Fukishima Radiation Release – in Perspective

Fukushima Reactor-1 after the hydrogen explosion

There has been much written on Fukushima and sadly much of it is ill-informed and misleading.  Here we take estimates of radiation release from the most authoritative sources and calculate various radiation equivalents:

  1. Radiation release is listed in Peta 10^15 becquerels and becquerels.  You are naturally radioactive at 5kBq and a banana is about 150 Bq.
  2. Hiroshimas –  total radiation release in multiples of the radiation release from the Hiroshima fission blast (89 TBq)
  3. Mega-tonnes  – the mass of TNT equivalent in fission explosions required to produce the same amount of released radiation
  4. Radium  – the weight of Radium in tonnes required to produce the  same radiation release

A comparison using various metrics for the release of radiation from various accidents and weapons testing

Lieut Charles Louis Collin

Lieut Charles Louis Collin, aged 29, was a very promising young Queenslander when he was killed in France in September 1918. Prior to the war he was in the Department of Agriculture and upon taking up a military career was appointed ADC to General Lee, of the first and then the second military districts. He left for France and went through some severe fighting.

Lieut Charles Louis Collin, aged 29

Charles was of French descent although borne in Queensland. He was very popular with all who came in contact with him. He had a fine physique and was a strong swimmer and an enthusiastic oarsman, belonging to both Brisbane clubs at the time. He was an only son of Gustave and Alice.

Charles joined the 42nd Battalion, 3rd Division AIF in France 5th January 1918. He was wounded in action with a gunshot wound to the shoulder after his Battalion had secured the high ground to the east of Bray-Cambrai road above the village of Sailly-Laurette. He was repatriated to England, 8th April 1918 and after several months in hospital was transferred to an OS Training Brigade, 30th July 1918 ahead of transfer back to his unit on 12th August 1918. The entire allied front to the east of Amiens had advanced against German positions commencing on 8th August 1918. The 42nd Battalion advanced to a secure position at the top of the slope above a steep gully along Rue de l’Eglise by the evening of 29th August 1918 and dug in.

Over the next several days the 3rd division participated in heavy fighting to secure the heavily defended position of Mont Saint-Quentin and Peronne. The 42nd Battalion and other units pushing along the ridge towards their immediate objective – the high ground above Moslains. The 42nd advanced towards the ridgeline south of Bouchavesnes after a thin barrage. Some of the 42nd sighted three German field batteries to the SE and Lewis gunners shot down one and captured five guns. The pause allowed the Germans to rally to the Scutari and Boussa trenches to the east. To the south the 41st Battalion experienced the fiercest fire it ever experienced loosing 5 officers and 100 men.

Charles in command of D Company advanced upslope into the Quarry Farm area to face a German garrison on the high ground of 80 men and 8 machine guns who quickly gave in when outflanked to south and bombarded by rifle grenades. After taking the position Charles come to confer with the Officer Commanding D Company during the advance and when he got off his knees to go was hit by machine gun fire from the NE. He died within a few minutes.

Initially buried where he fell. 49°58’6.55″N 2°56’39.36″E. While I stood there on the Somme on a bright sunny day in 2013 and spoke with my mother she informed me that my middle name was in his honour.  She had forgotten to tell me of that until that very moment. 

COLLIN Charles Louis Lt Sea Transport Svc Adjt A28 to Hon/Lt CCo/42Bn WIA 5-4-18 shoulder near Albert F&B reported shot by MG at Quarry Farm near Peronne buried Sailly-Saillisel British Cemetery France (Prov 2/Lt ASqn/2 LH 1-10-15 to staff 2 MD ADC to Maj Gen George Lee in Brisbane 1916-17 CMF) KIA 1-9-18

“A very intelligent and precise man”

He remains greatly missed by his family.

Collin, Charles Louis Headstone

The Truth About Jet Lag

Courtesy of Boeing, the interior of the Boeing Dreamliner

 

Richard A. Friedman  Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Director of the Psychopharmacology Clinic at Weill Cornell Medicine recently wrote an excellent article in The New York Times about the joys of jet lag – and what to do about it. If this does not effect you – then you are not flying between time zones.

In Summary: Travel east and you’ll need morning light and evening melatonin; go west and you’ll need evening light and morning melatonin.

“There’s a psychiatric hospital not far from Heathrow Airport that is known for treating bipolar and schizophrenic travelers, some of whom are occasionally found wandering aimlessly through the terminals. A study (see below) from the 1980s of 186 of those patients found that those who’d traveled from the west had a higher incidence of mania, while those who’d traveled from the east had a higher incidence of depression.”

“Clinicians have long known that there is a strong link between sleep, sunlight and mood. Problems sleeping are often a warning sign or a cause of impending depression, and can make people with bipolar disorder manic. Some 15 years ago, Dr. Francesco Benedetti, a psychiatrist in Milan, and colleagues noticed (see below) that hospitalized bipolar patients who were assigned to rooms with views of the east were discharged earlier than those with rooms facing the west — presumably because the early morning light had an antidepressant effect”.

Supporting Research: Morning sunlight reduces length of hospitalization in bipolar depression.

BACKGROUND:

Bright artificial light improves non-seasonal depression. Preliminary observations suggest that sunlight could share this effect.

METHODS:

Length of hospitalization was recorded for a sample of 415 unipolar and 187 bipolar depressed inpatients, assigned to rooms with eastern (E) or western (W) windows.

RESULTS:

Bipolar inpatients in E rooms (exposed to direct sunlight in the morning) had a mean 3.67-day shorter hospital stay than patients in W rooms. No effect was found in unipolar inpatients.

“When you quickly cross several time zones, your circadian rhythm remains stuck in the city you left behind. Arriving in Rome with your New York City brain is what produces the unpleasant symptoms of jet lag: fatigue, malaise, poor concentration and mood changes. When you leave New York at 6 p.m., the Italians are probably in bed asleep. But you won’t feel ready for sleep until around 11. To make the right adjustment, you need to shift your internal clock earlier by six hours”.

“The clock in your brain doesn’t just take cues from light, but from the hormone melatonin as well. Every night, about two to three hours before you conk out, your brain starts to secrete melatonin in response to darkness. Taking a melatonin supplement in the evening will advance your internal clock and make it possible to fall asleep earlier; taking it in the morning will do the opposite. (You might assume this would make you even more tired during the day but it won’t; you could think of it as tricking your brain into believing you slept longer.)”

Next time you travel:

  • Flyin East: Get morning sunshine and take melatonin in the evening
  • Flying West: Get evening light and take melatonin in the morning

But what about those patients in the Heathrow hospital, that was more than just the usual jet lag or are they just end members of the inability of our body to cope with the chemical imbalances that result. Friedman suggests there is more to jet-lag than simply exhaustion, it deeply effects our state of mind but in a systematic manner. While most of you wont suffer from pathological psychiatric disorders when you fly maybe we all suffer from minor psychological issues when we cross time zones. The most obvious may be mild depression. There is a strong suggestion that travelling to the west is simply depressing. So next time you travel try the medication, sunlight and take a few days off work ideally by the sea. PS The sleeping pills wont help the underlying issue at all but sunlight and melatonin just might.

ICSID Issues Decision in Favor of Antofagasta plc and Barrick in Reko Diq Arbitration Proceedings

The arid Reko Diq region

Exciting news for Barrick and Antofagasta, after years of frustration. B&A reportedly spent US$500 million on this project and were refused a mining lease and licence to operate by the Government of Baluchistan. Compensation for loss is going to be a most interesting hearing. This is a remarkably robust project and a very long lived mine. This is why we offered B&A US$200 million a few years ago in an attempt to resolve the matter – Good for them they they stuck out the challenge of arbitration.

TORONTO, March 21, 2017 — Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:ABX)(TSX:ABX) (“Barrick” or the “Company”) announced that an arbitration tribunal of the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (“ICSID”) yesterday issued a decision on the arbitration claims that Tethyan Copper Company Pty Limited (“TCC”), a joint venture between Antofagasta plc and Barrick, filed against the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, in relation to the unlawful denial of a mining lease for the Reko Diq project in 2011.

Yesterday’s decision by the ICSID tribunal rejected Pakistan’s final defense against liability, and confirmed that Pakistan had violated several provisions of its bilateral investment treaty with Australia, where TCC is incorporated.

The damages phase of the proceedings will begin on March 22, during which the tribunal will consider submissions from the parties to determine the amount that Pakistan must pay TCC. A ruling on the quantum of damages is expected in 2018.

The Reko Diq project, located in the Balochistan province of Pakistan, was expected to require an initial capital investment of more than $3 billion. It is one of the world’s largest undeveloped copper and gold deposits, with a potential mine life of more than 50 years.

Commentary

Mineralisation in the Reko Diq area

 

Reko Diq is a large (10×10 km) volcano-magmatic complex located in the western Chagai magmatic belt in Pakistan. Over 48 porphyry Cu-Au centres are recognized in the Chagai belt. Twenty of them, including the world-class H14-H15 cluster, are located in the Reko Diq district. These deposits are largely associated with four consecutive episodes of magmatism during the Miocene. The porphyry centres are characterized by stocks and dyke swarms of diorite, quartz diorite and granodiorite composition. The deposits offer no technological development challenges. Reko Diq is located 50 kilometres to the east of the 300 million tonne Saindak porphyry copper gold deposit being operated by Metallurgical Corporation of China since 2002 under a lease agreement with the Government of Pakistan.

Deposit Geology

The Reko Diq porphyry district hosts a cluster of 20 Cu-Au porphyry centres in an area approximately 10×10 km bounded by the NW trending fault systems of Drana Koh in the north and Tuzgi Koh in the south.

The underlying volcano-sedimentary rocks at Reko Diq consist of thin-bedded shale, siltstone, shallow marine to fluviatile sandstone and minor discontinuous conglomerate and lava flow of the late Oligocene Dalbandin and Eocene Saindak Formations. The porphyry Cu-Au centres at Reko Diq are spatially and genetically associated with early to late Miocene calc-alkaline diorite, quartz diorite and granodiorite intrusions.

Hydrothermal alteration at Reko Diq is typical of porphyry Cu deposits. The porphyry centres at H14-H15 are characterized by a central potassic zone surrounded by phyllic (quartz-sericite-pyrite) and outer propylitic (chlorite-epidote) alteration. The main ore stage (chalcopyrite±bornite) mineralization is generally disseminated in host the porphyries and occurs in veinlets with a total sulphide content of 2-3 vol. percent. The chalcopyrite to pyrite ratio decreases at shallow levels. A distinct late stage pyrite+chacopyrite±molybdenite assemblage associated with D-veins is common in most of the porphyry systems at Reko Diq. The bornite to chalcopyrite ratio increases with the intensity of potassic alteration and magnetite content, which gives rise to higher Cu-Au grades (0.8% Cu; 0.6 g/t Au) in the deep central part of the deposits. A high sulfidation type assemblage of covellite+bornite+pyrite in association with quartz+sericite±kaolinite alteration is identified mainly in the sandstone and conglomerate units of the H15 system. Overall, a metal zoning from Cu-Au at the center and depth with potassic alteration and increasing Mo in the margins and upper parts of the porphyry system at H14-H15, can be defined.

The supergene oxidation is commonly very weak in the district with leached zone of less than a few meters. The only supergene enriched Cu blanket at Reko Diq is preserved in the central Tanjeel porphyry Cu deposit in which an irregular, 50 to 100m-thick chalcocite blanket, is developed beneath a 40-50m-thick leached cap dominated by jarosite and local hematite. The chalcocite blanket (0.5-1.0% Cu) has a gradational lower contact with low grade hypogene Cu-Fe-sulfide mineralization at depth.

Exploration History

Regional exploration for porphyry copper mineralization was initiated in 1993, when BHP Minerals signed a joint venture mineral exploration agreement with the Baluchistan Development Authority, over an area of 13,000 km2. Following an orientation survey over the Saindak deposit, regional geochemical exploration using −80 mesh and the bulk leachable gold (BLEG) method was conducted from 1993 to 1995, with the collection of approximately 5,000 samples. Sixteen anomalous areas were defined and follow-up work, including geologic mapping and standard rock geochemistry, was carried out over them. This work delineated 14 prospective areas, of which Reko Diq, Ziarat Pir Sultan, Ting-Dargun, Kirtaka, Machi, Dasht-e-Kain, Koh-i-Sultan, Durban Chah, and Ganshero were judged to be the most promising. Additional mapping, rock geochemistry, and ground magnetics were completed from 1996 to 1998, followed by 20,000 m of reverse circulation and core drilling. This program resulted in the discovery of the Reko Diq porphyry copper cluster, including the supergene enrichment blanket at Tanjeel (originally named H4) and the nearby hypogene copper-gold deposits at H14-H15 (also referred to as Western Porphyries), H8, and H13.

Geophysical surveys, both induced polarization and magnetics, were completed over them. These and other targets were drilled in several short programs during 2003 to 2006, for a total of approximately 48,000 m, including 24,000 m of infill drilling at Tanjeel. The new resource for Tanjeel, announced in late 2006, was 126 million metric tons (Mt) at 0.7 percent Cu, all leachable supergene-enriched sulfides. In 2006, a joint venture between Antofagasta Minerals S.A. and Barrick Gold Corp. acquired 100 percent of Tethyan Copper Company and its 75 percent interest in the Reko Diq and regional licenses and initiated an aggressive infill drilling program and scoping study at H14-H15. Resource drilling during 2006 to 2009 at Reko Diq totaled approximately 136,000 m resulting in completion of a feasibility study during 2010 for a 110,000 tonne per day operation producing copper-gold concentrate for export.

Reserves and Resources

Reko Diq is one of the largest known undeveloped copper-gold porphyries with resources of 5.9 billion tonnes at 0.41% copper and 0.22 g/t gold for 54 billion pounds of copper and 42 million ounces of gold. Within this resource is a high grade zone with 400 million tonnes at 0.9% copper and 0.6 g/t gold and a supergene resource at Tanjeel of 214 million tonnes at 0.6% copper. Significant potential exists within the Reko Diq porphyry cluster for expansion of this resource and a number of targets remain only lightly explored.

Reko diq resources – a very significant deposit

 

Planned Development

The planned development included a conventional open pit mining operation utilizing hydraulic face shovels and trucks feeding a conventional concentrator utilizing industry standard crushing, grinding and flotation. Tailings will be deposited in a engineered TMF.

Location of the Reko diq deposit and infrastructure – or lack therof

 

Power will be provided by a purpose-built 190 MW power station adjacent to the mill faculty.

The Reko Diq deposit produces a clean high grade concentrate with 28-31% copper and 7-22 g/t gold. Concentrate at a 52% pulp density will be pumped via a 682 km buried slurry pipeline to the port of Gwadar presently being redeveloped by a Chinese company.

At Gwadar Port a de-watering facility using high pressure filters will produce a concentrate with 7.5% water, which will be conveyed to a portside warehouse. A conveyor and ship loader will also be constructed.

Project Cashflow Analysis

Cmi Capital constructed a cashflow model based upon available information with costs from comparable recent projects. Two models were evaluated, a base case model with an open pit mine and conventional mill treating 120,000 tonnes per day (TPD) and an expanded model with a production rate of 200,000 TPD after year 5. These models with mine lives of 30 years consume only 21% to 33% respectively of the existing resource. In addition there is potential for the exploitation of higher grades in the early years, the discovery of additional reserves and the addition of a dump leach SXEW facility to treat the large Tanjeel supergene copper deposit (240 Mt at 0.6% leachable copper).

This analysis (with the cashflow models limited to 30 years) indicates that Reko Diq is an economically robust, long life project as can be seen below (metal prices used were a few years ago).

  • Copper Production: 162,000 to 257,000 TPY
  • Gold Production: 260KOz to 408kOz PA
  • NPV (08): US$2 to 3.4 billion (at long term metal pricing)
  • IRR: 15% to 17%

An outstanding project that has potential to significantly improve the outcomes for the peoples of Baluchistan and bring much needed development to a very challenging part of the country.

Excel Trick: Importing CSV Files into Excel.

 

Excel Courtesy of Microsoft Corp.

For reasons only known to the MS development team occasionally text files can be a challenge to import into Excel – all of the 50 fields just end up in one column and it requires some effort to resolve. Usually however the wizard sorts its out – but when it does not here is a remarkably simple trick.

Just insert in a blank line at the top of the csv or any text file: Sep=;

Self explanatory if you got this far – the “;” to be replaced by whatever character has been used to separate fields.

How remarkably simple and effective is that little known work around. Enjoy!

Solar Activity remains subdued – with the chance of a C-Class Flare. Surface Temp remain at 5778K – largely unchanged for the last 100 Million Years.

Face of the sun 20170324 – Courtesy NASA and the SOHO Mission: https://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/sunspots/

“Analysis of Solar Active Regions and Activity from 22/2100Z to 23/2100Z: Solar activity has been at very low levels for the past 24 hours. There are currently 1 numbered sunspot regions on the disk.
IB. Solar Activity Forecast: Solar activity is expected to be very low with a slight chance for a C-class flare on days one, two, and three (24 Mar, 25 Mar, 26 Mar)”

The continues to show little sunspot activity and is very quiet as we enter the solar minimum.

Sun Spot Number Progression during solar cycles 23 and 24 Courtesy NASA: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/products/solar-cycle-progression

 

Could we now be entering the period prior to the Maunder Minimum cold period

Solar Cycles 3 through 6 compared with Solar Cycles 23 through 24 Courtesy: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/05/how-long-to-the-2425-solar-minimum/

 

 

 

Solar  cycles 22 and 23 are show very similar trends to SC 03 and 04 which receded a 70 year period when there were no reported sunspots resulting in reduced insolation and a very cold period in northern europe.

A Garden in the Panygurishte

Roses in the Panygurishte

Roses and almost everything else grows  with abandon in the valleys of the Panygurishte.  This region is famous for the

Panygurishte Treasure

The Panagyurishte Treasure  is a Thracian treasure excavated on December 8, 1949, by three brothers who worked together at the region of “Merul” tile factory near the town of Panagyurishte, Bulgaria: Pavel, Petko, and Michail Deikov. It consists of a phiale, an amphora and seven rhytons with total weight of 6.164 kg of 24-karat gold. All of the objects are richly and skilfully decorated with scenes of Thracian myths, customs and life. It is dated from the 4th-3rd centuries BC, and is thought to have been used as a royal ceremonial set by the Thracian king Seuthes III. As one of the best known surviving artifacts of Thracian culture, the treasure has been displayed at various museums around the world. When not on a tour, the treasure is the centerpiece of the Thracian art collection of the National Museum of History in Sofia.  If for no other reason this is why you should visit Sofia, Bulgaria.  The treasure should be housed in the town of Panygurishte.

Once Again a 5 Year Old – Turning Adversity into Meditative Practice!


On January 12th I managed to fracture my 5th Metacarpal on my right (dominant) hand.  Not so painful but really a little inconvenient and its for the next 4-6 weeks.  Turning adversity in opportunity I am learning to write with the left hand and I will post the daily result here.

This is a remarkably interesting experience.  I now recall learning to write, something I had thought little about.  I now appreciate the issues our kids face.  This exercise also requires the most intense focused concentration.  In a short time I have noticed a significant improvement and my diary does not look quite so chaotic.


Antibiotic Resistance – Critical Threat

While the left and the media  fret about Climate Change here is the real and present threat. Far more than 100,000 people will DIE from antibiotic resistant bacteria in 2017.  In 2016  in the USA 2 million people contracted an antibiotic resistant infection and  23, 000 died.
flesh-eating-disease-2

We are spending billions on climate change research and mitigation programs and near to nothing on this critical threat. The number of people who will die from climate change in 2017 – Zero!  While antibiotic additives have been banned in some jurisdictions of recent times the use of antibiotics in agriculture is endemic.  Pigs only metabolise 10% of ingested antibiotics and the rest finds its way into the environment, in to stream and rivers and fish ponds.  This has been an obvious problem for 30 years yet there seems to be no call to action and our remarkably uneducated politicians seem incapable of understanding the imminent danger posed to their voters.

Abstract

Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) present an urgent threat to public health. While carbapenem antimicrobials are restricted in food-producing animals, other lactams, such as ceftiofur, are used in #livestock. This use may provide selection pressure favoring the amplification of carbapenem resistance but this relationship has not been established. Previously unreported from US livestock, plasmid-mediated CREs have been reported from livestock in Europe and Asia.

Environmental and fecal samples were collected from a 1,500 sow, US farrow-to-finish operation during 4 visits over a 5 month period, 2015. Samples were screened using selective media for the presence of CRE, with resulting carbapenemase-producing isolates further characterized.

Of 30 environmental samples collected from a nursery room on our initial visit, 2 (7%) samples yielded 3 isolates: 2 ST 218 Escherichia coli and 1 Proteus mirabilis, carrying the metallo-lactamase gene blaIMP-27 on IncQ1 plasmids. We recovered 15 IMP-27-bearing isolates of multiple Enterobacteriaceae species from 11 of 24 (46%) environmental samples from 2 farrowing rooms collected on our third visit. These isolates each also carried blaIMP-27 on IncQ1 plasmids. No CRE isolates were recovered from fecal swabs or samples in this study.

As is common in US swine production, piglets on this farm receive ceftiofur at birth, with males receiving a second dose at castration (day 6). This selection pressure may favor the dissemination of blaIMP-27-bearing Enterobacteriaceae in this farrowing barn. The absence of this selection pressure in the nursery and finisher barns likely resulted in the loss of the ecological niche needed for maintenance of this carbapenem resistance gene.

Original Research Here

Nepal – Fantastic Mountains

Just returned from three weeks in the Himalayas –  truly wonderful.  The mountains and the geology were wonderful.  We walked from moderately deformed Lesser Himalayan Series though the Metamorphic Core of the Orogen and across the South Tibetan Detachment Fault into weakly deformed and metamorphosed marine sediments of the Tethyan Ocean.  If you are a geologists this is a transect that you simply need to do and in addition its just a  great adventure.  Planning has already commenced for the 2017 expedition up into the remote Tsum Valley in northern Nepal.

near-bimthang-nepal-john-c-menziesthe-magnificient-manaslu-nepal-john-c-menziesspectacular-terrane-nepal-john-c-menziesnepalese-mountains-manaslu-john-c-menziesnepal-early-morning-john-c-menziesnepal-john-c-menziesmagnificient-nepal-john-c-menziesmountains-nepal-john-c-menziesmanaslu-in-the-early-morning-light-nepal-john-c-menzies

Building the NextGen Energy and Minerals Companies