Monthly Archives: December 2018

Blast-free open pit mining meets production targets

Knauf Latvia produces construction materials in Sauriesi near Riga, the capital of Latvia. The main source of raw material is the company’s gypsum mine a few kilometres away. Blasting was used as main mining method. Blast-free open pit mining meets production targets

To decrease blasting impacts on environment around the quarry for its mining operations the company is now using an excavator equipped with an Atlas Copco HB 7000 DP breaker. Although new to the operators, blast-free mining has become the main method at the site and the daily production of the breaker unit has already reached the target level.

Because of blasting impacts, Knauf began looking at blast-free mining as an alternative. The company invested in a Liebherr R974 excavator equipped with an Atlas Copco HB 7000 DP breaker and the unit started production at the end of January.

JUMP START FOR PRODUCTION

Originally the breaker was intended to support production in the quarry and to be used in areas closer to deposit borders and residents. After the experiences of the first three months, blast-free mining has now become the main mining method. The breaker unit runs in two shifts about 15 hours a day.

Blast-free open pit mining meets production targets

1100 TONS PER DAY TARGET REACHED

Atlas Copco’s latest generation of heavy breakers requires less hydraulic input from the carrier while maintaining maximum impact performance. At the Knauf gypsum quarry the average production of the excavator with the HB 7000 DP breaker attachment has already reached the target of about 1100 tons per day.

Atlas Copco further notes that thin layers of brittle material are ideal for blast-free mining. When material quality varies between the layers, or there is undesired material between them, the breaker method has a great advantage over blasting in that it readily enables selective mining.

Junior gold producer under the radar

Galane Gold (TSX-V: GG) has kept a low profile in the stock market for the past couple of years and it has not found it necessary to embark on any capital raising roadshows in the world’s financial centres. However now it feels it has perhaps been too quiet and is conducting briefings in London – but again not because it needs capital, but just so that it can fly a little higher above the gold investor radar. To this end it took on a London-based PR company earlier this year to help introduce it to the UK financial sector.Junior gold producer under the radarGalane currently has one operating asset – the Mupane gold mine, Botswana’s only primary gold producer. It was acquired from IamGold in 2011 following that company’s successful merger with Cambior as it was not seen as a core business as being too small an operation for the enlarged IamGold’s forward plans. (I am Gold retains a 41% interest in Galane.)

Galane has a current production capacity of around 40-50,000 ounces of gold a year and in terms of existing reserves and resources is a short life property, but again, as long as it is not looking for a transfer to the TSX main board – which it may wish to do in the near future – there is no particular pressure on it to spend the money to delineate a full blown resource assessment, but is happy to maintain perhaps a 3-year forward reserve, with new resources replacing depleted ones as mining progresses. If one goes back perhaps 30-40 years this was the way many mines would operate before ever-stricter stock market requirements began to demand more and more disclosure. However, according to chairman and acting CEO Ravi Sood he is confident there are major brownfield and greenfield prospects for significant life extensions within the highly prospective Tati greenstone belt which Galane controls.

Thus Galane Gold is Botswana’s only gold producer and has tied up virtually the whole of the Tati greenstone belt to the south of Botswana’s second largest city, Francistown. According to Sood, gold has been mined here since around the 12th Century and he reckons there is plenty more to come. There have been a number of small mines within the concession area in the past and the current concentration for exploration and expansion is mostly on areas around these brownfield sites.

Junior gold producer under the radar

Apart from a blip in Q2 due to lost production from a SAG mill motor failure, Galane is profitable at an operating level and has been generating free cash flow. Sood also reckons there is enough flexibility in its resources and operating plans to survive any likely further gold price downturn, although All In Sustaining Costs have been in the region of $1400 an ounce. But looking forward the company is confident it can bring these down to around $1000 or even lower as its current mining plan progresses. So far capital expenditures have been kept to a minimum and Galane has had no need to go to the markets for cash, although does have a forward gold sales agreement on generous terms with Samsung which netted it a loan facility of $5 million towards its development programme. It also carries a $60 million tax loss dating back to the previous operating company on its books which means it is not currently paying any tax.

Botswana is considered a great mining destination with a pro-mining stable government which is open to foreign investment – indeed it is consistently the most highly rated country in Africa in the annual Fraser Institute surveys. Also helping it is excellent power and transportation infrastructure including an international airport at Francistown only around 35 km from its main operating area.

Junior gold producer under the radar

Asked if the company proposes a listing in London, Sood was basically positive on this possibility although the costs of both obtaining and servicing a listing can be significant for a junior. He intimated that any such route would be preceded by a full board listing in Toronto – which would almost certainly require expenditures on developing a new NI 43-101 resource and reserve statement – and then perhaps applying for a secondary listing on AIM.

On dividend policy Sood suggested that once certain other commitments had been finalised the company could be open to paying a dividend, or perhaps to a share buyback and that given the poor share price performance of junior gold stocks the latter might be a more attractive route.

Galane is effectively unhedged (apart from its forward commitment to deliver a minimum of 1,607 oz/month gold to Samsung for a period of 2 years – but this is only at a discount to the prevailing gold price at time of delivery of 1.5% for the first 12 months and then 0.5% discount for the following 12 months.) With only 50.7 million shares outstanding and no plans for any equity raising, and as a producer with positive cashflow, Galane has excellent leverage to any pick up in the gold price, yet says it can cut its cloth to handle any further falls.

Faxed to Death: Can This Old Technology Adapt to a Digital World?

Believe it or not, the need for faxing still exists, especially for businesses that handle private customer information such as healthcare providers, insurance companies, or financial service providers. In addition, many businesses continue to use old fax machines supported by expensive dedicated analog telephone lines. While some businesses may still need fax, they don’t necessarily need those legacy phone lines.

Why fax at all?
So why do businesses migrating to cloud-based or IP telephony continue to keep a dedicated analog telephone line for fax?

  • Some industries require faxing and traditional analog lines are reliable.
  • IP faxing may not be regulatory compliant.
  • Faxing over IP (FoIP) has had issues in the past with latency and jitter causing fax transmissions to fail.
  • Many companies have made investments in expensive multi-functional printer/copier/fax machines.

Faxed to Death

With fax, timing is everything. A successful fax session requires real-time, uninterrupted communication between both the sending and receiving ends. That said, it makes sense that a dedicated circuit-switched connection is ideal for faxing. IP, or internet protocol, faxing includes signal conversions, protocol translations and inevitable network congestion, all of which can affect timing and cause problems. So why bother?

Why FoIP?
Cost reduction is most popular among the many reasons business choose FoIP over the status quo. Faxing over the internet is not only much cheaper, but the demand for secure, reliable FoIP has also resulted in service that delivers the quality businesses have come to expect from traditional telephone lines. IP faxing is now an HTTPS secure, web-based cloud service that avoids the voice network entirely. Fax functionality integrates with email clients, desktop and mobile applications for a fraction of the cost while fitting seamlessly into unified messaging and communications strategies.

Faxes can be sent, received, archived and searched like email. They can be accessed and managed from any device by multiple users. Not only is this convenient, but it also eliminates the expense of supporting and maintaining those legacy analog fax machines.

Faxed to Death

If a complete migration to cloud-based IP faxing evokes fear and loathing, or is simply not possible, the benefits of IP faxing can still be enjoyed with existing fax machines. Fax ATA converters enable the machine to connect directly to the data network. This hybrid solution leverages the fax hardware and offers the rich feature set of FoIP. Many of these devices even create an HTTPS connection to the cloud; checking the security box for those businesses that must comply with various privacy regulations.

The benefits of making the switch to fax over IP start with cost savings and extend into convenience and reliability. The challenges and misconceptions long associated with IP faxing have been addressed by advancements in technology. Increased available bandwidth, more reliable/secure protocols, unified messaging integration, and even mobility make it nearly impossible to devise a reason to continue paying for that old analog fax line.

Is Augmented Reality The Future Of Retail Marketing?

Augmented Reality is very hot these days with many experts recommending widespread adoption of it across any and all industries. A little caution however may not be a bad thing.

The term “Augmented Reality” has many different meanings and definitions but I like this one best:

Marketing Retail 1

“Augmented reality is a term for a live direct or indirect view of a physical real-world environment whose elements are augmented by virtual computer-generated imagery.”

Augmented Reality is going so much publicity and attention these days that it’s now perfectly acceptable to refer to it as simply AR. And many are predicting that AR will be the cure-all for all that ails you… regardless of industry.

Marketing Retail 1

However for this post, let’s keep it refined to the world of retail. And having worked in retail – I come from a long line of former supermarket workers, there are some basic tenets that will always be the most important when it comes to retail sales:

  • Product
  • Price
  • Customer Service
  • And of course, location, location, location

Any retailer worth his/her weight in coupons knows this to be true and while there are some very cool things going on right with re: AR and retail – see below for some examples, I would caution retailers to NOT forsake traditional marketing methods and techniques for AR.

Marketing Retail 1

Now, if you want to “augment” your current traditional campaigns with some AR, by all means go for it. Just don’t believe a lot of the hype going around that AR is all you need.

It’s the exact same thing being spewed by all the Social Media experts claiming SM will cure all your ails.

Marketing Retail 1

No one singular method, medium, approach, platform and on and on will ever work. There needs to be an integration of carefully selected methods, etc., which are best suited to your particular wants and needs.

As promised, here are some cool AR things going on right now in the world of retail…

So, what do you think of AR?
Is it the future?
Is it a fad?
Have you ever personally used it in a retail setting?

YouTube Time Stamp For Brands, Because “Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That”

How brands can take advantage of the new YouTube Time Stamp feature for targeted messaging and fostering social engagement.

In situations when a GIF or Vine just isn’t enough to fully convey the context of your brand’s message, you’d likely take the next logical step and include video. Problem being, that you usually only want to share a specific part of the video before your target audience loses interest, believes you’re crazy or responds with the dreaded “tl;dr”. If you were web savvy you could have included the #t=0h0m0s coding at the end of your YouTube link so your video started right where you wanted, but let’s be honest “Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That”

YouTube Time Stamp For Brands, Because “Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That” YouTube has recently and quietly introduced what I am coining as the “Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That” button. Now, instead of adding the time stamp coding to your link, you can simply click the “checkbox” and generate a link to the video starting it at the point where you want it. This is a good move for YouTube to help foster additional social sharing and make YouTube clips as ubiquitous as GIFs.

YouTube Time Stamp For Brands, Because “Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That”

This should be enticing for brand managers, as it gives the freedom to show and express ideas via YouTube by cutting the through the fluff and sending people directly to the intended point of interest. Brands could also use this for directed messaging, allowing the use of one video with multiple responses, rather than creating a number of videos, cutting down on expense and increasing overall views. By linking users directly to the content they’re looking for, brands can drive views on one particular video, increasing the potential for engagement without diluting the potential view count.

Check the screenshot out below and try out the “Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That” button out today! (Feel free to shoot us a link of what you’re sharing in the comments section below)

The Single Most Effective Marketing Tactic For B2B Marketers

According to the 2011 Marketing-Sherpa B2B Marketing Advanced Practices Handbook, the most effective marketing tactic identified by B2B Marketers all centered around one thing.

The far reaching handbook revealed many interesting insights into the world of a B2B Marketer and when asked to choose the one tactic that is the most effective in their marketing efforts, 93% of respondents said it was their company’s website – and the optimization, management and design thereof, which is the most effective and vital.

The Single Most Effective Marketing Tactic For B2B Marketers

To me, the high number of B2B Marketers who identified their website, management and optimization as either “very effective” or “somwhat effective” speaks to the growing popularity of social media in the B2B Marketing world. Consider that according to a recent study by BtoB Magazine, 93% of all B2B marketers are engaged in some form of social media marketing.

Another form of inbound marketing falls under optimization and SEO which was also identified as being an effective marketing tactic for B2B Marketers.

All of these inbound marketing tactics all lead back to one place – the website which is why so many B2B Marketers consider it to be so important.

From the 2011 Marketing-Sherpa B2B Marketing Advanced Practices Handbook:

There is a growing trend of utilizing inbound marketing tactics that is demonstrated in the above chart. The top two tactics are inbound and two of the three least effective tactics are outbound. The top-rated tactic is website design, management and optimization, partly due to the growing popularity of inbound marketing tactics. Inbound tactics like search and social media drive traffic back to the hub, or an organization’s website, for conversion. With an increased level of inbound traffic, even marginal gains in website conversion rate can have a great impact on the number of leads generated and an organization’s and bottom line.

Social media is undervalued in terms of effectiveness — a result of the infancy of this marketing tactic. As B2B marketers become more mature with their social marketing practices, perceptions on the effectiveness of this tactic will improve.

Another finding that came out of the Handbook was the fact that once again, the #1 challenge facing B2B Marketers is finding leads – both a high quality and high volume of leads.

The Single Most Effective Marketing Tactic For B2B Marketers

For her part, Jen Doyle, Senior Research Manager, Marketing-Sherpa and lead author of the Handbook, offered these high-level suggestions to B2B Marketers re: uncovering new prospects:

  • Adapt a customer-centric approach
  • Identify compelling value propositions that resonate and convert
  • Deliver content and messaging through an optimal mix of lead gen tactics
  • Continually test your efforts
  • Adapt to an evolving marketplace
  • Embrace sales conversion as a Sales and Marketing responsibility, and support it with funnel optimization strategies

These are all great tips for sure but here’s one more:

If you’re responsible for increasing business to business sales, don’t be afraid to ask for help. As a B2B Marketer you are faced with an incredible number of day-to-day challenges and obstacles and so on. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a business to business marketing communications agency who will partner with you, kind of lighten the load so to speak.

So, how important would say your website is when it comes to B2B Marketing? Do you agree with the respondents who put so much emphasis on it?

Or would you identify something else as being the most effective marketing tactic?

Shoppers Want Integration, Retailers And Marketers Not Delivering It

In two separate reports/surveys issued by my-buys, a provider of cross-channel personalization for retailers, revealed that integration, along with convenience and service are what consumers want most but find most retailers and retail marketers don’t deliver.

Their 4th annual Consumer Insights Survey queried over 1,000 adults, evenly split between men and women who shopped online for products 4 or more times in the past year, spend at least $500 online annually and make shopping purchases both online and in stores.

They asked these folks to rate/rank what they would want from their favorite retailers in an ideal world vs. what they are actually experiencing in the real world. You will see there is a quite the disparity between the ideal and real worlds.

To me, this is the most important take away from this survey…Marketing

Integration (consistency) – What Consumers Want

  • 85% want an integrated shopping experience
  • 72% want an integrated marketing approach

Integration (consistency) – What Consumers Currently Get

  • 50% get an integrated shopping experience
  • 39% get an integrated marketing approach

Those in marketing retail and retailers alike, the people are speaking loud and clear. They want to see and experience the same thing be it on your site, your store, your mobile site and they want to see and experience the same message across all marketing collateral – AKA they want a branded experience across ALL channels!

Marketing

Now there are some findings which are perfectly logical and are to be expected, i.e. people want good service. I am a little surpised hower to see how low Personalization scored – could be The Big Brother theory at play as people don’t want retailers to know them too well. But what really surprised me was how low Mobile and Social scored. With both Mobile and Social so prevalent today, it is quite surprising to see only 26%, even in an ideal world, say they would want to be able to make a purchase via their phone.

The other report/survey my-buys issued was their 10th Annual e-tailing group Merchant Survey, which surveyed merchants across 32 different categories of products and services.

What was most-troubling to me was this chart below which showed a staggeringly low number of retailers using an integrated approach to their customers…

Shoppers Want Integration, Retailers And Marketers Not Delivering It
22% not currently planned?

6% will always remain siloed?

16% don’t know?

What’s going on here?

Is just this a case of these retailers not knowing how to go about creating an integrated approach?

Or is it a case of these retailers not seeing the value in creating an intergrated approach?

Or is it something completely different?

Color Ideas for Weddings in the Summer

Color Ideas for Weddings in the SummerSummer weddings offer a wide range of possible color choices. Summer wedding colors set the tone and mood for the event, displaying the couple’s attitude and personality. For a classic, formal look, go with black and white and splashes of an attention-grabbing third color. Pastel colors present a light, fresh, casual feel for a summer wedding. By matching the colors of the season, you can intensify the hues of flowers in bloom, greenery and striking colors of a sunset.

Pastels

Pastel summer wedding colors will complement and soften the bolder colors of the surrounding greenery, blooming flowers and setting sun. Consider incorporating pastel colors into traditional, plain white wedding invitations through a border or flowers at the bottom. Try adding a pop of color to the wedding gown with a sash or embroidered flowers. Remember, wearing pastel colors can make fair-skinned bridesmaids look washed out in wedding pictures. Visit the dress shop and test color swatches against skin tones. Add vibrant accessories or flowers to coordinate with the bridesmaids dresses.

Consider blue with brown, white or silver, or various shades of pink with white, lavender and sage green.

Color Ideas for Weddings in the Summer

Black and White

Consider using classic black and white for your summer wedding colors. These colors tell guests the wedding is formal. To dress these colors up, add splashes of yellow or pink. Accent black bridesmaids’ dresses with a pink sash, or yellow bouquets for them to carry. Use formal black and white table linens with yellow or pink flower arrangements for the centerpiece. Grab the guests’ eyes by adding a third accent color to go with the black and white.

Color Ideas for Weddings in the Summer

Bold Colors

Use the intense colors you see in nature during the summer, like deep blue skies, bright blooming flowers or golden sunsets, for a summer wedding. Consider pairing gold and lavender with touches of magenta for a bright, cheerful feel. Think about teal, silver and white for a fresh, clean look for a summer wedding. Various shades of pink and red can work well for summer wedding colors. Incorporate fresh flowers with these colors for a romantic mood.

ADHD Testing Now Online

Do you think your child suffers from ADHD or do you think your child was misdiagnosed with ADHD?

Either way there is a simple solution to that and now it is available online from privacy of your own home.Has Your Child Been Misdiagnosed 1

My older son was diagnosed with ADHD in fall of 2005 at the age of 8. Few months later in December of 2005 he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

If you are familiar with symptoms of low and high blood glucose in children with type 1 diabetes these symptoms can easily be misinterpreted as symptoms of ADHD.

When my son’s blood glucose is high he gets restless, fidgety, talks too much, can’t concentrate….you get the point.

I questioned his ADHD diagnoses ever since his diabetes entered our lives.

It’s true that he was a handful since he entered elementary school,but I always thought he was not challenged enough and he didn’t have a teacher who would allow him be himself. His Kindergarten teacher was one of those teachers that if a child doesn’t fit into a certain box with certain criteria that child MUST BE a trouble maker or suffer from ADHD.

His first grade teacher was a complete opposite. She allowed him to express himself, she challenged him and she even admitted that he knew more about certain subjects that she did. She suggested that we should have his IQ tested. To no surprise his IQ for a 6 year old was above average.

Has Your Child Been Misdiagnosed 1Unfortunately, in second grade his teacher was once again “fit into a box” teacher and the trouble started again. My son’s behaviour was out of control, he was bored at school and he was labeled as a trouble maker. From that point on no matter what he did it was always his fault. I was ready to give up and I agreed to have him tested for ADHD.

He was diagnosed as a highly functioning child with ADHD due to his high IQ by a child psychiatrist.

When he started third grade (in a small school) he was already know as “the ADHD trouble maker” so the teacher never gave him a chance. The bad behaviour continued yet he was one of the top students. I started thinking that maybe they are right and my son has ADHD and needs to be medicated.

After being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes first 6-7 months were hard to get his blood glucose under control so of course everybody assumed he was acting up due to ADHD.

In a fourth grade he was lucky to have one of the best teachers I ever met. Once again he was allowed to be himself. His teacher took the time to get to know him instead of listening to the faculty members. He gave him extra challenges, he ave him special responsibilities. It was the best year.

Of course, I was told it is due to his ADHD medication working properly.

Every morning when I gave him his medication there was this feeling of doubt that was bothering me. I was afraid to take him of his medication because what if……..

He was doing great at school. He was making lots friends. His diabetes wasn’t bad. I left it alone.

Has Your Child Been Misdiagnosed 1Till few months ago….my son’s new pediatrician questioned his ADHD after meeting him at his diabetic clinic.

He suggested to have him tested for ADHD again.

I had vision of 1-2 year waiting list.

Then he informed us that he belongs to a group of clinicians that use online ADHD screening and treatment monitoring tools.

Within two days we had the results and my son is nowhere near being ADHD. He’s just a typical teenager with diabetes.

If you would like to find out if your child suffers from ADHD and if there is a clinician in your area that is registered with Online ADHD Rating Scales visit ADHD Rating Scales

Why Do People Rent Cars?

In the United States alone, there are nearly two million rental cars available at over 19,000 locations. Renting a car isn’t just for tourists. There are a host of reasons why people rent cars, ranging from necessity to convenience.

Rent Cars

More room

Sometimes your car just isn’t big enough to accommodate all the people that need to be transported. This might happen when relatives visit from out of town, or if you want to go on a vacation with friends but don’t want to take two vehicles. Conversely, someone’s vehicle may be too large. If people own a large, gas-guzzling SUV or minivan and want to go on a long trip with only one or two other people, it may be more economical and environmentally friendly to rent a smaller, fuel-efficient vehicle.

Rent Cars

Business

Someone might rent a car for business purposes. He or she may have important clients to transport and wants to make a good impression with a nicer car than their own. Businessmen may rent a luxury car when going to a convention or business meeting to project a sense of success and prosperity. Sometimes, a job may require travel, and rather than put wear and tear on a personal vehicle, a rental car is used.

Travel

Often travelers rent cars when they take a flight. They simply need a way to get around while they are out of town. Rental car agencies are located at every major airport to make it easy for travelers to rent and return rental cars.

Rent Cars

Car Repairs

People may need to rent a car when their personal vehicle is in the shop for repairs or has been in an accident and isn’t available.

Social Occasions

Sometimes people will rent cars for social occasions such as special dates or parties. Some people like to impress their dates with a hot new sports car or enjoy driving a fancy luxury car to a dance or party.