How Will They Be Remembered?

The locals simply refer to the massive discharge from a local mine as the Mariana tragedy. This month’s news opens with the worst mining-related environmental disaster yet, the Fundão dam failure at the Samarco iron ore mine in Brazil. While one accidental release into the environment is one too many, this spill was different; civilians lost their lives. Beyond damaging the Rio Doce (Portuguese for Sweet River) and its ecosystem, this tailings release wiped out villages. In its news report, E&MJ offers a detailed explanation of what happened and the reaction from the executives at the two major mining companies that hold 50% stakes in Samarco (BHP Billiton and Vale).

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Canadians Usher in a New Era

During October, many Canadians voted for change and they got it. Justin Trudeau unseated incumbent Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Liberal Party secured a majority in the House of Commons of the Canadian parliament, winning 184 of 338 seats. Canada’s federal political system will experience a major upheaval as a different group takes control. What does this mean for the mining business?

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Brazil Deals With Similar Issues

By Steve Fiscor/Editor-in-Chief

During September, the Brazilian Mining Institute (IBRAM) organized the 16th Brazilian Mining Congress in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. The event, which takes place every two years, was held in conjunction with the International Mining Exposition (Exposibram). It is the country’s largest gathering of mining and mineral processing professionals.

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Where’s the Accountability?

By Steve Fiscor

Imagine seeing footage on SkyTV or CNN of a massive discharge of fouled water from the wilderness. Locals suspect it’s from a mining operation working upstream and a day later their suspicions are confirmed. Meanwhile, the tainted water is moving downstream impacting irrigation systems and the drinking water for thousands along the waterways. The media tracks down the CEO and on live television she says, “Yes, I’m in charge, but I’m not sure what they were doing out there; we will investigate it and get back to you.” There would be outrage, especially from “environmental” groups. Government regulators would issue huge fines, likely driving the mining company into bankruptcy. And, that mining executive would likely face a prison sentence.

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From the Editor

Steve Fiscor, Editor-in-Chief, EMJ, Engineering Mining Journal
Steve Fiscor heads a world class group of writers and editors serving the mining and construction markets. He has served as editor-in-chief for E&MJ since 2003 and Coal Age since 2001. He writes articles on mining and processing, organizes the technical programs for several conferences, and produces many of MMI's ancillary products.

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