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SME eNews
2012 SME Annual Meeting & Exhibit - online registration now open!
Register today for the Annual Meeting in Seattle!

Early Registration discounts ended January 20, 2012. SME housing is also closed. Please contact local Seattle hotels directly for additional availability or changes to current reservations.

February 19 - 22, 2012
Washington State Convention And Trade Center in Seattle, Washington.
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 Online voting is now available!

Congratulations to Student Chapter Fall Membership winners!
The SME Student Chapter Fall Membership Challenge encouraged student chapter members to recruit new student members to join SME. Awards were given to the top three chapters recruiting the most new members and exhibiting the greatest overall growth. The grand prize was given to the chapter with the most new members and membership renewals. There are 260 new student members at SME, and 270 students renewed their memberships!

The 2011 Student Chapter Membership Challenge winners are:
  • First Place — $300 Colorado School of Mines
  • Second Place — $200 West Virginia University
  • Third Place — $100 University of Utah
  • Grand Prize — $400 Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University
These student chapters received a $250 cash bonus for recruiting 25+ new students:
West Virginia University
Missouri University of Science & Technology
South Dakota School of Mines and Tech
University of Kentucky
Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University

Congratulations to all!

There’s still time to enter MPD Student poster contest
Going to the Annual Meeting? Doing undergraduate or graduate work in minerals processing? Have we got the deal for you! Enter the Minerals Processing Division (MPD) student poster contest by February 10 and attend the MPD luncheon for free (Annual Meeting Registration charges still apply). Prizes are $1,000, $500 and $300 for first, second and third place in each category (graduate and undergraduate). All attending poster authors will be treated to lunch at the MPD luncheon, a complimentary online subscription to SME's premier peer-reviewed journal, Minerals & Metallurgical Processing, and either a cash prize or $100. View more details at MPD Student Poster Contest, or contact Tessa Baxter for more information ( or 303-948-4208).
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.

Final teams selected for the 2011/12 SME/NSSGA Student Design Competition
Fourteen teams competed in the first phase of the SME/NSSGA Student Design Competition. Six of those were chosen to advance to the second and final phase, which will be conducted at the SME Annual Meeting. The six teams that will advance are:
  1. McGill University – 5M & Associates
  2. McGill University – CFP Consulting
  3. University of Nevada at Reno – Herlocker Aggregates
  4. Virginia Tech – Riverstone Aggregates
  5. Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur – Bharat Khanitras
  6. Missouri University of Science & Technology – Team A (Midwest Consultants)
All the teams are to be congratulated for an excellent effort. The full list of teams includes:
  • Bharat Khanitras, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
  • 5M & Associates, McGill University
  • CFP Consulting, McGill University
  • Team A - Midwest Consultants, Missouri University of Science & Technology
  • Joe Miner Aggregates, Missouri University of Science & Technology
  • Team C, Missouri University of Science & Technology
  • Rival Mining Consultants, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
  • Team 2, University of Alaska
  • Arctic Aggregates, University of Alaska
  • Desert Industries, University of Arizona
  • KATS, University of Kentucky
  • Herlocker Aggregates University of Nevada-Reno
  • Riverstone Aggregates, Virginia Tech
  • Sharkstone Aggregates, Virginia Tech
The Design Competition final presentations will be held on Sunday, February 19, 2012, Sheraton Seattle Hotel, Seattle, WA, in conjunction with the 2012 SME Annual Meeting and Exhibit.

The 2012 North American Tunneling Conference (NAT) scholarship offer!
The North American Tunneling 2012 Conference (NAT 2012) is conducting a student scholarship competition open to all full-time undergraduate or graduate engineering students in North America. Entrants are invited to submit an original paper related to any aspect of tunneling or underground infrastructure that they consider a benefit to the industry. Students who have completed internships for relevant underground projects may submit a paper discussing their experience and project details (pending approval from their employer). All papers will be reviewed by the NAT Scholarship Committee, and the top three authors will be asked to present their paper in person during the NAT Conference in Indianapolis, IN on June 24-27, 2012.

The top three authors will receive conference admission, including flight and accommodations, a copy of the conference proceedings and the opportunity to visit underground works in the Indianapolis area. The authors will present their papers at the conference breakfast. Three winners will receive $2,000 each.
  • Abstract with Bio extended to February 15, 2012
  • Final Papers due April 30, 2012
  • Conference: June 24-27, 2012
Please submit papers to: Brett Zernich, phone (323) 633 0607, e-mail

SME launches two new eLearning courses
SME is pleased to offer the following new courses
in its eLearning program:
Acid Rock Drainage: Prediction and Treatment
This video presents a technical foundation on acid rock drainage related to permitting new mines and remediation of abandoned mine land.

Equipment Management: Key to Reliability
Taught by Paul D. Tomlingson

This course introduces and explains the fundamental economic and financial models and terms which are commonly found in the minerals industry. The course is perfect for managers and technical professionals in the minerals industries who do not have a financial background but wish to expand their knowledge of basic financial tools and terms they will commonly encounter.

The course is designed for operational mining personnel who must work within their company's financial management, approvals and reporting systems. Each module of the course focuses on a different term or tool, and uses mining specific examples to illustrate these terms or tools. SME will be adding new courses on a regular basis, so be certain to check the website regularly to see what's new. As always, SME members receive a discount. If you are not a member, please enjoy these courses at reasonable nonmember rates or join SME and take advantage of the numerous benefits and discounts we offer.

For a complete catalog see:
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!

SME chairs international task group on mining and sustainability
2010 SME President Nikhil Trivedi is chairing a new international task group on Sustainable Development and Mining under the Committee on Engineering and the Environment (CEE) of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO). This international committee will encourage, initiate and facilitate a global exchange of information related to mining and sustainability. This group is targeting representatives from at least five developed and ten developing countries. The strategic plan for this task group has been approved by the CEE and representatives have been recruited from the following countries: United States, Canada, Finland, Brazil, South Africa, Greece, India, Chile, Spain and Zambia. Other representatives have been invited from China, Russia, Ghana and Australia. SME is also seeking members from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Congo. Interested parties should contact John Hayden, at

Industry leaders from Colorado and around the world to highlight Denver mining conference
Mark Cutifani, AngloGold Ashanti CEO, one of the world’s leading gold producers, will deliver the keynote address at the Colorado Mining Association’s (CMA) 114th National Western Mining Conference & Exhibition, to be held March 19-22, 2012 at the Westin Hotel Denver. The preliminary program and registration is available on the CMA web site at The conference has also been approved for eight Colorado Continuing Legal Education Credits, including 1.2 ethics credits. Advance registration expires March 9 and the hotel room block cutoff date is February 24.
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

GAO calls for consolidation of federal STEM programs
On January 20, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report (PDF) on the scope and efficacy of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education programs to Rep. John Kline (R-MN), Chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education. The report reveals in fiscal year 2010, 13 federal agencies invested over $3 billion in 209 programs designed to increase knowledge of STEM fields and attainment of STEM degrees. Eighty-three percent of the programs GAO identified overlapped to some degree with at least one other program, in that they offered similar services to similar target groups in similar STEM fields to achieve similar objectives. GAO recommends that as the Office of Science and Technology Policy leads the government-wide STEM education strategic planning effort, it should work with agencies to better align their activities with a government-wide strategy, develop a plan for sustained coordination, identify programs for potential consolidation or elimination and assist agencies in determining how to better evaluate their programs.

President’s jobs council report calls for expanded drilling and mining

President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness called for an “all-in approach” to energy policy that includes expanded oil-and-gas drilling and mining, as well as renewable energy projects.“We should allow more access to oil, natural gas and coal opportunities on federal lands,” states the year-end report (PDF) released January 17. “The Council recognizes that providing access to more areas for drilling, mining and renewable energy development is controversial, but, given the current economic situation, we believe it’s necessary to tap America’s assets in a safe and responsible manner,” the report says. “Regulatory and permitting obstacles that could threaten the development of some energy projects negatively impact jobs and weaken our energy infrastructure need to be addressed,” the report says. “Speedy adoption of best practice standards would allow government officials to reduce regulatory and permitting obstacles to important energy projects.” SME’s technical briefing paper on permitting impediments to mineral exploration also calls for better coordination of state and federal mine reclamation, operations, permitting requirements, programs and agencies.

MSHA begins emphasis program on noise compliance
On January 9, MSHA released a Powerpoint presentation (PDF) on 30 C.F.R § 62.110, which requires the mine operator to establish an effective system of monitoring that evaluates each miner’s noise exposure sufficiently to determine continuing compliance with this rule. The rule was effective in 2000. However, due to widespread non-compliance with many aspects of the rule, MSHA is beginning an “emphasis” program that includes industry education and follow-up enforcement. The 2000 rule established an action level of 85 decibels, a permissible exposure limit of 90 db and a dual hearing protection level of 105 db.

During mine site inspections, MSHA will be evaluating operators' monitoring programs, including: sampling equipment; sampling results/records; records retention; hearing conservation programs; diversity of occupations and miners sampled; engineering and administrative controls; Part 50 accident/injury/illness audits and more.

MSHA began this emphasis program after identifying specific areas of concern at mine sites: incomplete evaluations of operators’ monitoring programs; excessive exposures; incomplete evaluation of the operators’ HCPs and surveys indicating exposure exceeding the PEL.

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