exploration exasperation

5 02 2012

Garden birds 010


Dear Deon faces several challenges every day.  We just have to laugh at some of them.  Would you like a few laughs too?

At the moment one of Deon’s primary jobs is to  scientifically and statistically present a relevant report of resource evaluation .  bodies. This demands high levels of accuracy, including a  precise drilling programme and correct logging of the material.

These are a few real events from the last week or so.

Last week Saturday, when we were trying to relax, very early in the morning Aunt Margaret phoned.  Deon was already aware of her as she had proved rather tough to some of the junior geologists.  They were due to drill on Aunty M’s land soon.  Aunty M was rather put out because people were going to come onto her land and ‘carry away the gold’. 

There is absolutely no gold in the area:wrong geology.   The ground is full of the far more industrial minerals, which are not nearly as valuable as gold. 

It turns out that one of Deon’s workers (employed for his position on the council) is a family member of Aunty M.  But,as is very typical here, there is a family feud and D (the worker) decided that he did not want Aunty M to get the compensation paid for drilling on a person’s land. So he told another relative, and he hoped to give the compensation to that relative (I am sure there would be personal benefit for D) .  But he did not tell Aunty M, who did find out, promptly returned from Kenya,  and gave Deon an earful. She gave everybody an earful.  The HR manger. The mine manager. 

And nobody carried any gold from her.

(What she saw was the geologists carrying chip samples. )

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Another gold story: two young men came to Deon where he was drilling with a very proud smile on their faces.  They were very certain that they could bedazzle Deon and make heaps of money.  They wanted to sell a borehole where previously somebody had bored out gold.  (remember the basic geology has no gold.)

Deon, his junior geologists and the drilling foreman laughed. But this only fueled the confidence of the sellers: they had something they were sure Deon would want and they were in the winning position!  They could PROVE their success by showing the gold!

They confidently pulled out their “nugget”:  a lovely piece of quartz. 

Deon, his junior geologists, the drilling foreman and workers all guffawed loudly and 2 young would-be millionaires slunk off, dreams shattered.

Then another call Deon had to deal with.  By now, nearing the end of the drilling, Deon has a pretty good idea of where the ore body lies. But far beyond the reaches of the set-out  drilling plans, and after the drilling has mostly been done, a farmer contacted Deon: please can they come drill on his land.An insistent please.  With a lot of name-dropping, connection-calling in and backed by the calls of a local representative. 

You see, there has been compensation paid to local land owners, for damaged crops, messing up a bit of land. It was quite obvious that said land owner was not certain that he could boost the scientific veracity of Deon’s programme: he just wanted the shillings!


So, just a few tales of exploration’s funnier sides.  And we choose to laugh whenever possible.



Garden birds 051




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