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SME eNews
SME hosts Congressman Amodei at midyear meeting in Las Vegas
SME hosted a luncheon briefing for Representative Mark Amodei (R-NV) on Sept 27 in Las Vegas, as part of SME’s midyear meeting. Amodei, a former president of the Nevada Mining Association, shared with the SME Board and members of SME’s Government and Public Affairs Committee his outlook for mining-related legislation in the next Congress. He was grateful for SME’s help in bringing sound science and unbiased fact-based technical information related to mining and mineral issues before the House Natural Resource Committee. Amodei is a member of the House subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, which has jurisdiction for all mining-related legislation. He introduced H.R. 4402, “The National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2012," that passed the full House this summer. That bill seeks to efficiently develop domestic sources of the minerals and mineral materials of strategic and critical importance to U.S. economic and national security and manufacturing competitiveness. Amodei represents Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District, which encompasses all of Nevada except a small part of Las Vegas itself; at over 105,000 square miles, his district is geographically the third-largest congressional district, behind only Alaska and Montana. The district is home to one of the largest concentrations of base and precious metal mines in the world and is responsible for 80% of all the gold mined in the U.S., making the state the 4th-largest gold producer in the world.

House senior staff joins SME’s GPAC for update on mining issues at midyear meeting
Kathy Benedetto, senior staff to the House Natural Resources Committee, attended a meeting of SME’s Government and Public Affairs Committee in Las Vegas last week. Kathy is a geologist and has extensive experience in the mining industry. She shared with the SME committee priorities of the Natural Resources Committee over the last few months, including the stream buffer zone rule, the War on Coal Act, coal ash rules, critical and strategic minerals bills in both the House and Senate, as well as greenhouse gas and MACT rules affecting coal and the energy sector. In 2013, she expects the committee to address changes to the Administrative Procedures Act regarding NEPA reform to limit litigation. Further, she expects possible hearings on Alaska’s Pebble Project and EPA’s preemptive use of veto authority to deny necessary permits for the proposed mine. Lastly, she foreshadowed possible hearings on mines of national significance and possibly mining law reform. However, in the short term, the lame duck Congress’ priority will be to address the looming budget crisis prior to January 1. Benedetto also thanked SME Board member Jon Price for testifying earlier this year before the committee on the USGS FY 2013 budget and its implications to the mining and minerals sector.

Scholarship checklist
Students - submit your scholarship recommendations now!
If you are applying for SME Scholarships this year, be sure to submit your recommendation requests online as soon as possible to allow your recommenders plenty of time to complete their recommendation letters and upload the letters to your application prior to the scholarship deadline (11:59 p.m. MST on Thursday, November 1). If your application, including both recommendation letters, is not complete by the deadline, it will not be forwarded to our scholarship committee(s) for consideration.

Remember, SME is now using 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. Click HERE for more information about ReviewRoom and how to get started. A list of all available SME scholarships may be found online at

Pay your 2013 SME dues bill online!
Dues bills for SME were mailed a month ago! Maintain access to everything your SME membership confers, including:
  • Mining Engineering magazine
  • eBooks
  • Discount on all publications
  • Discount on all meetings and conferences
  • Online directory
  • And much more….
SME values its members and we look forward to your continued membership. Pay online and save time and money!

Get caught looking............................
SME fall webinar series......mark your calendar!
Mark Savit and Gregory M. Louer, Patton Boggs LLP
Topic: “Mining policy in 2012 and beyond: a look at the last days of the 112th Congress and the post election landscape”
Tuesday, October 9, 2012, 2:00 p.m. MDT

Robert McIvor, Chief metallurgist, Grinding Systems, Metcom Technologies Inc.
"Plant performance improvements through increased grinding circuit classification system efficiency”
Wednesday, November 14, 2012, 9:00 a.m. MDT

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 details, go to:

New online course now available!
Principles of Mine Haul Road Design & Construction
Author: Roger Thompson

The incidence and potential severity of traffic-related incidents in surface mining operations indicate that operating mobile machinery poses a significant hazard to the workforce. Mine road design considerations are often inadequately addressed, and this training will assist personnel to identify and apply the safest strategies in road design as a means of reducing exposure to mobile machinery related incidents. Skills developed in this training will also enable participants to evaluate their current haul road systems, recognize operational inefficiencies and implement continuous improvement strategies to reduce hazards across the mine road network and improve road performance on a day-to-day operational basis.

For a complete catalog of SME elearning, see
National Mining Association and SME announce new environmental guide to aid hardrock mining operations
A new tool to aid hardrock mining operations manage environmental performance, The Hardrock Mining and Beneficiation Environmental Management System Guide, was jointly developed by a team of environmental professionals drawn from the membership of both SME and NMA. The Hardrock Mining and Beneficiation Environmental Management System Guide includes eight steps, covering initial implementation of the management system through to continual improvement stages. The guide is designed to provide useful examples and tools for each step of the process and addresses environmental impacts uniquely associated with the hardrock mining sector to improve a company’s environmental stewardship. A short summary of environmental management systems and The Hardrock Mining and Beneficiation Environmental Management System Guide is available here:
The complete Guide can be downloaded here:

Get involved with SME’s newest professional development program, online mentoring
The SME Online Mentoring program 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. Mining schools are already suffering 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! Be a mentor or a mentee or both!
Register now for the 2012 Safety Management and System Reliability Conference!
SME and CIM are pleased to collaborate on the second in a series of Reliability and Safety Conferences: Safety Management & System Reliability.
November 13-15, 2012
Marriott City Center, Minneapolis, MN
Registration and complete program details now available!
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.

Be sure to register by October 29 to qualify for early bird rates! For more information, see: 2012 Safety Management and System Reliability Conference.

2013 SME Annual Meeting & Exhibit and
CMA 115th National Western Mining Conference
February 24-27, 2013
Colorado Convention Center, Denver, CO

Coming soon: complete meeting details, including registration, housing, program, short courses, field trips and more.

2012 Annual Meeting of the
SME Arizona Conference
December 2-3, 2012
JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort, Tucson, AZ

Complete program details and registration are now available! Click here: Conference details.
Current Trends in Mining Finance
April 29-30, 2013
City University of New York, Graduate Center

New York, NY


New from the SME Bookshelf
Controlling Exposure to Diesel Emissions in Underground Mines
This book covers comprehensive, mine-specific programs for use by mechanics, mine ventilation engineers, industrial hygienists, mine managers, union health and safety representatives, and personnel responsible for the acquisition of diesel vehicles, engines, exhaust aftertreatment systems, fuels and lubricants. The description of methods to reduce exposure to diesel aerosols includes curtailment of diesel particulate matter and gaseous emissions at their source, and controlling airborne pollutants with ventilation and personal protective equipment.

Members Pay only $99 - Contact or call Carol Kiser 303-948-4225 to order.

SME files petition for rulemaking with SEC over mineral reserve reporting
On October 1, SME filed a petition for rulemaking with the Securities and Exchange Commission to amend Industry Guide 7, which contains the SEC’s basic disclosure policy for mining companies. SME and the mining industry have been working diligently with the SEC for over eight years to try to clarify and update Guide 7 to no avail. It is vital for the SEC to move forward in the near-term to realign the U.S. reporting regime for mining companies, both for the protection of investors and for the removal of competitive harm to U.S. mining companies.

The SEC’s Guide 7 has become increasingly outdated and out-of-sync with mineral reporting and disclosure standards used in the rest of the world. U.S. mining companies and their investors have suffered as a result. Changes to Guide 7 are needed to address the following issues:
  1. Mining, as an increasingly international industry, has developed comprehensive, uniformly accepted and understood standards for the reporting of exploration results, mineral resources and mineral reserves. Guide 7 is substantially different from these standards and hampers U.S. mining companies in communicating with their investors and in coordinating disclosures in multiple jurisdictions.
  2. Mining companies and investors around the world consider mineral resource estimates as material and fundamental information about a company and its projects. Guide 7’s prohibition on the reporting of mineral resources as such in SEC reports limits the completeness and relevance of SEC reports for investors. The SEC’s practice of allowing mineral resource information in press releases and on websites, with no guidance or standards as to how mineral resource information should be reported, creates confusion and fails to ensure the quality and reliability of the information provided.
  3. Guide 7 discourages mining companies from listing in the U.S. This harms U.S. stock exchanges, financial markets and the overall economy. In the current environment, reforming Guide 7 would be a substantial step in supporting the U.S. mining industry and advancing economic growth and job creation in the U.S.
For more information, contact John Hayden at SME.

UCA call for nominations
The UCA Division is seeking recommendations and nominations for interested individuals to serve on the 2013 UCA Executive Committee. Currently, the UCA bylaws allow a 19-person executive committee, including three officers (chair, vice-chair and past chair) and four directors from each of the following areas: engineers, contractors, owners and suppliers. Ideally, the UCA seeks a balanced representation of the four areas, but the committee does have the option to have more members serving in some categories while we have fewer representatives in other areas.

If you would like to nominate someone for consideration, please forward your recommendation to Mary O'Shea ( at SME Headquarters by November 1. Staff will compile all nominations for the UCA Nominating Committee's consideration.
  1. Please identify which of the four areas the individual(s) should be considered to represent (engineer, contractor, owner or supplier).
  2. A brief bio or resume outlining the person's industry experience and service to UCA and other professional organizations.
Please keep in mind that the individual must be a member of the UCA of SME.

WAAIME call for nominations
The WAAIME Committee is seeking nominations for the incoming WAAIME Committee member. Nominations will be selected from the outgoing committee member's area (since the outgoing committee member is the international representative, the incoming committee member should be from an international section). An electronic copy of a photo and a brief bio should be faxed or emailed with the attached nomination form. The due dates for nominations follow:
  • November 30 - All nominations with photos and bios should be at SME Headquarters.
  • December 2 - SME Headquarters will forward the nominees to the WAAIME Executive Committee.
  • December 15 - WAAIME Chair will notify SME Headquarters of the incoming committee member.
  • December 19 - WAAIME Chair will notify incoming committee member and invite her to the SME Annual Meeting.
Click here to download the nomination form.

Please send nomination form, photo and bio to Mary O'Shea, 12999 E Adam Aircraft Cir, Englewood, CO 80112; PH 303-948-4211; Fax: 303-973-3845; E-mail

Washington Updates

Supreme Court refuses hearing on roadless rule
On October 1, the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to hear an appeal by the Colorado and Wyoming Mining Associations to strike down the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule, prohibiting most roads on 45 million acres of national forests, effectively bans mining development and exploration access on these lands. The Colorado Mining Association President Stuart Sanderson had argued that "the roadless rule will effectively prevent future mining operations on roadless lands, leading to a decrease in mineral and coal production, job losses and sharp decreases in taxes and revenues from the coal mining industry that are critical to local governments and public school systems." The mining associations asked the high court to overturn a decision last year by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld the Clinton Administration-era rule and reversed a Wyoming U.S. district court's ruling that the rule had created de facto wilderness and violated the National Environmental Policy Act. In 2009, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco also upheld the rule.

Full House passes Stop the War on Coal Act
On September 21, the House of Representatives, by a bipartisan vote of 233-175, approved H.R. 3409 (PDF), the “Stop the War on Coal Act,” a package of five bills aimed at curbing the Obama Administration’s regulatory focus on the domestic coal mining industry that, according to the House press release, would threaten thousands of American jobs and could increase the price of energy on millions of American families and small businesses. The legislation prevents the Obama Administration from shutting down coal-fired power plants and American coal mines with government regulations. In a related matter, on September 20, the House Natural Resources Committee released a report (PDF), President Obama's Covert and Unorthodox Efforts to Impose New Regulation on Coal Mining and Destroy American Jobs, detailing information uncovered in its more than 18-month ongoing investigation into the Obama Administration’s rewrite of a coal production regulation, the 2008 Stream Buffer Zone Rule. The Stop the War on Coal Act includes Rep. Bill Johnson’s (R-OH) bipartisan, Coal Miner Employment and Domestic Energy Infrastructure Protection Act, which prohibits the Secretary of the Interior from issuing new rules or regulations that will adversely impact mining jobs and our economy.

The Stop the War on Coal Act of 2012 includes the following bills:
  • H.R. 3409, the Coal Miner Employment and Domestic Energy Infrastructure Protection Act
  • H.R. 910, Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011
  • H.R. 2401, Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation Act of 2011
  • H.R. 2273, Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act
  • H.R. 2018, Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011

MSHA news

Dept of Labor issues report on MSHA’s accountability programs
On Sept 28, the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General issued a report (PDF) on MSHA’s internal accountability program. U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-MN) requested the review last year to determine the agency’s progress in implementing the recommendations of a 2007 Inspector General report, as well as recommendations proposed by MSHA’s accountability office. MSHA created the Office of Accountability Audits to enhance oversight of its enforcement activities. A March 2010 report by the accountability office revealed serious deficiencies in the agency’s enforcement of health and safety standards. The House committee learned the report was one of many conducted by the accountability office that had never been disclosed to the public. In response to a committee oversight request, MSHA produced 60 audit documents with significant redactions. Chairman Kline then requested that the Inspector General undertake a comprehensive review of all audits dating back to 2007 to determine whether MSHA adopted the recommendations made by its accountability office. One of the key findings in the Inspector General’s report revealed that corrective actions taken did not always resolve or prevent the recurrence of enforcement errors by MSHA personnel identified during accountability reviews. These deficiencies relate to supervisory reviews, inspections, and citations – many of the same problems raised in the March 2010 accountability audit.

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© 2012 Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
12999 E. Adam Aircraft Circle, Englewood, Colorado 80112
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