Tag Archives: Australia

Mining Project: Contracts awarded for Mt. Thirsty Cobalt Nickel Oxide Project Pre-Feasibility Study

Perth (WA), Australia – On May 31, 2018, Conico Limited advised that the contracts have been awarded for the Pre-Feasibility Study  for the Mt. Thirsty Cobalt Nickel Oxide Project. The project is a 50/50 Joint Venture with partner Barra Resources Limited.

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Fortescue Metals approved USD 1.2 billion Iron Ore Mine and Rail Project

Perth (WA), Australia – On May 28, 2018, Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG, Fortescue) advised that the company’s Board has approved the development of the Eliwana mine and rail project, located in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

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Hatch wins Contract for Definitive Feasibility Study on Rare Earths Project in Australia

Perth (WA), Australia – Arafura Resources Ltd. (ASX: ARU) has appointed Hatch Ltd. as Lead Engineering Study Manager for the Definitive Feasibility Study on Arafura’s 100%-owned Nolans Neodymium-Praseodymium Project in the Northern Territory, Australia. Arafura is planning to mine up to five million tonnes each year by open cut mining to produce 650,000 t of ROM ore as feed to a three-stage crushing circuit.

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Martin Engineering establishes Manufacturing Facility in Australia

Burleigh Heads (QLD), AustraliaMartin Engineering has announced the creation of its newest factory-owned manufacturing facility in Queensland, Australia. The company has been a supplier of premium components since 1944, providing bulk handling solutions and flow control equipment in the region through a licensee since 1978.

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Volk’s Applied Statistics for Engineers

It was William Volk who has written my favorite textbook! I have kept a copy of its 1958 edition on my desk when I was making a living in the Port of Rotterdam. What I like most of all in Applied Statistics for Engineers is that Volk explains the properties of variances in such rich detail. My first copy is falling apart but I’m still as smitten with its contents as I was in 1958. Volk pointed out in his Preface that he was indebted to Professor Sir Ronald A Fisher (1890-1962). It didn’t take long to figure out why Section 7.1.4 Variance of a General Function in Volk’s 1958 textbook proved that each function does have its own variance. Stripping the variance off the weighted average cum kriged estimate set the stage for Matheron’s new science of geostatistics. This fact became of critical importance when my grasp of the properties of variances made it possible to prove that the intrinsic variance of Bre-X’s gold was statistically identical to zero. So I’m pleased that the properties of variances did indeed stand the test of time in Volk’s Applied Statistics for Engineers.

What did not stand the test of time are degrees of freedom.  The concept of degrees of freedom is relevant in applied statistics but irrelevant in geostatistics. Degrees of freedom would have vanished without a trace if it were not for Table1.IV. Copper grade Prince Lyell in David’s 1977 Geostatistical Ore Reserve Estimation. Grant NRC7035 made it possible to put so much junk stats on paper. I have always applied Fisher’s F-test to prove spatial dependence between measured values in ordered sets. I did so with test results for ordered core sections from single boreholes but also with test results for ordered sets of on-stream measurements in mineral processing plants. Should Matheronian geostatistics be an integral part of geosciences? Or should it be rejected as a scientific fraud? Of course, it should be rejected! If only because geostatistics is messing up the study of climate dynamics!

 Sir Ronald A Fisher (1890-1962) was knighted since he counted degrees of freedom for small data sets.  Karl Pearson (1857-1936) devised the chi-squared distribution in terms of observed and expected ratios. He did so in his Galton Laboratory. Sir Ronald A Fisher went to Australia and worked for a while at CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization). He passed away in 1962 and was put to rest in Adelaide. He has never been awarded a Nobel price. My confidence in Sir Ronald A Fisher and his famous F-test is bound to last far beyond my time.  

 Margaret Armstrong migrated to France after she had completed her Master’s degree in mathematical statistics at the University of Queensland in the 1990s. Between Australia and CERNA, Mines Paris Tech, France, she may have paid too little attention Matheron’s new science of geostatistics. Or Matheron may not have told her that he had flunked his PhD thesis in 1965. But surely, Armstrong should have known all about Fisher’s F-test and about counting degrees of freedom. She could have told Professor Georges Matheron all about counting degrees of freedom. Why did Matheron confer on Armstrong a PhD in geostatistics s0 shortly after she had left Down Under and made landfall in the City of Lights

Applied Statistics for Engineers

William Volk in his Preface pointed out that his take of applied statistics is traceable to a course he had taught in 1951. The McGraw-Hill Book Company published the first print in 1958. Its frontispiece reads: “for Dorothy whose confidence is without limits”. What a touching view on confidence without limits! I bought my first copy in the 1960s when I was working in the Port of Rotterdam. I have placed Jan Visman’s 1947 PhD thesis on coal sampling and William Volk’s Applied Statistics for Engineers side-by-side on the same bookshelf. I have tried to find out more about Volk after we had come to Canada in 1969 but to no avail. I wanted to write a Wiki page about Volk, his textbook, and his grasp of variances as displayed in Section 7.1.4 Variance of a General Function and in Section 7.3 Confidence Range of Variances. I still wonder whether or not Volk was of Dutch decent.

It was fortunate to have met Jan Visman and Greg Gould on ASTM Coal and Coke. I found out the hard way that TUDelft did not teach Visman’s take on coal sampling. I have learned most about Visman and his sampling theory after he went from Ottawa to Edmonton. I wrote a Wiki page about Dr Jan Visman and his work. His sampling theory underpins the interleaved sampling protocol. It was readily accepted for mineral concentrates simply because it gives a single degree of freedom for each sampling unit. ASTM recognized me for 25 years of continuous membership in 1995. Good grief! All I really did was do what I like to do! The more so since Matheron’s curse of his novel science of geostatistics had not yet impacted my work. On a trip to Australia I lost a copy of Volk’s Applied Statistics for Engineers. What’s more, Australian customs confiscated my bag with red and white beans. I knew a bit about toads and rabbits but never thought red and white beans were as bad. I used my beans to prove that large increments give a higher degree of precision than small increments. Simple comme bonjour! Testing for spatial dependence between measured values in ordered sets was straightforward with on-stream analyzers. When Volk wrote about the power of Student’s t-test to detect a bias, he showed how to derive Type I errors and Type II errors. I have taken to talking about Type I risks and Type II risks.

Gy’s 1979 Sampling of Particulate Materials and Volk’s 1980 Applied Statistics for Engineers still stand side-by-side on the same shelf. Gy had mailed me a copy with his compliments and his invoice on Christmas 1979. Elsevier Scientific Publishing Company has released it as Part 4 in Developments in Geomathematics. Part 1 is Agterberg’s 1974 Geomathematics and Part 4 is David’s 1977 Geostatistical Ore Reserve Estimation. Missing in Gy’s textbook between degenerate splitting processes and degree of representativeness are degrees of freedom. Gy points in Section 31.3 on page 381 to “a Student-Fisher’s t distribution with ν=N-1 degrees of freedom (DF)”. Gy was almost on the mark. His wordy gems struck me as Gy’ologisms! His references to Matheron’s new science of geostatistics are beyond the pale. Next to Gy’s 1979 Sampling of Particulate Materials, Theory and Practice on the same shelf stands David’s 1977 Geostatistical Ore Reserve Estimation, Journel & Huijbregts 1978 Mining Geostatistics, Clark’s 1979s Practical Geostatistics, and Mandel’s 1964 The Statistical Analysis of Experimental Data.


What Matheron and his disciples cooked up at a geostatistics colloquium on campus of The University of Kansas, Lawrence on 7-9, 1970 will not stand the test of time. Matheron conjured up Brownian motion along a straight line. His disciples stripped the variance off the distance-weighted average and called what was left a kriged estimate. Infinite sets of variance-deprived kriged estimates and zero kriging variances added up to the genuine scientific fraud of geostatistics.

Mechanical Innovations

Dear Sir,

I read much of the Powder/Bulk Portal and the Bulk On-line is on my computer desktops. I commend your site as one of the best sites to gain contacts and information.

I do not have an engineering degree but was for many years the senior conveyor technologist supervisor with Ace Conveyor Services (Australian Conveyor Engineering), later (Continental Ace Services) (Continental Conveyor & Equipment) [Australia] and have worked in the mining industry since 1950s.

I have quite a number of conveyor and other mechanical innovations in my repertoire with the latest “patent application” throughout the PCT and remaining major countries of the world. The innovation is viewable on the company’s website, which is the company in which I hold a 25% shareholding.

The innovation has now been sold into major coal mines with other major Coal Mine operators arranging site measuring to retrofit into their existing systems. One Port Authority Services in Australia have purchased Stainless Steel units for their surge bins and further orders to be negotiated in the next financial year’s AFCs. Other Bulkcoal Port Authorities have been measured to retrofit into their Yard, Stacker/Reclaimers, Ship Loader and all Feeder conveyors. The Bulk handling Port Authorities of the Queensland Government and other private owners have expressed interest in using the products. Expressions of interest from major materials handling conveyors miners throughout the world and local in-country conveyor manufacturers attest to the quality of the innovation. The initial models have been in service since March 2006 flawlessly and many more are being installed to complete the conveyor system.

About the innovation. The design is the culmination of my desire to address the OH&S issues that plague the present conveyor systems with hazards involved in conveyor idler roll maintenance and also to ease and reduce the plant, equipment but mainly manpower required to maintain conveyor idler roll changeout/s. The ‘NO Bullshit’ spiel is available to any prospective clients but the technology is under Standard Patent Applications and as such is of a confidential nature.

I am also enquiring as to how one might sell the IP as this is the first that I have started commercially exploiting. Any comments or information would also be greatly appreciated.

I look forward to hearing replies from Bloggers.


Leslie (Les) D. Dunn
TECMATE Mine Services Pty Ltd
eMail: tecmate@bigpond.com
Ph/Fax: 07 4984 9122 Mobile: 0417 619 362