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SME eNews - View Past Issue  

SME eNews
SME sections and the IRS: what you need to know
As you know, your local SME section is a legally constituted unit of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc., encompassing a specific geographical area. Sections help enhance the professional development of their members and provide local service to the public. SME recognizes that the diversity of Local Section membership creates diverse needs, and that the Local Section officers are in the best position to determine Section needs and direction.

As a legal entity of SME, your section is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization operating under SME’s tax ID.

As such, SME sections are required to submit the following information to SME headquarters:

Financial summary – SME is required to report Local Section finances as part of our annual tax return. Each Local Section is responsible for submitting a report detailing your section’s finances for the fiscal year (October 1-September 30). The required report is sent to each section’s treasurer and chair of record annually in early October and must be returned no later than November 15. If your section fails to provide us with this information for the group filing, you may have to file individually, and the SME Board of Directors will consider closing the Section. To keep in compliance with IRS regulations, if your section fails to provide a completed financial statement for two years in a row, SME will be required to close your section.

The following sections have not submitted financial reports in a year or more. If you know anyone in the below listed Sections, please have them contact SME, as their Section status is in jeopardy:
  • Arkansas
  • Arklatex
  • Northern Nevada
  • Utah
SME National supports local sections in a variety of ways, as noted online at www.smenet.org/sections. SME Division & Local Section Coordinator Tessa Baxter is ready to assist you in the support of your Local Section. Please contact Tessa with any questions, concerns or suggestions: email baxter@smenet.org or call 303-948-4208.

$1.6 million ways to make a difference to mining
SME Foundation trustees hope that all SME members will join their colleagues to support Creating Global Prosperity: The Campaign for Mining.

The Campaign for Mining is raising funds for:
  • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) – to ensure that universities offering degrees in mining, geological and geophysical engineering in the United States maintain high standards.
  • Minerals Education Coalition – develops and disseminates factual and timely curriculum to K-12 educators across the U.S. and globally for use in classrooms, as well as informal education, science and community settings.
  • Professional Engineers Licensure – sets the standard for mining and mineral engineers working in the field. This credential indicates a high level of skill and additional education throughout the industry.
  • New programs – the Foundation will be able to add new programs, such as expanding Miners Give Back and adding a Career Transition program.
Our goal is to raise $1.6 million to provide world class programming to our members, the industry and the community! As of May 1st, contributions to the campaign total $1,272,761. Please donate today!

Award nomination deadline is June 1!
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, Utah.

For more information on each award or to download the required nomination form, please visit www.smenet.org/awards. Completed nominations are due by June 1. Questions may be directed to Tessa Baxter at 303-948-4208 or awards@smenet.org.
2013 Minerals Baby
Each year, the “Minerals Baby” reminds all of us of the importance of minerals and other mined substances to our lives and lifestyles. This year’s statistics reflect an increase of mined materials needed to provide for the average American born in 2012 with an expected lifespan of 78.7 years, when compared with the previous year. We thank the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, National Mining Association and Energy Information Administration for the annual data they provide to enable us to do the calculations each year.

Visit http://www.mineralseducationcoalition.org/mineral-resource-statistics for additional information.

This month in Mining Engineering
Be sure to check out our annual reviews of mining and exploration from the experts at the U.S. Geological Survey. This month also includes features on plant design, sustainability, the monitoring of the atmosphere of coal mines and the annual Product and Services Showcase.

You can read the entire magazine online at http://me.smenet.org, where you will also find daily news updates, current commodities prices and archives to 2004.
Tapping the world’s newest resource
Electronic waste is one of the fastest growing new sources of precious metals, but recovery processes lag in efficiency. The Minerals & Metallurgical Processing journal is working to close this gap with such papers as “Leaching behavior of copper powders from waste printed circuit board by electrogenerated chlorine and aeration,” in the latest issue, now online at www.smenet.org/mmpj.

Subscribe today to access the entire issue and the complete online archives.

Eight ways SME can help advance your career

1. Register for a conference in your field
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: http://www.retc.org/.
Reserve your spot now for this much-anticipated conference!

2. Prepare for a licensing exam
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.
http://www.smenet.org/page/index.cfm?id=726

3. Submit a paper
Call for papers
2014 North American Tunneling Conference (NAT)

When: June 22-25, 2014
Where: JW Marriott, Los Angeles, CA
The NAT Organizing Committee has issued a Call for Papers. For more information and to submit and abstract, please see ww.smenet.org/page/index.cfm?id=913.

4. Author a chapter
SME is publishing a new book, Responsible Mining: Sustainable Practices in the Mining Industry, and is looking for industry experts to author chapters in this book. The stated objective of this book is to provide the reader with an understanding of the concept of sustainability as it is applied within the mining industry, the various industry organizations involved in addressing sustainability within mining and examples of best practices at companies and mining operations. This work seeks to present case studies of best practices, which can be used for examples and inspiration to those working within the mining industry, as well as students and educators. We are specifically looking for submissions on energy/GHG management, community of interest engagement/participation, environmental monitoring/compliance, safety/crisis, biodiversity and closure/reclamation. If you are interested in participating in this process, please contact Dr. Michelle Eggart (Meggart@barr.com) or Dr. Helen Muga (mugahe@mountunion.edu) by June 1.

5. Train to be a leader
Emerging Leaders Alliance cross-disciplinary leadership training
When: November 11-13, 2013
Where: Hyatt Regency, Reston, VA
Who should attend: SME members between the ages of 25-35

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 vandervoort@smenet.org by June 1, 2013.

6. Attend a webinar
Mining and Energy Workforce Trends webinar
SME and the Geological Society of America are co-sponsoring a webinar on May 23 on the final report issued by the National Research Council on Emerging Workforce Trends in the Mining and Energy Industries: A Call to Action. The outlook is bright for U.S. energy and mining jobs, as these industries should continue to grow and pay well, but the nation will have to overcome a looming retirement bubble and low number of prospective employees skilled in science, technology, engineering and math. Some innovative solutions are being pursued, but more action is needed if the nation is to maintain a skilled workforce able to supply its energy and mineral needs. This webinar examines the current and future workforce situation for the nonfuel mineral, oil and gas, coal, nuclear, geothermal, solar, wind and carbon sequestration sectors and frames some steps the nation can take to help ensure it meets the country’s future needs in these industries. Click here to register.

7. Attend another webinar
Get caught looking............................ Spring webinar series......Mark your calendar!
MAY
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”
https://smenet.webex.com

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

8. Nominate a colleague for leadership...or yourself
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 the 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 (oshea@smenet.org) no later than July 31, 2013. The nominations will be reviewed at the September midyear meeting by the SME nominating committee.


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: www.criticalminerals2013.org/program.asp.

Become a presenting author
The abstract submission deadline for the International Mineral Processing Conference (IMPC) 2014 has been extended to September 30, 2013.

So far, IMPC has received 281 abstracts from 30 countries. Interested professionals are invited to submit an abstract of 200-300 words in English to impc@impc2014.org.

When: October 20-24, 2014
Where: Sheraton Hotel, Santiago, Chile
For more information: http://www.impc2014.org; Heather Goodale, Coordinator, Gecamin, Chile. Telephone: +56 2 2652 1523; email: impc@impc2014.org.

Former member of Congress named to head South Dakota School of Mines
On April 25, former New Mexico Rep. Heather Wilson (R) was named president of the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. Wilson succeeds the late Robert Wharton, who died in September. She will begin her duties on the Rapid City campus in mid-June, and will become the first female president in the school's 128-year history. Wilson, 52, a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and a Rhodes Scholar, was elected to Congress in an Albuquerque-based district in a 1998 special election, serving on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and as chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence. She lost a bid for the Republican Senate nomination in New Mexico in 2008 and was the unsuccessful GOP Senate nominee there in 2012. As president of a consulting company in Albuquerque, Wilson has worked as a senior adviser to several national laboratories, including Sandia, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, the Nevada Test Site, Battelle Memorial Institute and others. She served as a Cabinet secretary under former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson and as a staffer on the National Security Council under President George H.W. Bush.

In a statement announcing her new position, Wilson said, "The South Dakota School of Mines is showing how great schools can meet those challenges. Mines provides a rigorous, world-class education that prepares graduates for leadership in science and engineering at a price families can afford. It's a great school and I'm very proud to be the newest Hardrocker."

Corps determines limited impact from Florida phosphate mining operations
The Army Corps of Engineers announced that the final area-wide environmental impact statement (AEIS) addressing phosphate mining in the central Florida phosphate district has been completed and released.

The need for an AEIS was identified after the Corps received applications for four proposed projects from Mosaic Fertilizer LLC and CF Industries. When viewed collectively, these separate proposed phosphate mining projects had similarities that provided a basis for evaluating their direct, indirect and cumulative environmental impacts in a single AEIS. The AEIS will support decision making on the existing permit applications, as well as future phosphate mines considered in the central Florida phosphate district, an approximate 1.2-million acre area located in five counties.

The cumulative effects analysis focused on surface water resources, groundwater resources, surface water quality, ecological resources and economic resources. Without mitigation, the Corps determined that significant impacts associated with phosphate mining would occur to all of these resources except economic resources. With mitigation, however, it is expected that the impacts to these resources would be greatly reduced and would not be significant. The 30-day public review period ends on June 3.

Washington Updates

House and Senate try again to pass mine safety legislation
The House and Senate have reintroduced for the 4th time legislation to amend the Mine Act in response to the Upper Big Branch disaster in 2010. On April 24, West Virginia Senators Jay Rockefeller (D) and Joe Manchin (D), along with Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Patty Murray (D-WA), reintroduced S. 805, the Robert C. Byrd Mine and Workplace Safety & Health Act of 2013. The legislation would give whistleblowers more protection, increase penalties for violations knowingly committed, prohibit mine operators from keeping separate books and improve federal and state coordination on safety efforts. One month earlier in the House, Rep. George Miller (D) and Nick Rahall (D), along with 16 Democratic colleagues, introduced similar legislation, H.R. 1373, the Robert C. Byrd Mine Safety Protection Act of 2013. The House legislation would require mine operators to maintain records of rock dust purchases so MSHA can verify efforts made by operators to prevent the build-up of explosive coal dust. Protections are expanded for whistleblowers reporting safety violations to MSHA. The bill also requires MSHA to develop a "staffing succession plan to ensure that MSHA retains sufficient numbers of trained personnel to help keep miners safe." The new legislation also would allow immediate family members of victims of every mine disaster to name a representative to participate in government investigations of those disasters.

Senate and House introduce companion bills to streamline coal permitting process
On May 6, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) introduced legislation to significantly streamline Clean Water Act permits for coal mines. The Coal Jobs Protection Act targets the EPA coal mining permit approval process, which is negatively impacting coal mining jobs in Kentucky.

“This EPA has turned the coal permitting process into an illegitimate, back-door means to shut down coal mines permanently, by sitting on permits indefinitely and removing any certainty from the regulatory process,” McConnell said. “What EPA is doing is outside the scope if its authority, outside the scope of the law, and represents a fundamental departure from the permitting process as originally envisioned by Congress. So if this administration won’t rein the EPA in, Congress will. Congress must.”

The Coal Jobs Protection Act would: (1) require EPA to approve or veto water discharge permit applications within 270 days; (2) give EPA 90 days after they receive a section 404 permit application to begin the approval process for that application and (3) restrict EPA’s authority to impose a carbon tax on CO2 from coal plants.

Senate bill introduced to block EPA use of veto authority
Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced bipartisan legislation April 25, called the EPA Fair Play Act, that would bar EPA from vetoing certain Clean Water Act permits after they are issued. Manchin's move comes in the wake of a recent 6th Circuit Court of Appeals decision that found EPA did not break the law in 2011 when it vetoed key parts of an Arch Coal Inc. mountaintop mining permit issued by the Army Corps of Engineers in 2007 for its operation in West Virginia.

Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), David Vitter (R-LA), Rob Portman (R-OH), John Hoeven (R-ND) and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) are backing the measure. Pro-coal lawmakers introduced a House version, H.R. 524, in February. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) said he would announce additional legislation in response to the court's ruling. Legislation to block retroactive vetoes passed in the House during the last Congress but not in the Senate.

EPA News

EPA strengthens conflict of interest review process for science review panels
On May 3, EPA’s Office of Research and Development announced that it has improved its conflict of interest review process for contractor-managed peer reviews. EPA has put a new oversight process in place to ensure that contractors follow all existing conflicts of interest guidance and requirements. In addition, EPA will now ensure that the public has the opportunity to review and comment on a peer review panel’s composition when influential scientific documents are being considered.

This revised process will apply to all future technical documents designated as influential scientific information or highly influential scientific assessments, where independent peer reviews will be conducted by panels selected and managed by independent contractors. For future peer review panels, EPA will now publish the names, principal affiliations and resumes of candidates being considered for the panel. Members of the public will be able to provide comments on the candidates for a period of at least three weeks.

Revised EPA draft watershed assessment for Pebble issued
On April 26, EPA released its revised draft watershed assessment for the proposed Pebble mine in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska, stating that the mine would have major environmental impacts on the area’s ecosystem. The revised and expanded document, which contains three volumes, analyzed various mining scenarios. It says a large operation could result in the loss of more than 20 miles of stream and more than 1,000 acres of wetland, hurting salmon populations downstream.

EPA originally released a draft watershed assessment in May 2012. Responding to public, scientific and industry concerns, the new document expands its look at potential mining scenarios and impacts and modern industry practices, and it clarifies the study's purpose. The new draft does not, however, take into account the prospect of a smaller underground mine.

Pebble backers, however, have been calling on the agency to let the permitting process run its course and that the draft watershed assessment is not based on any real-world mine design that may eventually be submitted as part of the permit application. As planned, EPA will submit the new draft assessment for another round of public comment and scientific peer review. Acting EPA Administrator Bob Perciasepe said the process could be completed by this fall.

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