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SME eNews - View Past Issue  

SME eNews
Look for the 2013 proxy in the mail and online
In 2013, the Annual Meeting of Members will be held immediately following the conclusion of the SME Board of Directors Meeting on Sunday, February 24, 2013, 4:00 p.m., at the Hyatt Regency Convention Center, Denver, CO.

At this meeting, 2012 President, Drew A. Meyer, will report on the Society’s activities, its state, its concerns and its financial condition. Jessica Elzea Kogel will be installed as the 2013 President and, upon election by the membership entitled to vote, the following directors shall take office:

John O. Marsden. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . President-Elect
Steven C. Holmes . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . Director-at-Large
Mary B. Korpi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Director-at-Large

A proxy will be sent to you via mail in the next several weeks. In the event you will not be attending the Meeting of Members, please sign, date and return your mail ballot/proxy. You may also vote online at www.smenet.org/proxy/. Online voting will be available starting Friday, January 4, 2013. Your prompt response is appreciated.

Get caught looking............................
Winter Webinar Series......mark your calendar!
JANUARY
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Lucas Moore, Sr. Research Scientist

Kemira Minerals Processing, Atlanta, GA
Removal of inorganic contaminants from mine effluents

Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Roderick Eggert, Professor and Director, Division of Economics and Business

Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO
What factors drive metal prices? Historical evidence, 1900-2012

Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Yi Luo, Associate Professor

Dept., Mining Engineering, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
Locating and determining the status of a thermal event in longwall panel using mine atmosphere monitoring data

MARCH
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Vishal Gupta, Research Engineer

FLSmidth Minerals Inc., Midvale, UT
Electrokinetic feature of kaolinite and other selected two layer silicate minerals

For complete information, go to SME Webinars page.

Miss a program? It’s not too late to watch. The complete library of past webinar series is available via video download. For complete details, click here.

MEC seeks expert reviewers for K-12 lessons
The Minerals Education Coalition (MEC) is recruiting volunteers to serve as expert reviewers for our new educational materials. Our volunteers review various types of K-12 lessons to ensure that accurate and up-to-date information about minerals and the mining industry is represented. We task our experts with commenting on lessons’ content using their knowledge of the geological processes that form mineral deposits, how they are mined and their many applications. Our most immediate need is for reviewer experts for activities related to coal, gold and aggregates.

The MEC also asks our experts to help us identify specific industry topics or information about mining and minerals that should be highlighted in K-12 education and public outreach. If you are interested in becoming an MEC expert reviewer, please contact Amy Helgeson, MEC curriculum coordinator, at Helgeson@smenet.org or 303-948-4263.

Win a FREE year of SME Membership!
Take a photo at your job site and show us what you're mining. Submit it in the SME Photo Contest and you could win a free year of SME Membership or other great prizes! Winning images will be announced before the 2013 SME Annual Meeting and displayed in the SME booth on the exhibit floor for all attendees to enjoy. Go to the SME Photo Contest page for full details and to view last year's winners & honorable mentions. Go ahead, SME members - Show us your ROCKS! Deadline is January 11, 2013. Many thanks to our sponsor, Hitachi.

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.
Minerals & Metallurgical Processing featured abstract
From our November issue: Editor-in-chief S. Komar Kawatra presents comprehensive research on pig iron nugget production in his article, “Paradigm for pig iron nugget production.

Subscribe now to M&MP (print & online) and receive five issues for the price of one: November 2012 plus all of 2013.

M&MP will have two feature issues in 2013, including the highly-anticipated Rare-Earth Elements issue in February, featuring the latest research from Jan Miller, Douglas Fuerstenau, Pradip and other luminaries.

December Mining Engineering is now online!
Come visit MEOnline to read daily news articles, browse the Mining Engineering archives and flip through the latest issue of your flagship magazine.
Current Trends in Mining Finance
April 29-30, 2013
City University of New York,
Graduate Center
New York, NY
Get more information, including conference agenda at: http://www.smenet.org/page/?id=1048

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

Complete meeting details, including registration, housing, program, short courses and field trips are available NOW.

Register today! There is only slightly over a month left to take advantage of the early bird registration pricing for the SME Annual Meeting and Exhibit in Denver, CO. We are up by 37% for registrations and booth space is close to sold out; the 2013 Annual Meeting promises to be a conference you won’t want to miss!

Get a hotel room today! Make sure you aren’t without a place to stay! Rooms are filling up fast. If you haven’t booked your hotel room for the SME/CMA Annual Meeting and Exhibit, book now.

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!

Elearning courses available for all your needs and interests
SME is pleased to introduce course offerings in partnership with EduMine. Courses include:
  • Blast Design and Assessment for Surface Mines and Quarries
  • An Introduction to Mining and Mineral Processing
  • Mine Project Economics
  • Practical Mineral Processing
  • Mineral Project Management
  • Estimating the Cost of Mining
  • Underground Mining Methods and Equipment
  • Conventional Methods of Resource / Reserve Estimation
  • Quality Control of Geochemical and Assay Samples
  • Design and Operation of Large Waste Dumps
  • Exploration and Mining Geology 1 - The Geologic Baseline
  • Introduction to Block Caving
  • Bench Face Design in Rock
  • Groundwater in Mining
  • Practical Geostatistics 2000 - 1: Classical Statistics
  • Practical Rock Engineering 1 - Introduction
  • Mineral Project Reporting Under NI 43-101
  • Geostatistics 101 - A Practical Introduction
  • Managing the Environmental Permitting Process
  • Global Acid Rock Drainage
SME offers 55 online courses total. For a complete catalog, see: http://www.smenet.org/elearning/

GAO issues report on value of minerals on federal lands
In yet another attempt to jumpstart efforts to reform the current Mining Law of 1872 and address the issue of royalties for hardrock minerals removed from federal lands, Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), ranking member on the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands, Committee on Natural Resources, and Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) earlier this year asking for a review of the value of these minerals extracted from public lands. Specifically, the members of Congress asked the GAO to provide information on the (1) volume and dollar value of leasable minerals extracted from federal lands and waters in fiscal years 2010 and 2011; (2) amount the federal government collected for leasable minerals in royalties, rents, bonuses and other revenue and how this amount was calculated; and (3) availability of data on the volume and dollar value of hardrock minerals extracted from federal lands in fiscal years 2010 and 2011.

The report (PDF), issued December 12, found that federal agencies generally do not collect data from hardrock mine operators on the amount and value of hardrock minerals extracted from federal lands, because there is no federal royalty that would necessitate doing so. Furthermore, while many western states collect data on the hardrock minerals produced in their state for purposes of assessing a state royalty, they generally do not collect data on the volume of those minerals extracted from federal land within those states.

With regard to the over 70 leasable minerals on federal lands, the revenue to the federal government from these activities in fiscal years 2010 and 2011 was $11.3 billion and $11.4 billion, respectively. Of this amount, oil, gas and natural gas liquids accounted for the majority of the revenue - $10.1 billion in each fiscal year. The bulk of this revenue comes from royalties, which accounted for 92.8 percent of total revenue in 2011.

Coal News

EIA projects little change in U.S. coal production in 2013
The Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Short-Term Energy Outlook projects total U.S. coal production in 2013 to be close to its 2012 level, as coal stockpile drawdowns and lower exports offset a projected increase in domestic coal consumption. Electric power sector stocks, which ended 2011 at 175 million short tons (MMst), are forecast to total 185 MMst at the end of the 2012 and 180 MMst in 2013.

Highlights from the EIA Outlook Report forecast a 7% decline in coal production in 2012 from 2011, as domestic consumption, primarily in the electric power sector, falls. Coal production for the first three quarters (January-September) of 2012 was 46 MMst below the same period in 2011. Appalachian and Western region coal production are expected to both decline by 8% in 2012, but the production decline in the Interior should be lower, at 3%, because of strong demand for Illinois Basin coal. However, Western region coal output is expected to reverse course in 2013 and grow 5% to 571 MMst, while Appalachian and Interior region coal production are expected to fall for a second straight year.

Click here (PDF) to download the full report, which includes EIA forecasts for coal, natural gas, gasoline and crude oil.

U.S. coal exports decline as Canada reduces coal-fired electric generation
U.S. coal exports to Canada totaled 3.2 million short tons (MMst) and represented roughly 5% of the 66.2 MMst of total U.S. coal exports during the first half of 2012, according to EIA's Quarterly Coal Report. Further, coal exports to Canada as a share of U.S. total coal exports (PDF) are expected to reach a record low by the end of 2012. The share of U.S. coal exports destined for Canada averaged 41% between 2002 and 2006. This percentage has declined annually (PDF) since 2007.

The decline is largely the result of Canadian initiatives to reduce coal-fired electric generation. In an effort to reduce greenhouse gases, Canadian federal and provincial governments have announced policies to move away from coal-fired generation. Beginning July 1, 2015, the Canadian federal government plans to enforce a strict performance standard for all coal-fired units. The addition of the new regulations will likely encourage utilities to retire aged coal-fired generators and shift to lower- or non-emitting fuels such as natural gas and renewable energy sources.

In 2011, about 16% of Canada's electricity was generated using coal, down from 18% in 2010. A shift to lower- or non-emitting fuels may cause further decreases in coal's share of total generation.

Washington Updates

DOL Secretary Solis issues statement on National Miners Day
On December 6, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis released the following statement to commemorate National Miners Day:

“Today, we honor America's miners who made the ultimate sacrifice and pay tribute to all of the men and women who make their living in this most noble profession. In 1907, the worst industrial accident took place in American history when 362 miners perished in the tragic Monongah disaster in West Virginia. A century later (2009), Congress created National Miners Day to honor them and the memories of every miner who ever lost a life on the job. We've made enormous strides in protecting the health and welfare of our miners over the generations. But the tragic explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in 2010 that killed 29 miners is a sober reminder that there is more work to be done, and we cannot rest until every mining company is in full compliance with industry health and safety laws. At the Labor Department, we honor our miners every day by making sure they have a safe place to work. No workers should have to sacrifice their lives for their livelihoods, and the Mine Safety and Health Administration has made great progress in creating safer workplaces for miners across this country. On National Miners Day, I pledge to continue to vigorously enforce the laws that protect miners' rights and to speak out about safety concerns that affect the workers who toil in our nation's mines. America's mining families deserve our appreciation and our support.”

On Dec. 3, 2009, the Senate passed a resolution making December 6 National Miners Day to recognize "the materials procured with the sweat and blood of miners;” honor the hundreds miners killed in the Dec. 6, 1907, mining tragedy at Monongah, WV; and to recognize miners' contributions to the U.S. economy.

House and Senate resources staff share insights
about how mining will fare in the 113th Congress
Kathy Benedetto and Colin Hayes, senior professional staff of the House Natural Resources and Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committees, respectively, recently shared their thoughts on issues to be addressed in 2013 by the two Congressional Committees with primary responsibility for mining and mineral resource issues.

In the Senate Committee, new chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) has a very good working relationship with ranking member Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and has expressed a desire to work across the aisle to move legislation related to energy and natural resources in 2013. Murkowski is expected to reintroduce her bipartisan critical and strategic minerals bill that includes language addressing workforce issues and a streamlined NEPA permitting process. Murkowski has also been critical of EPA and their threat to use their veto authority to stop the Bristol Bay mine in Alaska even before the company has submitted an application with a prospective mine plan. Further, the Senate committee is expected to address SMCRA issues that address improper distribution of state reclamation funds for activities not directly related to mining. Finally, EPA has designated portions of the hard rock mining industry as its priority for the development of financial responsibility requirements under CERCLA section 108 (b). This CERCLA rulemaking is intended to assure the availability of funds for hazardous substance response should a mining or mineral processing company declare bankruptcy or be otherwise unable to conduct necessary response activities. EPA plans to propose a financial responsibility rule in 2014 for the hard rock mining and mineral processing industries. Senate Resource Committee is likely to hold hearings on this matter.

In the House Committee, priorities include the stream buffer zone rule, the War on Coal Act, coal ash rules, critical and strategic minerals bills, as well as greenhouse gas and MACT rules affecting coal and the energy sector. Further, Benedetto said she expects the committee to address changes to the Administrative Procedures Act regarding NEPA reform to limit litigation. The Committee is also likely to hold hearings on Alaska’s Pebble Project and EPA’s preemptive use of veto authority to deny necessary permits for the proposed mine. Lastly, the Committee is considering possible hearings on mines of national significance and maybe mining law reform.

EPA’s 2011 Toxic Release Inventory Data available on TRI.NET
The downloadable TRI.NET application has been updated to include the most recent EPA Toxics Release Inventory data from the 2011 calendar year. TRI.NET allows you to select, sort and filter TRI data. You can combine TRI with other data sources, display your results on a map and export your results into other applications for further analysis. This is a valuable tool for mining companies that report under TRI to view the government data on file for their location. The program allows you to search by radius, obtain trend information, drill down to specifics needed, find other EPA reports and apply other data layers. To learn more about TRI.NET visit www.epa.gov/tri/tridotnet/index.html.

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