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SME eNews
Register today for the Annual Meeting
Register today for the Annual Meeting in Seattle!

There are only eight days left to take advantage of the early bird registration pricing for the SME Annual Meeting and Exhibit in Seattle, WA. Be sure to register soon so you don’t miss out on the early pricing discounts.

2012 SME Annual Meeting and Exhibit
February 19th - 22nd
Seattle, WA
Return your proxy today!
In 2012 the Annual Meeting of Members will be held immediately following the conclusion of the SME Board of Directors Meeting on Sunday, February 19, at the Sheraton Seattle, Seattle, WA. At this meeting, 2011 President, John N. Murphy, will report on the Society’s activities, its state, its concerns and its financial condition. Drew A. Meyer will be installed as the 2012 President and, upon election by the membership entitled to vote, the following directors shall take office:

Jessica Elzea Kogel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . President-Elect
Marc A. Herpfer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Director-at-Large
Hugh B. Miller . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Director-at-Large

A proxy will be sent to you via mail in the next week or so. In the event you will not be attending the Meeting of Members, please sign, date, and return your mail ballot/proxy, or you may vote online at www.smenet.org/proxy. Online voting is now available.

Make sure you aren’t Sleepless in Seattle!
The housing deadline is only eight days away, and hotels are filling up fast. The Hilton is currently sold out, and other hotels have a waiting list for certain nights, so if you haven’t booked your hotel room for the SME Annual Meeting and Exhibit book now.
Volunteers wanted!
Help give back by being a part of the 3rd annual Miners Give Back on Friday, February 17th. To volunteer please sign up when you register or edit/add to your existing registration.

SME issues report on workforce trends in the U.S. mining industry
On January 3, SME, in collaboration with the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, the National Mining Association and the Industrial Minerals Association - North America, issued the report Emerging Workforce Trends in the U.S. Mining Industry.

The Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory contracted with the National Academies’ National Research Council to perform a study on the availability of skilled workers to meet the energy and mineral security requirements of the U.S. SME was asked by the National Research Council’s Board on Higher Education and Workforce to collect, analyze and report on workforce trends in the U.S. mining industry.

In this report, SME provides historic and current trends in the size, growth and demographics of the mining workforce; examines key labor market impediments and constraints of the mining workforce; discusses future demand for and supply of workers; identifies the need for education and training programs; discusses the potential for skilled foreign labor meeting projected labor requirements; assesses potential job health and safety impacts of a long-term workforce shortage; describes and evaluates data sources available, federal data collection and coordination and future research initiatives on mining workforce issues.

“Although only one-quarter of one percent of the U.S. workforce is employed by the mining industry, those industry workers contribute to the starting point for the value chain that regularly contributes between 10-14% to the nation’s economy,” said SME Executive Director David L. Kanagy, in issuing the results of this study. “In order to continue to provide that significant value to the U.S. economy and meet the growing demand for minerals, the mining industry needs a huge influx of skilled and properly trained workers to offset the projected 52% loss of skilled senior labor in the next 15 years.”

The report can be ordered at: Emerging Workforce Trends in the US Mining Industry. ($50 members/ $150 nonmembers)
For more information contact John Hayden (hayden@smenet.org) at SME.

There’s still time to register for the 2012 Carbon Management Technology Conference!
The first-ever Carbon Management Technology Conference will be held 7–9 February 2012 in Orlando, FL, USA. Eight engineering societies are sponsoring this conference, bringing together all disciplines to share the latest technologies, strategies and systems related to the management and containment of carbon production. The three-day technical program will feature more than 200 presentations on key topics, such as business risks of carbon counting, innovative approaches to measuring IT system sustainability, research and development and greenhouse gas quantification and measurement methods.

For more information or to register, visit http://www.carbonmgmt.org/index.php.
SME is now accepting applications for the McIntosh Engineering Scholarship!
The McIntosh Engineering Scholarship is a renewable scholarship with total potential funding of $12,000 per student: $5,000 for junior year and, subject to renewal approval, an additional $7,000 for senior year.
For more information or to submit your application, click here: www.smenet.org/scholarships/McIntosh/.

The application deadline is April 1 – no foolin’!

Half price sale for limited time
Children have always had a love affair with learning about rocks and collecting them. The Rock Odyssey video will help to ignite the sparks of curiosity and excitement within each child, and possibly create a future geologist or engineer!

Each Rock Odyssey set contains:
  • The Rock Odyssey DVD
  • 32-page curriculum guide of lesson plans, activities, and student pages
  • Two large posters showing mineral uses
  • Student worksheets for teachers to copy
This $25 package will be slashed in half for a limited time. Rock Odyssey is directly connected to the science curriculum standards that teachers must teach. We have backed it up with lessons, posters and activities to help students remember their introduction to rocks and minerals. To purchase this unique teaching tool for your local school or favorite teacher, please go to www.mii.org/store/rock-odyssey-dvd.

SME meets with SEC to resolve differences over reserve reporting
On December 16, representatives of SME’s Resources and Reserves Committee and SME staff met with representatives of the Securities and Exchange Commission to discuss continued differences between the SEC’s Industry Guide 7 (IG7) (PDF) and the SME Guide (PDF) for Reporting Exploration Results, and to identify common areas of interest regarding resource and reserve reporting by publicly traded companies.

U.S.-based mining companies must follow the requirements of IG7, which only provides for declaration of Proven and Probable Reserves in Form 10-K SEC filings, which are used to provide public disclosure. The SEC does not generally recognize other codes for reporting, such as the CRIRSCO family of codes (JORC, CIM, SAMREC, SME, PERC, Chilean and Naen). In general, foreign companies domiciled outside the U.S. report using the CRIRSCO family of codes. These provide for reporting exploration information and measured, indicated and inferred mineral resources in addition to proven and probable reserves. This provides for more transparent and material disclosure, particularly for mineral resources and, in turn, has an impact on decisions as to which international stock exchanges will be chosen for listing.

The SEC’s IG7 on mineral resources and reserve reporting has not been updated since its original publication in 1982. The SME Guide was originally published in 1992, updated in 1999, and reissued in 2007, which reflected the recommendations made to, yet not acted upon by, the SEC.

At this 2011 meeting, the SEC agreed to caucus amongst the agency participants and to establish an internal timeline to determine a course of action for these issues. No deadline was given for these internal discussions.

The SEC stated that while it makes practical sense to update IG7, this issue is not a current priority for the agency. Updating IG7 would most likely require rulemaking.

Geoscience Fellowship available in Washington, D.C.
The American Geosciences Institute, of which SME is a member society, is accepting applications for the 2012-2013 William L. Fisher Congressional Geoscience Fellowship. The successful candidate will spend 12 months (starting September 2012) in Washington, D.C., working as a staff member in the office of a member of Congress or a congressional committee. The fellowship represents a unique opportunity to gain firsthand experience of the federal legislative process and make practical contributions to the effective and timely use of geoscientific knowledge on issues relating to the environment, resource development, natural hazards and federal science policy.

Prospective applicants should have a broad geoscience background. Minimum requirements are a Master's degree with at least three years of post-degree work experience or a Ph.D. at the time of appointment. Although prior experience in public policy is not necessary, a demonstrable interest in applying science to the solution of public problems is desirable. Applicants must be a member of SME.

The fellowship carries an annual stipend of up to $65,000, plus allowances for health insurance, relocation and travel. Additionally, the fellowship includes a possible two- to four-month extension.

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, statement of purpose, a curriculum vitae and request three letters of reference be submitted via the online submission site. The deadline for submission of applications is February 1, 2012.

Visit the AGI Fisher Fellows Webpage for more information.
New from the SME Bookshelf: The World of Mining
In this truly unique celebration of mining, breathtaking aerial photographs accompany ground-level pictures of mines, mine-side oddities and mine communities. Informed but breezy narratives explain the images. This coffee table book shows that mining and associated activities can be impressive, attractive, and even spectacular. Members pay only $80. Click here to order The World of Mining today.

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.

Washington Updates

White House issues report on STEM education spending
In December, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s interagency Committee on STEM Education issued their detailed report (PDF) of Federal agencies’ spending on STEM education. The inventory found that Federal agencies are making some 252 distinct investments in STEM education for a total budgetary commitment of $3.4 billion. The report suggests there may be a number of possible approaches to improving the Federal STEM education portfolio including: consolidating programs, creating joint solicitations across agencies and developing structures and procedures for sharing program data and performance measurement and evaluation tools. A five-year Federal STEM education strategic plan that will “help Federal agencies contribute to improved STEM education in an effective and well-coordinated manner” is expected out in early 2012.

DOE Issues Critical Materials Report

On December 23, the U.S. Department of Energy released the 2011 Critical Materials Strategy report. The report examines the role that rare earth metals and other key materials play in clean energy technologies, such as wind turbines, electric vehicles, solar cells and energy-efficient lighting. The report found that several clean energy technologies use materials at risk of supply disruptions in the short term, with risks generally decreasing in the medium and long terms. Supply challenges for five rare earth metals (dysprosium, neodymium, terbium, europium and yttrium) may affect clean energy technology deployment in the years ahead. Using a methodology adapted from the National Academy of Sciences, the report includes criticality assessments for 16 elements based on their importance to clean energy and supply risk. The report is the product of extensive research and data collection by the Department over the last twelve months. A four-page summary of the 2011 report is also available.

Dept of Interior bans uranium mining near Grand Canyon

On January 9, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar officially announced a 20-year moratorium on uranium and other hard rock mining on 1 million acres of public land surrounding the Grand Canyon. The decision was hailed by environmentalists but decried by conservatives such as Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah. "It is unconscionable that the administration has once again caved to political pressure from radical special interest groups rather than standing up for the American people," Bishop said. "While I am disappointed that the administration has again allowed politics to usurp sound science, I am not surprised." Bishop, chairman of the House Natural Resources National Parks, Forests and Public Lands subcommittee, said the moratorium withdraws from production 40 percent of the nation's uranium resources and could derail $29 million in potential economic revenue. He added that the department's own environmental analysis found insufficient information about the risk to public lands from mining, but the administration ignored science and rushed ahead with the ban. But Salazar, who said the official agency action was supported by the findings of an environmental impact statement, said protection of the vast natural resources surrounding Grand Canyon National Park is critical. The ban, the longest allowed by law and only impacting new claims, was widely praised by a number of national and local environmental groups.

SEC issues final rule on disclosure relating to mine safety
On December 21, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted a final rule (pdf) implementing Section 1503 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which requires U.S. and foreign private issuers that are mine operators, or that have a subsidiary that is a mine operator, of a coal or other mine located in the U.S., to disclose in their annual and quarterly periodic reports filed with the SEC information regarding specified health and safety violations, orders and citations, related assessments and legal actions, and mining-related fatalities. Under the Final Rule, all SEC reporting companies are required to report in their periodic reports on Form 10-K, 8-K and Form 10-Q for U.S. issuers and Form 20-F and Form 40-F for foreign private issuers. The Final Rule takes effect January 27.

EPA Watch

EPA’s enforcement initiative focuses on mineral processing
Every three years, the EPA sets national enforcement initiatives to focus civil and criminal enforcement resources and expertise on serious pollution problems affecting communities. The 2011-2013 initiatives were chosen with state and public input and support EPA’s seven priorities. One of EPA’s categories for continuing enforcement is mineral processing operations. This webpage offers interactive charts showing the location and cumulative number of inspections and addresses mineral processing facilities. Addressed facilities are subject to an enforcement order requiring compliance, or have been inspected and found to have significant violations. The EPA has also developed a compliance assistance web page for the mineral processing sector to assist industry, state regulators and the public in understanding the federal requirements on the disposal of mineral processing wastes.

EPA holds hard rock mining conference in Denver

EPA will hold a free hard rock mining conference in Denver April 3-5, titled “Advancing Solutions for a New Legacy.” The conference will provide participants with an opportunity to examine and discuss current and future environmental issues that provide opportunities for efficient resource extraction, mine closure and remediation of abandoned mines. The conference goal is to provide a forum for the exchange of scientific information on current and future environmental issues that shape the future of the mining industry, including base metals, precious metals, industrial minerals and aggregates. This conference is aimed at mining remediation researchers and practitioners; federal, state, local, and tribal decision makers; the mining industry; and others interested in mining remediation and resource sustainability. Click here to register.

EPA hard rock mining conference, “Advancing Solutions for a New Legacy”
April 3-5, 2012
Renaissance Denver Hotel
3801 Quebec Street
Denver, Colorado 80207
Phone: 303-399-7500 or toll-free 888-228-9290
Registration
Details

MSHA releases preliminary fatality data for 2011
On January 4, MSHA indicated that 37 miners died in work-related accidents at the nation's mines in 2011. There were 21 coal mining and 16 metal/nonmetal mining fatalities last year, compared with 48 and 23, respectively, in 2010, making 2011 the year with the second-lowest number of mining deaths since statistics were first recorded in 1910. Of the 37 fatalities reported, 12 occurred at surface coal mines, 11 at surface metal/nonmetal mines, nine at underground coal mines and five at underground metal/nonmetal mines. Nine workers died in accidents involving machinery, six in coal mines and three in metal/nonmetal mines, making it the leading cause of fatal mining accidents.

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© 2012 Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
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