Uranium City

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 11:13 AM

Too often, these particular hate[r]s use so-called "humor" to spread their points.

Frankly, I resent even an implicit questioning of my own faith, let alone being called complicit in hate speech regarding the issue.  Judgment is one thing, ignorant judgment is dangerous ... to biblical believers, anyway.  And while I'll carefully listen to those believers of other traditions, I don't propose even for a minute to take crap from them either regarding my own beliefs or my integrity in listening fairly and openly. 

In case anyone is wondering at the 'mathematics' involved, the first involves the 'mystery' of the Trinity, including the 'person' of the Holy Spirit that may be involved in the extended sense of Matthew 12.  It is probably wise for those concerned with 'making fun' of belief to read this section of Scripture more carefully than I suspect they are usually wont to do, especially with respect to the person of Christ, which one of the later equations concerns (implicitly, and in Catholic dogma explicitly).  (We can take up the issue of whether there are more than three 'persons' of God at a different time, as it's an interesting discussion, but not particularly germane or relevant to a railroad board.)

 1=2 refers to the provision in Catholic tradition that you have the 'complete' Eucharist by taking either the body or blood separately, without the other.  This was and is an interesting logical conclusion on their part, although I confess I do remain somewhat like Tom Lehrer's Christian Scientist with appendicitis on why the two separate parts then receive such emphasis in Scripture and derived doctrine.  (You will not see me question it, though, other than to point out the mathematical syntax is valid in context).

2=3 is the context of two or three witnesses, which in most mainline Protestant denominations receives far less than the careful Talmudic analysis it receives in at least later Jewish tradition.  When this distinction is not carefully made, the mathematical syntax converges as noted (I'm reminded of the old engineering math adage "2=3 for sufficiently large values of 2" - there is a better one involving convergent series but too specialized to be amusing here)

 1=365 refers to the classical provisions in interpretation of prophecy that equate a 'day' in prophetic language with a physical, chronological year.  Again ... other than to note the Scriptural provision that no man knoweth the hour, which would seem to make much of this chronological explication somewhat nugatory for  those who claim to profess infallible Biblical basis for their theology ... this doesn't constitute a criticism, let alone hate speech or condemnation of belief.  If you have a problem, take it up with the ones who have said it, not me; I'm just repeating their words in equation form, as if setting up for a story problem.

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, February 27, 2020 9:28 PM
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Posted by Overmod on Friday, February 28, 2020 8:49 AM

A little post-Eldorado discussion, including voices of some of the people involved:

Think of this when looking at some of the broader issues, like Clinton's decision to remove as much of the potential Russian nuclear threat as possible by buying all the material and having it reprocessed into fuel, and burning it up in 'known' applications...

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, February 28, 2020 9:27 AM

Cameco was a big big part of repurposing old Soviet nuclear warheads into fuel for reactors.  They were and still are the big dog for Uranium Mining but only Cigar Lake is in full operation with processing at McLean Lake Mill. McArthur River and Rabbit Lake mines are on Care and Maintenance, as is the Key Lake mill. 

Eldorado and Gunnar are being remediated. There are many new high grade U properties under development by other companies, notably NexGen and Denison, other joint ventures as well. 

As previously mentioned there is a great deal of very active exploration going on in the area for a wide range of commodities.

In the film clip I must point out that no self respecting knowledgeable geologist would lick/taste the rock in Uranium country. Wrong move!





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Posted by Overmod on Friday, February 28, 2020 10:19 AM


How could this have taken so long?

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, February 28, 2020 1:59 PM

Snooty, snobiness , geophysics  'science fiction stuff' , geochemistry 'voodoo wishful thinking' , not stated as such but pushed to the back. 

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, February 28, 2020 3:14 PM

But it worked, didn't it?  worked from the beginning, as early as 1918?

Is this one of those things like extending synthetic stocks to industries and economies, or the QQC diamond synthesis, where all the knowledge gets scarfed up in corporate politics and trade secrets and 'can't' be acknowledged in the open any more?

I think I've mentioned that one of my friends at the University of Memphis was a biochemist who developed evidence circa 1938  that neurotransmission had a chemical component.  His career was almost systematically destroyed for this, prevailing 'common knowledge' being that it was definitively understood as electrical (albeit protonic rather than electronic)  Would not be until a couple of guys from Harvard did what they weren't supposed to do, like the guy who cloned the retinoblastoma gene, and found EM evidence of the structures over 20 years later that he got some vindication ... by which time his most productive years and opportunities were shot.

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, February 28, 2020 3:33 PM

There was a lot of proprietary equipment and entire systems in the Geophysics field, a lot of trade secrets. 

Exploration Companies made their own equipment then morphed into manufacturer's and exist today that way. For Electro-Mag surveys we have 'torpedoes' slung under aircraft that are jammed packed with instruments, there is ground loop systems where you are walking boots on the ground with a giant halo over your head and a receiver guy miles away, there are incredibly huge hexagonal nets hauled and strung under helicopters and so on. Gravity surveys differ also. Today a lot of drones, fairly larger ones jammed packed with instrumentation. 

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, February 28, 2020 4:49 PM


Hans Lundberg and the Buchans Mine in Newfoundland 
Now let me tell ya', I spent a year there for 2 weeks in 2008.
Worked under a short contract for Teck Corp. ( yes THAT Teck Corp) at their Duck Pond Mine
 Now closed. Strange thing, .. Teck was a big sponsor of the Olympics that year.
They had a giant screen in the parking lot, like the one at ballparks, with video feed
from the Olympics all day, all night, and nobody but nobody watching.
It was almost a two hour commute for the Miners and staff each way on the company bus.
No one watched the darn huge screen. 
Best part of it all was the ferry boat Lief Erickson getting me away from that place.

Hans Lundberg (1928) described the discovery as follows: "Although this was the beginning of July there still were patches of snow here and there on the big bog to the west. Because of the wetness underfoot, the muggy atmosphere, and thick swarms of black flies which made it difficult to see the pickets through the telescope, work was almost unbearable. But our reward was to come soon. While finishing the survey of the anomaly a trench near the east electrode had disclosed promising lead-zinc mineralization. This location was appropriately named Black Fly. Then we searched for a favourable place to reach bedrock on the major indication in the centre of the square. The area here was flat and even, like the bottom of a dried-out lake, and appeared easy to get through. Just below the surface bright yellow and red clay with a few boulders of lead-zinc carbonate was encountered. The bedrock, about 2 or 3 feet down, was massive lead-zinc mineralization. Throughout the night my assistant and I kept on digging, sometimes with our bare hands, convinced that our indication was going to make mining history by the discovery of this large lead-zinc deposit. During the night my assistant, Hjortzberg-Nordlund, said in his broken English ‘This is sure a lucky find.’ Williams corrected him, ‘not a lucky find, but a lucky strike.’ The name Lucky Strike has remained with the mine ever since."
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Posted by Penny Trains on Friday, February 28, 2020 7:28 PM

Prior to WWII the Victoreen Company manufactured radiation meters in Cleveland.  Here's a look at what was left of the old factory before the city finally tore it down:

Every now and then we'd see stories on the news about kids who got into the site and were taken to the hospital for tests and evaluation as apparently the site wasn't without hazards.  Amazing to think of how many cold war era survey meters and dosimeters were produced here.  Not long ago the government was selling them off "by the pallet" but back in the 50's and 60's they were neccessary and guarded items.

Just another place once at work in the fields of the bomb that time and society have erased.

Trains, trains, wonderful trains.  The more you get, the more you toot!  Big Smile

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, February 29, 2020 12:43 PM

Penny Trains
Every now and then we'd see stories on the news about kids who got into the site and were taken to the hospital for tests and evaluation as apparently the site wasn't without hazards.

Victoreen advertised at one point that they calibrated their meters 'at the factory' with a variety of standards including radium and cobalt-60.  Other interesting materials were likely present...

Amazing to think of how many cold war era survey meters and dosimeters were produced here.

To give you some idea of the range ... and some of the expected markets (some startling at first glance!) see here:


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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, February 29, 2020 1:31 PM

Penny Trains

I think they used that same sign on the refrigerator in the break room of the Baltimore Train Dispatchers office.....until the office was moved to Jacksonville and the office space was occupied by Cowan Trucking.

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, February 29, 2020 1:36 PM

We're so sorry Uncle Albert 


Albert Simmons was a charter member and the financial secretary of the United Steelworkers of America local 5457 at Buchans.


This album is not on Youtube:



Review by David Frank, College of Cape Breton 


Come Hell or High Water: Songs of the Buchans Miners (Breakwater Recording 1001, Breakwater Books, St. John's Newfoundland).


In 1973 the miners of Buchans, Newfoundland fought a successful five and a half month strike against the American Smelting and Refining Company (ASARCO). One prominent feature of the strike was a daily mass picket line, in which 200 - 300 people, including strikers, wives, children and supporters, marched to the company gate every morning and noon singing their own locally composed songs. Following the strike, Local 5457 of the United Steel Workers produced a booklet of the strike songs. With the cooperation of the Memorial University Folklore Department, Breakwater Books has now released a recorded collection of these contemporary industrial folk songs.


Many of the strike songs were written by Angus Lane, "a unionist and well known local poet." Lane was already famous in Buchans as the writer of a satirical verse, "Christmas of ‘49," also included on the album, which told the story of the miners' attempts to travel home for Christmas in the days when ASARCO controlled the only transportation route out of the town. As the strike balladeer in 1973, Angus Lane supplied appropriate songs at each stage of the strike. In his first song, "All Because of ASARCO," he effectively set forth the origins of the strike:


The company makes millions on concentrate tons

While miners end up with lead on their lungs

Mining makes old men out of our young sons

Producing ore for ASARCO.  



Our plea, our plea, is for you and me

To demand what we want from this company

No one here will go down on their knees

To beg or plead from ASARCO.


And in time for the victory banquet at the end of the strike Lane composed a rousing review of the main events of the strike, set to the tune of "Kelligrew's Soiree."


Another fine contribution to the album is a song originally written in 1971, during an earlier and less successful strike. "The Buchans Strike" was written by two daughters of a union member, Hazel and Fronie Flight, and is a reminder that the industrial conflict was also a struggle for the survival of the community. The song lamented the departure of men from the town in 1971 — "And some have left to settle down, But quite against their will" — and described the community's determination to survive — "Our town won't become a ghost town. But will still remain alive."


The album was recorded in Buchans in 1975 and 1976 by Peter Narvaez of Memorial University, who has included a useful set of liner notes and copies of the original songbook. Most of the songs are performed by Sandy Ivany, recording secretary of Local 5457, and by local musicians on accordion, guitars and mandolin. When accordionist Don Bursey contributes a lively "Cock of the North," or Harold Skanes, "the musical impresario of Buchans for the last 30 years," leads a rendition of "Solidarity Forever," one gets a sense that musk has long enjoyed a central place in the social life of the community. Not surprisingly, these self-made industrial folk songs are made from the raw materials closest to the musical tastes of the people of Buchans, and as a result the album features a lively blend of traditional Newfoundland melodies and contemporary country and western music.

The Songs of the Buchans Miners adds to our understanding of Canadian workers in several ways. The case of Buchans seems to contradict the sociological image of the contemporary single-industry town as a place where unions are "seldom militant" and rarely "community-oriented," and where citizens experience "an overriding ambivalence and resignation." At least in the case of the early 1970s in Buchans, this generalization seems questionable. The album also gives us some insight into the way in which original workers' folk songs continue to be produced. When the need arose in Buchans, talented local musicians came forward to give expression to the shared ideas and experiences of the working class community. Despite the powerful centralizing forces of commercial radio and recorded music, the people of Buchans have reminded us that "unofficial" or "popular" local cultural traditions are still very much alive. Breakwater Books are to be thanked for preserving and publishing this contribution to the tradition of industrial folk song in Canada.


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