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SME eNews
Boy Scout Mining in Society merit badge and
Jamboree sponsorship opportunity
It is with great enthusiasm that the SME announces that, after almost a decade of advocacy, we have obtained approval for the development of the Boy Scout Mining in Society merit badge!

We ask that you and your company consider this important sponsorship opportunity. No matter the size of your contribution, your participation is invaluable. We also ask that you forward this opportunity to colleagues you believe would be interested in getting involved.

This project has become a mission of many of our members and industry partners. With your assistance, we will make what once seemed like a dream a reality.

Click here for full details.

U.S. to host 2016 World
Tunnel Congress
On June 5 at the 2013 World Tunnel Congress and the 39th General Assembly of the International Tunneling and Underground Space Association in Geneva, Switzerland, the United States won the bid to host the World Tunneling Congress in 2016 in San Francisco, CA. Jeff Petersen, chair of SME’s Underground Construction Association, provided the presentation on June 2 and UCA vice chair Bill Edgerton accepted the bid at the International Tunneling Association’ s Executive Council Meeting. WTC 2016 will be held in conjunction with the North American Tunneling conference, 12-15 June, 2016.
Take the SME Sustainable Development
Survey now
The SME Sustainable Development (SD) Committee, together with the various divisions, continues to provide opportunities for members to participate in the global dialogue surrounding sustainable development. In order to assist the Committee in developing, monitoring and assessing SD criteria for mineral operations, SME members are invited to participate in a survey to (1) determine what companies are currently doing with regard to SD and (2) determine actions that SME should be taking with regard to SD in the mining industry. To begin the survey, click here.

SME President Jessica Kogel and the SD Committee were both featured in the May 2013 issue of Mining Engineering. In Ms. Kogel’s words: “It (is) clear to me that our industry is made up of highly talented and caring people who want to do the right thing for their businesses, communities and future generations. I am optimistic that the global mining community will meet this challenge, and I am confident that SME can add significant value in helping to achieve that goal.”

SME’s Sustainable Development Committee leads SME’s efforts and directs the Society in global prominence in SD. SME chairs the World Federation of Engineering Organization’s international task force on mining and sustainability. Please address any questions to John Hayden at or 303-948-4250.

SME opposes budget cuts to FY 2014 USGS Minerals Programs
In a June 10 letter to the chair and ranking members of the House and Senate appropriations subcommittees for Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, SME joined 13 mining, materials and related groups in urging them to restore the $2.4 million to the USGS Mineral Resource Program and the National Minerals Information Center (NMIC) budget in the upcoming FY 14 interior and environment appropriations bill. The administration’s proposed cut to the MRP of $2.4 million, $1.2 million of which will directly target the NMIC, would severely limit the NMIC’s ability to produce accurate and timely data by eliminating the international data collection and analyses component. Further, the letter goes on to say that reduced funding for the USGS and its minerals information center is counterproductive to the administration’s own stated goal of energy independence for the U.S.

SME opposes restrictions on federal employees’ participation
in professional meetings
On May 29, SME and 63 other scientific organizations signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) and all relevant committee and subcommittee chairs and ranking members, regarding the impacts of the recent Office of Management and Budget directive that restricts the ability of federal STEM professionals to travel to, and participate in, scientific and technical conferences and symposiums. The letter states that permitting federal employees to participate in professional meetings allows them to appropriately interact with their colleagues from other federal agencies, universities and industry to help facilitate the intellectual exchanges that are central to their jobs, the technology transition process and national interests. The letter asks Congress’ support of these open exchanges of information, establishing legislative guidance that exempts federal employee travel to conferences, seminars and meetings where attendance promotes agency interests, as well as the professional development and competency of government scientists, engineers or other specialized experts.

Attend Water Management in Mining Summit –
special discount for SME members
SME members receive a special discount to attend IQPC’s 2nd Water Management in Mining Summit, taking place July 29-31 in Denver, CO. This Summit will focus on issues such as mine remediation, mine closure, regulations, community outreach and engagement, smart water policies, cost reduction principles and methods, tailings, active and passive water treatment systems, and more. Download the brochure at or send an email to

Speakers include:
  • Joe Harrington, VP of Technology & Strategic Development, Alexco Resources
  • Dr. John Lupo, Sr. Director Geotechnical Engineering, Newmont Mining
  • Nancy Duquet-Harvey, Environmental Coordinator, Aurico Gold
  • David Tripp, Tailings Manager, Cliffs Natural Resources
  • Kristin Brown, Hydrologist, Department of the Interior - Office of Surface Mining
  • Mohan Seneviratne, Principal Industry Specialist - Water Efficiency, IFC
To register, call 800-882-8684, email or visit To receive the SME member special discount, quote promo code WMM2_SME.

View 2013 SME Annual Meeting sessions online now!
If you missed the SME Annual Meeting in Denver, you can still view the keynote and other select programs:
  • Mineral & Metallurgical Processing: Plenary Session
  • Innovations in Metallurgical Processing Symposium: Keynote Session
  • Environmental: Process Solution and Drainage Management for the Metal Mining Sector
  • Mining & Exploration: Operations: When Optimization, Planning and Reliability Collide in Surface Operations
  • Coal & Energy: Health and Safety Management Systems
  • Mining & Exploration: GPAC: Stake Your Claim on the Next Four Years: A New Administration and Its Impact on the Mining Industry
  • Coal & Energy: Business Process Improvement
  • Industrial Minerals & Aggregates: Industrial Minerals: Innovation in Industrial Minerals Processing
  • Environmental: Waste Management
  • Mining & Exploration: Management: Construction Startup Project Management

To view, click here.

It’s not just GPA: three essential qualities mining companies look for
in college graduates
New research from Missouri S&T and two other mining schools finds that good grades, while important, are not the only factor in the development of a successful career. Frimpong et al. isolate the three essential components of a good mining education.
Remove mercury while retaining silver
Researchers at Michigan Technological University have developed a new way to selectively remove mercury from cyanide leaches: “Selective removal of mercury using zinc sulfide.” Find this and other abstracts online at the Minerals & Metallurgical Processing journal.

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

SME Annual Meeting call for papers: we want your abstract!
The 2014 SME Annual Meeting Call for Papers/Abstract Submission Site is now available to all prospective authors. To access the SME 2014 Abstract Submission site, you will need to go to the below address. Once there, click on the blue Abstract Central button and create an account.
2014 SME Annual Meeting
February 23-26, 2014
Where: Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City, UT
2013 RETC: contracting practices, risk management, difficult ground and all of the other essential concerns of the industry, all in one place – register today
Meet with colleagues to get the latest developments in tunneling technology and innovation, from TBM case studies to water control to difficult ground considerations. This is the tunneling conference that you can’t afford to miss.
What: 2013 Rapid Excavation and Tunneling Conference (RETC)
June 23-26, 2013
Where: Marriott Wardman Park, Washington, DC
The preliminary program with complete details is now online at: Reserve your spot now for this much-anticipated conference!

Prepare for PE with SME experts
Take SME’s PE Review Course and work with the best in the business. Corby Anderson, Harrison Western professor at the Colorado School of Mines, is a longstanding expert in the field of mineral processing and brings to the course extensive knowledge of both the material and the exam itself.

What: Review Course for the Professional Engineer (P.E.) Examination of Mining/Mineral Processing Engineers, 2013
September 7-11, 2013
Where: Marriott St. Louis Airport, St. Louis, MO
Present your work at NAT
What: 2014 North American Tunneling Conference (NAT) –
Call for papers
June 22-25, 2014
Where: JW Marriott, Los Angeles, CA

The 2014 NAT theme is “Tunneling: Mission Possible.” A full list of topics and approaches can be found at this link.

2015 Hoist and Haul – call for papers
What: 2015 International Conference on Hoisting and Haulage – Call for papers
June 21-25, 2015
Where: Clarion Hotel, Stockholm, Sweden

Hoist and Haul covers systems or technology associated with the handling of ore from the point of extraction in the underground mine to the stockpiling on the surface. The conference will also include a focused trade exhibition and local tours. The program encompasses a wide range of topics including shaft hoisting, incline and drift hoisting, conveying, underground rail haulage, tramming and truck haulage.

To submit an abstract, click here.

Support Creating Global Prosperity: The Campaign for 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!

Find tomorrow’s leaders for SME today
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.

Reminder: Financial reports needed
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. As a legal entity of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc., 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 comliance with IRS regulations, if your section fails to provide a completed financial statement for three years in a row, SME may 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 supports local sections in a variety of ways, as noted online at 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 or call 303-948-4208.

Need a quote for business insurance?
The Wright Group has negotiated an SME exclusive professional liability program with Beazley Insurance Company for SME members and continues to use its insurance expertise to assist SME members in obtaining the most appropriate and cost-effective insurance policies. Click here for the company brochure. For more information, contact Allan Crumbaker at the Wright Group,, 303-228-2205.

PwC issues Mine 2013: A Confidence Crisis
According to Pricewaterhouse Cooper’s 10th annual review of global trends in the mining industry, Mine 2013: A Confidence Crisis, the global mining industry is facing a crisis in confidence, ending years of outperformance and superior returns. During 2012, the top 40 international mining companies production volumes increased by 6%, but softer commodity prices meant that 2012 revenue of $731 billion was only the second year in a decade that mining revenue did not increase.

Operating costs have grown faster than production, with cost inflation in double digits. Employee numbers rose 2 percent but average employee costs were up 13 percent. Higher costs to develop lower grade assets in increasingly remote locations led to a 10 percent fall in return on capital to 8 percent. Boards and management have heeded investor calls for greater returns, pushing dividends 9 percent higher to a record $38 billion on a payout ratio that grew from 25 percent in 2011 to 60 percent in 2012. Since 2009, dividends have improved more than 150 percent from $15 billion.

PwC Australia’s mining leader Jock O’Callaghan said the picture has further deteriorated this year. “The first four months of 2013 have been rougher and tougher than at any time in the past decade, with market values plunging $220 billion, or 18 percent, for 37 of the world’s top 40 mining companies,” Mr. O’Callaghan said.

1st quarter aggregate production remains depressed
A preliminary report from the USGS reported that an estimated 211 million metric tons of crushed stone were produced in the first quarter of 2013, compared with 220 Mt in the first quarter of 2012, a 4% decline. The estimated output of construction sand and gravel produced in the first quarter of 2013 was 141 Mt, compared to 142 Mt in the first quarter of 2012, a 1% decline. The estimated U.S. total output of all construction aggregates produced in the first quarter of 2013 was 352 Mt, a decrease of 3% compared with that of the same period of 2012. The estimated annual output produced for consumption in 2012 was 2 billion tons, which is flat compared with the reported annual output for 2011.

CoreSafety’s goal is zero fatalities and a lower injury rate
The National Mining Association’s CoreSafety Safety and Health Management System (SHMS) involves 20 modules with suggested timelines for completion. The modules and timelines were developed by mine safety professionals specifically for U.S. mining as a pathway to achieve zero fatalities and a 50 percent reduction in the injury rate within five years. While CoreSafety provides a common roadmap and a common language to achieve these goals, it does not specify the details of each company's system. Rather, company systems should be designed to be functionally equivalent to the CoreSafety SHMS, taking into consideration each company's unique operations, management structure and culture.

Report claims Pebble mine to create thousands of jobs, millions in tax revenue
In a recently released study by IHS Global Insight, the proposed Pebble gold and copper mine in Alaska could help support more than 16,000 jobs across the country during construction and generate an annual capital investment of more than $1 billion for five years. The study is meant as a counterbalance to a previous analysis, commissioned by the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, and conducted by the University of Alaska Institute of Social and Economic Research, that says the Bristol Bay salmon fishery contributes more than $1 billion to the national economy and helps support roughly 10,000 jobs. IHS said the Pebble mine could support almost 5,000 jobs in Alaska during construction and about 2,890 during years five through 29 of the mine’s life. Nationwide, the mine could help support more than 16,000 indirect jobs during construction and more than 14,700 during operations. Further, the mine would contribute up to $180 million a year in taxes and royalties for the state, and more than $1 billion to the gross state product. The report also predicts a 600 percent increase in new tax revenue for the Lake and Peninsula Borough in Alaska. The dueling studies come as EPA prepares to close the comment period on its revised draft watershed assessment of the proposed mine.

Coal News

Arch Coal seeks full judge panel review of EPA veto decision
On June 7, attorneys for Arch Coal asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for a rehearing in front of the full judge panel regarding litigation over U.S. EPA's 2011 retroactive veto of a West Virginia mountaintop-removal mine. A three-judge panel of the court ruled in April that EPA was within its Clean Water Act authority to veto the Spruce No. 1 mine's dredge and fill permit in 2011, four years after the Army Corps of Engineers issued it. The stakes are high in the case for the coal industry and for a wide variety of industries whose work is linked to Clean Water Act permitting. Arch has hired former Solicitor General Paul Clement to work on the case, suggesting the company would seek a full panel hearing and might be preparing for a possible Supreme Court review.

Coal gains electricity generation market share on natural gas
After an equal share of electric power was generated from coal and natural gas in April 2012, the Energy Information Administration's most recent preliminary data through March 2013 show coal has generated 40% or more of the nation's electricity each month since November 2012, with natural gas fueling about 25% of generation during the same period.

Since May 2012, a combination of higher prices for natural gas and increased demand for electricity during the summer months led electric systems across much of the country to increase their use of coal-fired units. Heading into the spring of 2013, when demand for electricity typically falls, higher prices for natural gas reduced the fuel's share of total generation below the record levels of last April. Coal last achieved a 50% share in 2005 and is expected to be 40% in 2013, according to the most recent Short-Term Energy Outlook.

NMA issues report on economic impact of coal exports
In a report prepared this month by Ernst & Young for the National Mining Association (NMA), coal exports in 2011 contributed an estimated 141,270 jobs to the U.S. economy, including 39,350 direct jobs at mines, transportation companies and ports, plus more than 100,000 jobs at businesses in a wide range of industries. The report, U.S. Coal Exports: National and State Economic Contributions, claims exported coal production of 107 million tons equaled 1,320 jobs for each million tons of production. Direct employees in coal-export related industries earned nearly 50 percent more than the national average in wages and benefits in 2011. People employed directly at coal mines, transportation companies, ports and coal-exporting ships earned an annual average of $96,100 in wages and benefits, compared to the U.S. average for all employees of $64,500. For a state-by-state breakout of economic contributions, click here.

Washington Updates

Senate bill introduced to limit Administration’s reach over waters of the U.S.
Senate Republicans are continuing their campaign to halt the Obama administration's plan for clarifying the convoluted oversight of wetlands and other water resources. On May 22, Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) and 26 other co-sponsors reintroduced legislation that would block federal wetlands guidance from being finalized, because it would increase the number of waters, streams and wetlands under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act. The bill, S. 1006, would not only prevent the administration from finalizing the current guidance but also would forbid the use of the current guidance or any similar guidance from use in decisions about the scope of the Clean Water Act. In a statement introducing the legislation, Barraso said, "The EPA's plan to keep tabs on every single body of water, including prairie potholes and mudflats, is outrageous. Washington's unprecedented power grab will have a huge impact on farmers, ranchers, and small businesses that need to put a shovel in the ground to make a living." The guidance has been stalled at the White House Office of Management and Budget for more than a year.

U.S. Chamber issues report on sue-and-settle tactics by opposition groups
As part of an ongoing strategy to initiate reform of the federal rulemaking process, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released on May 20 the report Sue and Settle: Regulating Behind Closed Doors.

The report claims the “sue-and-settle” process, where environmental advocacy groups sue federal agencies to issue regulations by a specific deadline, is being abused, resulting in interested parties being shut out of regulatory decisions by key federal agencies, particularly the EPA. The report is a comprehensive list of sue-and-settle cases and statistics assembled, and their regulatory and financial impact, as well as the courts and environmental groups that are most active in this process.

Key findings of the Chamber study include: (1) the sue-and-settle process is increasingly being used as a technique to shape agencies' regulatory agendas, without input from the public or the regulated community; (2) the Obama administration has entered into more than 70 sue-and-settle agreements, which have lead to the issuance of at least 100 regulations; and (3) the Sierra Club is responsible for 34 of the 71 lawsuits, with WildEarth Guardians coming in second with 20 suits.

The Chamber also launched a sue-and-settle website (, which provides the business community, lawmakers and the public access to a database of such cases.

International Conference on Energy for Sustainable Energy in Developing Countries
When: September 5-8, 2013
Where: Guangzhou, China
With the theme of "Toward a Sustainable Future," the conference is jointly hosted by the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO), the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) and the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (HKIE). It is organized by the WEFO Energy Committee and co-organized by the Chinese Society for Electrical Engineering (CSEE) and the China Southern Power Grid. The conference will be an international forum for scientists, engineers, economists and decision-making officials to exchange new ideas, share practical knowledge, discuss and analyze various aspects in the implementation of sustainable energy programs and the engineering associated with such implementation, giving emphasis to poverty eradication and relief in developing countries. The conference will strengthen relations between the energy sector, research laboratories and universities, and provide an excellent opportunity to promote understanding and friendship between Chinese participants and their overseas counterparts.

For more information, visit the conference website:

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