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SME eNews - View Past Issue  

SME eNews
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Take a tour of the Mining Engineering online archives - just log in to view over 90 past issues in our easy-to-use online flip book.
SME Members are among the most educated, tenured and successful professionals in the minerals industry. As a member of SME, you have access to more than 14,000 top professionals in 85 countries, a network that can help your career skyrocket. Meet this week’s featured member:
Joe Swan, Manager, Maintenance Technical Support, Arch Coal, St. Louis, MO USA Member Since 1984
"I’m a 4th generation coal miner and I joined SME as a Mining Engineering student at MSM-UMR Rolla in 1984 and enjoy the "society." Mining Engineering magazine, access to the library [], directory and books have been the most beneficial things to me from SME. My professional growth has been nurtured by SME through Mining Engineering magazine, technical articles, books and networking with other dedicated professionals who are SME Members."
Discover what SME can do for you. Join today!

Get caught looking...
SME is pleased to introduce the SME summer webinar series. Webinars are an effective way to connect with others in the industry without the expense and inconvenience of travel. The series launches with:
Mark Smith, President and CEO, Molycorp
"Rare Earth Resurgence: Diversifying Global Supply Chains"
Molycorp President and CEO Mark Smith will provide an update on the company's progress in diversifying global rare earth supply chains, and how it is utilizing groundbreaking technologies to increase process efficiencies, reduce production costs and shrink the environmental footprint of rare earth production.
Wednesday, May 9, 2012, 2:00 p.m. Mountain Time
$45 SME Member, $90 Nonmember

SME developed this series to bring technical information to members who are not able to attend the annual or regional/topical meetings and short courses. The series will feature one-hour segments from prominent industry leaders. Each webinar will focus on a different aspect of the business, from rare earths to HR issues to health and safety initiatives in the coal industry to the future for gold and more. The series will include four additional programs this summer.

Registration will open soon. Look for details in a coming email!

Big thanks to our donors!
The SME Foundation and the MEC (Minerals Education Coalition) are pleased to announce that Gold Resource Corporation has generously donated $50,000 to our educational programs.

We are extremely grateful to each and every one of you who are loyal supporters of the SME Foundation and its programs. Without you, we would cease to exist, and we want you to know you are greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Call for papers
Environmental Considerations in Energy Production, April 14-18, 2013, Charleston, WV

The organizing committee has issued a call for papers. This conference is aimed at bringing together interested parties from around the world to exchange ideas on energy production, including mining, oil and gas production and electrical power generation, and the impacts of this activity on the environment and society.

For complete details, see: Environmental Considerations in Energy Production
View 2012 SME Annual Meeting Sessions -
online now!
If you missed the Annual Meeting in Seattle, you can still take in the Keynote and 10 other sessions, including:
  • Geology: Mine Water Management in Cold Regions
  • Mineral & Metallurgical Processing: Plenary Session
  • Industrial Minerals & Aggregates: Aggregates and Urban Mining
  • International Symposium on Water in Mineral Processing: Processing with Sea Water and Saline Solutions
  • Geology: Rare Earths: Markets and Policy: Working Toward Ensuring Supply
  • Mining & Exploration: Mine Technology: Cool Toys & Nifty Gizmos
  • Industrial Minerals & Aggregates: Critical Mineral Resources: Challenges and Opportunities
  • Mineral & Metallurgical Processing: Plant Design, a Panel Discussion on Challenges for 2012 and Beyond
  • Environmental: Water Treatment
  • Coal & Energy: Surface Mining III

To view:

SME and CIM are pleased to announce the second in a series of Reliability and Safety Conferences
Safety Management & System Reliability
November 13-15, 2012
Minneapolis Marriott City Center, Minneapolis, MN

This conference is intended to provide attendees with the unique opportunity to learn and discuss best practices pertaining to topics related to safety and health management, loss control and system reliability.

For more information, see: Safety Management & System Reliability
North American Tunneling Conference (NAT)
Complete meeting details now available. Full meeting information, including the technical program, short courses, exhibitors, award winners and more, is now available online at: North American Tunneling Conference (NAT)

SME NOW OFFERS 32 eLEARNING COURSES ....Professional Development 24/7
SME is pleased to offer 32 courses in its eLearning program. A few titles include:
  • Acid Rock Drainage: Prediction and Treatment
  • Surface Mine Development, Operations and Reclamation
  • Using Personal Protective Equipment
  • Equipment Management - Key to Equipment Reliability
  • Ethics in the Mining Industry
  • Pollution Problems in the Mineral and Metallurgical Industries
And much more.....

SME will be adding new courses on a regular basis, so be certain to check the website regularly to see what's new.

Call for nominations
It is that time of year: SME needs your support in selecting the future leadership of our Society. SME is asking for your assistance in nominating and/or recommending members (including yourself) to serve the Society in one of the following roles:
  • SME President (2015)
  • Board Members-at-large (two will be selected)
  • Members for all SME Strategic Committees
For guidelines and information on the nominating process, click here: Call for nominations

SME opposes inland reach of National Ocean Policy
On April 12, SME and eighty other industry groups submitted a letter to U.S. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers (R-KY), as well as the Chairperson of each House Appropriations Subcommittee, asking that language be included in all FY 2013 appropriations bills that would prohibit the use of funds to implement the new National Ocean Policy (PDF). SME considers that the risk of unintended economic consequences remains high, due in part to the unprecedented geographic scale under which the policy is to be established. As currently set forth, the NOP has the potential to adversely affect not only marine resources, but terrestrial inland economic values by affecting mining, oil and gas exploration and development, renewable energy sources, agriculture, construction and manufacturing. Further, coastal marine planning requirements of the NOP may limit access, exploration and processing of marine minerals, as well as those inland mining areas that remain a target for additional layers of permitting from the NOP for storm water runoff and other downstream water quality impacts.

Washington Updates

House Committee subpoenas documents on coal production regulation
On April 5, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA) issued the first subpoena (PDF) to the Department of the Interior for documents related to the Committee’s more than year-long investigation into the Administration’s rewrite of a coal production regulation, the 2008 Stream Buffer Zone Rule. The specific documents (PDF) included in the subpoena will provide further information on why the DOI decided to rewrite this regulation and how the process to rewrite the Rule is being managed.

"The Obama Administration’s many attacks on coal as a low-cost American energy source are very clear, but they’ve refused to disclose information detailing their decisions and actions to rewrite this rule governing coal production. After more than a year of patiently requesting cooperation and documents from the Department of the Interior, a subpoena is now needed to force them to live up to the President’s own transparency promises," said Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings.

Almost immediately after taking office, the Obama Administration initiated a rewrite of the completed 2008 Stream Buffer Zone Rule that took over five years of environmental analysis. An Associated Press story at the time revealed that a draft EIS estimated that the DOI regulation could cost over 7,000 mining jobs and cause economic harm in 22 states. The Committee is examining serious questions regarding why this rewrite was initiated, how the rulemaking process is being managed, whether political implications are unduly influencing the process, the hiring and dismissal of the contractor and the impacts the rewritten regulation would have on jobs, the economy and coal and energy production in the U.S.

MSHA Updates
MSHA issues final rules on underground coal mine safety
On April 6, MSHA published the final rule (PDF) "Examinations of Work Areas in Underground Coal Mines for Violations of Mandatory Health or Safety Standards." The rule requires mine operators to identify and correct hazardous conditions and violations of nine health and safety standards that pose the greatest risk to miners, including the kinds of conditions that led to the explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine. The nine standards address ventilation, methane, roof control, combustible materials, rock dust, equipment guarding and other safeguards. They are consistent with the standards emphasized in MSHA's "Rules to Live By" initiative and the types of violations cited in MSHA's accident investigation report on the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion as contributing to the cause of that deadly accident.

The rule requires that, during preshift, supplemental, on-shift and weekly examinations, underground coal mine operators must, in addition to examining for hazardous conditions as in the existing regulations, record the actions taken to correct the conditions and violations. Operators also must review with mine examiners, on a quarterly basis, citations and orders issued in areas where preshift, supplemental, on-shift and weekly examinations are required. Mine operators are currently required by law to conduct these examinations; the final rule requires operators to examine and fix violations of those standards that represent the greatest risk to underground coal miners.

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