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SME eNews
New SME president Jessica Kogel takes the reins
Jessica Kogel, the new president of SME, took the reins of the organization from Drew Meyer at the 2013 SME Annual Meeting in Denver. In her interview with Mining Engineering magazine, Jessica states that her goals for her term as president are to focus on five key areas: health and safety, sustainable development, global outreach, communication and diversity and mining workforce development. For a more in-depth look at Jessica’s background and assessment of the mining industry and SME, click here.

Big thanks to everyone who attended the SME Annual Meeting
For those who attended the 2013 SME Annual Meeting & Exhibit and CMA 115th National Western Mining Conference in Denver, thank you for helping us to make this year's show the largest to date, with 7,202 people in attendance!

If you missed the meeting, look for the electronic capture of 10 exciting sessions, available soon on the SME website!

We look forward to seeing you next year in Salt Lake City, UT: February 23-26, 2014.

Claim your Foundation Dinner prize!
Attention all SME Foundation Dinner attendees! We still have a few bucket items from our Silent Auction that have not been claimed. If you attended the SME Foundation Dinner on Sunday, February 24th, and if you purchased a bucket auction ticket, be sure to check your ticket stub for the following numbers:

Winning Ticket # 548184 - Wine & Accessories
Winning Ticket # 549687 - Prazen Bracelet
Winning Ticket # 548149 - Copper Wall Hanging

Please contact the SME Foundation directly at 303-948-4246 if you are one of the lucky winners!

Win a FREE tablet this FRIDAY from SME!
SME Members, complete these three things on the SME Community by March 15th, and you'll be entered into the drawing for a Google Nexus 7 tablet.
  1. Update your profile to include a picture.
  2. Send at least 2 contact requests.
  3. Join the discussion in the main SME Community group by posting a comment or question.
That's it - and you could win!
Join the conversation today!
Copper in Our Electrical World
now available
Copper in our Electrical World, an SME original video, is now available online on the Minerals Education Coalition’s new website.

Visit it now and forward this link to everyone you believe needs the best in educational resources:

M&MP and SME’s MPD announce winners of the MPD Student Poster Contest
Minerals & Metallurgical Processing, SME’s premier peer-reviewed journal, would like to congratulate the following Minerals and Metallurgical Processing Division students on their winning posters:

Undergraduate Division:
1. Katrina Swanson, Michigan Technological University
2. Paul Hagadone, Michigan Technological University
3. Kari Knott, University of Utah, and Travis Willhard

Graduate division:
1. Brett Spigarelli, Michigan Technological University
2. Howard Haselhuhn, Michigan Technological University
3. Caelen Anderson, Colorado School of Mines

Environmental Considerations
In Energy Production
When: April 14-18, 2013
Where: Charleston Marriott, 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 on the environment and society. The goals of this meeting are to discuss existing and emerging problems, appropriate and innovative solutions and best practices and techniques, and to develop collaborations and open dialogue on the impacts of energy production on the environment. This conference will feature plenary and keynote sessions with key political and industry leaders, which provide context for the technical issues being discussed.

You won’t want to miss this! Complete details and registration now available here.
Current Trends in Mining Finance: An Operators’ Guide
When: April 29-30, 2013
Where: City University of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY
Who: Senior executives and mining industry specialists among bankers, analysts and investors

SME will host its first annual conference on Current Trends in Mining Finance in New York City. This two-day conference 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.

Registration now open! Complete meeting details available at:

SME Congressional Fellowship looking for qualified candidates
The SME Board of Directors approved a plan to create a mining engineering Congressional Fellowship in Washington, D.C. for 2014-’15. The Fellow will spend one year working as a special legislative assistant on the staff of a member of Congress or congressional committee. Activities may involve conducting legislative or oversight work, assisting in congressional hearings and debates, and preparing briefs and writing speeches. The Fellow also attends an orientation program on congressional and executive branch operations. That program includes guidance in the congressional placement process and a year-long supervised seminar series on science and public policy issues.

The purpose of this Fellowship is to provide a unique opportunity to gain firsthand experience with the federal legislative process and make practical contributions to the effective and timely use of the Fellow’s specific knowledge in mining, mineral processing and mined product applications as they relate to the environment, natural resources and federal science policy. Qualified candidates will gain an invaluable public policy learning experience, contribute to the more effective use of mined materials knowledge in government and broaden awareness about the value of scientist/engineer-government interaction within the federal government.

The SME application period opens this fall. If you are interested in applying for this position or need more information, please contact John Hayden, or 303-948-4250.

SME issues briefing paper calling for increased federal support for U.S. mining schools
On March 8, SME published a technical briefing paper calling for increased federal investment in U.S. mining schools. “Federal Support for U.S. Mining Schools” states that mining and geological engineering, mineral processing, extractive metallurgy and applied geology and geophysics programs at our universities are national assets that are critical to maintain and encourage the growth of the U.S. energy and minerals workforce. Mining schools have long sought to find sources of funding to support their programs and to continue to provide the personnel and talent needed by industry and government. A near total lack of funding continues to hamper the efforts of the schools.

“These programs suffer from dwindling federal reinvestment and R&D funding,” said SME executive director David L. Kanagy. “Without an adequate pipeline of qualified graduates and faculty at U.S. universities, the nation is at a distinct competitive disadvantage in the production of basic raw materials and energy.”

In the paper, SME recommends five major federal actions that are needed to stave off the crisis in mining engineering schools and to ensure that the U.S. has vigorous and respected academic mining engineering departments.

This paper, the tenth in a series, and others published by SME on a variety of mining topics can be found at

Get caught looking............................
Winter Webinar Series......mark your calendar!
Tuesday, April 23, 2013

9:00 a.m. MDT
Yi Luo, associate professor
Dept., Mining Engineering, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
Locating and determining the status of a thermal event in a longwall panel using mine atmosphere monitoring data

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.

SME eLearning - new course launched!
SME is pleased to introduce a new eLeaning course:

Amalgam and Electrometallurgy
Author: Fathi Habashi
Published by Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc.
Training time: approximately 4.5 hours
4.5 Professional Development Hours (PDH)

Online delivery: upon purchase, you will be emailed access instructions and a receipt.
• Members: $210.00 USD
• Students: $175.00 USD
• Nonmembers: $250.00 USD

This course outlines the historical background of electrometallurgy, defines the scope of this domain and recalls the basic theories of electrochemistry and some general engineering aspects. The course then discusses electrometallurgical processes conducted in aqueous solutions and fused salts, either for metal recovery or metal refining. You will learn how amalgam metallurgy has some points in common with electrometallurgy (like the use of the mercury cathode), but is also of special historical interest, since mercury was used for many centuries for the recovery of gold from its ores. However, due to its toxic nature and the difficulties in handling, its use has been greatly curtailed in industrialized countries. It is still used in most tropical countries, with tremendous environmental problems.

For a complete eLearning catalog, see:

Feds announce funds to retrain laid-off coal miners
The Obama administration is making emergency funds available to help laid-off miners in eastern Kentucky weather the coal market downturn. The Department of Labor is offering almost $5.2 million in National Emergency Grant dollars to the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program Inc. "When families lose their entire source of income, they often need more than one job to make ends meet," said acting Labor Secretary Seth Harris. "This grant from the Labor Department will help prepare both displaced miners and their spouses for new employment in eastern Kentucky's growing industries." Many mines have closed, idled or announced layoffs amid competition from natural gas and air emissions standards for coal-fired power plants. The funding, $3.8 million of which will be released initially, will provide eligible laid-off miners and spouses with training and other services that they need to compete for employment in other industries throughout the area, such as business services, telecommunications, construction and skill trades, energy creation and transmission, healthcare and others.

Obama nominates coal moderate for DOE post and Jackson Lieutenant for EPA slot
President Obama has nominated Ernest Moniz, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to lead the Department of Energy. Moniz, who served as associate director of the White House office of science and technology policy and as undersecretary of energy under President Bill Clinton, is also devoted to the “all-of-the-above” strategy for energy that Obama has embraced. Moniz has come out in favor of nuclear power, research into carbon capture and storage for coal, renewable energy and shale gas produced by hydraulic fracturing. He has also previously stated that making coal work in a low-carbon world has long been part of his research. "If we are going forward, particularly with carbon control in the future, we simply have to figure out a way to employ coal," Moniz said in a recent interview. Carbon capture and sequestration technology is a major part of DOE's clean coal research portfolio, a technology Moniz has long supported. Moniz helped author an MIT report released in 2009 that called for expanding CCS efforts.

U.S. EPA nominee Gina McCarthy, who is currently the assistant administrator for Air and Radiation at the agency, is a climate change proponent and will more than likely continue to push stringent air quality policies that former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson was unable to finalize before leaving office earlier this year, such as limiting CO2 emissions from power plants, methane from natural gas sources and other particulate and greenhouse gas emissions.

Washington Updates

House Subcommittee holds first hearing on mining and mineral resources
On March 21st, the Energy and Minerals Subcommittee will hold an oversight hearing on “America’s Mineral Resources: Creating Mining and Manufacturing Jobs and Securing America.” It will also hold a legislative hearing on seven mining bills that, according to the Subcommittee’s news release, will create jobs, streamline government red tape and make America less dependent on foreign critical and strategic minerals that are vital to securing an all-of-the-above American energy plan. The seven mining-related bills include: H.R. 1063 (Lamborn), “National Strategic and Critical Minerals Policy Act of 2013;” H.R. 687 (Gosar/Kirkpatrick), “Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act of 2013;” H.R. 697 (Heck), “Three Kids Mine Remediation and Reclamation Act;” H.R. 761 (Amodei), “Critical and Strategic Minerals Production Act;” H.R. 767 (Cramer), “To amend the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to modify the Pilot Project offices of the Federal Permit Streamlining Pilot Project;” H.R. 957 (Lummis), “American Soda Ash Competitiveness Act;” and H.R. 981 (Johnson of GA and Markey), “Resource Assessment of Rare Earths Act of 2013.”

Democrats back SEC disclosure rule on conflict minerals
On March 8, a dozen Democratic members of Congress defended a rule requiring companies to disclose their use of gold and other minerals from conflict areas in Central Africa. Senate Environment and Public Works Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and 11 either current or former members of Congress filed court documents backing the SEC’s conflict minerals rule, which was mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law. Boxer and her colleagues, including Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois, noted that the legislation that directed the SEC to draft the rule passed the Senate with little opposition and said the rule implements the statute as Congress intended.

The rule has been challenged as overly burdensome by the National Association of Manufacturers and U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, who contend the rule imposes a costly burden, considering that the source of minerals is often hard to track in a global marketplace. The current members who joined Boxer and Durbin in the brief are Reps. William Lacy Clay (MO), Keith Ellison (MN), Raúl Grijalva (AZ), John Lewis (GA), Ed Markey (MA), Jim McDermott (WA), Gwen Moore (WI) and Maxine Waters (CA). Former Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and former Rep. Howard Berman of California also signed.

Democratic lawmakers offer House bill to promote rare earths
Democratic Reps. Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Hank Johnson of Georgia introduced House bill 981 on March 6 to boost knowledge of rare earth elements. H.R. 981, "The Resource Assessment of Rare Earths Act," or RARE Act, would direct the USGS to conduct a three-year global mineral assessment with the help of the agency's foreign counterparts.

According to Rep. Johnson, the bill aims to improve global understanding of the distribution and formation of rare earths and might find new deposits. The legislation, which is also supported by U.S. Magnetic Materials Association, would task the USGS with recommending areas for future research and studying the rare earth supply chain.

The bill is cosponsored by several Democrats, including Rep. Rush Holt of New Jersey, ranking member of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. Markey is ranking member of the full committee. A similar bill was introduced in 2011 by Johnson.

In the Senate, Lisa Murkowski, top Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has expressed commitment to finding a compromise acceptable to both sides of the aisle.

NIOSH issues a new perimeter control blast design concept for
underground metal/nonmetal drifting applications
This report (PDF) presents a new concept in perimeter control blasting for underground metal/nonmetal mine drifting applications, focusing on the importance of the buffer holes in a blast design. The new blast design concept applies the understanding of radial damage that is caused by the buffer hole column charge. Buffer hole radial damage is defined by a practical damage limit applied to the rock lying between the buffer holes and the perimeter. A favorable comparison was made between five successful controlled blast designs and the concept of practical damage limit. This concept is easy to use and acceptance of the approach would only require mines to conduct trial blasts to test the design theory.

MSHA Updates

Six miners killed in 25 days
MSHA reported that six different coal mining accidents occurred within the last 25 days resulting in death; four in West Virginia, one in Kentucky and one in Illinois. Four of the accidents were at underground mines and two occurred at surface mines. The accidents resulted from hoisting, powered haulage, exploding vessels under pressure, underground machinery and surface machinery. That brings the total fatalities for 2013 to eight, including one at a surface industrial minerals facility and one at a surface aggregate operation. The mining industry ended 2012 with 35 total fatalities.

Global coal exhibit in Essen, Germany
SME Members in Germany: be sure to check out the great temporary exhibition “Coal.Global” (15 April 2013 – 24 November 2013) the Ruhr Museum in Essen at Zollverein UNESCO World Heritage Site (once the world’s biggest coal mine).

For more information about the exhibit, click here or contact the Visitor Service of the Ruhr Museum via phone, +49 (0)201 24681 444, or email,, from Monday to Friday (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

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