Of Old Mines and Modern Times – letter to S.

A Fall day and a reply letter to a friend gets written;

To S., a friend from Czech Republic. A good correspondent, active collectionist of Slowly stamps, who I was fortunate to meet via the app. We alo share a love for Economics and understanding how things work.

Sent on October 21st, 2021 — Letter below was lightly edited to remove personal references and portions we don't want to share in public.

The original didn't have the added pizzazz of imagery and the live links included in the Blog post. But the inspiration and most of the text in this page came directly from my Slowly Web client editor screen.

This is an example of the letters we share, with pen pals all over the World, via the Slowly App. A modern day take in the traditional penpal experience.

And the letter begins

Hello S.,

And thank you for the letter – and the lovely photos. It seems to be a nice place, this northern region you visited.

S.'s shared photo of a reclaimed Bohemian mine

It is interesting that there's all those mines in the region, and that luckily they were close to the surface and can be easier to explore than the usual deeper deposits.

Also happening elsewhere...

There are similar things going on in other countries, here in Canada there are oil sands mines in Northern Alberta which are very large and explored via open pit method. They will have to provide remediation once they exhaust the resource, and in some area this has started already.

A good example of Open Pit mining – Larger image here

There is opposition from green activists against these, since the oil sands are quite resource intensive – it takes a lot of energy to separate the Bitumen from the sand itself, which is basically done with boiling water, fuelled by natural gas.

The Oil Sands bitumen extraction process

I always thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to use some smaller nuclear reactors, since the need the mines have is for heat – no need to convert to electricity even, so a high efficiency would be possible. Plus, no carbon emissions since we would not be burning the natural gas.

Micro-reactors – this video on YouTube is short and interesting!

Bohemian mining has been around long

Bohemia had some of the earliest deposits of radioactive materials, I remember the Curie couple extracting Radium from Pechblenda ore extracted in Bohemia I believe.

It is fascinating to know what people in older times did and explored; I was looking at one of my blog posts, a historical one, and there is a map of Iberia in Roman times, showing Au and Ag deposits in what is today's Spain.

Roman Period map of Iberian Peninsula

Aurum, or gold (Au), in the Asturias region, northwest, and Argentum or silver (Ag), in the south – near Sevilla and Granada I think.

Brazil has huge mineral deposits too, a lot of gold was mined there, most went to Portugal, and from there went on to France, England, in payment of merchandise acquired from them. I remember reading about an isotopical analysis of some 1700's French gold coins, and the conclusion that about 30% of the gold in them was originally from Brazil.

All these shining coins and bars...

And I just found an interesting page with some fascinating stories of the French gold coins and bullion reserves – during World War II, and what happened to it.

A hoard of gold bars and coins recently found in France

I am glad that they did a nice job of reclaiming the expended mine pits in Saxony, and it seems they actually add value to the region today, creating picturesque places for people to visit, eh?

Time to close and send. Here from Zambia for a few more hours, lol..

Take care and have a good weekend!


Post card : today's is a sci-fi themed one – from a planet with two beautiful moons. Hope you enjoy this. [ image is seen as the Banner image on this post ]

Famous Last Words

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