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SME eNews - View Past Issue  

SME eNews
Students! - Last Chance for Scholarship $$
SME's scholarship application deadline is coming up on Tuesday, October 25. All applications must be submitted and all recommendation letters must be received by 11:59 PM Mountain Standard Time on the 25th. Applications and/or recommendation letters received after the deadline will not be considered.


Please visit www.smenet.org/scholarships for more information about our scholarships or to submit your application. Contact Tessa Baxter at baxter@smenet.org or 303-948-4208 with any questions.


October's featured SME member
SME Members are among the most successful professionals in the minerals industry. As a member of SME, you have access to 13,000+ top professionals who can help your career skyrocket. Meet this month's featured member.
Neil Eurick
Vice President Business Development, Metals & Mining, Celerant Consulting, Inc., Littleton, CO.
Professional Member Since 1993
I joined SME because my boss told me that "you can't have a meaningful role in the mining business without being involved in SME." So, the first thing he did was put me on a Colorado Section Committee. A couple of years later I went on the Section Board and stayed there for nine years. SME membership has been a major contributing factor to achieving my career goals. The knowledge and contacts I have gained from being an active participant in SME activities have been a major contributing factor in continuously moving forward in levels of responsibility in the mining business.

New online courses available!
SME is pleased to offer the following new courses in its eLearning program: SME has partnered with Convergence Training to offer Surface Miner Training courses. These courses will help mine operators and mining contractors stay compliant with the training and documentation required by the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration's (MSHA) Title 30 CFR - Part 46 regulations. Train workers at your site, on your schedule, with the most cost-effective mining safety courses on the market.
For complete details, see SME's eLearning catalog.

UCA call for nominations
The Underground Construction Association of SME (UCA of SME) is one of SME's most exciting divisions. Here are a few ways to get involved:

Last chance to submit executive committee nominations
Don't miss your chance to recommend an outstanding individual to serve on the UCA Executive Committee beginning in 2012. The executive committee is made up of three officers (chair, vice-chair and past chair) and four directors from each of the following groups: engineers, contractors, owners and suppliers.
  1. Please identify which of the four areas the individual(s) would represent (engineer, contractor, owner or supplier).
  2. Include a brief bio or resume outlining the person's industry experience and service to UCA and other professional organizations.
  3. The individual must be a member of the UCA of SME.
If you would like to nominate someone for consideration, please forward your recommendation to Mary O'Shea (oshea@smenet.org) at SME Headquarters by November 1.

Seeking nominations for the UCA awards
Guidelines and nomination forms are available on the UCA of SME website (uca.smenet.org). Please submit your nominations by January 3, 2012 to Mary O'Shea at oshea@smenet.org.

Pressurized TBM Tunneling,
April 23-24, 2012, Miami, FL
In view of the number of earth pressure balance (EPB), slurry and mixshield projects in North America today, North American Tunneling Journal has partnered up with UCA of SME to organize this one-of-a-kind event that will review state-of-the-art technology and facilitate discussion on key issues faced during pressurized tunnel boring machine (TBM) tunneling. For more details see: Pressurized TBM Tunneling information.
Register now for the 2011 Annual Meeting of the SME Arizona Conference
2011 Annual Meeting
of the SME Arizona Conference
New location this year:
JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort
Tucson, Arizona
December 4-5, 2011
Click here for more details.

More kudos for the SME Foundation
The Tim and Mary Haddon Foundation, Denver, CO., has provided the SME Foundation with a $10,000 grant. Many thanks for their generous support!
SME eBooks available
in Adobe Digital Editions format
This format can be read on Windows and Mac computers using the free Adobe Digital Editions software, and can be read on many mobile devices with appropriate software, including iPad, iPod, Nook, Sony Reader and Android devices SME Store - eBooks.

Underwater Mining Institute seeks presentations for 2012 conference
The 2012 Underwater Mining Institute will be hosted by Tongji University in Shanghai, China, October 15-21, 2012. Prospective presentations should focus on "Marine Minerals: Finding the Right Balance of Sustainable Development and Environmental Protection." The rapidly increasing demand for minerals in recent years has led to rapidly increasing prices, particularly of many base metals that are found in seabed deposits. As we anticipate new commercial seabed mining operations in the near term, it is critical to ensure that such activities take place with due consideration for all resources that could be impacted, including mineral, biological, economic, cultural and other resources. Presentations that focus on the strategies and methods to be used to address these considerations would be welcome at this year's institute. Other relevant topics of timely interest are also welcome.

Tongji University is one of the leading universities in China and a leading center for marine science. The State Key Laboratory of Marine Geology is located on campus. The Ocean Science and Environmental Research Center of the China Ocean Minerals Research and Development Association (COMRA) is also on campus. Please direct any questions to the Conference Coordinator, Ms. Karynne Morgan at karynnem@hawaii.edu.

SME files comments with the SEC on reserve reporting
On October 6, SME filed comments (pdf) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) after the independent agency requested public comment on retrospective reviews of existing SEC regulations. SME used this opportunity to point out the ongoing problems the U.S. mining industry is having with SEC Industry Guide 7 (pdf), which determines what an American-based mining company can claim and report as reserves to potential investors. Foreign entities have much less onerous controls for reporting mineral resources than American companies do, largely because of SEC-7, which has not been updated in 30 years. American companies are severely restricted in what they can claim and, as a result, the majority of globally active miners are now located outside the U.S. This has a negative impact on local capital formation, skills, services and activities.

SME suggested in its comments that the SEC consider the improved competitiveness of U.S.-based or -listed companies through the more detailed disclosure already afforded to foreign-based or -listed companies, which will reduce risk of misinterpretation by investors, financial institutions and the government. SME also commended the SEC for the approach it took in modernizing its rules for public disclosure of resources and reserves in the petroleum industry in 2008-2009, and asked that this approach be considered a model for the modernizing of mining industry rules regarding public disclosure.

SME is seeking meetings with the SEC to further the discussions of Industry Guide 7. Click here (pdf) for a copy of SME's own Guide for to Reporting Exploration Results.

Congratulations to our registered members!
As of September 4, 2011, SME had 526 registered members. A complete directory of SME Registered Members can be found on the SME homepage at www.smenet.org. For information on the SME Registered Member category, see www.smenet.org/RegisteredMember/. Instituted in 2006, the SME Registered Member classification was developed for SME Members with the following admission conditions:
  • Members are geologists, engineers and geoscientists admitted primarily on the basis of academic qualifications and experience.
  • Members agree to observe and be bound by a code of ethics.
  • SME has disciplinary powers to suspend and expel Members.

EPA to retain current dust standard for mining, construction and farming
In identical letters (pdf) to Senators Klobuchar (R-MN)and Stabenow (R-MI) on October 14, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson stated the agency is prepared to propose the retention - with no revision - of the current PM 10 National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) when it is sent to the White House Office of Management and Budget for interagency review. Particulate matter (PM) is a complex mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets. Particle pollution is made up of a number of components, including acids (such as nitrates and sulfates), organic chemicals, metals and soil or dust particles. EPA plans to retain the current PM 10 standard of 150 micrometers per cubic meter of air (ug/m3) measured at the property line. EPA had proposed lowering that standard to between 65-75 ug/m3, based on limited health effects data. In order to comply with such a drastically lower air standard, mining companies would have had to limit production, reduce truck traffic on paved and unpaved roadways within the mine site or add additional costly and unnecessary dust control measures on mineral processing plants that already use best available control technologies.

EPA groups particle pollution as either "inhalable coarse particles," such as those found near roadways and dusty industries (e.g., farming, construction and mining), that are larger than 2.5 micrometers and smaller than 10 micrometers in diameter, or "fine particles," those that are 2.5 micrometers in diameter and smaller and can form when gases are emitted from power plants, industries and automobiles. EPA is required by statute to review and revise the NAAQS every five years, as appropriate.

U.S. District Court rules EPA veto of existing coal permits is unlawful

On October 6, U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton of the D.C. Circuit ruled (pdf) that the EPA's enhanced coordination procedure process, which allows review of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) decisions regarding issuance of certain water permits, is an "unlawful agency action." The court decided that EPA's veto of an existing legally issued Section 404 Clean Water Act permit exceeds its authority under the Act. Section 404 permits are issued solely by COE for the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the U.S. EPA is given coordination authority with the Corps under Section 404 only for implementing guidance. The court ruled the guidance and related actions by EPA are, in reality, "legislative rules and alter the permitting procedures under the Clean Water Act." The court further noted that EPA's guidance has "encroached upon the role carved out for the states under the Clean Water Act." In short, the EPA has modified the Section 404 permitting authority not granted to it under the Clean Water Act - and has similarly and unlawfully expanded its authority to determine state water quality standards.

The case was brought after EPA vetoed a existing dredge and fill permit issued to Spruce Mine #1 coal mine in West Virginia. EPA's unprecedented use of the Clean Water Act to retroactively revoke a longstanding, legally issued permit to operate Spruce No. 1 mine creates significant regulatory uncertainty for existing permit holders and has a chilling effect on future business investment.

MSHA adds Indiana public hearing on proximity detection systems
in underground coal mines
On October 12, MSHA published a notice (pdf) in the Federal Register announcing an additional public hearing on the agency's proposed rule addressing proximity detection systems for continuous mining machines in underground coal mines. MSHA will hold an additional public hearing on October 27, in Evansville, IN (contact 812-429-0900). Other scheduled hearing dates and locations include: Denver, CO, Oct 18 (contact 303-592-1000); Charleston, WV, Oct 20 (contact 304-347-8700) and Washington, PA, Oct 25 (contact 724-222-5620). The proposed rule was published (pdf) on August 31. Comments on the proposed rule must be received by midnight Eastern Standard Time on November 14.

Data Metallogenica, SME's latest member service
Data Metallogenica is an online reference, training and educational resource and data repository, with more than 40,000 image and text files. SME has become a sponsoring organization of the service, so its members can now purchase a subscription to Data Metallogenica for $100, half of the normal subscription.


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