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SME eNews
SME president holds series of key meetings in Washington, DC
While in Washington, DC this week, Jessica Kogel, SME's 2013 president, Dave Kanagy and John Hayden held productive meetings with three environmental groups, the National Research Council, the National Academy of Engineering, the presidents of NMA, IMA-NA and NSSGA, Hill staff and a member of Congress in an effort to continue to raise SME's profile as a technical, fact-based, non-partisan resource for the mining industry. To follow the meetings, go to SME's Facebook page to learn more and see pictures of these events. To read more about Jessica Kogel’s approach toward entering the conversation about mining, read this month’s President’s Page at Mining Engineering online.

SME growing and changing
As many of you know, SME has grown in numerous ways during the past six to ten years. In the process, the staff structure has grown organically with regard to improving and growing SME member services and benefits. Not as much thought was given to staff structure during that time period. At the SME Board meeting in February, SME CEO Dave Kanagy proposed a new staff organizational structure to bring more staff strategic leadership to the organization, to help continue to grow revenues, continue to improve services to members and to define day to day direction to staff. This link is a PDF copy of the new functional organizational chart for your reference. Briefly, SME has grouped the four major work functions in the organization:
  1. Meetings, Membership and Publications
  2. Finance, Administration and Information Technology
  3. Government Affairs, Communications and Social Media
  4. Education and Foundation
Four director positions have been added to the organization to support each of these functional areas within the Society. At present, Mike Hedges and John Hayden have been appointed as deputy executive directors for the Finance, Administration and Information Technology and Government Affairs, Communications and Social Media departments, respectively. Sharon Schonhaut has been appointed director of Education and Foundation. Meetings, Membership and Publications will be led by a director of Operations yet to be identified. As the organizational chart details, you will note that this streamlines the reporting relationship to the CEO, ultimately to better serve the members and the Society. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact Dave Kanagy. In addition, this link is a listing of titles and contact information for all SME staff to assist you with contacting any SME staff person.

Discount prices for Coal Prep
attendees at the SME Bookstore!
Back by popular demand, SME will host a bookstore at this year’s conference. Take advantage of show pricing from the most prestigious book publisher in the industry. The bookstore will once again be located near registration. Come early in the week, as inventory is limited.

For more information, contact SME books at
New from the SME bookshelf
Grouting Equipment Manual: Selection, Operations, Maintenance, and Repair, by Donald C. Hegebarth. This handy, colorful manual introduces various types of equipment employed in pressure grouting applications performed in geotechnical works, and examines the operating principles and maintenance issues relative to each equipment type. Only $69 for SME members. For more information, click here.

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing featured abstract
Check out this groundbreaking research from the February rare-earths issue: “Growth of metallic iron particles during coal-based reduction of a rare-earths-bearing iron ore,” by researchers at Northeastern University in Shenyang, China.

Subscribe today to access the rare-earth minerals issue and the complete online archives.

Click here for the latest headlines from Mining Engineering Online

Last call!! 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 for this meeting is restricted by the size of the venue. Make sure you are not left out! Complete meeting details available at:

2013 Rapid Excavation and Tunneling Conference (RETC)
When: June 23-26, 2013
Where: Marriott Wardman Park,
Washington, DC
The preliminary program with complete details are now online at:
Reserve your spot now for this much-anticipated conference!
Review Course for the Professional Engineer (P.E.) Examination of Mining/Mineral Processing Engineers, 2013
When: September 7-11, 2013
Where: Marriott St. Louis Airport,
St. Louis, MO

Be prepared for the PE exam. Take the review course and have an advantage. Click here for details.

Get caught looking.................spring webinar series......mark your calendar!
Tuesday, May 14, 2013

9:00 a.m. MDT
Dragan Bogunovic, mining engineer
North American Coal Corp., Liberty Miner, Bailey, MS
“Integrated production management systems – step further”

Can’t fit these programs in your schedule? It’s not too late. The complete library of the summer webinar series is available via video download.
For complete details, click here.

Call for nominations
It is that time of year in which SME needs your support in selecting the future leadership for our society. SME is asking for your assistance in nominating and/or recommending members (including yourself) to serve the society in one of the following roles:

2016 SME President
2015 – 2018 SME Board Member-at-large (two will be selected)
Members for all SME Strategic Committees

To assist you in making a recommendation, the following criteria have been provided for your review. The president must be a current member of the society and must meet several additional qualifications (see here for details). Board members must be current members; in addition, the qualifications for president may be considered for guidance. Strategic committee members must be current members and have an interest in a topic covered by one of the committees. For a review of the strategic committees, click here. For a list of the current SME board of director and strategic committee members, click here.

Please forward any recommendations with a photo and brief bio for consideration to Mary O’Shea ( no later than July 31, 2013. The nominations will be reviewed at the September midyear meeting by the SME nominating committee.

Call for nominations for 2013 awards
SME administers and presents numerous recognition awards for outstanding individual and group achievements in the minerals industry. These awards and their recipients represent the highest levels of commitment and expertise that have come to symbolize the vitality of SME as a professional society. SME is now accepting nominations for our 2013 awards. Recipients of the 2013 awards will be recognized during SME’s 2014 Annual Meeting & Exhibit held February 23-26, 2014 in Salt Lake City, UT.

For more information on each award or to download the required nomination form, please visit Completed nominations are due by June 1. Questions may be directed to Tessa Baxter at 303-948-4208 or

SME joins ACMA’s Corrosion, Mining and Infrastructure Conference as a participating organization
When: May 15-16, 2013
Where: Denver, CO

Join the American Composites Manufacturing Association (ACMA) for the Corrosion Mining and Infrastructure Conference, where industry experts will present best practices, cost and durability comparisons, leading edge designs, corrosion resistant case studies, exhibits, networking and much more!

For more details, click here.
Critical Minerals 2013
When: June 4-5, 2013
Where: Perth, Western Australia

Explore strategies for success in the critical minerals supply chain. Registration is now open for Critical Minerals 2013, hosted by AusIMM in association with SME. The first of its kind in Australia, the overarching theme of the conference is mines, markets, manufacturing and money – the need for all participants in the critical material supply chains. Attendance at Critical Minerals 2013 will equip you with the strategies, methods and models you need to address the issue of critical materials in your business, whether you are a miner or an end user. Register today:

Emerging Leaders Alliance cross-disciplinary leadership training
The Emerging Leaders Alliance (ELA) was established in 2008 through a United Engineering Foundation grant to provide cost-effective, high-quality training and networking for emerging leaders in the engineering and scientific community. Its mission is to provide an interdisciplinary community of learning for engineering and scientific professionals, promoting the development of effective leaders to guide our professions in addressing the needs of people in the 21st century. Through intensive live training sessions, cross-disciplinary networking opportunities, followup communication and the availability of the ELA On Demand (recorded sessions), the ELA seeks to build upon its mission by promoting: Personal and professional leadership development for select engineering professionals, networking across engineering and scientific disciplines, global perspective and holistic, systems-level thinking. The ELA will hold a cross-disciplinary leadership training session in November, 2013.

Registration for the training is covered by SME for eight attendees. For more information on ELA Training, please follow the link. If you are interested in attending, please contact Mona Vandervoort at by June 1, 2013.

USGS issues energy and minerals science strategy
The USGS has developed a long-term science strategy (  for energy and mineral resources. This science strategy provides a framework for the coming decade that capitalizes on the growth of core capabilities and leverages their application toward new or emerging challenges in energy and mineral resources research, as reflected in five interrelated goals: (1) to understand fundamental earth processes that form energy and mineral resources, (2) to understand the environmental behavior of energy and mineral resources and waste products, (3) provide inventory and assessments of energy and mineral resources, (4) understand the effects of energy and mineral development on natural resources and society and (5) understand the reliability and availability of energy and mineral supplies.

USGS Mineral Resource Program takes hit in FY 2014 budget proposal
The Obama Administration’s FY 2014 USGS budget request is $1.2 billion, which is $98.8 million above the 2012 enacted level. However, to optimize investment in certain high priority areas, some targeted reductions were made. A net reduction of $2.4 million in the Mineral Resource Program is included as the program evaluates options to modernize and realign in an era of rapidly changing minerals information and science needs. That reduction includes a $1.2 million cut to the National Mineral Information Center and a $1 million cut to mineral resources, along with a general program reduction. Rare-earth element research saw a budget increase of $1.0 million and high priority research on critical minerals increased $1.13 million. In addition, $3 million was dedicated to the study of environmental impacts of uranium mining.

Mining in the courts

Court upholds EPA veto authority of existing mine permits
On April 23, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that EPA's retroactive veto of a West Virginia mountaintop removal mining project was legal. The court determined that a Clean Water Act section 404 dredge-and-fill permit legally issued by the US Corps of Engineers was invalid and that EPA was within its legal rights to deny or restrict the use of any defined area whenever it determines that an activity will have negative environmental effects. This decision will throw into question any previously legally issued permit for land disturbance by a federal agency.

Court revokes Corps permit for mountaintop mining
On April 22, the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals refused to allow mining companies to use U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Nationwide Permit 21, which has been used for valley fill activities at mountain top removal operations. The judge declared the Corps misused NWP 21 by not requiring enough environmental mitigation from mining companies seeking to use the general permit and relying on environmental assessments rather than more stringent environmental impact statements. Separately, the 6th circuit is also considering litigation dealing with selenium water discharges from coal mines.

Enforcement programs increase under MSHA FY 2014 budget proposal
The presidents’ $381 million FY 2014 budget request for MSHA includes an increase of $5.8 million for enforcement programs to pursue strategies that prevent death, disease and injury from mining, and $2.5 million to implement recommendations from the internal review conducted in the wake of the Upper Big Branch disaster. In announcing the budget proposal, MSHA assistant administrator Joe Main said it will help the agency protect enhanced enforcement and planned rules threatened by the recent automatic budget cuts. However, the grant program for states, which took a hit because of sequestration, would be zeroed out. "To meet the demand of the Agency's higher priority enforcement activities, MSHA will defund the State Grants program and shift the responsibility for training back to mine operators as the Mine Act originally intended," Main said. "MSHA regulations will continue to require that all miners receive training and mine operators will be required to develop their own programs or contract these services."

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