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SME eNews - View Past Issue  

SME eNews
Registration open for 2012 SME Annual Meeting
Registration opened November 1st for the 2012 SME Annual Meeting. Kathryn Drew from Virginia Tech was the first to register online; in total we had 21 people register on the first day. We hope that you will join us in Seattle for the Annual Meeting, February 19 - 22, 2012. For more information and to register please visit: 2012 SME Annual Meeting
First preview of SME Foundation auction items
Have you had a chance to look at some of the items that will be available in this year's silent auction? Take a peek! 2012 Silent Auction Items. Be sure to visit the SME Foundation booth at the 2012 Annual Meeting & Exhibit in February. This preview is just the beginning. We have about 50 great items each day. Be sure to make plans in your schedule to stop by each day to see what's there. And be sure to get your tickets to the Foundation's 21st birthday celebration dinner and casino night. Wear your best Vegas-style glitz and glam and enjoy raffles, bucket auctions, poker, blackjack, and more.

Get your tickets early! Call Nancy at (303) 948-4224.
Details at: SME Foundation Dinner
Graduate Student Poster Contest
For: Graduate students from all SME disciplines.
Location: SME Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA - exhibit hall.
Topic: Open topic reflecting the graduate's thesis. The topic should highlight the graduate student's research.
Abstract: The abstract should be 250 words and is due by December 1, 2011. It should describe what the graduate student intends to display on the poster. Abstracts should be e-mailed to Dr. Rick Sweigard at rsweigar@engr.uky.edu. They should include all author names, complete contact information, the school each author attends, title, an abstract of no more than 250 words, the faculty advisor and the authors' disciplines. Information must be sent no later than December 1, 2011.

Additional note: You will need to register for the Annual Meeting. You will need to be present at your poster in the Exhibit Hall from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm on Monday, February 20 to answer questions posed by the judges. For complete details on the SME Annual Meeting please visit: 2012 SME Annual Meeting Attendee Information.

Authors will be notified of acceptance by December 15, 2011. Those accepted will be sent Poster Guidelines and should plan on presenting their posters during the SME Annual Meeting, February 19-22, 2011 in Seattle, Washington For additional information; please contact Mona Vandervoort at vandervoort@smenet.org.

SME Distinguished Member nominations due December 1
SME is now accepting nominations for the 2013 Class of Distinguished Members. A candidate for Distinguished Member must have been a full member of SME for at least 15 years. A candidate must have demonstrated significant and sustained contributions to the minerals industry and to SME. There must be some contributions to both the industry and SME, though significant and sustained contributions can be to either one.

Outstanding service to SME may be to a section, a region, a technical division, committees or as a representative of SME and the industry to the public. Outstanding contributions to the industry may be as a leader in exploration, production, manufacturing, environment, basic sciences, engineering applications, education, management or public relations. Contributions may be evidenced by patents, technical papers, educational activities or managerial contributions. Other contributions may be in the development of exploration techniques, mineral properties, mineral processes, major engineering projects, mineral-related equipment and environmental solutions.

Candidates may be nominated by any two SME Distinguished Members (each knowing the member under different circumstances), any two local section executives (must include a chair or past chair) or any five members of SME. Nomination forms must be received at SME by December 1st. Nomination forms are available online: Distinguished Member Award or by contacting Tessa Baxter at baxter@smenet.org or 303-948-4208.

2012 Class of Distinguished Members
Members of the 2012 Class of Distinguished Members, to be inducted at the SME Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA, are as follows: Timothy Arnold, William Beck, Hugh Miller, and Mary Poulton.

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.

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.

New to the SME Bookshelf
Handbook of Coal Analysis

Provides readers with everything they need to know about testing and analyzing coal. The book explains the meaning of test results and how these results can predict coal behavior and its corresponding environmental impact during use. Members pay $175.
Handbook of Coal Analysis
Regulatory Governance & Risk Management: Occupational Health and Safety in the Coal Mining Industry
Is the first book that addresses the diffusion of risk-based governance in the coal mining industry from a health and safety standpoint. Members pay $105.
Regulatory Governance & Risk Management

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.


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.

Need a quote for business insurance?
The Wright Group has negotiated an SME exclusive Professional Liability program with Beazley Insurance Company for SME members and continues to use its insurance expertise to assist SME members in obtaining the most appropriate and cost effective insurance policies. Click here for the latest newsletter and contact information.

SME issues technical briefing on permitting impediments to mineral development
SME has issued a new technical briefing paper, "Improved Regulatory Coordination to Ensure Responsible Mining and Environmental Protection." This paper points to the fact that the complexity, uncertainty and delays within the current mine permitting system place the U.S. at a competitive disadvantage with many other countries that have both abundant mineral resources and a more welcoming business and regulatory climate. As a result, American and international mining companies often move overseas or across borders to invest capital, create local employment and produce the critical minerals America must then import at higher cost. In this paper, SME calls for a streamlined National Environmental Policy Act compliance process that is coordinated with state and other federal agencies, and that would help promote efficient, fair and timely consideration of mining proposals and eliminate permitting delays. Better coordination of state and federal mine reclamation, operations, permitting requirements and programs and agencies is urgently needed in order to improve upon the current seven to ten year permitting process for new mines in the U.S.

S&T excels in underground competition
A team from Missouri University of Science and Technology recently finished second in a mine rescue competition that was held at S&T's Experimental Mine. The event featured 13 teams, all of which represented companies, except the two university-based teams from S&T and one team from Penn State. In addition to the squad that finished second, the other S&T team placed 12th against the competition from industry professionals.

The second-place finish is quite an accomplishment, according to Jim Taylor, supervisor of the Experimental Mine. "I have been here 19 years and this is the best our teams have placed," Taylor says.

Washington Updates

Resolution Copper land exchange bill passes
On October 26, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1904, the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act of 2011, with a bipartisan vote of 235-186. Sponsored by Natural Resources Committee Member Paul Gosar (R-AZ), the bill authorizes a fair value land exchange between Resolution Copper and the United States. The exchange of lands described in H.R. 1904 will secure the access Resolution needs to develop the mine. In return, the company will donate more than 5,500 acres of high-quality Arizona conservation lands to the United States. The exchange will unlock the third largest undeveloped copper resource in the world. According to the bill, H.R. 1904 will create over three thousand jobs in Arizona and generate billions of dollars in revenue for local, state and federal treasuries. It calls for the cost of the land exchange to be fully paid by Resolution Copper and requires full National Environmental Policy Act compliance and tribal consultation prior to constructing the mine.

House Committee recommends mineral development on public lands for revenue generation and deficit reduction

On October 14, the House Natural Resources Committee submitted a letter of recommendations to Rep. Hensarling (R-TX) and Sen. Murray (D-WA), co-chairs of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, which is charged with finding at least $1.5 trillion in federal savings over the next 10 years. Among the recommendations is a proposal to increase access to mineral resources on public lands. The letter states that in addition to energy production, federal revenues can also be boosted through careful, safe and more active management of mineral resources on federal lands. Further, overregulation blocks access to resources and is harming the U.S.'s economic competitiveness. SME's technical briefing paper, "Access to Public Lands for Mineral Exploration," echoes the recommendation of the House Natural Resources Committee by stating that access to public lands provides the U.S. the opportunity to find and produce essential minerals, to significantly offset foreign mineral dependence, to decrease a growing trade deficit, to create skilled jobs and to help solidify the nation's economic security.

Twenty-year mining ban to go into effect near Grand Canyon
On October 26, the Bureau of Land Management released a final environmental impact statement (EIS), which will withdraw over 1,000,000 acres of land near Grand Canyon National Park from mining and exploration for 20 years. The decision extends a two-year moratorium initially put into effect in 2009 by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who is expected to formalize the EIS decision within the next 20 days. In accordance with National Environmental Policy Act regulations, a notice will be published by EPA that will initiate a 30-day public review period, after which the Secretary of Interior can make and issue a final decision. In addition to analyzing the potential impacts of the proposed action, the final EIS has analyzed three other alternatives to the proposed action. In all of the alternatives, any withdrawal would be subject to valid existing rights. The action will not affect disposition or mining of lands that now fall under the mineral leasing, geothermal leasing, mineral materials or public lands laws. The proposed alternatives would allow all four of the existing mines within the proposed withdrawal area to resume production. Another eight additional mining projects can also be developed under the proposed withdrawal.

Sentinels of Safety winners announced for 2010
On October 17, MSHA and NMA recognized 20 U.S. mines for their outstanding safety record in 2010's Sentinels of Safety award program.

The purpose of the annual Sentinels of Safety award program is to recognize achievement of outstanding safety records, to stimulate greater interest in safety and to encourage development of more effective accident prevention programs among the nation's mineral extractive industries. All active and intermittently active mineral mining operations required to report injury and employment data under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 are eligible to participate. Ten separate groups are identified for the program: underground coal, surface coal, coal processing, underground metal, underground nonmetal, openpit (metal and nonmetal, except stone), openpit stone quarries, sand and gravel operations, sand and gravel dredge operations and metal and nonmetal mills.

To be eligible for an award, a mining operation must have reported employment data to MSHA for each quarter in which it was active during the calendar year; not experienced a work injury that resulted in a fatality, permanent disability, days away from work or days of restricted work activity; have a no-days-lost injury incidence rate greater than the national average and have accumulated at least 4,000 employee-hours during the calendar year. Click here for more information on the Sentinels of Safety award program.

EPA announces schedule for coalbed methane and shale gas wastewater standards
On October 21, the U.S. EPA announced a schedule to develop standards for wastewater discharges produced by natural gas extraction from underground coalbed and shale formations. No comprehensive set of national standards exists at this time for the disposal of wastewater discharged from natural gas extraction activities. Recent technology and operational improvements in extracting natural gas resources, particularly shale gas, have increased gas drilling activities across the country. Production from shale formations has grown from a negligible amount just a few years ago to almost 15 percent of total U.S. natural gas production and this share is expected to triple in the coming decades.

Currently, wastewater associated with shale gas extraction is prohibited from being directly discharged to waterways and other waters of the U.S. While some of the wastewater from shale gas extraction is reused or re-injected, a significant amount still requires disposal. As a result, some shale gas wastewater is transported to treatment plants, many of which are not properly equipped to treat this type of wastewater. EPA will consider standards based on demonstrated, economically achievable technologies, for shale gas wastewater that must be met before going to a treatment facility. Wastewater associated with coalbed methane extraction is not currently subject to national standards for being directly discharged into waterways and for pre-treatment standards. Its regulation is left to individual states. For coalbed methane, EPA will consider uniform national standards based on economically achievable technologies.

EPA will gather data, consult with stakeholders, including ongoing consultation with industry, and solicit public comment on a proposed rule for coalbed methane in 2013 and a proposed rule for shale gas in 2014.


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