Publications

Keeping Up-to-Date

Publication: International Water Power & Dam Construction
Issue: June 2017

As members of the industry prepare to attend Hydrovision International in Denver, Colorado, we provide a roundup of some of the latest news from exhibitors attending the event.

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The 'One Team' Approach

Publication: IMIESA
Issue: June 2017

Adaptability, professionalism, excellence, sustainability, and teamwork are all core values that define the way Knight Piésold engages and grows its presence in the engineering and environmental sectors. These values also form the basis for the company’s talent acquisition strategy, as well as its training and development programmes at all levels, with a major focus in South Africa on selecting, mentoring and growing young engineers through to professional registration. “It’s an exciting journey for our young candidates and we have structured programmes in place to get the best results,” explains Mevashnee Naidoo, human resources director, Knight Piésold.

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Providing Global Expertise in Africa

Publication: City of Tshwane
Issue: May 2017

Though it may be a global company in terms of operational footprint – with offices and projects in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa – Knight Piésold remains strongly grounded in its home country. Founded in 1921, it is the oldest consulting engineering firm in South Africa and has, over the last 96 years, staved off buy-outs by international behemoths to remain a truly independent and proudly South African organisation. While the firm initially cut its teeth in the mining sector, it organically expanded to become a multidisciplinary consulting firm of distinction.

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Deterministic Lake and Stream Temperature Modelling: Maintaining Optimal Water Temperatures for Kokanee and Rainbow Trout through Informed Design

Author: Alana Shewan, Anna Akkerman, Violeta Martin
Conference: CSCE Annual Conference 2017 / 23rd Canadian Hydrotechnical Conference
Date: May 31-June 3, 2017

Stream temperature is an important indicator of habitat quality for fish of all life stages. However, stream temperature is often overlooked when designing mitigation systems, with the focus being on the effects of development on stream flow, depth and velocity. A number of simple deterministic water temperature models exist for lakes, channels, and pipelines that can be utilized to optimize key design parameters for mitigation systems.

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Von Bach Dam Receives Major Facelift

Publication: Construction Namibia
Issue: April-May 2017
Author: Dr. Gert Cloete

The Sartorius Von Bach Dam (Von Bach Dam), situated east of Okahandja in Otjozondjupa Region, has recently received a new bituminous seal layer after approximately 50 years of service. The previous asphalt seal had become brittle, due to loss of volatiles from the bitumen, which typically leads to cracking on the surface of the asphalt.

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Designs that Empower African Communities

Publication: IMIESA
Issue: April 2017

For many communities in Africa, especially in rural regions, the construction of a world-class asphalt pavement in their region is an event to celebrate. Villages, cut off for years from the main economy, are connected for the first time, whether by car, bus, or bicycle. And for those experiencing it for the first time, they watch the passing traffic with absolute fascination: they’re drawn in and excited by new opportunities.

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Building for the Future

Publication: eThekwini
Issue: April 2017

The first principle of problem solving is to look to history as someone, somewhere, has, in all probability, solved your problem already. While this is true, one still needs to implement the solution. Herein lies the crux of the matter. Without the right people, possessing the necessary skills and experience, no solution, no matter how brilliant, will work. This is particularly true of water supply infrastructure. Fortunately, in South Africa, we don’t have to look very far to find these people. We have a home-grown, problem-solving, solution implementing civil engineering company right here in eThekwini.

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Mapping Water Reuse Strategies

Publication: IMIESA
Issue: March 2017

Water engineering has always been a key focus for Knight Piésold Consulting since its inception in 1921 – an area of expertise which runs in parallel with many other multidisciplinary fields that have evolved within the group over the past 96 years. These often complement or interconnect at some point and include dams, hydro-electric schemes, mining, roads and transportation, environmental services, geotechnical engineering, pipelines and pump stations. Knight Piésold is one of the few wholly owned South African consulting engineering firms operating worldwide.

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Knight Piesold's Gert Cloete Takes Stock

Publication: Oshili 24
Author: Toini Martin
Date: March 22, 2017

Dr. Gert Cloete is a Specialist Hydraulics, Hydrology, and Dam Safety Engineer at Knight Piésold’s Windhoek office. He is a civil engineer with a doctorate in risk based dam safety from the University of Stellenbosh. He also obtained his B.Eng. and M.Sc.Eng. at the University of Stellenbosch with research in aspects of hydraulics.

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96 Years of Design Execution

Publication: IMIESA
Issue: February 2017

Knight Piésold is a multidisciplinary consulting firm that has a long history in water delivery projects across all the integrated engineering fields, and was one of Africa’s foremost pioneers in hydroelectric power, which remains a core focus area to this day. Born in 1921, Knight Piésold is the oldest consulting engineering firm in South Africa, and probably Africa, and built its reputation in the mining sector, where the firm remains a design innovation leader, alongside its other multifaceted specialisations within the world of infrastructure.

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Valuing the Environment

Publication: Mining Review Africa
Issue: January 2017

Level 2 BBBEE environment consulting specialist Knight Piésold is looking to consolidate its business in order to continue growing in 2017–with a strategic focus on its geotechnical capability, says mining technical director Andrew Copeland.

"This will entail expanding into pit slope stability and rock mechanics, a service that is offered by our
overseas offices, but not locally. Our name is synonymous within the water fraternity for the design of large dams and hydro-power schemes..."

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Knight Piésold Builds a Sustainable Future for the Next 95 Years

Publication: Mining Review Africa
Issue: December 2016

2016 represented a major milestone achievement for Level 2 BBBEE environment consulting specialist Knight Piésold having celebrated 95 years in business–making it the oldest consulting engineering company in South Africa. With almost a decade of experience behind its name, the company has retained its strong reputation in the mining, water and hydropower sectors in southern Africa and has further built a strong and growing transportation and pipeline capability as well.

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Repairing Von Bach Dam Wall

Publication: Who's Who Engineering Namibia
Issue: 2016/17 Edition, November 2016
Author: Dr. Gert Cloete

The Von Bach Dam, situated outside Okahandja in Otjozondjupa Region, was built in 1970. Unlike Avis Dam in Windhoek, which is a concrete-faced rockfill dam (CFRD), the dam at Okahandja is an asphalt-faced rockfill dam (AFRD), a design that provides a more flexible sealing membrane. Other AFRDs are the Hardap Dam in Namibia and five similar dams found elsewhere in Africa. Over the past 10 years, three large CFRD dams have failed — one in Lesotho and two in Brazil — due to compressive forces in the rigid concrete membrane; an AFRD construction would likely have been able to absorb these forces without failing.

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Capilano Break Head Tank and Energy Recovery Facility

Publication: Canadian Consulting Engineer
Issue: October/November 2016
Issue Title: 2016 Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards

The Capilano Break Head Tank and Energy Recovery Facility (BHT & ERF) is a vital link in the Seymour-Capilano Water Filtration System that supplies treated potable water to the cities of Vancouver, North Vancouver, and Burnaby.

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Bokamoso Programme to Foster Aspiring Engineers

Publication: Infrastructure News
Issue: October 25, 2016

Knight Piésold Consulting, the oldest South African engineering consulting firm in the country, saw an opportunity to help the school grow its facilities and develop its pupils and recently partnered with them, agreeing to invest in its Mathematics and Science departments.

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Geotechnical Characterization of Old Tailings for Use as Sand Stacking Foundation

Author: Solange Paihua, Orlando Román, Rubén Vargas
Conference: Tailings and Mine Waste 2016
Date: October 2-5, 2016

This paper presents the results of a geotechnical site investigation program of piezocone penetration tests (CPTu) and standard penetration tests (SPT) that was carried out in an old tailings facility to evaluate its feasibility as a foundation material. The old tailings (approximately 20 to 30 years old) need to be geotechnically characterized to assess how they will behave after being loaded by the fresh tailings.

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Seismic Analysis of an Existing Earth and Rockfill Dam Subjected to the MCE by FLAC

Author: Orlando Román, Solange Paihua, Rubén Vargas
Conference: Tailings and Mine Waste 2016
Date: October 2-5, 2016

This paper presents the 2D dynamic analysis of an earth and rockfill dam subjected to the maximum credible earthquake (MCE) using the software Fast Lagrangian Analysis of Continua (FLAC) and the UBCSAND constitutive model for the characterization of the tailings. The main purposes of the analysis were to predict a satisfactory behavior of the dam crest, to estimate the global permanent displacements and to assess the influence of the tailings liquefaction in the seismic performance of the dam.

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Advice for Design Professionals at the Beginning of Their Careers

Author: B. Ulrich, D. Rector, J. Coffin, J. Taylor, J. Street, J. Reiva, M. Engle, B. Hutchings, B. Fahl, Z. Fox, R. Sauer and R. Dorow
Conference: Tailings and Mine Waste 2016
Date: October 2-5, 2016

The authors of this paper represent people at a broad range of experience in their careers, anywhere from less than one year of professional employment to a few decades. The intent of gathering this diverse group was to capture people at various stages in their career and to ask them what advice they wish they had received early in their employment. The first activity of the authors was to brainstorm through a list of topics that would form the basis of the advice.

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Driving Change: Knight Piésold Stands the Test of Time

Publication: Infrastructure
Issue: October 2016

South Africa's oldest consulting engineering firm, Knight Piésold, which celebrates 95 years this year, will soon join the ranks of top South African companies, such as De Beers and Old Mutual, which have been in existence for over a century.

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95 Years and Still Going Strong

Publication: Mining Review Africa
Issue: October 2016

2016 represents South African engineering and environment consulting specialist Knight Piésold’s 95th year in business—a milestone achievement which officially makes it the oldest South African engineering and consulting company. Having evolved over the decades to meet changing industry needs, it is well positioned and prepared to extend its successful legacy for another 95 years, writes Laura Cornish.

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Don't Underestimate the Impact

Publication: Mining Review Africa
Issue: September 2016

It is widely understood today that the viability of a new mining operation—specifically in remote regions—is to a large extent dependent on supporting infrastructure, primarily access roads to site. Despite this, few companies take cognisance of the associated environmental impacts or take into account that such access corridors leave a lasting legacy well beyond a mine’s active lifespan, Knight Piésold environmental section manager Amelia Briel tells Laura Cornish.

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95 Years of Consulting

Publication: IMIESA
Issue: September 2016

Transportation, water and power are key national priorities – dovetailing with core socio-economic objectives – and areas where Knight Piésold Consulting leads in the infrastructure sphere.

Almost 10 decades have passed since Knight Piésold Consulting was founded on 21 April 1921, and the legend continues. It’s proud history of excellence began in its home base of South Africa, which has subsequently expanded over the years to cover most of the developed and developing world, through the establishment of a series of global offices.

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B.C. Contractors and Engineers Practice Innovation in Infrastructure

Publication: Journal of Commerce
Author: Peter Caulfield
Date: September 8, 2016

Thanks to their experience working in British Columbia's challenging geography and climate, the province's contractors and engineers have developed a reputation for creativity in industry circles.

Their talent for innovation can be seen in three recently completed infrastructure projects, two of which bring fresh drinking water to thirsty mouths and one which provides alternate electricity to a school on a remote island.

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95 Years of Engineering Excellence

Publication: Progressive Leader
Issue: Issue 15
Issue Title: Building Our Cities

Established in April 1921, Knight Piésold (Pty) Ltd is a valued, trusted and uniquely South African company that has remained at the forefront of infrastructure development in South Africa, on the African continent and around the world. As South Africa’s longest-standing consulting engineering company, it is justifiably proud of being viable, profitable and South Africanowned. It has sustained operation through world wars, periods of major economic upheaval and depression and periods of great political change.

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Innovating Excellence for the Mining Sector

Publication: Mining Global
Issue: January 2016

Knight Piésold was established in 1921 when Dr. Francis Edgar Kanthack set up shop in Johannesburg, South Africa as an engineering consultant. Over the years, the company has developed into a major global consulting firm for the mining, power, water, transportation and construction sectors by delivering high quality specialty services with respect to social, environmental and economic responsibilities.

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Engineering Excellent Design: Innovative Designs Awarded at Kokish River Power Project

Publication: International Water Power & Dam Construction
Issue: December 2015

Knight Piésold recently received an award for engineering excellence from the Association of Canadian Consulting Engineers for the detailed design and construction supervision of the Kokish River hydroelectric project. The award was in recognition of the project’s unique solutions and innovative designs that cater to the sensitive environmental attributes of the site, primarily on the presence of steelhead trout and salmon throughout the diversion reach.

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Award of Excellence: Kokish River Hydroelectric Project

Publication: Canadian Consulting Engineer
Issue: October/November 2015
Issue Title: 2015 Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards

The Kokish River Hydroelectric Project is a 45 MW run-of-river facility 15 km east of Port McNeill, on the north of Vancouver Island, B.C. Every step during the development process took into consideration the diversity of fish habitats in Kokish River. The project has unique and innovative details throughout the diversion reach designed to cater to this sensitive environment, and in particular the presence of steelhead trout and salmon.

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Tailings Mobilization Estimates for Dam Breach Studies

Author: Daniel Fontaine, P.Eng., Violeta Martin, Ph.D., P.Eng.
Conference: Tailings and Mine Waste 2015
Date: October 25-28, 2015

Quantitative assessment of potential consequences caused by a flood from a dam breach of a tailings facility requires an estimate of the volume of water and tailings released during the breach. A methodology for estimating the volume of tailings mobilized by the free water stored in the pond and the resulting initial flood wave following a dam breach is presented.

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Combined Tailings and Mine Waste

Author: Bryan Ulrich, Jeff Coffin
Conference: Tailings and Mine Waste 2015
Date: October 25-28, 2015

The benefits of combining tailings and mine waste in a relatively homogenous manner, in which tailings just fill the voids between the waste rock particles while the waste rock maintains particle-to-particle contact, has been the subject of study over the course of several years. Such a combination of materials could be used for a closure cover or as a singular large-scale facility to store both mine waste products.

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Challenges with Conducting Tailings Dam Breach Studies

Author: Violeta Martin, Ph.D., P.Eng., Daniel Fontaine, P.Eng., Jaime Cathcart, Ph.D., P.Eng.
Conference: Tailings and Mine Waste 2015
Date: October 25-28, 2015

Engineering practitioners currently use a combination of guidance documents, published papers, and professional experience to support tailings dam breach and inundation studies. There is considerable knowledge and information available in this relatively new field of practice, but standardized and comprehensive guidelines specific to tailings dams are not available.

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Assessing Credible Modes of Failure: Afton TSF Dam Breach Study

Author: Anna Akkerman, P.Eng., Violeta Martin, Ph.D., P.Eng.
Conference: Tailings and Mine Waste 2015
Date: October 25-28, 2015

The Afton Tailings Storage Facility is located in the semi-arid Interior Region of British Columbia and has been in care and maintenance since 1997, after approximately 20 years of operation. In response to the British Columbia Chief Mine Inspector’s orders issued in August 2014, following a dam breach incident at the Mount Polley Mine, dam breach analysis and inundation studies for the Afton Tailings Storage Facility were conducted.

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Predicted Changes in Peace River Channel Morphology and Sediment Transport Related to the Site C Clean Energy Project

Author: Craig Nistor, P.Geo., Violeta Martin, Ph.D., P.Eng.
Conference: Canadian Hydrotechnical Conference 2015
Date: April 29-May 2, 2015

The Site C Clean Energy Project is a third dam and 1100 MW hydroelectric generating station on the Peace River in northeastern British Columbia, Canada. BC Hydro plans to start construction in the summer of 2015. This paper presents the predicted changes in channel morphology and suspended sediment dynamics during Project operations that were described in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Project.

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Hydrodynamic Modelling of Intakes for Run-of-River Hydroelectric Projects

Author: Violeta Martin, Ph.D., P.Eng.
Conference: Canadian Hydrotechnical Conference 2015
Date: April 29-May 2, 2015

Run-of-river, diversion-type hydroelectric projects on steep mountainous streams create changes in environmental conditions, including modified hydraulic and sediment transport conditions in the headpond upstream of the flow diversion intake and in the diversion section of the stream between the intake and the tailrace. These types of changes can lead to environmental and operational challenges that require careful consideration at the project design stage in order to achieve a successful, sustainable project.

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Northern Mineral Development: We All Need to Have Skin in the Game

Publication: Global Business Reports
Issue: February 2015
Issue Title: Circumpolar Mining 2015

All stakeholders involved in northern mineral development have a role to play in positively advancing an industry that represents an opportunity for socio-economic development. Mining has the potential to bring self-sufficiency to the North; empower people with education, training, and employment; increase territorial revenues; and support infrastructure development.

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Heap Leach Pads--The Importance of Proper Testing, Interpretation, and Analysis of Soil Liner Geomembrane Interfaces

Author: Guillermo Barreda, Luis Chahua
Conference: Heap Leach Solutions 2014
Date: November 10-13, 2014

The design of heap leach pads involves a variety of components. One of the main components for these structures is the leach pad liner system, where a low-permeability soil is normally used in combination with a geomembrane to reduce seepage losses. Although this combination of materials has been shown to effectively reduce rates of infiltration, the soil liner-geomembrane interface presents a challenge to designers since it incorporates a “weak layer” into the system.

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A Practical Method for Extrapolating Ambient Pore Pressures from Incomplete Pore Pressure Dissipation Tests Conducted in Fine Grained Soils

Author: Jordan Scheremeta, M.S., E.I.
Conference: Tailings and Mine Waste 2014
Date: October 5-8, 2014

The estimation of ambient pore water pressures in an existing soil stratum for use in developing appropriate pore pressure distributions for input to various geotechnical engineering analyses often presents the engineer with challenges in locations devoid of sufficient piezometer coverage.

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Casino Project: Interactive Design of A Large Tailings Dam to Achieve Mine Waste Mangement Objectives

Author: Sanne Brinkman, Graham Greenaway, P.Eng.
Conference: CDA Annual Conference 2014
Date: October 4-9, 2014

The Casino Project is a proposed copper-gold-molybdenum mine in the southwest Yukon. The deposit will be mined using open pit methods with a nominal mill throughput of approximately 125,000 tonnes per day of ore over a 22 year operating life. The climate at the project site is characterised by long, cold, dry winters and short, warm, wet summers. Permafrost is discontinuous over the Tailings Management Facility embankment area.

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Interview with Sam Mottram, Managing Principal, Power Services

Publication: Global Business Reports
Issue: October 2014
Issue Title: British Columbia Power 2014

It has been nearly three decades since BC Hydro has undertaken a large-scale project. Does it have the in-house expertise to undertake Site C?

BC Hydro no longer has large, in-house expertise, which is why they have hired external consultants to help them. A number of consultants have been involved in the 1,100-MW Site C Clean Energy Project (Site C) in various capacities. Knight Piésold is involved in assessing the downstream impacts of Site C.

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Investigation of Sediment Transport Through a Run-of-River Hydroelectric Project

Author: Violeta Martin, Ph.D., P.Eng., Michael Pullinger, M.Sc., P.Eng., Alana Shewan, M.A.Sc., P.Eng., Nathan Smith, P.Eng.
Conference: HydroVision International 2014
Date: July 22-25, 2014

A 25 MW run-of-river hydroelectric project is proposed in coastal British Columbia, Canada. Baseline studies identified that the bedload sediment transport rate in the project area is relatively low, and consequently, interruption of bed material replenishment in the reaches downstream of the intake represents an environmental concern.

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Design and Construction of the 45 MW Kokish River Hydroelectric Project in British Columbia, Canada

Author: Egbert J. Scherman, P.Eng., Sam R. Mottram, P.Eng.
Conference: HydroVision International 2014
Date: July 22-25, 2014

This presentation will cover the design innovations and lessons learned from the detailed design and construction of the Kokish River Hydroelectric Project recently constructed in the northern part of Vancouver Island located in British Columbia, Canada. This hydroelectric facility is a private sector development by Kwagis Power, a limited partnership of Brookfield Renewable Energy Group and the ‘Namgis First Nation that was awarded an energy purchase agreement by BC Hydro in an open call for clean energy.

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Can Modular Pumped Storage Hydro (PSH) be Economically Feasible in the United Sates?

Author: Boualem Hadjerioua, Norm Bishop, Patrick O'Connor, Rocío Uría-Martínez, Scott DeNeale
Conference: HydroVision International 2014
Date: July 22-25, 2014

To date, the vast majority of global and domestic Pumped Storage Hydro (PSH) development has focused on the construction of large (generally greater than 300MW), site-customized plants. The viability of alternative design paradigms for PSH technologies has been actively discussed in industry and the research community, but no reliable determinations on the viability of these concepts have been made. Of particular interest is the development of smaller, distributed PSH systems incorporating elements of modular design to drive down cost and increase the ease of implementation.

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Integrating Engineering & Environmental Concepts for Mine Development

Publication: Global Business Reports
Issue: March 2014
Issue Title: British Columbia Mining & Vancouver: The World's Mining Barometer 2014

Designers of modern-day mines must consider and incorporate nearly endless aspects of a project so that it is technically, economically, environmentally and socially balanced. Technical and economic feasibility continue to be the key drivers behind development decisions. However, environmental and social considerations are growing in their influence on both the design and ultimately the decision to move a project past concept and into construction and operation.

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Hydropower the Key to Northern Development

Publication: Global Business Reports
Issue: November 2012
Issue Title: Territories Mining and Exploration 2012

One thing everyone can agree on is the need for a reliable source of energy for any form of existence in the Canadian north. With the extreme cold and shortage of sunlight hours throughout the winter, energy for heating and light is of paramount importance. This becomes even more important for any form of mining venture where there are large power requirements to run the mine.

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Elko Roundtable Discussions

Conference: Elko Roundtable
Date: 2005 to Ongoing

Knight Piésold USA has been hosting the Elko Rountable since 2005, with an aim in creating an environment to discuss current practices, challenges, and accomplishments associated with the need for, and the advancement of, innovation. The roundtable forum encourages an exchange of ideas and information pertaining to broad topics revolving around the subject of innovations in heap leaching and mine waste management. Compared to traditional conferences and symposia, the forum provides a much less inhibited format for discussion.

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