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SME eNews
What makes a member a Distinguished Member?
It’s not merely the bare requirements: full membership in SME for at least 15 years, a leader in the industry, significant and sustained contributions to the Society. There must be some other quality, too – an extraordinary dedication, a leader’s vision. SME is looking for a few outstanding members to be inducted to the 2015 Class of SME Distinguished Members – the highest honor that SME bestows on a member.

Know someone who fits that description? Become part of SME’s future: nominate him or her today!

Additional information on the Distinguished Member Award and the downloadable nomination form may be found HERE. Completed applications must be emailed to by Monday, December 2, 2013.

On December 3, #GivingTuesday, charities, families, businesses and individuals are coming together to transform the way people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season. On December 3, remember your #SMEFoundation and give.

New from the bookstore: Modern American Coal Mining
The single best source for information on today’s coal mining industry, Modern American Coal Mining: Methods and Applications offers a clear and comprehensive look at an industry in transition. This book demonstrates how mining stewardship and productivity can be aligned, and that health and safety factors can be integrated with technological and economic considerations.

Perfect gift for the mining professional who has everything
SME book sets have arrived — just in time for your holiday shopping! The bookstore has put together sets of our most popular books and is pricing them to sell. These sets are limited in quantity and only available for a short time. Orders must be placed by midnight December 31st MST, so act soon. Listed below are member/student member/and nonmember pricing.

SME is coming to NWMA in Reno
Attention northwest miners: SME will be attending the Northwest Mining Association’s 119th annual meeting in Reno, NV in December – be sure to stop by Booth 229 and view a selection of SME books. In addition, SME members Courtney Young and Corby Anderson will be teaching a short course, Principles of Mineral and Metallurgical Processing, on Tuesday, December 3. Course attendees will receive a coupon worth $25 off the price for the SME book Principles of Mineral Processing, which can be redeemed at the SME Booth 229. Questions about the course can be directed to or

2014 SME Annual Meeting and Exhibit
Registration and housing are now open
for the SME Annual Meeting
With 675 technical papers, 750-plus booths in the exhibit hall, committee meetings and division luncheons, this is one meeting you won't want to miss. Be sure to register today!

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

SME congratulates our 2013-2014 award recipients!
Click HERE to view SME, SME Foundation and SME/AIME award recipients.

Click HERE to view SME Division award recipients.

These awards will be presented during SME’s 2014 Annual Meeting and Exhibit.

Would you like to bridge the gap among industry professionals?
The power of mentoring creates a one-of-a-kind opportunity for collaboration, goal achievement and problem solving. Mentoring is a special relationship in which experienced professionals support younger members in developing specific skills and knowledge that will enhance their career and personal growth.

Register for SME's popular Mentoring Program online, and join us at the The Mentoring Meeting Place scheduled for Sunday, February 23, 2014 from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm at the Salt Palace Convention Center.

For more information or to apply for the 2014 SME Annual Meeting Mentor Program, contact Mona Vandervoort, SME Education Coordinator at 1-800-763-3132, ext. 227 or

SME Arizona Conference
With opportunities to network with colleagues, attend a short course or learn business tips from insiders, the SME Arizona conference is the best mining conference in the Southwest. Register today.

What: 2013 Arizona Conference
When: December 8-9, 2013
Where: JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort, Tucson, AZ

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

9:00 am MST
Ingar Walder
Professor, New Mexico Tech, Socorro, NM
“Mine waste characterization.”

Tuesday, December 17, 2013
9:00 am MST
Roussos Dimitrikouplos
Professor, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec
“Strategic mine planning under uncertainty: from complex orebodies and single mines to mining complexes.”
For details and to register, go to:

New responsible mining program at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
On November 1, 2013, the University of Wisconsin System awarded UW-Eau Claire a $451,000 Economic Development Incentive Grant to create a responsible mining program to be housed in the Department of Geology. This two-year grant will be used to develop internships with industry and to prepare an economic geology teaching lab for the responsible mining program. UW-Eau Claire will supply three new tenure-track positions for a contaminant hydrogeologist, restoration ecologist and a low-temperature geochemist to build the program. These positions are additions to its strong faculty and nationally recognized, field-based geology program. More information on the grant may be found on University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's website.

BLM nominee announced by Obama
Neil Kornze joined the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in January 2011 after spending several years as a public lands staffer for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). In that role, he helped broker and pass a sweeping omnibus public lands package in spring 2009. Since joining the BLM, Kornze has been closely involved in the agency's crafting of a new rule governing hydraulic fracturing on public lands and led reforms to the BLM's oil and gas program, including the upcoming launch of a nationwide online permitting system designed to trim industry wait times. Kornze, from Elko, NV, has a master's degree in international relations from the London School of Economics and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate with a degree in politics from Whitman College in Washington state.

Washington Updates
Congressional inquiry into benefit program for black lung disease
Reps. George Miller (D-CA), ranking member on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, and Joe Courtney (D-CT), top Democrat on the Workforce Protections subpanel, sent a letter to the Department of Labor's Office of Inspector General asking the IG to investigate allegations of wrongdoing related to the benefit program for victims of black lung disease. This is a result of a recent investigation by the Center for Public Integrity and ABC News into alleged wrongdoing by doctors paid by mining companies who may be underdiagnosing cases of black lung disease. The news report also claims that attorneys for coal companies withheld evidence that could have won benefits for workers. Several Senate Democrats, including Sens. Bob Casey (PA) and Jay Rockefeller (WV), are working on legislation to address problems with the black lung benefit program.

House leaders demand EPA withdraw coal-fired power plant rule
In a Nov. 15 letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders expressed concerns regarding EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas standards for new power plants that would require the installation of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies that are not commercially viable. The members believe the proposed standards go beyond the scope of the EPA’s legal authority and are requesting the proposed rule be withdrawn. Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Chairman Emeritus Joe Barton (R-TX), Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and subcommittee Vice Chairman Steve Scalise (R-LA) demanded that EPA’s proposed rule be withdrawn. The congressional leaders said that action would ensure the public does not incur additional costs for a proposal that contravenes applicable law.

House Committee approves bill to protect U.S. coal jobs
On Nov. 14, the House Natural Resources Committee approved H.R. 2824 , the Preventing Government Waste and Protecting Coal Mining Jobs in America Act, with a bipartisan vote of 24-15. This legislation sponsored by Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) and Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee Chairman Doug Lamborn (R-CO), seeks to amend the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 to prevent the Interior Department from toughening regulation on mountaintop removal coal mining projects in Appalachia. The administration’s so-called Stream Buffer Zone rule would seek to regulate excess spoil, mining waste and buffers for perennial and intermittent streams. In a press release announcing the vote, the House Committee states the Buffer Zone Rule could cost 7,000 jobs and cause economic harm in 22 states.

MSHA reopens comment period on coal mine refuge alternatives
MSHA is reopening the rulemaking record for the agency’s existing rule on Refuge Alternatives for the limited purpose of obtaining comments on the frequency for motor task, decision-making and expectations training for miners to deploy and use refuge alternatives in underground coal mines. The original comment period closed on October 7; however, due to the government shutdown, MSHA has extended the comments period until December 16, 2013. Responses to this rulemaking request will help improve the overall strategy for training miners for survival in an underground coal mine emergency.

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