Publication of Martin Stoakes’s Travels of a Hard-Rock Mining Engineer is due shortly. The book is a chronicle of the travels and experiences of one of Britain’s most successful mining engineers during the last half of the Twentieth Century. It gives a vivid and an instructive insight into the generally little known subject of hard-rock mining (the excavation of hard materials such as gold, nickel or lead and a source of conflict in some countries), often in remote locations. Various mining projects are described in detail and provide a fascinating insight into the complexities of mine design and evaluation.
Martin Stoakes worked on 125 mining projects in thirty-seven different countries over a forty-four year period. His graphic account of the sometimes nerve-racking conditions and locales that he experienced includes encounters with Shining Path guerrilla fighters in Peru, MNLF Islamic fundamentalists in the Philippines and the RPF guerrillas in Rwanda/Uganda. Hard rock mining was never for the faint-hearted.