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SME eNews - View Past Issue  

SME eNews
Exciting news about SME scholarships!
SME’s 2012-2013 Scholarship Season kicks off on Wednesday, August 22! This year, we are pleased to offer two new scholarships – the Stewart R. Wallace Memorial Scholarship and the J.H. Fletcher & Company Underground Mining Scholarship. More information on each of these scholarships, and on all available SME scholarships, may be found online at www.smenet.org/scholarships.
We are also excited to announce that we are now using an online portal called ReviewRoom for the administration of our scholarship application and review processes. ReviewRoom replaces the online scholarship process that was previously housed on SME’s website. Using ReviewRoom will make our scholarship processes easier for students, for recommenders and for reviewers (scholarship committee members). Click here for more information about ReviewRoom and how to get started.

Call for nominations – James Douglas Gold Medal Award and Frank F. Aplan Award
Don’t forget to nominate your most distinguished colleagues for the 2013 James Douglas Gold Medal Award and the 2013 Frank F. Aplan Award.
  • The James Douglas Gold Medal Award is jointly administered between SME and TMS and recognizes distinguished achievement in nonferrous metallurgy, including both the beneficiation of ores and the alloying and utilization of nonferrous metals.
  • The Frank F. Aplan Award recognizes engineering or scientific contributions that further the understanding of the technology of coal and/or mineral engineering.
Click on the name of the award above for more information or to download the nomination form. Nominations must be received by Sept. 1, 2012.

Back-to-school SME student member special
This month only, the SME Bookstore is offering a 10% discount on all books purchased by SME student members. Email books@smenet.org for more information. If you are not a student member, this would be a good time to join SME at the student membership rate of only $31/year.
Back-to-school SME student member Minerals & Metallurgical Processing subscription deal
Calling student members! Subscribe to Minerals & Metallurgical Processing, SME’s premier international peer-reviewed journal, by September 30, 2012, and receive a full year’s online subscription for only $10. Complete access to online archives is included. Must provide student member number.

Young Leaders Class of 2013

SME is pleased to offer the Young Leaders Program for 2013. SME created this program in 2002 to help equip our younger members with the tools needed for success in both society and the mining profession. The future of SME depends on the development of qualified, capable individuals who have the vision and dedication to lead both the profession and the Society in the next century.

SME is seeking outstanding young professionals with leadership potential to commit to a four-year term on the Young Leaders Committee. Candidates must be less than 35 years of age at the time of application and possess significant professional experience and demonstrated leadership ability.

Participants will be asked to attend the SME Annual Meeting during their four-year tenure and undertake special projects, such as membership development and professional development, in 2013 and beyond. All activities will be designed to help participants enter into the leadership structure of the Society, in addition to providing networking and educational opportunities.

If you are interested in joining the Young Leaders Class of 2013, or have any questions or concerns regarding the program or eligibility requirements, please complete the application and forward to Mona Vandervoort at Vandervoort@smenet.org.

Don’t miss this opportunity to become an integral part of SME’s leadership!

Deadline September 14, 2012.


Get involved with online mentoring, SME’s newest professional development tool
The SME online mentoring program (PDF) is a new member benefit and 100% free to all members. This is a wonderful way to engage with the future generation of mining and minerals professionals. The industry will experience a significant loss of professionals to retirement in the next 5-10 years, and mining schools already suffer from low numbers of instructors and professors. The SME online mentoring program is an inexpensive, easy and effective way to guide and assist young professionals. Additionally, for those new to the industry, students and professionals at the beginning of their career, this is an excellent way to get a step ahead. Even seasoned professionals can benefit from a mentor. Sign up now to be a mentor or a mentee - or both! For more information, click here or contact Mona Vandervoort at vandervoort@smenet.org or 303.948.4227. More information on SME mentoring in general can be found here.

It’s not too late to
get caught looking.....................
SME has concluded its SME summer webinar series. However, it’s not too late to view these programs. The complete library of the summer webinar series is available via video download.

For complete information and details, go to: https://smenet.webex.com/mw0306lc/mywebex/default.do?siteurl=smenet

That’s not all....the SME fall webinar series will be announced soon! Keep looking!

Current Trends in Mining Finance - call for presentations

April 29-30, 2013, New York, NY

SME will host its first annual conference on Current Trends in Mining Finance in New York City. This two-day conference is intended for senior executives, as well as mining industry specialists among bankers, analysts and investors, and will cover a range of important topics, including general trends in project evaluation and investment decision-making, drivers of future industry mergers and acquisitions, tax and accounting issues facing the mining industry, risk factors in the current market environment, new sources of funding for mining projects, trends in mineral development agreements and the impact of “soft” issues on mine development and finance. This is a unique opportunity to get current on important issues that affect project finance, investment and strategic planning. For details on submitting an abstract, see: http://www.smenet.org/page/?id=1048


See you in Las Vegas - MINExpo International 2012

MINExpo International is the world's premier mining event. From September 24-26, find every mining-related product, service and technology at the Las Vegas Convention Center. More than 1,600 exhibitors will display equipment for all facets of mining - from exploration and surveying, mine site development, excavating, materials handling and haulage, processing and preparation, drilling and safety equipment to computer technologies, replacement parts and engineering, construction and reclamation services - under one roof.

In addition, there are 20 education sessions covering safety, bulk materials handling, exploration, underground and surface mining, maintenance, processing, new mining projects, markets, environmental issues, coal and more.

Stop by the SME Booth in the Central Hall Grand Lobby, L32, and ask about our membership deals!


Keep tabs on MINExpo developments with ME Online
All the latest MINExpo news, plus the MINExpo showguide, the current issue and archive issues dating back to 2004, can be found at the new Mining Engineering website, http://me.smenet.org/.
eLearning courses available for all your needs and interests

SME offers 34 online courses total. For a complete catalog, see http://www.smenet.org/elearning/. eLearning is the inexpensive and convenient way to keep up professionally and meet continuing education and professional development requirements. Check us out.


Environmental Considerations in Energy Production – call for papers

April 14-18, 2013, Charleston, WV

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 energy production on the environment and society. The organizing committee has issued a call for papers. For complete details, see: http://www.smenet.org/public/Core/Events/eventdetails.aspx?iKey=ECEP2013&TemplateType=A.

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: http://www.smenet.org/public/Core/Events/eventdetails.aspx?iKey=HS2012&TemplateType=A.


Quantitative modeling techniques and methods are central to the study and development of process engineering, including mineral processing. Models in mineral processing have been difficult to develop, because of the complexity of the unit operations that are used in virtually all mineral recovery systems. Modeling and Simulation of Mineral Processing Systems covers the field of quantitative modeling of mineral process equipment and uses models to simulate the actual behavior of ore dressing and coal washing equipment in industrial practice. Many examples are included to explain the application of some of the commonly used models, most of which described in the book are included in the ModSim software, the plant-wide simulator that is included on the companion CD. For more information, visit the SME online bookstore or contact books@smenet.org.

SME members get discount on Mine Ventilation Summit
SME members receive discounted registration for IQPC North America’s 2012 Mine Ventilation Summit October 29-30, in Pittsburg, PA. This conference offers practical ventilation strategies using case studies, workshops, panel discussions and master classes to cover case studies and projects focused on:


  • Proper monitoring and measuring of an underground ventilation system to improve safety of the working environment.
  • Strategic approaches to developing cost-effective methods of ventilating the underground mines.
  • Dust control methodologies, improving air quality flow and preventing mine fires.

Mining and ventilation engineers are investigating the best possible strategies to enhance the safety of underground mines with an adequate ventilation system while mitigating energy costs. With increasing pressure to improve ventilation on site, mining professionals are constantly looking for innovative ways to control dust, mitigate hazardous gases, prevent mine explosions and save energy costs.

As a SME member, you are eligible for exclusive discounts to this event. The discounts are: 1) Mining Companies: All Access Pass = $1,399 (saving $600), which includes the two main days of the conference and workshops and 2) Vendors and Consultants: All Access Pass = $1,699 (also saving $600), which includes the two main days of the conference and workshops. Go to www.mineventilationsummit.com and enter code MV_SME. Offer expires August 31.


Report claims coal export terminal will create NW economic boom

A new study from the Energy Policy Research Foundation concludes that expanding coal exports from the Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming will bring $2 to $6 billion to the U.S. economy annually – without increasing global greenhouse gas emissions or coal consumption. An expansion of coal exports would create substantial new revenue streams for state, local and federal governments for schools and essential services. The report claims that lower-cost coal from the Powder River Basin isn’t likely to have an effect on coal prices worldwide and neither the volume of world coal combustion or greenhouse gas emissions would change as a result.

The foundation's findings come as growing numbers of residents in the bay city of Bellingham, WA, are calling for a proposed shipping terminal project to improve quality of life in this economically fragile region of Washington state. Business, labor, trade and community organizations throughout the Northwest have formed the Alliance for Northwest Jobs & Exports to support the development of coal export terminals that could generate thousands of jobs and millions in new tax revenue. Proponents laud the economic potential of the proposal, but critics are fighting coal exports primarily on two fronts — that they will lead to widespread rail congestion and that any economic gains aren’t worth the damage caused from enabling the increased use of greenhouse gas-emitting power sources. U.S. coal resources are the largest in the world, accounting for more than one-fourth of world reserves.


Washington Updates

Congress intensifies scrutiny of EPA’s Bristol Bay study

The House Science Committee's Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Paul Broun's (R-GA) August 6 letter (PDF) to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson is the latest congressional attempt to figure out the agency's intentions regarding Pebble LP's potential gold and copper project in the Bristol Bay region.

"If EPA ultimately uses this watershed assessment as justification to preemptively veto mining permits in Bristol Bay -- notwithstanding EPA's legal authority to do so -- the scientific credibility of this assessment will need to be beyond reproach," Broun wrote.

A pre-emptive veto of key Army Corps of Engineers permits for the project, which has yet to submit a final plan to regulators, is among Congressional leaders’ top concerns. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), head of the House Oversight Committee, have been questioning EPA about its authority to conduct the assessment and potentially block the mine.

The EPA says it has the right to block Army Corps dredge-and-fill permits under section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act, even if the permitting process has yet to begin. Litigation is pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit over the agency's 2011 retroactive veto of a West Virginia coal mine. Keeping their options open, EPA has said that once the agency’s assessment has undergone public and peer review and has been finalized, the agency will use the assessment and other available information, including industry data submissions, to inform future decision making.

Although the EPA assessment does not provide an in-depth review of a specific mining project, it does assess the potential environmental impacts associated with mining activities in the region given the nature of mineral deposits in the watershed, the requirements for successful mining development and publicly available information about potential mining activity.

Obama and Romney square off on U.S. energy policy

President Obama and presumed Republican nominee Mitt Romney are staking their views on the future of U.S. energy policy. Obama's energy policies focuses on the role of wind, solar and other renewables in the country's energy portfolio, while Romney has argued that the way forward lies in expanded domestic drilling for conventional fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas. The Obama Administration claims 75,000 jobs and $14 billion in investments have been generated by the wind energy sector. A report issued August 14 by the Department of Energy notes “strong growth in the U.S. wind energy market in 2011, increasing the U.S. share of clean energy and supporting tens of thousands of jobs, and underscoring the importance of continued policy support and clean energy tax credits to ensure that the manufacturing and jobs associated with this booming global industry remain in America.”

Obama’s policy direction stands in sharp contrast to the message coming from the Romney campaign, which in recent weeks has stepped up calls to repeal federal incentives for renewables and create a "level playing field" for all energy sources. In late July, the campaign released a statement saying that, if elected president, Romney would allow both the production tax credit and the investment tax credit to expire. Those programs are identified by the DOE report as "key factors" driving the growth of the U.S. wind sector, without which the sector's current expansion would be seriously curtailed.

The Romney campaign amplified its candidate's contrasting energy views, issuing a press release stating that "across the nation the Obama Administration has waged a war on coal and even promised to bankrupt coal plants." The release, which appeared to be aimed at coal-friendly Ohio, a crucial electoral battleground, seized on a remark made by Obama in 2008. In a press interview, he said utilities would be free to continue to build coal-fired power plants but added that doing so could bankrupt them because they would have to pay for excess emissions when greenhouse gas regulations kicked in.


MSHA news

MSHA's examinations rule for underground coal mines goes into effect

MSHA’s final rule, "Examinations of Work Areas in Underground Coal Mines for Violations of Mandatory Health or Safety Standards," which was published April 6, became effective August 6. 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. 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 accident.

The rule requires that, during pre-shift, supplemental, on-shift and weekly examinations, underground coal mine operators, in addition to examining for hazardous conditions as in the existing regulations, examine for violations of the nine specific health and safety standards. The rule also requires operators to record the actions taken to correct hazardous conditions, as in the existing regulations, and violations of the nine standards. Additionally, operators must review with mine examiners, on a quarterly basis, citations and orders issued in areas where pre-shift, supplemental, on-shift and weekly examinations are required.


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