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Life Cycle of a Mine: From Planning to Rehabilitation

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The following content is sponsored by Natural Resources Canada.

Mine Closure and Rehabilitation

Life Cycle of a Mine: From Planning to Rehabilitation

View the full-size infographic by clicking here.

Mining provides the critical minerals and metals needed for modern society to function. However, if these resources are not properly managed, mining activity can impact local environments and biodiversity.

For this reason, the mines of today prepare for a rehabilitated landscape right from the beginning, in a process known as “progressive reclamation”.

Today’s infographic comes to us from Natural Resources Canada, a government entity which funded the development of the Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan that supports sustainable mining practices throughout its lifecycle.

What is Progressive Mine Reclamation?

The process of progressive reclamation, also known as rehabilitation, plans for post-closure activities during the mining process, from before the first bit of dirt is moved to when the last truck leaves the mine.

There are three stages to the mining process, each with their own associated activities to plan for mine reclamation.

  1. Before Mining: Integrated mine planning for closure and reclamation
  2. During Mining: Planning for climate change impacts and land use
  3. After Mining: Closure and reclamation

While these are distinct stages, three continuous processes occur throughout the sequence of the mining life cycle:

  • Continuous monitoring
  • Continuous engagement with Indigenous Peoples, communities, and regulators
  • Continuous updates to ensure closure and reclamation plans complement any modifications to the mine plan

  • Each process is meant to be inclusive, continuous, and responsive to the constantly changing environment to ensure there is flexibility and preparedness to adapt as necessary.

    1. Before Mining

    The rehabilitation process starts before mining begins. The permitting process for mine development requires closure and reclamation plans.

    2. During Mining

    An area of the mine can be reclaimed even as other parts of the mine are in operation. Mitigating the impacts of land disturbance during operations are critical to return the land to a viable state.

    Climate change impacts can affect operations, and mine operators should account for this in ongoing processes to ensure successful closure and reclamation.

    Water treatment facilities process surface and mine waters to ensure compliance, water recycling, and watershed management. This is all under the eye of continuous monitoring of the movement of earth and materials.

    3. After Mining

    Once the mining process is complete, mining companies can return the land to a natural state and prepare for post-closure reuse. Mine closure and rehabilitation activities need to take local environmental conditions into account. Evidence of the mining operation must be removed as much as possible.

    Part of this process means the continued relationship with the people, community, and lands affected. Mining companies can re-purpose for other uses, including:

    • Agriculture
    • Solar panel farms
    • Biofuel production
    • Recreational and tourist use

    By incorporating local and traditional knowledge into planning and working with Indigenous Peoples and communities, modern practices and local knowledge can restore the land in a way that also brings benefits to the local community.

    The Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan

    Mining operations can generate opportunities for new businesses to create local benefits. Reverting mines to a rehabilitated state will ensure that the landscape can continue to support life for centuries to come.

    The Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan supports this vision of progressive mine rehabilitation, to ensure Canada remains a responsible mining powerhouse for generations to come.

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Unlocking Earth’s Treasures with Mineral Exploration

There are untold treasures in the Earth’s surface waiting for discovery. Skeena Resources is opening the vault in the Golden Triangle at Eskay Creek.

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Natural Wealth

Unlocking Earth’s Treasures with Mineral Exploration

There are untold treasures of gold, silver, copper, and much more that lie beneath the Earth’s surface, awaiting discovery—and it takes mineral exploration and the right team to unlock this hidden wealth from the depths.

Mining exploration company Skeena Resources is opening the vault to the treasures of British Columbia’s Golden Triangle at the famous Eskay Creek property.

Following in footsteps of other successful mineral exploration efforts, Skeena is proving there is more value to unlock at Eskay Creek. The Golden Triangle is already home to some of the most productive mines in the world.

Keys to the Vault: Turning Discoveries into Resources

A mineral exploration company such as Skeena conducts geological studies to turn a discovery into a mineable resource. As each mineral deposit becomes better understood, new value is unlocked and its economic value increases.

The mining industry uses three resource classifications for a mineral discovery, based on the amount and proximity of drill holes.

  1. Inferred
  2. Indicated
  3. Measured

Each one of these categories represent the confidence with which an economic source of minerals exists. The “Inferred” classification is the lowest level of confidence that a certain amount of ore exists in a location while “Measured” is the highest.

Companies drill holes and pull out small samples of the ground in order to discover and measure the continuity and grade of a mineral occurrence. The results of drilling provide more and more data for improving the understanding of a deposit. Each study eventually cuts the key to unlock the treasure below.

Grade is King: The Higher the Grade, The Lower the Costs

In order for a mineral deposit to be valuable it must pass the grade. The amount of the sought-after mineral within a particular amount of rock is known as the ore grade. Typically, the higher the ore grade, the more profitable a mine can be.

Skeena Resource’s Eskay Creek has a grade of 4.3 grams per tonne ‘g/t’, making it 3x higher than the global average grade of open pit mining projects. This could potentially make it all the more unique and valuable to investors.

Unlocking the Vault

Gold’s value is in part due to its rarity. The precious metal cannot be artificially produced and is only found deep inside the vault that is the Earth’s crust. This makes mineral exploration an extremely rewarding business if a discovery is made.

In terms of statistics, the odds are 1 in 10,000 that greenfield exploration produces a profitable mine—and odds are even more remote for a mineral occurrence to become a world-class mine. Further, if a gold deposit is actually found, there is only a 10% chance it will have enough gold justify further development.

Through targeted mineral exploration, Skeena Resources is proving there is more golden treasure to uncover at the legendary Eskay Creek.

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How Hospital Bottlenecks Cause A Healthcare Gridlock

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How Hospital Bottlenecks Cause A Healthcare Gridlock

The healthcare industry is complex and interdependent. Much like a highway interchange, it relies on multiple players and processes to flow smoothly.

But just like in an interchange, a single roadblock can bring the system to a grinding halt—leading to serious consequences for all involved.

The Healthcare Silos

In healthcare, there are three primary players, each with their own priorities. However, they stay in their own lane and rely on independent software systems to achieve their goals.

Healthcare playerMain prioritySystem used
PatientsSeek an engaged and personalized experienceDigital technologies
- Example: mobile health, wearables
- Provide constant monitoring and instantaneous updates
Providers (Doctors, nurses, and more)Provide the highest quality of careElectronic health records
- A comprehensive record of a patient’s medical history
Payers (Insurance companies)Balance the cost and quality of careClaims database
- Information on medical appointments, bills, and more (some claims can take 60 days to process)

This leads to frustrations for all parties, including poor communication and uncoordinated care.

A Not-So-Patient Journey

What factors lead to a less-than-desirable experience? Challenges arise from the moment a patient walks into a hospital

  1. Entering the Emergency Department (ED)
    Overcrowded EDs are often the first point of contact for a patient. On average, 43.3 per 100 people visit the emergency department annually in the United States for everything from fevers to injuries. Of these, 6 out of 10 must wait longer than 15 minutes before they can be seen by a provider.
  2. Playing the Waiting Game
    Patients are willing to endure up to 2 hours in the emergency department, but wait times often surpass that. The average wait time in 2017 was upwards of 352 minutes, or almost six hours. As a result, up to 9% of patients leave without being seen (LWBS).

There’s simple psychology behind why some people aren’t able to wait it out. According to former Harvard professor David Maister, unoccupied time that is compounded with anxiety makes a wait feel longer.

These long waits also affect a patient’s perception and satisfaction of the care they eventually do receive.

The True Cost

After they’re admitted, inconsistent processes and flows continue to plague patient experiences.

A typical hospital stay can rack up a single patient close to $12,000 across 4.6 days. With these costs climbing every year, uncoordinated care adds to these receipts by extending the stay.

Uncoordinated care also creates a dire strain on resources, including the humans behind all the work. The resulting physician burnout costs the U.S. health system $32 billion annually. While lost productivity causes over half ($18 billion) of this amount, another $8.5 billion is due to poor experiences, which impacts patient satisfaction which leads to falling margins for hospitals.

Severe bottlenecks compound these issues, forcing the healthcare system into a gridlock.

What’s Causing the Jam?

Disjointed communication and a lack of visibility across systems are the major reasons for these costly standstills. This is analogous to using a paper map to navigate:

  • No updates based on the current situation
  • Time-consuming to figure out specific route to a destination
  • Show multiple routes, but not the fastest way to get there

What if there was a smart GPS to help the healthcare industry overcome roadblocks?

  • Real-time, dynamic updates on the current situation
  • Knows where you are, and where you need to go
  • Filters only the appropriate and relevant information

The Leidos careC2 Command Center solves healthcare traffic jams.

The coordinated technology suite rapidly identifies and reduces bottlenecks and delays in the care process. This improves the operational flow of hospitals—so that patients, providers, and payers all reach their destinations safely and efficiently.

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