Other News Items - October 13, 2010

There are a couple of news items of interest:

An update related to the Chilean mine disaster, by Heading Out

Information about This Week in Energy, which this week features Art Berman from our staff. It will be at 3:00 pm, EDT (19:00 UTC).

Heading Out: The Chilean Mine Rescue Continues with 4 men out

Heading Out's post is on his blog, Bit Tooth Energy. It describes some of the process, then concludes:

Mining will thus remain a dangerous occupation, perhaps even more so in the future. For just as we are now seeing, as the ASPO conference last week noted, the approach of peak oil, so we are also approaching peak minerals. As with oil, the need for future supplies means that smaller and more difficult and dangerous deposits will be worked. In order to save on cost risks will be taken, and men will be trapped and die. It is, sadly, a price that the bulk of society seems quite willing to pay.

Fortunately in this case that price does not have to be paid, but unfortunately in too many parts of the world it is still being paid on far too often a basis. And as the need for miners and the minerals and fuels that they produce continues to grow it is hard to see that situation changing much. The 1,500 journalists who are in the desert, without decent accommodation and amenities will soon leave, I would not be surprised, after a while, to hear that miners were back, working in much the same conditions as before. The world need and the money that it will be willing to pay will be incentive enough.

This Week in Energy - Wednesday, at 19:00 UTC

Bob Treglius writes about This Week in Energy:

On Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 3:00pm EDT the This Week in Energy (TWiEpodcast) will feature guest panelists: The Oil Drum's Art Berman and Reno News & Review green editor Kat Kerlin.

Art will be updating the TWiE podcast audience on the Deepwater Horizon story which he recently characterized as being, "beyond brief." Kat will cover the 10/10/10 350.org Global Work Party / Transition Town event in Reno, NV, last Sunday.

Other stories include the closing of the last incandescent light bulb manufacturer in the U.S.; China's investment in Chesapeake Energy; Chilean miner rescue operations; the poor economy places the nuclear renaissance aqt risk; post-Macondo drilling rules, and much more!

The TWiEpodcast is hosted by Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield (of Bristol, UK) and Bob Tregilus (of Reno, NV) and streams live for an hour each Wednesday beginning at 8:00pm BST (12 noon PDT & 3:00pm EDT). You may watch the live stream and participate in the - live TWiE "on-air"
chatroom - at this link http://ThisWeekinEnergy.tv/live. You may also watch or download past shows from the TWiEpodcast archive at http://ThisWeekinEnergy.tv.

You may also follow the TWiEpodcast on Twitter @TWiEpodcast and on Facebook at this link.

And don't forget The Oil Drum on Twitter at @theoildrum and on Facebook at this link.

Thanks, Dave, for your continued coverage of the Chilean mining situation.

I think you are right about mining being a dangerous occupation, and becoming even more so as we approach peak minerals, because of peak oil. We need to keep digging in deeper and more remote locations, and these push technology to the limits.

I was surprised that the dedicated rescue post didn't have more participation, especially last night when the first miners came out.

It surprised me a little too. It is also surprising how smoothly the whole thing is going. They are way ahead of schedule on this - by midnight they will probably be pulling the rescuers out of the hole, and in the early hours of the morning they may have the last person out.

It would be a weird feeling to be the last one down there. I would have to fight the urge to turn off the lights on the way out, but they get their power from the surface so there would really be no need.

I am assuming this mine will be forever sealed after this incident. But I suppose the lure of mineral wealth will tempt some to try and re-open the thing.

One wonders how much mineral wealth can remain after more than 100 years of mining, but some observers think gold will exceed $1,400 per ounce within the next few months, and I suppose copper prices are increasing also.

I have a blind spot whereby I am ignorant of rescue efforts following previous mine disasters, but following HO's post, will there be substantial international cooperation and effort the next time there is a mine disaster in China or Central Asia?

Yahoo news just reported the last person is out of the mine and all miners were out in about 22 hours from time capsule was lowered, much less than the 48 hours they predicted.

An account of the miners ordeal would be interesting, especially the first 17 days before the rescue effort had reached the miners. I heard they had provisions for 33 men to last only two days but they streached them to last 17.