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SME eNews - View Past Issue  

SME eNews
Report from the Jamboree
The Mining in Society Merit Badge prelaunch exhibit was one of the most popular tents at the Boy Scouts National Jamboree, held July 15-24 in West Virginia. Mining in Society Jamboree patches were eagerly earned by Scouts who completed activities related to personal protection equipment and mine safety, the electrical conductivity properties of various minerals and the importance of minerals and mining in our everyday lives. Thank you to all the SME volunteers who made the Jamboree such a motivational and educational experience for everyone! To see photos of SME at the 2013 National Jamboree, click here.

SME is seeking donations and sponsorships from individuals and companies to continue with its development and launch efforts associated with the badge. Click here to make your donation or here to identify a sponsorship level. For more information about the Mining in Society Merit Badge or to volunteer as a Mining in Society badge counselor, contact Sharon Schonhaut, SME Director - Education and Foundation at schonhaut@smenet.org or 303-948-4236.

Last 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 (oshea@smenet.org) no later than July 31, 2013. The nominations will be reviewed at the September midyear meeting by the SME nominating committee.

New summer webinars: check them out!
AUGUST
Tuesday, August 6, 2013

9:00 a.m. MDT
W. Brian Lambert
MineMax Inc., Highlands Ranch, CO
“Simultaneous pit and waste dump schedule optimization”

AUGUST
Tuesday, August 20, 2013

2:00 p.m. MDT
Zhi Huang, CFD Engineer, Research & Development
FLSmidth
“Designing new rotors and stators for flotation cells using CFD”

AUGUST
Tuesday, August 27, 2013

2:00 p.m. MDT
Jamal Rostami, associate professor
Pennsylvania State University
“A discussion on TBM cutter change time and cutter consumption”

SEPTEMBER
Tuesday, September 3, 2013

2:00 p.m. MDT
Anthony Iannacchione, associate professor
University of Pittsburgh
Nicole Iannacchione, senior geological specialist
GAI Consultants, Inc.
“Selected factors affecting longwall mine layouts in the Pittsburgh coalbed of southwestern Pennsylvania”

Tuesday, September 10, 2013
9:00 a.m. MDT
Richard Adsero
GBI Mining Intelligence
“What will halt the worldwide decline in equipment performance?”

For details and to register, go to:
https://smenet.webex.com/mw0306lc/mywebex/default.do?siteurl=smenet

Platinum adsorption using
carbonized biomass
This eNews issue’s featured abstract from Minerals & Metallurgical Processing comes from Turkey, where researchers are experimenting with using abundant local biomass to help extract platinum from scrap material: “Platinum adsorption from chloride media using carbonized biomass and commercial sorbent,” by Morcali et al. Find this and other abstracts online at the Minerals & Metallurgical Processing journal.

Subscribe today to access the entire issue and the complete online archives.
Mining profits are falling around the globe – but there are bright spots
Caterpillar cut its earnings forecast for the third straight quarter, yet another piece of bad news in a bleak summer for the mining industry, but iron ore miners got a boost in Australia. Read all about these and other news headlines at ME Online.


SME Annual Meeting 2013
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
  • And more.
To view these programs, click here.
Last call for abstracts for the
2014 SME Annual Meeting
August 1 is the last day to submit an abstract for the 2014 SME Annual Meeting – we need you!

The 2014 SME Annual Meeting Call for Papers/Abstract Submission Site is now available to all prospective authors. To access, you will need to go to the address below. Once there, click on the blue Abstract Central button and create an account.
www.smenet.org/page/?id=1010

2014 SME Annual Meeting
When:
February 23-26, 2014
Where: Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City, UT

Leading indicators for safety: survey now open
The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) has launched a survey about leading indicators in the mining industry and is inviting interested people to participate before August 10, 2013.

Safety performance related measures have been classified in two categories: lagging and leading indicators. Lagging indicators such as injury frequency denote measures where there is a consequence to a person or property that causes injury or loss. Leading indicators measure proactive safety supportive activities like hazard reporting that work to prevent incidents from occurring. It follows that the achievement of good performance in the leading indicator category generally acts to improve lagging indicator results.

Leading indicators of health and safety performance is a high profile topic across the minerals industry. The recent ICMM publication on the topic outlines the benefits of leading indicators and the components of a sound leading indicator system, and provides guidance on implementing leading health and safety indicators.

This survey aims to establish the industry’s current position in relation to health and safety leading indicators, and to identify areas where the work of the Global Mining Standards and Guidelines Group can assist minerals companies to improve their use of leading indicators. To take the survey, please click on the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SMEIndicators.

Volunteers needed for ASCE webinar
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), with support from the United Engineering Foundation (UEF), is preparing a webinar, “Bridging the gap between climate change science and engineering practice.” The purpose of the webinar is to inform engineers of all disciplines that evidence from observational and analytical climate/weather science indicates that changes of climate will affect demands for and the performance of engineered systems, and that authoritative sources exist for guidance and recommendations for adaptation of engineered systems to a changing climate.

We invite SME to provide one or more participants in the task force to complete development of the webinar. Most of the activity will occur by correspondence, but there will be a workshop held at ASCE headquarters in Reston, VA to critique a near final draft and develop recommendations for completion and distribution of the webinar. There is funding in the project to support the participation of one representative of SME in the workshop (other representatives will be welcome to participate but without project funding).

The proposed sections of the webinar are: review of climate change science, effects on engineering sectors, incorporating climate science into engineering practice, summary, conclusions and recommendations.

If interested, contact:
Richard N. Wright, Dist.M.ASCE, NAE
Vice Chair, ASCE Committee on Adaptation to a Changing Climate
Email: richard.n.wright@verizon.net

Reminder: Financial reports needed
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). 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. Per 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 these sections, please have them contact SME, as their Section status is in jeopardy:
  • Arkansas
  • Arklatex
  • Utah
SME 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 any way possible to help you support your Local Section. Please contact Tessa with any questions, concerns or suggestions: email baxter@smenet.org or call 303-948-4208.

Prepare for the PE Exam with SME
Take SME’s PE Review Course and work with the best in the business.


What: 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
2015 Hoist and Haul – call for papers
What: 2015 International Conference on Hoisting and Haulage – Call for papers
When:
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.

New from the SME Bookstore
2013 Rapid Excavation and Tunneling Conference: 2013 Proceedings,
edited by Michael A. DiPonio and Chris Dixon
Every two years, industry leaders and practitioners from around the world gather at the Rapid Excavation and Tunneling Conference (RETC) to learn about the most recent advances and breakthroughs in this unique field. 2013 Rapid Excavation and Tunneling Conference: 2013 Proceedings, edited by Michael A. DiPonio and Chris Dixon, includes more than 100 papers from industry experts, highlighting their most recent projects and sharing real-world experiences that will keep you up-to-date on the latest tunneling trends and technologies. From caverns and large spans, contracting practices, tunnel linings, and design and planning to geotechnical considerations and instrumentation, ground stabilization, equipment applications and risk management, this proceedings has the cutting-edge and innovative information you should have to meet the needs of the ever-important tunneling field. As with past conferences, a significant number of the papers are by international authors, providing insight into projects and practices from across the globe. A fully searchable CD containing the entire proceedings is also included.

The Aggregates Handbook, 2nd edition
For more than two decades, The Aggregates Handbook has been the industry’s source for aggregates technology and knowledge. The second edition of this comprehensive reference tool includes new and updated material, including rapidly changing technologies in the aggregates industry. It also includes expanded coverage of developments in sustainability, production technology, safety, transportation, design, technology standards and industry trends. Whether you are new to the industry, a seasoned professional or simply curious about aggregates mining, you will find this volume informative and a valuable reference book.

Let’s work together!
The Campaign for Mining is underway!

The SME Foundation Board of Trustees, SME members and Corporate Roundtable Partners are standing together to support the Foundation and its programs. With support from across the mining and minerals industry, our Campaign for Mining will invest in targeted programs to meet the challenges facing our industry in the years ahead.

Together we are the key to global prosperity!

Foundation programs that need your support:
  • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology – 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 per year to provide world class programming for our members, the industry and our communities. As of June 7, contributions to the campaign total $1,438,936. For the success of the Foundation programs, let’s work together!


National Research Council issues report on coal mine self-escape
In the wake of the 2006 and 2010 coal mine disasters, the National Research Council’s Committee on Mine Safety issued this report, “Improving self-escape from underground coal mines,” which focuses on the preparations that are needed by miners to successfully self-escape to a place of safety. This study was set in the context of human-systems integration, a systems approach that examines the interaction of people, tasks, and equipment and technology in the pursuit of a goal. It recognizes this interaction occurs within, and is influenced by, the broader environmental context. A key premise of human-systems integration is that much important information is lost when the various tasks within a system are considered individually or in isolation rather than in interaction with the whole system. This report states that the task of self-escape is part of the mine safety system.

Washington Updates

Senator issues request to Pebble for Alaska mine plan
On July 1, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), ranking Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, released a letter calling on the companies involved in the Pebble Limited Partnership to detail their proposed plans for development of the Pebble deposit in southwest Alaska. In the letter, Murkowski said the partnership’s delay in describing the project and submitting permit applications has caused confusion and anxiety among Alaskans about the proposed mine, and has allowed federal regulators to confuse the issue further with several hypothetical mine scenarios. It calls on the companies to establish a firm timeline for releasing a formal description of the project and submitting permit applications.

House Committee holds hearing on coal regulations
On July 23, the House Natural Resources Committee held a hearing, “War on jobs: examining the operations of the office of surface mining and the status of the stream buffer zone rule,” to address the status of the Obama Administration’s rewrite of a 2008 coal regulation that has an impact on mining jobs in 22 states. That rule modified the circumstances under which mining can occur in or near streams. The Stream Buffer Zone Rule has been challenged by ten organizations in two separate complaints filed in District Court for alleged legal deficiencies. A Committee report, released last year, entitled “President Obama's covert and unorthodox efforts to impose new regulation on coal mining and destroy American jobs,” detailed the Administration’s rulemaking process, the economic impact of its proposed regulation, its attempts to change the numbers to hide the true economic impacts and the Administration’s perceived obstruction of Congressional oversight. The report concluded that, “The Obama Administration’s campaign to impose this rewritten regulation must be halted and an open, transparent rulemaking that fairly accounts for job and economic impacts must be undertaken.” OSM plans to publish a proposed rule and associated draft EIS in 2014.

Senate Appropriations Committee approves funding boost for MSHA
The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a roughly $8 million boost in spending for MSHA compared with fiscal 2013 enacted levels. The panel would give the agency the same amount requested by President Obama in his budget blueprint -- roughly $380 million compared to fiscal 2013's $372 million. House Republicans have not yet proposed their own budgets for the departments of Labor, Health and Education, which would include MSHA.

The White House budget proposal would zero out grants to states with the purpose of reallocating the money to other functions. According to MSHA staff, the Brookwood-Sago grants to promote safe working conditions would remain available. The Senate's MSHA spending bill also includes funding for a headquarters move. The agency is currently housed in Arlington, VA, just outside Washington, D.C. Details of the relocation have yet to be released. MSHA has escaped deep budget cuts in recent years, particularly with both Democrats and Republicans not wanting to target the agency after the 2010 Upper Big Branch disaster.

Congressional budget office estimates cost of soda ash and land swap bills
Legislation to lower the royalty rate for mining soda ash on federal land would cost about $80 million between 2014 and 2018, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The legislation, H.R. 957 by Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), would lower the royalty rate for soda from six percent to the pre-2011 level of two percent. Lummis and other Wyoming lawmakers have for years been pushing for the measure's passage amid resistance from the Obama administration, which has questioned the effectiveness of the lower rate.

Another bill scored by CBO is a controversial and long-proposed land swap between the federal government and Resolution Copper Mining LLC, which would allow for a copper mine near Superior, AZ. The CBO said H.R. 687 by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) could cost $500,000 a year from administering lands received in the exchange. Resolution Copper wants to swap more than 2,000 acres of federal forest for more than 5,000 of its own acres.

House committee holds hearing on economic and energy
benefits of coal mining in America
On July 9, the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held an oversight hearing on "Mining in America: Powder River Basin Coal Mining the Benefits and Challenges." This hearing examined the job, energy and economic benefits related to the development of coal in the Power River Basin in Wyoming and Montana, which provides forty percent of the coal mined in America. "American coal, mined by American workers, generating revenue for the American treasury can and should be a part of their solution for the future. And yet, it appears to me that every opportunity for a coal miner to work is under attack from the Obama Administration," said Subcommittee Chairman Doug Lamborn (R-CO).

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