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SME eNews - View Past Issue  

SME eNews
What does the U.S. election mean for mining? See below for exclusive SME coverage.

Registration is now open for the SME & CMA Annual Meeting!
The 2013 SME Annual Meeting & Exhibit and CMA 115th National Western Mining Conference will be held in Denver, CO from February 24 – 27. Be sure to register now to take advantage of early bird pricing, and don’t forget to book your housing. With over 5,500 attendees and over 750 exhibit booths, this is a conference you will not want to miss. Full program details are now available.

Last call for the Safety Management & System Reliability Conference
November 13-15, 2012, Marriott City Center, Minneapolis, MN. This conference is intended to provide attendees with the unique opportunity to learn and discuss best practices pertaining to safety and health management, loss control and system reliability.
For more information, see Attendee Information Page.
2012 Annual Meeting of the
SME Arizona Conference
December 2-3, 2012
JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort
Tucson, AZ

Complete program details are registration are now available!

Get caught looking............................
SME fall and winter webinar series......mark your calendar!
November
Wednesday, November 14, 2012, 9:00 a.m. MST
"Plant performance improvements through increased grinding circuit classification system efficiency,"
Robert McIvor, chief metallurgist, grinding systems, Metcom Technologies, Inc.

NEW DATE: Thursday, November 29th, 2:00 p.m. MST
"Mining policy in 2012 and beyond: a look at the last days of the 112th Congress and the post-election landscape," Mark N. Savit and Gregory M. Louer, Patton Boggs LLP.

January
Tuesday, January 22, 2013, 2:00 p.m. MST
"What factors drive metal prices? Historical evidence, 1900-2012," Roderick Eggert, professor and director, Division of Economics and Business, Colorado School of Mines.

For complete webinar information, go to SME Webinar Info

Did you miss a webinar? 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 SME's WebEx Library

Pay your 2013 SME dues bill online
Maintain access to everything your SME membership confers, including:
  • OneMine.org
  • 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!

MEC at three NSTA area conferences
The SME Foundation’s Minerals Education Coalition (MEC) program is being prominently featured at the three National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Area Conferences again this year. Teachers at each location are given kits of free samples of various minerals with reference keys about where they come from, how they are processed and why they are important in our everyday lives. Additionally, free MEC posters, brochures, 2012 Mineral Baby cards and MEC mini-calculators are distributed to the science teachers. Conferences have already taken place in Louisville, KY and Atlanta, GA. Be sure to let teachers in your community know to visit the MEC booth if they plan to attend the remaining conference in Phoenix, AZ (December 6-8).

Dr. Dale Elifrits, SME’s Louisville NSTA Area Chair with a teacher.

SME President-Elect Jessica Kogel and volunteer Mark Hall in Atlanta.

Announcing the Education Sustainability Task Force 2013 Graduate Student Poster Contest
The Educational Sustainability Task Force is organizing the Third Annual Graduate Student Poster Contest to be held at the 2013 SME Annual Meeting. The Task Force believes that the greatest obstacle facing educational sustainability in the mineral industries is the pending shortage of qualified faculty members. The purpose of the Graduate Student Poster Contest is to recognize excellence in research by SME graduate student members and to encourage them to continue their pursuit of excellence through an academic career. The Graduate Student Poster Contest is open to any SME student member who is currently enrolled in a minerals-related graduate program. Prizes will be awarded to the top three places as follows: 1st place - $1000, 2nd place - $650, and 3rd place - $350. For complete guidelines, download this PDF.

Abstracts should be e-mailed to Dr. Rick Sweigard at rsweigard@engr.uky.edu no later than December 1, 2012. Authors will be notified of acceptance by December 15, 2012. For additional information, please contact Mona Vandervoort at vandervoort@smenet.org.

MPD Student Poster contest
Minerals & Metallurgical Processing , SME’s premier international peer-reviewed journal, has again teamed up with SME's Mineral and Metallurgical Processing Division for the MPD Student Poster Contest, to be held in conjunction with the 2013 SME Annual Meeting and Exhibit in Denver, CO. Details of the contest can be found here: MPD Student Poster contest.
Abstracts and posters must conform to the guidelines posted here (PDF) and be submitted to Jon Kellar, MPD Student Poster Contest Chair, via e-mail to jon.kellar@sdsmt.edu by Tuesday, January 15, 2013.

New from SME’s bookshelf
Challenges in Fine Coal Processing, Dewatering, and Disposal

Coal mining and preparation have a long history in the United States and other global locations, serving as the engine of growth for many industries. Today, new sources of energy, increased environmental awareness and more stringent regulations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other organizations are changing the way coal is found, extracted and used. As a result, fine coal cleaning, dewatering and refuse disposal are now at a major crossroads. This book is a compilation of information presented at the 2012 Fine Coal Symposium, sponsored by the Coal Preparation Society of America; the Pittsburgh Section of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc.; and the Pittsburgh Coal Mining Institute of America.
For more information, contact the SME bookstore, books@smenet.org or 303-948-4225, or click here.

November issues
Mining Engineering this November focuses on health and safety, mining in Australia and more.
The November Minerals & Metallurgical Processing is now available online with a special focus on flotation.

Get involved with SME’s newest professional development program
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!

Current Trends in Mining finance
April 29-30, 2013
City University of New York,
Graduate Center
New York, NY
Call for presentations
eLearning courses available for all your needs and interests
New online course now available!
Principles of Mine Haul Road Design & Construction

Author: Roger Thompson

SME offers 34 courses total. For a complete catalog, see www.smenet.org/elearning/.

SME signs senate letter opposing restrictions on government
employee participation at society events
In an October 25 letter to the leadership of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, SME joined 14 professional societies, representing more than 700,000 scientists, engineers, researchers, educators, government employees and students, asking the Committee to consider carefully any legislation that restricts government employees from participating in scientific society events. Recent White House directives from the Office of Management and Budget, as well as legislation proposed by Congress (H.R.4631 Government Spending and Accountability Act), have been directed at ensuring that expenditures of federal employees traveling to conferences are appropriate and within the scope of department fiscal responsibility and transparency of public funds. However, the application of these directives and proposed legislation may actually inhibit or curtail the open exchange and collaboration that characterize the traditional exceptional practices of the U.S. science and engineering community. Permitting federal employees to participate in scientific meetings allows them to interact with their counterparts and colleagues from other federal agencies, universities and industry to help facilitate technology transfer and achievements that are central to their jobs. If taken to extremes, the proposed policies could have a chilling effect on scientific research and discovery, potentially damaging the nation’s unique innovation engine, which is responsible for job creation, economic growth, global competitiveness and national security.

Members of Congress support SME’s petition to SEC on mineral reserve reporting
On October 22, Rep, Mark Amodei (R-NV) and Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO), members of the House subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, submitted a letter to the Secretary of the Securities and Exchange Commission supporting the petition for rulemaking that SME filed with the SEC on October 1. SME filed the petition to amend the SEC’s Industry Guide 7, which contains the SEC’s basic mineral reserve disclosure policy for mining companies. The letter states, “It is our fervent hope that the SEC will move to address this inequity in an expeditious manner and give full attention to SME’s petition.” Further, the letter goes on to ask the SEC to respond to the Congressional inquiry by establishing a timeline for action in response to SME’s filing. Among other things, the SEC’s Industry 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.

WAAIME call for nominations
The WAAIME Committee is seeking nominations for the incoming WAAIME Committee member, who this year represents the “international” area of the committee. The nominee should therefore 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 oshea@smenet.org .

Mining jobs fall in October
Mining and drilling employment took a hit in October, even as businesses nationwide added more than 170,000 jobs, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on November 2. Mining -- including oil and gas extraction -- was among the most negatively performing sectors in October, losing almost 9,000 jobs compared with the previous month. Employment in mineral and energy extraction dropped by 17,000 since May, according to the BLS.

Mining has been a bright spot in previous job reports. And the latest BLS statistics are more nuanced than the overall numbers suggest. While the sector has seen a big drop in recent months, mining overall has added almost 12,000 workers since October of last year. The recent spate of layoffs in the nation's coal fields, particularly in Appalachia, is largely responsible for more significant losses in coal mining and support activities. Since October of last year, non-drilling mining jobs have declined by almost 6,000 workers. And coal mining employment has dropped by 7,000 during the same period. Yet jobs that support mining, which declined by more than 7,000 positions last month compared to September, increased by more than 5,000 workers compared to 2011.

Employment in extractive industries has varied over the years. Not counting oil and gas, mining employed about 215,000 people last month, compared with 200,000 people at the beginning of 2010 and 223,000 people at the beginning of 2009. The number of people employed in coal mines has gone from 86,000 at the beginning of 2009 down to 78,000 at the beginning of 2010 and up to more than 80,000 last month. But that number is much lower than the roughly 87,000 people employed in October 2011.

Washington Updates

No change in U.S. political landscape as continued congressional gridlock expected
The most expensive election in U.S. history has finally come to an end. After over $1 billion spent by both candidates and over 1 million negative ads later, the U.S. electorate woke up on Nov 7 to see virtually no change in the political makeup of Congress or the White House from the day before. The U.S. still has a divided Congress that certainly will lead to further political gridlock on everything from tax reform to climate change to energy policy.

The president won a solid victory, prevailing in most of the hotly contested swing states, including Pennsylvania and Ohio, whose economies have benefited from new discoveries of oil and natural gas, as well as Colorado and Iowa, where support for renewable energy became a key campaign issue. In all, the president took 50 percent of the vote and 303 electoral votes, with only Florida's 29 electoral votes still up for grabs as of early this morning. Republican Mitt Romney took 48 percent, and was sitting at 206 electoral votes. In Congress, the Senate is still solidly Democratic with a margin of 53 to 45, while in the House the Republicans held their majority 232-191.

Click here for a state-by-state review of election results.

Kentucky Republican honored as 'champion of coal'
The Washington, D.C Coal Club will honor KY Republican Rep. Ed Whitfield for championing industry interests. Whitfield will receive the group's annual achievement award Nov. 28, the lawmaker's office said. In 1982, the Club initiated the annual Achievement Award to honor an individual who has recently made a meaningful contribution to the coal community. The Washington, D.C.-based coal club is a nonpartisan group of industry leaders.

"It is an honor to be recognized as a champion of coal and low-cost electricity," said Whitfield, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power. "I will continue to work to protect our coal miners and protect coal as an essential energy resource."

"At a time when coal-fired generation faces many challenges, Chairman Whitfield's steady leadership has proven critical in keeping electricity prices low, making plants more efficient, and saving the jobs that are the backbone to the American economy," said Patrick Cavanagh, the club president and a top advocate for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.

Senate committee issues report on EPA regulations for 2013
Minority Staff for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has issued an October report entitled “A Look Ahead to EPA Regulations for 2013.” This report examines the economic and environmental impact of numerous EPA Rules that have been placed on hold by the current Administration until after the election. Rules delayed that have an impact on the mining industry include greenhouse gases, national ambient air standards for particulate matter from mining and farming operations, definition of waters of the U.S. under federal jurisdiction, coal ash as hazardous waste, hydraulic fracturing and additional air regulations that limit emissions from coal-fired power plants.

House committee creates series on Administration’s energy roadblocks; mining included
The House Natural Resources Committee began distributing a 10-part series focusing on the current Administration’s energy roadblocks. Part 1 is on Offshore Drilling, Part 2 on Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal Lands, and Part 3 on the “War on Coal.” The coal series includes details of the EPA’s withdrawal of the stream buffer zone rule for mining operations and the EPA’s retroactive veto of legally issued permits for a coal mine in West Virginia. Over the next several days, the Committee plans to highlight numerous other examples of the Administration blocking, delaying and hindering American energy production, including mining. Click here for a time line of Administration actions on these series plus other energy roadblocks dating from 2009.

MSHA Updates

MSHA places increased emphasis on miner discrimination complaints
MSHA filed 39 requests during FY 2012 with the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission for temporary reinstatements on behalf of miners who submitted complaints of discrimination in the form of a suspension, layoff, discharge or other adverse action. According to Section 105(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, a miner cannot be discharged, discriminated against or interfered with in the exercise of statutory rights because he or she has engaged in a protected activity such as filing a complaint alleging a health or safety violation, or refusing to work under unsafe or unhealthy conditions. If MSHA finds that a miner's complaint is "not frivolously brought," the agency, at the request of the miner, will ask the commission to order immediate reinstatement of the miner.

Issues relating to fears of discrimination and retaliation came to light during congressional hearings held in the wake of the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster. Statements from miners and family members of the miners who died indicated that mine employees had been reluctant to speak out about safety conditions in existence prior to the April 2010 explosion, fearing retaliation by management. Testimony from UBB employees presented during MSHA's investigation also supports those claims.

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