Mining is risky business. Some major international mining companies have billions of dollars of investment at stake in their project portfolios. Last week, Ernst & Young (E&Y) released their annual Business Risks Facing Mining and Metals report. Topping this year’s list are concepts laden with financial jargon like cash optimization and capital access. Related listed challenges involve techniques for penny pinching or turning some money in to more money. Yet, E&Y’s report also reveals some of the greatest risks mining companies and their investors face having nothing to do with markets, commodity prices, or the boom and bust cycle. In fact, in any economy, these major risks are completely avoidable.
Mining companies move staggering amounts of earth to extract small quantities of minerals like gold and copper. Much of this waste is contaminated with heavy metals and chemicals used to extract metals from ore. Dealing with the resulting waste is a constant problem -- for the industry, environment and nearby communities.
In April 2015 staring out the window of the “taxi brousse” I watched the rolling hills of rice fields and forests pass by, barely visible in the moonlight. I looked up and found the Southern Cross constellation in the sky. I was traveling towards the Ampasindava peninsula in the northwestern part of Madagascar with a Malagasy colleague (and friend) to conduct research on a mining project. In that moment, sitting on a bus in the middle of the night that I realized for the thousandth time that there are so many things I don’t know.
The Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) doesn't govern railroads. It governs the oil and gas industry. At least, it's supposed to.
Perhaps the RRC is confused about who it works for due to its confusing name: This public agency operates as if it's a subsidiary of the oil and gas industry it's supposed to be regulating.
That's not hyperbole.