m as well as bias-free data from about 10 µsec to 10 milliseconds (ms) which is beyond that possible with all other systems currently, according to SkyTEM Surveys.Flying a SkyTEM survey over GreenlandThe newly developed SkyTEM508 has an increased transmitter moment of approximately 500,000 NAI with eight turns on a 500 m2 loop for depths of investigation of 500 m or more. The system was developed with a focus on achieving a very high signal to noise ratio at the late TDEM gate centre times. With the patented dual-moment transmitter the system is able to record data at late decay times – 15, 35 or even 60 ms and early gates from about 35 usec.Aerial LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), digital image and hyperspectral surveys support mineral exploration project phases. Airborne LiDAR can efficiently cover large and remote areas to assess regional geomorphology to support mineral exploration project phases. LiDAR can effectively penetrate vegetation to generate bare earth models to support mineral exploration projects. This provides the means to identify surficial expressions of geological zones that are not visible in traditional photography. Detailed topographic data obtained by LiDAR surveys can help guide ground-based exploration projects making them more efficient and lowering environmental impact risks. Airborne remote sensing solutions can also be used in existing mines for brownfield exploration and geotechnical assessments. Engineers at Codelco Chuquicamata began experimenting with first generation GPS receivers in the 1990s, which was before there were enough GPS satellites to provide adequate and reliable coverage. Building on the initial use of ground-based GPS receivers, the group’s innovation took to the skies when Terra Remote Sensing carried out an airborne LiDAR survey over the main pit for the first time in the early 2000s. Codelco has since relied on airborne LiDAR and integrated digital imagery to gain a comprehensive and timely picture of the 3D characteristics in the Chuquicamata pit and of the surrounding infrastructure. When properly coordinated, airborne surveys are non-intrusive and have minimal impact on day-to-day operations. For a mine of this size, ground based surveys are not always a viable option for obtaining a complete picture of the entire pit. Additionally, LiDAR and digital imagery can be collected simultaneously from an airborne platform offering enhanced interpretability and data collection efficiency. Terra has flown the pit numerous times over the past decade, most recently in 2011. Having the ability to collect data over the entire pit in a short timeframe facilitates rapid data turn-around times, allowing pit engineers to conduct timely geotechnical assessments. These pit-wide assessments are then used to direct detailed ground based studies using terrestrial LiDAR systems operated by Codelco.Different aerial surveys often require a different approach and all airborne data is not equal. Fixed wing platforms offer certain advantages such as greater fuel efficiency; a longer range and faster data collection, however, in situations where elevation changes are rapid such as large open pits (can be approximately 1 km in elevation over a 1.5km distance) or mountainous terrain using a fixed wing platform at an operationally safe altitude above ground level (flying distance from the top of the pit) means the sensors’ distance to ground can vary by more than a kilometre. This variability in sensor to ground distance causes inconsistencies in LiDAR point densities and pixel resolutions. Helicopters can help to mitigate these data inconsistencies as rotary wing platforms have the manoeuverability to ‘contour fly’ over an open pit.Airborne LiDAR survey at ChuquicamataWhile airborne remote sensing is an established method in generating geospatial data for directing early stage resource exploration, as costs and demands for higher resolution increase, the use of these larger fixed wing and helicopter-borne systems can become more problematic. This led South Africa’s EXIGE and its partners Geotec and others to develop two unique and innovative solutions that they believe are “years ahead of what is currently offered and available.” The solutions are known as GyroLAG and WASP, the former operational since 2010 and in the field and the latter about to join it. These are based on autogyros, which have been around since the late 1920s but it is only recently that one has been military standard (MI) spec-designed and certified for commercial rather than recreational use. Using this safe and reliable platform and integrating a variety of miniaturised sensor systems has resulted in the GyroLAG, an advanced high resolution survey system capable of accommodating up to sevendistinct remote sensing technologies – horizontal gradient magnetics, near infrared (NIR), gamma spectrometry, scalar gravity, photo and video, LiDAR and experimental Self Potential in a certified purpose-designed aircraft. It can achieve lower ground clearances (5 to 20 m) than those commonly used with airborne geophysics (60 to 100 m) resulting in a significant improvement in data content; a lower survey speed (75 to 120 km/h) captures significantly higher density data which is two to three times that of a fixed wing and about equal to or a little better than more costly helicopter systems. It also has a short take off and landing capability from a 50 m long dirt track or field, eliminating the need for an airstrip; and can be deployed to the survey site in a container or trailer, reducing mobilisation/demobilisation costs dramatically. The developers point to lower operational costs consuming an average of 21 l/h of unleaded petrol, at least five to ten times lower than the typical airborne platform. It is claimed to be inherently safe at operation in low levels, low speeds and in remote operations due to being in permanent autorotation making it impossible for the autogyro to go into a slow speed stall.Bill Thuma at Geotec comments: “Specific applications of the GyroLAG are collecting magnetic and radiometric geophysical data, mapping detailed geology and geological features including lithology, structure, intrusions, alteration and in some instances potential economic mineral occurrences, LiDAR mapping power and pipe line corridors, assessing forest resources and agricultural conditions, surveying geo-hazards, recording both natural and man-made disasters, and delimiting property boundaries, infrastructure and geomorphic features.”GyroLAG should allow much more flexibility and safety in aerial survey workGyroLAG is operational and available worldwide for commercial contract services since 2010. WASP is a proven commercial-grade Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) specially equipped to conduct low level, low speed surveys using miniaturised sensor systems much like the GyroLAG. Programmed and operated by a ground ‘pilot’ or flown autonomously, the WASP can survey for up to two hours at a cruise speed of 90 km/h and a survey speed on the order of 30-50 km/h.When equipped with a magnetometer it generates data at a sampling rate of 250 Hz. In terms of new exploration instrument development, a new model for resistivity and IP tomography was developed in 2011 by GF Instruments. The company has introduced a new standard version of its popular ARES instrument for resistivity and IP tomography equipped with an extra powerful transmitter (2000 Vp-p / 5A/ 850W). The unit can be supplied either from a 12 v battery or from a generator via AC/DC convertor, keeping full transmitter performance both for multi-electrode cable measurement and for VES. As a result, the easily portable ARES system can be used for heavy duty surveys and also under extra high or low ground resistances reaching significantly enhanced depth ranges of investigation and noise resistance. However, ARES remains a traditionally lightweight system and is installed in a compact waterproof casing.The new ARES IP/resistivity tool from GF InstrumentsIn new technology development, Abitibi Geophysics has entered into an agreement with RMIT University to fund the development of the ARMIT B-field and dB/dt sensor for ground and borehole geophysical data acquisition. A threecomponent sensor was in field testing in early 2012 and a field test on an early prototype was conducted in Utah in August 2011. This showed that the ARMIT sensor, which operates at ambient temperatures, is quieter than published noise figures for High Temperature SQUID sensors and spheric noise. The ARMIT sensor is a three component, compact, rugged unit, which weighs only 3 kg, is low to the ground, and can be ‘firmly placed’ on the ground without the need for levelling.During 2011 Abitibi Geophysics also expanded its operations outside Canada, carrying out borehole electromagnetics (EM) surveys in Portugal and Ireland and hole-to-hole 3D IP projects in Mexico, Honduras and Ghana. The company also entered into a joint venture with Terratec Geoservices of Heitersheim, Germany and completed sonic logging projects in Portugal and Ireland and an extensive physical properties logging project on a potash development property in Eritrea. Ground TDEM surveys were conducted in Ethiopia and gravity surveys in Mali and Ireland. Abitibi now offers a full suite of physical properties logging and borehole optical scanning services in North America.In addition, the group is now offering borehole gravity surveys for mineral exploration using the Scintrex Gravilog slim-hole gravity probe. The importance of borehole gravity is its ability to provide diagnostic mapping of density variations around a borehole. This means that any electromagnetic in-hole or off-hole anomaly can be tested to determine if there is a corresponding volume of high density material. Abitibi told IM: “The prudent use of borehole gravity will save exploration companies money and time. Abitibi Geophysics with partner Terratec Geoservices now provides borehole gravity surveys in Europe and Africa.”Minor metals/REE case study – SRK Exploration ServicesSRK ES conducted a helicopter based regional sampling and geophysics programSRK Exploration Services (ES) was commissioned in 2010 by Australian explorer Ram Resources to assist with the review and acquisition of the Motzfeldt tantalum-niobium project in South Greenland. SRK ES undertook a detailed assessment and due diligence on the data available for this project, thought to be one of the world’s largest occurrences of Ta-Nb hosted in altered syenites. Motzfeldt is part of the Gardar Alkaline Province, located in a remote and mountainous sub-Arctic area with access possible only by helicopter. The project was previously explored by Angus & Ross.In the summer of 2010, SRK ES mobilised an Arctic-experienced team to undertake a drilling, trenching and sampling programme that highlighted the limited nature of previous exploration, expanded known mineralisation considerably and identified significant REE mineralisation that had previously been overlooked. Further exploration including drilling, surface sampling and geological mapping was completed in 2011. Some of the highlights from recent drilling include 192.5 m at 2,210 ppm Nb2O5, 275 ppm Ta2O5 and 0.3% total Rare Earth Oxides. These grades are comparable with previous drill results on the project, and yet have expanded the drilled strike length to 600 m in length and around 250 m in width. Surface sampling suggests that the total potential strike length could be around 1.5 km.Ram Resources then acquired a much larger (568 km2) exploration licence in 2011, surrounding the Motzfeldt project. Following a target generation exercise, SRK ES designed and implemented an intensive helicopter-based regional sampling and geophysical programme over this licence. This resulted in the identification of four new areas of Ta-Nb-REE mineralisation in a range of geological settings. Two of these are very significant and potentially represent targets with similar grades and covering similar areas to Motzfeldt itself. One of them, the Voskop target, is also relatively enriched in REEs and is located such that it could be developed alongside a future mine at Motzfeldt.SRK ES also designed specific sampling, assaying and quality control procedures in cooperation with a range of laboratories to best assess what are very complex elements and matrix styles in the most efficient manner. For regional grassroots exploration, this included field preparation of samples and analysis with a portable XRF. This was key to the identification of new exploration targets during the field season and allowed for immediate follow-up work without the lengthy wait for laboratory results.SRK Consulting (UK), working alongside SRK ES, will soon start work on the first Inferred Resource for the project. Further drilling is planned for 2012 to expand this potential resource and to further investigate the new regional exploration targets identified in 2011. Ram Resources is a small company with limited in-house geological expertise. By working with SRK ES, they benefit from the services of an experienced multi-disciplinary team that has enhanced the understanding of this unique and challenging geological region. SRK ES is also now registered on the Central Business Register in Greenland. This is a requirement for any company that works on behalf of a licence holder in Greenland.Drilling and mobilityAccessing new exploration markets is important in today’s environment. Global exploration products major Sandvik and Cortech have signed an agreement under which Cortech will distribute Sandvik exploration tooling (RC and coring drill rods, bits, wireline and exploration products) and will be the agent in China for Sandvik exploration drill rigs. A collaboration agreement was also signed under which the two companies will utilise commercial and technical synergies of both companies. This is the first stage of planned long-term commercial and technical cooperation in many fields, including joint R&D, manufacturing and sales. Cortech is the largest manufacturer of fully hydraulic modern exploration drill rigs in China. Sandvik and Cortech are now actively working to formalise the alliance and collaboration that will focus on R&D, manufacturing and marketing. The statement said: “This alliance will allow clients to enjoy better service and more advanced equipment and tooling from both companies. The close cooperation between Sandvik and Cortech will allow both parties to utilise their resources and networks for the benefit of the global exploration drilling industry.”Atlas Copco has brought several new products to the market, including the new Christensen CT20 core drilling rig that replaces the Christensen CS3001 and Christensen CS4002. The CT20 is now the most powerful rig in the Atlas range but remains easy to operate. This rig also has a new feed system that will further enhance the high productivity. The CT20 has the drill capacity of 2,450 m and has a newly designed control panel is very easy to use with multiple automated functions.Heart of the Atlas Copco Excore system showing patented transition system between surface and pump in applications and patented automatically engaging safety mechanismThe group has also been seeing success with its new Excore line of ITH drilling tools. Service de Forage Orbit-Garant Drilling, one of the largest Canadian-based drilling companies, is a customer for the new solution, which introduces a newly configured head assembly and improved safety overshot to its fleet of drilling rigs. The head assembly is adaptable for both surface and underground rigs, and the improved safety overshot features an automatic mechanism that doesn’t need to be manually engaged by the drilling crew. “They saw the problems that we were facing with the old technology and they came up with solutions,” said Jacques Proulx, Service de Orbit Garant’s Operation General Manager. Service de Forage Orbit Garant operates 185 drills and employs approximately 900 employees throughout its international drilling operations. The company was contending with delays and downtime due to mix-ups at job sites between parts for underground and surface applications. With Excore, it is now able to use the same parts for both applications. The new head, features a change out of the two seals from surface to underground, resulting in less wear on parts, fewer repairs and reduced downtime. The back end never needs any maintenance, and its design makes it less complicated to fix. The company has used the Excore multi use head assembly for both surface and underground applications, drilling more than 12,000 m in both applications without having to make any repairs or change any parts. The new auto-safe overshot, which is automatic and doesn’t need to be engaged manually by the drilling crew, is not only far safer but more efficient. This is because the process of retrieving the core doesn’t have to stop while pulling the inner tube.Excore inner tube assembly about to be sent back for another drill run after 1,200 m of useFor a number of years, the virtues of sonic drilling versus other methods have been becoming more widely known in mineral exploration. The main supplier of the technology and equipment, Boart Longyear has now taken a major step by offering sonic drilling rigs on the open market, which were previously proprietary to their Drilling Services division. IM Editor Paul Moore spoke exclusively to Kevin Tomaszewski, Director of Global Product Management and Marketing Communications at the company, about this development. In terms of its application versus other methods, he commented: “Sonic drilling is an excellent technique for mineral exploration, environmental and infrastructure drilling in unconsolidated and soft ground conditions. Whereas these are often chronic problems for other drilling methods, sonic drilling frequently delivers exceptional core recovery, maintaining sample integrity. As the preferred method when there are concerns with using fluids, sonic technology can be used effectively to drill heap leach pads, acquire bulk samples, drill in mine dumps and difficult environmental drilling.” There is also a market for sonic drilling in precollaring work, particularly where there is deep, dense overburden that overlays ore bodies. Sonic technology can penetrate these formations faster, and even provide valuable information, before switching to another method like diamond coring.In terms of why Boart Longyear has chosen this juncture to make the equipment available, the company states that it strives to always bring the best technology to the market: “Over the years, our customers have inquired about the drills as a clean, undeviated alternative to other drilling methods. As an integrated drilling company, we’ve thoroughly tested sonic technology in the field in multiple applications with our Drilling Services division. Consequently, our LS600 sonic drill rig is the culmination of nearly 20 years of in-field experience. We’re going to be offering sonic technology in an effort to provide solutions for all drilling applications, and we’re confident this will be another valuable method for our customers.”The LS600 sonic rig will feature a pneumatic isolation system inside the head, preventing resonant energy from transmitting to the drill rig. This directs the maximum amount of energy down the drill string to the face of the bit for improved penetration rates. Casing will be offered in diameters of 4.75 in to 12 in and core barrels of 3.75 in to 10.5 in while the drill rods will be 3.5 in and come in upset and standard diameters. A full line of bits, shoes, tooling and accessories will complement the LS600 rig, including Boart’s patented Clam Shell drill rod management system. The LS600 is capable of a drilling depth of up to 182 m and a maximum hole width of 12 in.The LS600 sonic drilling rig can deliver results in conditions where other equipment failsResponding to the increasing demand for deeper holes, Ingetrol is boosting its capacities on several of its models in 2012 including the Explorer Plus MD4, Explorer 1500 and Explorer 2500, as well as introducing the Explorer 1200. The internationally recognised portable rig Explorer Plus MD4 will double its hydraulic capacity while maintaining its maximum module weights of 250 kg. Featuring a belt-driven H Chuck with synchronisation, the Explorer Plus MD4 will now be able to deliver depths of up to 900 m in Ø NW/L and 600 m in Ø HW/L. The first of these improved rigs was due to be delivered in Mexico in February 2012.Ingetrol’s Explorer 1500, ideally mounted on a crawler or truck, is also more powerful with a 236 hp turbo diesel engine and a chain-driven P Chuck, reaching depths of up to 1,100 m in Ø NW/L, 750 m in Ø HW/L and 500 m in Ø PW/L. Furthermore the Explorer 2500 will now feature a 275 hp turbo diesel motor and a gear-driven P Chuck, to drill up to 2,300 m. in Ø N W/L, 1,500 m. in Ø H W/L and 1,050 m. in Ø P W/L. The Explorer 2500 is a multi-purpose rig that in addition to diamond core drilling, can perform reverse circulation drilling. Finally for those not requiring man portability or very deep holes, Ingetrol is offering the new Explorer 1200D, featuring a chain-driven P Chuck and a 160 hp turbo diesel motor, and reaching depths of up to 700 m in Ø N W/L, 500 m in Ø HW/L and 300 m in Ø PW/L.In tools and rig operations developments, Fordia has just launched its new patent-pending underground drilling system; the OWL Self-Lock Underground. This new coring device benefits from the success of the OWL Self-Lock latching mechanism, already proven to help avoid mislatches in surface drilling conditions. The main feature of this new underground head assembly is its simpler mechanism and design, greatly lowering the amount of parts needed and significantly reducing inventory and maintenance costs. This new head travels faster within the drill string due to reduced drag, and can also be more safely engaged in the outer tube, therefore saving precious uptime at every run, and providing drillers with a safer working environment. The company told IM: “For companies drilling in both surface and underground conditions, this head also features another critical time-saving opportunity. A very simple conversion allows the drilling company to switch a conventional OWL Self-Lock head into an Underground one from which considerable savings on inventory management can be reached.” The new OWL Self-Lock Underground head assembly fits on standard coring systems and requires no change to the actual drilling set-ups to correct the core barrel’s length (adaptor coupling), eliminating potential mistakes as well as many conversion headaches.One of the new frontiers of mineral exploration is the seabed, to date overshadowed by the oil industry but in minerals terms now more in the limelight. Trans-Tasman Resources (TTR), in partnership with New Zealand Diving and Salvage (NZDS) has developed patented marine deep drilling technology to manufacture drilling rigs capable of taking 60 m seabed samples using RC, diamond coring or rock coring technology. CEO Paul Berend said existing coring equipment was cumbersome and ineffective in the iron sandrich sediments off the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island. “Our solution was to develop a technology that could be operated from the very compact vessels operated by NZDS in a turbulent marine environment. There were three key requirements. The first was that the rig had to be specifically for mineral resource definition in compliance with JORC guidelines, secondly it was essential that it was very quick to deploy and retrieve, even in rough seas, and finally it had to be low cost.” The technology has been in use for two years, and all requirements have been met, with two JORC resource estimates reported.A schematic of the TTR seafloor mining conceptThe most recent, in August 2011, defined an initial mineral resource equivalent to 200 Mt of concentrate grading 60% Fe in weight. This mineral resource is compliant with JORC guidelines and defined by Golders Associates on the basis of drilling campaigns undertaken with the new ultra-low cost drilling technologies described. Paul Berend says TTR and NZDS believe the technical solutions developed could substantially reduce mineral exploration costs, not just for iron sands, but for a whole range of minerals, from gold to phosphates and mineral sands. TTR is now in the process of offshore drilling operations using medium (9 m seabed samples) and deep drilling (60 m seabed samples) and its mineral resource is expected to increase.TTR is a New Zealand company, established in 2007 to explore, assess and develop the potential of the rich offshore iron-sand deposits off the west coast of New Zealand. The company believes there is a window of opportunity for New Zealand to become a significant supplier of quality vanadium-titanomagnetite concentrate to Asian steel mills.Oil shale case study – SRK Exploration ServicesDrill core analysis during Attarat Um Ghudran oil shale exploration workThe Attarat Um Ghudran oil shale deposit is one of the largest oil shale deposits currently known in Jordan. The oil shale seam with a maximum thickness of 90 m is buried below up to 100 m of overburden material that gives a favourable stripping ratio but still represents a costly exploration exercise. Jordan Oil Shale Energy company (JOSE), the subsidiary of Estonia’s Eesti Energia has been studying the deposit for the last four years with the ultimate aim of developing an oil shale fired power project and synthetic crude oil facility. Eesti Energia is the largest oil shale to energy company in the world.JOSE, along with SRK ES, the University of Tartu, the Tallinn University of Technology and other partners have spent the last year assessing the south-eastern block of their licence area in an attempt to define in excess of 600 Mt of material at a heating value of 5.5 MJ/kg to source a power production project for a minimum of 30 years. To achieve this aim an integrated exploration approach was required that would push the current boundaries of geological understanding. This involved core and open hole drilling, careful geological mapping and understanding of lithologies, seismic profiling, hydrogeological and geotechnical analysis. At the heart of the successful exploration programme was a robust understanding of the sequence stratigraphy and subsequent alteration and digenesis of the Late Cretaceous Muwaqqar Formation and its physical and chemical variability, vertically and laterally.Central Jordan is located close to the Dead Sea Transform Fault System and, coupled with the apparent loss of oil shale in some historical drill holes within shallow wadi systems, SRK ES proposed a series of geophysical surveys to understand the tectonics of the region to supplement the direct drilling. Shallow seismic along with downhole gamma logging was found to be of most benefit and helped to define a thicker oil shale unit than predicted, deformed by north east trending normal faulting and began to outline the distinct internal layering of the oil shale seams.This layering was further investigated through careful geological logging and portable XRF analysis until a clear predictable stratigraphy was defined that could be modelled. This involved five discrete oil shale units numbered A through E, separated by chemically distinct barren dolomitic limestone units. The recognition of these units, the presence of various digenesis within certain units, along with the identification of an increased of silica/chert input with depth will add to the accurate modelling of this stratigraphy for resource, mine planning and future blending schedule purposes across both power and oil project sites.This understanding also allowed for an important observation; a proportion of the overlying material, originally classified as the upper MCM Formation, was in fact heavily weathered oil shale of the uppermost units, downgraded by the removal of organic matter. This should aid in future studies and may exist as an exploration potential when assessing less deeply weathered regions.An understanding of the physical and chemical variability of the oil shale was reached through the re-logging of historical drill holes and the collection of nearly 9,800 m of new drilling, from which 6,600 m has been drilled with cull core. Sufficient data quantity and quality was ensured by drill programmes designed using Fischer assay variography and statistics from historical data along with the implementation of a careful exploration management systems and Competent Person supervision.SRK in association with Dohmen, Herzog & Partner are currently in the process of defining JOSE’s first JORC compliant Mineral Resource estimate. This resource, coupled with the knowledge gained from an integrated exploration programme drawing upon new interpretation and adapted techniques, now aims to target upgraded resources and additional material toward a new power generation and oil retort project in the heart of the Middle East.PhotoSat is now offering a drill hole collar coordinate mapping serviceAs stated, remote operations in poorly mapped areas is a challenge for mineral exploration groups. PhotoSat has developed a new drill hole collar coordinate mapping service designed for mining companies exploring in the developing world. When mining companies construct white crosses of painted stones or other materials, centred on their drill hole collars, PhotoSat can provide the companies with highly accurate and verifiable drill hole collar coordinates using high resolution stereo satellite photos. This drill collar mapping service has been developed for mining projects in the developing world where there is often local labour readily available to construct white stone crosses over the drill collars, while competent surveying is frequently costly and difficult to obtain.This new drill hole coordinate mapping service uses PhotoSat’s highly accurate, proprietary, stereo satellite elevation mapping process. “We developed the drill hole collar mapping service in response to a strong industry need for an accurate and verifiable process to establish drill hole collar coordinates on mining exploration projects in the developing world,” says PhotoSat President Gerry Mitchell. “For several years many of our customers have been struggling to confirm the coordinates of their drill hole collars on some of their remote projects. On some of these projects the companies have employed several different teams of surveyors before achieving a consistent set of drill hole collar coordinates. Sometimes these surveying problems have caused serious and costly delays in the production of 43-101 reserve estimates and feasibility studies, delaying company financing. We have developed our stereo satellite drill hole collar coordinate mapping service to help solve this problem.” PhotoSat is a team of geophysicists and associated geoscientists specialising in the computer processing of high definition elevation data from stereo satellite photos.In Australia, Pluton Resources has completed its first commercial hire agreement for two company-patented Universal Drilling Platforms. The UDP is a modular platform that, when fully assembled, has a ground disturbance of less than 5 m2, much less than traditional exploration equipment. A combination of a turntable with adjustable legs allows optimum orientation of the UDP to the land surface yeteasy reorientation of the drilling machinery to drill in any single or multiple drilling directions. This reduces the time and cost to the explorer in locating and reorienting the drill rig. The UDP can also be rotated by hand, allowing for safe reorientation of machinery without the need for extra equipment. The platform was developed to deal with the challenges of drilling on steep slopes and on uncleared land. It sits above the ground on hydraulic legs so it can operate on the side of hills without having to cut benches into the ground.The drilling platforms were hired to Winmax Drilling to complete a two hole program near Koolyanobbing in Western Australia for a Canadian-listed junior exploration company. The site was sensitive due to priority listed flora including grasses and grevilleas that generally only occur on the target iron formations. Winmax was awarded the contract because of the low environmental impact of the drill platforms and the ability to work on a slope with minimal ground disturbance (<5 m2). No site excavations apart from the four footings are required to prepare a drilling platform and all equipment was mobilised by helicopter. The drill sites were located on approximately 20° slopes and 300 m apart with each drilling platform providing safe working conditions on the remote site. Pluton Managing Director Tony Schoer said: “Although the first hire agreements have currently yielded a modest return of approximately A$25,000 for the drilling platforms, it is pleasing that they are versatile enough to be used on other exploration sites with environmental or heritage sensitivities. Several other companies continue to show interest in our patented drill platform”. Pluton Resources has also entered a commercial licensing agreement with Marathon Resources to use a UDP in the Arkaroola region of South Australia.Mobility for staff and lighter equipment is just as important as getting rigs on site and in this area, specialist vehicles can be used. The new 8×8 Centaur from off-road specialist ARGO has been transformed into what the company calls “a highly customisable asset” that can be used as a means of transportation for both people and equipment, while utilising the flexible rear cargo area. The company states: “Work crews, tools and equipment often have to move across miles of undeveloped wilderness to prospect new mine sites or inspect refining and delivery systems at any time of the year over an endless variety of solid and aquatic terrain. The 8×8 Centaur is the most economic solution when extreme, reliable and versatile off-road performance is required.” The company offers a drill-equipped model featuring the Hammerhead Rock Tools and the ARGO Drill specifically targeted at customers needing off-road mobility for geological surveying and mineral exploration. This specially equipped vehicle comes complete with either a hydraulic or pneumatic drill mast that can drill 2-4 in diameter holes up to 200 ft deep. The drill can also be detached from the ARGO and used in man-portable mode.SEI’s BATT solution could revolutionise fuel delivery to remote sitesMobility also refers to materials and fuel to power equipment at exploration and early stage mining sites. With mining operations typically located in remote areas with little infrastructure, fuel supply becomes a critical commodity. For the past few decades, the most common solution has been to fly bulk fuel to site using drums that were never designed for aircraft interiors. Once the fuel was offloaded into storage containers, the same aircraft then departed with empty drums as its “paying” cargo. This empty return flight doubled the actual cost of fuel delivery simply because the aircraft could not be utilised for any other cargo. This has changed with the launch of a new award-winning product, the Bulk Aviation Transport Tank (BATT) from SEI Industries. Using the BATT, once the fuel is offloaded, the tank is simply folded or rolled up for storage. This advantage cuts the cost of fuel delivery by almost 50% and speeds up operations by allowing the aircraft to carry cargo, such as core samples, out on the return flight.SEI believes BATT is the world’s first collapsible, double-walled, baffled aviation tank. BATTs are made from two main components: a heavy duty, abrasion-resistant outer tank (with a built-in strapping system that also serves as secondary containment) and a baffled inner tank. Customised to fit specific aircraft interiors, BATTs allow operators to maximise any aircraft’s load-carrying capacity. Dead head flights (with no cargo or passengers) are minimised because the BATT can be folded up and stored when not in use. It also eliminates aircraft damage or spills caused when handling fuel drums and reduces the cost of fuel spoilage while providing a cost saving to operators who have often lost money because they cannot return damaged drums. It eliminates the need to dispose of empty drums which are often abandoned because of the high cost associated with removing them. This prevents environmental impacts in remote and, often, sensitive locations.Although, in the past, only fuel drums were allowed to transport fuel without special permits, today, SEI Industries is the first company to receive a Transportation of Dangerous Goods Equivalency Certificate (SA 10638) from Transport Canada allowing the BATT to be used without special permits for the transportation of fuels. The company is also pursuing FAA approval for the BATT. The BATT comes in a range of sizes to fit various aircraft. Currently, DC-3, MIL-17, Cessna Caravan, AN26, AN32 and Twin Otter models are available. Future sizes will accommodate the DC-6, Bell 412 and Hercules aircraft.Software and GISAs a global player, Gemcom Software is known worldwide for the breadth of exploration capabilities its software provides. Gemcom’s geology and mine planning software packages (Gemcom Surpac, Gemcom GEMS and Gemcom Minex) offer many tools for exploration professionals. These tools include geological, seam and surface modelling, 3D data visualisation, drillhole data management, data interrogation, and more. The company’s Gemcom Whittle software is used in scoping and feasibility studies to determine the economic viability of mining a deposit. In 2011 it released Gemcom Hub, data management solution for exploration and production. Hub centralises, synchronises, and enables the sharing of exploration and mining data from drill holes to mine planning output. Hub enables the rapid transmission of large data files using the Internet, even over intermittent, low-bandwidth connections common to remote sites, making it possible to share data where it was virtually impossible to do so before. The company states:A synchronisation screen from Gemcom Hub“Hub closes the gap between a head office and remote site, supporting the quick and easy global transfer of data to enable skilled staff to spend more time assisting the field without the need for travel. It integrates seamlessly with the existing stored data generated from the vast majority of the industry’s exploration, mine planning, and production software, and also manages file output from common office applications used by staff.” By centralising data in Hub, critical project information is protected and accessible to those who need it across the enterprise. Optimised specifically for exploration and mining data, Hub provides data auditing, versioning, and easy searching (through the inclusion of tagging) of exploration and mining data files such as geological models, block models, drill holes, schedules, image files, and surveys. Hub’s intuitive searching and versioning capabilities make it easy for users to locate or recover the right information in a controlled and auditable manner.One user is Goldgroup in Mexico, which realised it did not have the skilled labour necessary to staff four different sites. By applying Hub’s next generation software, Goldgroup was able to centralise data; overcome the limitations of a low-bandwidth network thanks to rapid upload/download of data (only changes to files are transmitted); and secure, backup, and apply version control to data. Benefits achieved include transparency into operations at the four sites; centralisation of limited staff to work on projects; and visibility across projects for senior managers.Gemcom also offers a wide variety of exploration services, which are applied in conjunction with its software. To assist clients with their drill hole logging needs, Gemcom offers drill hole data maintenance services which include data import, auditing and cleansing. It also offers custom core and lab logging solutions which capture, store, organise and secure data according to the specific needs of individual companies and their projects.Leapfrog 3D modelling software can now interface directly with ALS Minerals Webtrieve core data retrieval service for seamless checking and verificationLeapfrog 3D modelling software can now interface directly with ALS Minerals Webtrieve core data retrieval service for seamless checking and verification. Leapfrog Mining, developed by ARANZ Geo, is a fast, dynamic, 3D geological modelling technology with innovative workflows that the company states “enables the best possible understanding of the geology.” According to ARANZ Geo, Leapfrog enables accurate and consistent visualisation of data providing confidence in the interpretation and modelling from early exploration to mine remediation. Multiple hypotheses can be explored, new data added and course corrections made easily as the project proceeds.Since it was first introduced in 2004 Leapfrog has been adopted by a number of leading mining and exploration companies. The interaction of the two packages offers users many distinct benefits. Leapfrog users can seamlessly view source information as part of the Leapfrog workflow, reducing interruptions and optimising usability. The ALS user can quickly visualise core data in 3D, which speeds up interpretation, evaluation and understanding of the data. This augmentation of Leapfrog & Webtrieve is available now via Leapfrog’s latest release. As part of the collaboration, ARANZ Geo is offering a 30-day evaluation licence at no cost, which can be requested on the Leapfrog website. The ALS Webtrieve data retrieval service itself has recently been expanded to include core images from core photos. The core photos are rendered into a single down-hole, depth registered image. Geochemical data may be plotted with this image, and anomalies interrogated with respect to the core photo. Photos at anomalous geochemical locations can be magnified to view details of fracture density, mineralogy, texture. The ALS Minerals service includes long term, unlimited photo archival and on-line viewing via the Webtrieve on-line data system.Once mines enter production, software continues to help drive performance. Carlson Mining 2012, released in September 2011, gives users improved 3D abilities within its bench pit design, added options for colour settings for enhanced visual feedback in underground tming sequencing, new haul truck cycle analysis routines, new spoil placement timings, and the ability to produce customised, more professional reports among its many upgrades. Carlson Mining is the number one software solution for coal mine operations in the US. Carlson Mining 2012 provides support for AutoCAD 2012 and comes with IntelliCAD 7.0 built-in. This is in addition to working on AutoCAD versions 2000 and onwards. Also released at the same time is Carlson Natural Regrade, which can be used to reclaim any disturbed land and has been recommended by the US Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining (OSM) for mine reclamation. With this release, a new Vegetation Scene tool places 3D symbols for selected vegetation based on slope and azimuth parameters for 3D visualisation of the reclaimed site. Three dimensional trees and shrubs can be placed into the model to show what the reclamation will look like at various growth stages.Geovariances, the leading provider of advanced geostatistical solutions for the resource industry, is about to release the latest version of its flagship geostatistics software solution Isatis 2012. New to Isatis 2012 is a feature long expected by geostatisticians and exclusive to the software: an entirely automatic variogram fitting tool. This tool is unique in the world of geostatistics software as it is the only one that handles complex variography and allows quick and high-quality fitting of multivariate, multi-directional and multistructure variograms.Starting from a set of basic combinations of structures defined by the user, the program computes the best fit of the variogram model against the input experimental variograms. The algorithm used has specifically been developed by the Geostatistics Group from Mines ParisTech Geosciences Department and is based on quadratic optimisation methods. The procedure is able to identify anisotropies and to optimise variogram ranges, sills, and other involved parameters for each basic structure, each simple or cross-variogram, in all directions of the space simultaneously. If a basic structure is not necessary in the model, the program is also able to discard it. It also handles nonstationarity.This innovative feature is particularly of interest when updating resource models with new data. Combined with Isatis batch procedures, it allows the set up of efficient automatic estimation workflows using models adjusted at best. Isatis 2012 new capabilitities also include the ability to compute grade tonnage curves from block simulations computed on selective mining units or on panel grids. This comes in addition to the previously existing options, that is the ability to compute grade tonnage curves from the results of estimations like ordinary kriging, disjunctive kriging, uniform conditioning or multiple indicator kriging. The application has also been enriched with the ability to handle 2D block models with a given thickness (where grades along the vertical direction are considered as constant, ie stratiform deposits) and irregular block models.Another noteworthy development is the exclusive Meandering Channel Simulations application, resulting from the FLUMY research consortium from the Geostatistics Group from Mines ParisTech Geosciences Department, which offers a new way of modelling sedimentary deposits thanks to the combination of processbased and stochastic approaches. Additional innovative functionalities also include the ability to interpolate directional data and above all visualise anisotropy directions in the scope of local geostatistics.Analysers and interpretationTeck has just made a major investment in ongoing development of Adrok’s technologyThe industry is also seeing some completely new innovations and approaches, especially in the area of analysers. Adrok’s Atomic Dielectric Resonance (ADR) scanner works by sending a narrow beam of energy into the ground using micro- and radio-waves. As it travels downward, the energy character of the beam is altered by the various rock layers it encounters. The beam, which can penetrate to depths up to several kilometres, is continually reflected back by these same rock layers and is recorded on surface. The recorded data describes how rocks and minerals, including hydrocarbons, interact with the beam as it passes through them and pinpoints their composition. The technology measures the dielectric permittivity of the subsurface as well as characterising the nature of the rock types based on analysis of both the spectroscopic and resonant energy responses.A key driver in pursuing development of virtual drilling technology is to reduce the number of drill holes required to delineate a mineral or hydrocarbon reserve. To do this, laboratory analyses of rock specimens and data from training holes are used to guide the interpretation and analyses of the Predrilling Virtual Logging results. As more samples are entered into Adrok’s proprietary library, the company states that confidence in the results will increase.Another benefit to this approach is that Predrilling Virtual Logging requires no land-use permitting as use of the technology offers a non-destructive, environmentally-friendly way of remotely deducing subsurface geology.Adrok’s client base in mining includes Teck Resources, which recently made an investment of more than £3 million in the technology. The arrangement with Teck will allow the firm to expand its commercial and technological expertise and is expected to create up to 10 new jobs. Gordon Stove, Managing Director at Adrok, said in late 2011: “We intend to grow the company rapidly next year. The funds will allow us to increase our provision of services to clients whilst concentrating on increasing global demand within the mining and oil and gas sectors. We look to advance our technology by producing next generation on and offshore systems which will generate new revenue opportunities. In many cases it is expected that our service will reduce the need for extensive drilling, dramatically decreasing both the time and costs incurred between discovery and initial production. That this investment has come from one of our existing customers is a testimony to Adrok’s technical ability and expertise.”Teck has already tested the ADR technology at their exploration properties in Ireland and collected exploration and geotechnical data at their underground Pend Oreille mine in Washington state, USA. “We look forward to working closely with Adrok to further develop mineral exploration and geotechnical applications for Adrok’s ADR technology,” said Joel Jansen, Teck’s Chief Geophysicist. Funds from this investment will support research in ADR technology with respect to discovery, delineation and evaluation. Although it is difficult to imagine a situation where conventional drilling and sampling would not be required to advance a mineral development project through to production, it is possible to imagine a situation where Adrok’s virtual drilling technology could significantly reduce the cost to assess an opportunity and reduce the risks associated with investing in extensive drill programs.IMA Engineering has developed new on-line Sampler-Analyser technology which can be integrated on drill rigs themselves. This integration has now led to the release of the first members of the product family. IMA has in conjunction with Atlas Copco developed the first fully integrated model PDSA (Percussion Drilling Sampler- Analyser) an Atlas Copco D65 drill rig. Deliveries of the first series of these units will be made in early to mid-2012 in Scandinavia and elsewhere. The first models are being delivered by Atlas Copco only under the Atlas Copco trade name “OreAlyser”. New Sampler-Analyser technology allows major improvements in mine grade control by sampling and analysing drill cuttings online while drilling rather than relying on samples taken from drill cuttings. These can be unrepresentative as very few cuttings come out of the hole from the first few metres; whereas the deeper you drill the more cuttings are produced. Cuttings also fly unevenly around the hole and subdrill cuttings not belonging to the bench are mixed with the other cuttings.Fully integrated model Percussion Drilling Sampler-Analyser on Atlas Copco D65 rigThe new Atlas Copco OreAlyser family includes full mechanical and electrical integration to Atlas Copco D65 Smart Rig drills with the on-line XRF elemental analysis combined with measure while drilling (MWD) data. The OreAlyser sampler range consists of IMA Engineering Sampler-Analysers mounted on Atlas Copco rigs. The OreAlyser PDSA (Percussive Drill Sampler-Analyser) integrates with Atlas Copco Smart Rig top hammer and DTH bench drills and is only available through Atlas Copco.The second model of IMA Sampler-Analysers is designed for the big rotary drill rigs. Deliveries of these BSA (Blast Hole Sampler Analyser) models will also start via Atlas Copco. Integration has been especially developed for Atlas Copco Pit Viper range of rotary blasthole drills.To ensure a smooth start-up and that users get the full benefit from the new technology, IMA partner Mine On-Line Service (MOLS) is now offering advanced services for the data handling and further utilization of the 3D technology in “On-Line Mine” concept developed by the two partners.The analysis is wireless with MWD transfer via WLAN to the mine server. Analysis data can be gathered for any desired length of hole from a 10 cm average to the hole average. The system automatically knows the hole ID from the rig and co-ordinates feed information from the rigs’ GPS system. Advanced 3D maps are available for blasting benches; explosive charging and selective loading; while there is an optional “Bag and Tag” sampling device for lab analysis samples.In addition to the fully integrated solution, IMA Blasthole Sampler Analysers can be retrofitted on existing rigs – to date it has been tested on the Atlas Copco Pit Viper 351 and the Bucyrus BE49R (now known as the Caterpillar MD6640). The retrofit option is a tailored system with quick installation on the drill rig and many of the features of the fully integrated option, though the analysis data is in XML format and hole ID and depth information feed information needs to be supplied to the database.MOLS has also been working in the Nordic market since 2007 with its novel mobile geochemical analysis lab, known as Scanmobile. During the past year the Scannmobile has been working actively at the national drill core storages at Loppi Finland, Malå Sweden and Lökken, Norway. The national drill core storages are managed by the Geological Surveys of Finland (GTK), Sweden (SGU) and Norway (NGU). The national core stores house old and new drill cores, the oldest ones dating back for more than one hundred years, which are available for exploration companies for review. They house significant amounts of drill core exceeding in Finland 3 million metres, in Sweden 4 million metres and in Norway 200,000 m. These cores come from past exploration projects from which, according to the local laws, all companies have to provide a representative sample of the drill cores to the national core storages. The national core stores have at their sites core logging rooms combined with convenient lodging facilities for interested customers.MOLS offers an analytical service for its customers at the national core stores with the Scanmobile mobile lab. The Scanmobile uses XRF elemental analysis and digital imaging technology for analysing and documenting the drill cores. “Scanmobile is an ideal tool for analysing the cores at these locations because it’s analysis methods are non destructive,” said Ilpo Auranen, MOLS CEO. It scans the exposed surface of the drill cores with its XRF analyser and takes high resolution digital images of the drill cores in the box. The core pictures are further analysed to detect minerals and evaluate rock quality (RQD-value). The drill cores are left intact so that other interested parties will have the possibility to look at them also in the future. In some cases MOLS has analysed old drill cores of which only a quarter is left, where they have been analysed twice before with conventional analysis methods, destroying half of the remaining core with each analysis. The Scanmobile’s XRF is the only method capable of analysing these because the remaining core quarters are not permitted to be destroyed with further lab analysis.Another feature of the Scanmobile service is its web browser reporting system and logging tool, the RemologTM, which enables customers to view and even to log the cores remotely. The Remolog combines geochemical analysis results with high resolution drill core pictures in an easy to use format. An additional advantage is the speed of analysis. “We can analyse several hundreds of metres of drill cores per day with the Scanmobile and have the results available at the Remolog on the following day, if desired” said Mr Auranen adding: “The advantage is the speed combined with the fact that our customers can bypass the national core storage logging facility’s often long booking line, because the analysis is done at the core storage not at the logging room, which will further enhance our service and shorten our customers time to mine.”The Delta Handheld XRF from Olympus InnovXPortable analyser solutions also continue to evolve and improve. Olympus InnovX, one of the leading manufacturers of portable XRF and XRD analysers states that it has been allocating much of its time supporting major mining house global exploration activity plus some ground breaking major international projects relating to analysers. This includes its involvement in the Canadian Mining Industry Research Organisation (CAMIRO) Exploration Division Project 10E01 – the Quality Control Assessment of Portable XRF Analysers. Phase I of this project (analysis of Standard Reference Materials) was completed last year and is moving to Phase II this year (analysis of variable media and real world samples). This project represents a co-ordinated independent assessment of several manufacturers of portable XRFs and is sponsored by over 20 mining companies that routinely use XRF technology for exploration and grade control purposes. The project goals are to benchmark the XRFs supplied from several manufacturers, to understand their strengths and weaknesses and to attempt to establish XRF standard operating procedures that can be universally adopted irrespective of the XRF manufacturer.Olympus InnovX is also an eight year affiliate partner in the Deep Exploration Technologies Co-operative Research Centre (DET CRC) in Australia, targeting new technologies to explore at greater depths. Recent work done through the DET CRC in conjunction with CSIRO has been focussed on ensuring robust QA/QC for field application of portable XRF and development of workflows for collection, processing and storage of geochemical data sets collected using the technology.Speaking to IM, Todd Houlahan, Olympus InnovX’s Director, International Mining Group, stated, “At Olympus InnovX we have achieved a lot over the last three years, particularly in relation to the Delta Handheld XRF and the Terra and BTX portable XRDs. XRF and XRD users want a supplier that can deliver accurate and reliable products but also provide a global approach to their portable analytical needs when it comes to cross country sales, applications development and support and service. With the dedicated exploration and mining staff we now have within our International Mining Group, along with a recent expansion in numbers, we can structure our commercial relationships and co-ordinate the technical/geochemical aspects from a global and regional perspective.”DGI Geoscience, a global leader in quantitative in-situ physical rock properties acquisition and interpretation services brought its new 2-4C (meaning to foresee) process to the industry in 2011. The company describes it as “a statistically robust methodology to assess, interpret and define relationships within quantifiable datasets including physical properties as well as geochemistry, assay, mineralogy, and geotechnical inputs.” Eric Maag, DGI Director of Market Development commented: “DGI’s rigorous calibration and standard operating procedures for downhole physical rock properties acquisition, honed with 15 years of experience, have provided the key for true multi-disciplinary integration with accuracy, repeatability, 3D representation and timeliness. Some of the development and applications within the 2-4C process were generated through cooperative efforts with DGI’s partners and continues as the process is further refined.” The 2-4C process involves many critical elements working together for a well-defined purpose. The process begins with assessment (QA/QC) of the data. Subsequent steps include the compilation of the vast amounts of verified data into defined, reliable, meaningful, and valid groups, known as domains. Using additional quantifiable datasets in the process, for example assays/ geochemistry laboratory results, relationships to the physical rock properties domains are established with auditable statistical evidence. DGI believes that the result bridges the gap between geophysics and the other geosciences for true integration of traditionally disparate datasets in providing “3D visual results and a speed component previously unattainable while maintaining accuracy.”ASD Inc, a provider of high-performance analytical instrumentation and materials analysis solutions, has announced the release of the TerraSpec 4 line of portable mineral analysers for optimisation of mining production and faster mineral exploration. The new rugged, portable TerraSpec 4 line includes a twofold improvement in spectrum quality in the most important wavelengths for mineral analysis, plus more rapid data collection. The TerraSpec 4 Hi-Res spectrometer for mineral exploration has a 6 nm resolution, while the Standard-Res, at 10 nm resolution, is well suited for ore analysis in mining production. “The improved technology in the new TerraSpec line of mineral analysers helps mineral exploration experts to more quickly map new deposits, and mining production organisations to better optimise their ore analysis, which aids in maximising metal recovery and mine longevity,” said Brian Curtiss, CTO of ASD. “Within the mining industry, the new TerraSpec line will continue to be the de facto standard technology for rapid, precise mineralogical analysis.”Using near infrared technology, the newest TerraSpec mineral analysers produce cleaner, higher quality spectra. This increased spectrum clarity in the SWIR region (1,001-2,500 nm) more precisely identifies critical indicator minerals, problem gangue minerals such as swelling clays, and quantifies other important metallurgical properties. Users also enjoy better resolution of samples with darker minerals, something that has historically been difficult with reflectancebased measurement technology. IMlast_img read more

MovieBob Reviews How to Train Your Dragon The Hidden World

first_imgStay on target MovieBob Reviews: ‘Shadow’MovieBob Reviews: ‘The Curse of La Llorona’ The How To Train Your Dragon movies occupy a space in the family-animation pantheon where they’re generally regarded as good, but also not so good that you really remember them all that well until there’s a new one, and then you go “Oh yeah, these are pretty good, aren’t they?” Not Pixar good, but also not Shrek instantly-dated, or Illumination irritating — they’re solid, well put together, you can’t really complain about them too much especially if you’re a parent stuck watching the same handful of films multiple times over “because.”The first one surprised and somewhat came out of nowhere, the second one was really just about as good (but not really as surprising at that point), and now Part 3 actually tries to be an actual ending to one of these family franchises instead of just promising to go on forever — how often do you see that? Though in this case, that’s probably for the best since even though it’s once again about as good as the previous two you can in fact somewhat feel it running out of gas all the same — not bad by any stretch, but clearly glancing up against the seams of what’s starting to feel like a somewhat limited premise.Picking up pretty much right where the last one left off, young Viking chieftain Hiccup is still trying to make the whole human/dragon coexistence thing work out in practical terms while also alternately inching toward (or bracing against?) more adult responsibilities like marrying warrior-maiden girlfriend Astrid and thinking long-term about non-dragon-related infrastructure (they’re getting kind of overcrowded.) Things then get disrupted in a hurry when the good guys’ dragon-trapper enemies call an infamous dragon-hunter out of retirement to launch a direct assault on the community; complicated further by the discovery of a female from the rare Night Fury species of Hiccup’s dragon Toothless, forcing both to confront the notion that they may not be destined to be together forever after all.Ultimately, circumstances force the good guys to undertake a mass relocation of the viking civilization itself, while Hiccup renews his late father’s once-abandoned quest for the so-called “Hidden World” of the title; a fabled entrance to the subterranean realm (think coral reefs, but as Hollow Earth Theory) where dragons are said to have originated… and which might the may now need to return. You can probably plot the story out in your head from there: Character arcs are completed, story-threads are wrapped up, callbacks called back to, lessons are learned about loss, growth, letting go, growing up and how to tell when your pre-production team spent perhaps too much story meeting time solemnly nodding back and forth about whether or not this or that moment was where the film becomes “Our Toy Story 3.”As in the previous installments, the film is at its most interesting when it’s focused on incidental character interactions, most dynamic when indulging in surprisingly slick fantasy-action visuals but gets immediately lesser in both directions whenever it tries to build suspense around the generic threats and boring one-dimensional villains (F. Murray Abraham’s dragon-hunting big bad for this one is easily the weakest of the franchise). The new value-added treat this time around are the dialogue-free sequences where Toothless tries, awkwardly, to figure out how to relate to his own new would-be love interest; which doesn’t necessarily break any new character or storytelling ground but prove a showcase for the animators’ excellent character work.Not necessarily something to write home about, but a solid feature that will likely prove a satisfying conclusion for fans who’ve stuck with it from the beginning — and it’s hard to imagine that the final coda won’t tug hard at the heartstrings of truly devoted fans who feel they’ve “grown up” alongside Hiccup and Toothless.last_img read more

UPDATE Hilton management offers comments

first_imgAbout 200 of them came out on a chilly night — children, young adults, middle-aged and some older — demonstrating for better pay and health care.It’s not happening at the Hilton Vancouver Washington, some employees said.A Unite Here protest occurred Tuesday evening outside the hotel and Vancouver City Hall, across Sixth Street from Esther Short Park. Protester Lucas Fielder, an employee at the hotel, said the Vancouver Hilton is highly ranked in customer-service surveys. “We take a lot of pride in what we do here,” he said.But Fielder said his base-level salary of $8.93 per hour, near minimum wage, means “I’ve had to take a second job” and work 16-hour days.The Hilton and its employee union have been locked in heated negotiations over salaries and health care.UPDATE: The Vancouver Hilton’s general manager, Eric Walters, could not comment Tuesday night, but offered comments Wednesday: “Regarding comparison to Portland hospitality wages: We collect significantly less revenues here in Vancouver for our goods and services compared to similar hotels in Portland.“We do pay a competitive wage in Clark County for hospitality jobs. In most cases, we pay the most when you consider the entire compensation package which includes wages, health benefits and employer contributions to the union’s pension plan.“Our current offer that is on the table is a 3% increase in wages the first year (The same that non-union Team Members received this year at the hotel) and 2% for the second and third year of the contract.last_img read more

All Politics is Local blog wins national award

first_imgEditor & Publisher announced The Columbian’s “All Politics is Local,” as a winner today in the newspaper industry journal’s annual EPPY Awards.The online blog won in the category of “Best News/Political Blog with under 1 million unique monthly visitors,” beating finalists “The Spot” by The Denver Post and Washington Monthly’s “Political Animal.”“All Politics is Local” received honorable mentions in the EPPY Awards in 2012 and 2011.Clark County government reporter Erik Hidle and Vancouver city government reporter Stephanie Rice are the primary contributors to “All Politics is Local,” along with Eric Florip, who covers transportation and the environment, and Tyler Graf, who covers small cities.Selected posts from “All Politics is Local” run in the Sunday newspaper on the cover of the Clark County section.Among the posts submitted to the contest were Florip’s (premature?) obituary for the Columbia River Crossing, Hidle’s post about Clark County Commissioner David Madore saying he doesn’t know how someone can have a “meaningful” life on $50,000 a year and Rice’s report of Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt flexing for Gov. Jay Inslee.The blog, which has the tagline, “We go to meetings so you don’t have to,” was started in December 2010 as a way to share behind-the-scenes stories from local government that otherwise wouldn’t make the news. It is the most-read blog on The Columbian’s website, said Web Editor John Hill. Hill added that October has been a record-setting month for blog hits, which he credited to the campaign-related posts on “All Politics is Local.”last_img read more