This 'Picks and Blasts' column marks the start of what will be a weekly blog on the mining industry by Mining Beacon, whose events include the Mines and Money series of conferences. This comment will not be slavishly restricted, however, to the relationship between mines and money. Breccia-like, we anticipate cementing broken fragments of mining news with a fine-grained argument to produce something that could be either similar to, or different from, the composition of the fragments. That sounds rather daunting; perhaps 'Backfill' is a better description for a weekly comment that might use waste material to fill a void. Whether broken fragments, fine argument or waste material, we will be looking forward, however, as much as possible.