A trivial thing but

So there’s a story about a mineral sands deposit in Mozambique:

The disputes concerns ownership of two 25-year mining licences covering 32,000 hectares of land on the Indian Ocean coast which is rich valuable heavy minerals, including ilmenite used to make paint and rubber, and zircon, used in ceramics.

 

And the illustration is:

notmineralsands

Agreed, that’s a picture of a mine in Mozambique. But it’s not one of a mineral sands mine. mineral sands are cheap stuff (that ilmenite, last time I looked, was around $50 a tonne) so you don’t go underground, or hard rock, mining for them. Not worth it. A mineral sands deposit is an alluvial one. Will be on or very near the surface and will be strip mined.

 

Trivia I know but just some pendantry for a Sunday morning.

 

10 thoughts on “A trivial thing but”

  1. So Much for Subtlety

    It is not a trivial thing because it is a mark of the decline in quality journalism through “professionalism”. More and more journalists come with a degree in journalism. Which means three years of Chomsky most places. It does not mean any real knowledge of anything useful.

    In the old days, a racing correspondent might have been, you know, familiar with racetracks. A mining specialist might have seen a mine once or twice.

    No longer.

  2. The Aussies just use hosepipes to blast the sand and wash it to the separation plants. That is why they can produce the stuff and make a profit $50 a tonne.

  3. bloke (not) in spain

    S’pose, if one wanted to be pendantic, those with a mineralist fetish have appropriated a perfectly good word, meaning to tunnel & applied it to gathering. So confusing the rest of us.

  4. @SMFS
    The press has always been useless on technical stuff. I stopped reading the Guardian at age 21 after it published a stunningly rubbish piece on nuclear depth charges.
    And didn’t Adrian Mole’s local rag transpose his mother’s age to 73 or some such?

  5. I thought it was unusual to get zircon and ilmenite in the same deposit. I seem to remember that 30 years ago when I was covering mining producers of ilmenite were converting it into “beneficiated ilmenite” so that it could compete with zircon in the ceramics and paint industries.
    The main source of ilmenite is beach sands: I cannot imagine how it would be economic to mine anything to compete on price with sand.

  6. I once saw an article about the American Civil War illustrated by a photo of soldiers from the Irish Civil War.

  7. So Much for Subtlety

    Loodt Pretorius – “The Aussies just use hosepipes to blast the sand and wash it to the separation plants. That is why they can produce the stuff and make a profit $50 a tonne.”

    I can’t imagine the Mozambique government approving (as they won’t be doing it themselves, but presumably will buy in some Western expertise) any other method.

    What is unusual is that this does lend itself to good pictures. As in Clint Eastwood’s Pale Rider.

    JeremyT – “The press has always been useless on technical stuff. I stopped reading the Guardian at age 21 after it published a stunningly rubbish piece on nuclear depth charges.”

    Well with the Guardian and nuclear issues it is hard to distinguish ignorance from malice. They might have known what they were talking about. Or perhaps the best way to put it is that they are ignorant toads, but if they did know what they were on about, they would lie anyway.

    But as BinCR said, the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect. About science the Left usually knows nothing. Cares less.

  8. I stopped reading the Guardian at age 21 after it published a stunningly rubbish piece on nuclear depth charges.

    Yet another subject on which I have a large mound of actually not outdated information. If only because the Royal Navy stopped having Buckets of Instant Sunshine on ASW vessels some considerable time ago. Interestingly, the only device I’ve ever done practical EOD training on (which was pointless, because I wasn’t on an ASW platform at the time …)

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