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SME eNews
SME sponsors congressional briefings on critical minerals
On December 13, SME sponsored and participated in a series of congressional briefings in the House and Senate in Washington, D.C. titled, “Critical Minerals: Ensuring America’s Future.” Jon Price, SME board member and emeritus state geologist for the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, spoke, along with representatives from the U.S. Geological Survey, American Geosciences Institute (AGI) and the Defense Logistics Agency, on the role that rare earths and other critical and strategic minerals play in daily life, job creation and national security. SME sponsored the event along with the National Mining Association, AGI, the Geological Society of America and the Environmental and Energy Studies Institute. This briefing occurred on the same day that Chinese officials announced that they would further restrict exports of rare earth elements amid the ongoing rush by mining companies around the world to get their projects off the ground.

Looking for an end of the year tax donation? Think of the SME Foundation!
A donation to the Foundation is fully tax deductible. All funds go to support programs such as the Minerals Education Coalition, ABET and the PE exam. Contributions received by December 31, 2013 can be deducted on your 2013 tax return. Donate now!

MEC’s new Spanish poster: El Mármol Azul / Creación de un Universo
The Minerals Education Coalition (MEC) is happy to announce that we have a new curriculum item available in Spanish, El Mármol Azul / Creación de un Universo. This informative and attractive poster has been translated from our popular English version of the Blue Marble Periodic Table of the Elements poster so that students and professionals throughout Spanish-speaking countries and in bilingual education programs in the U.S. are able to benefit from our educational materials. The Creación de un Universo side of the poster describes the history and common uses of the elements. The El Mármol Azul side features color photos of the minerals that are associated with the element. The posters are for sale in the MEC store,, and will be in the SME Store at the Annual Meeting in February in Salt Lake City, UT.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

9:00 am MST
Patrick James
Blue Planet Strategies
“New residual metal recovery opportunities:
DEMET applications and operation.”
Tuesday, January 28, 2014

9:00 am MST
Patrick Williamson
SRK Consulting Mexico and
program chair, SME Annual Meeting

“2014 SME Annual Meeting preview.”
For details and to register, go to:

Upcoming meetings
2014 SME Annual Meeting & Exhibit
February 23-26, 2014
Salt Palace Convention Center
Salt Lake City, UT
Complete details now available.

George A. Fox Conference
January 28, 2014
Graduate Center City University of New York
New York, NY
Complete details now available.
Current Trends in Mining Finance
Apr. 28-29, 2014
City University of New York
New York, NY
Submit your abstract now!

Critical Minerals Conference
August 3-5, 2014
Westin Denver Downtown
Denver, CO
Call for papers.
Abstracts due for consideration by January 24, 2014.

New professional development opportunities from SME eLearning
Kinetics of metallurgical processes
Author: Fathi Habashi
Training time: approximately 5 hrs
5 professional development hours (PDH)
Narrow, near vertical vein mining methods
Author: Norman Schwab
Training time: approximately 1.5 hrs
1.5 professional development hours (PDH)
Author: Fathi Habashi
Training time: approximately 5 hrs
5 professional development hours (PDH)
Browse a complete list of SME’s online courses.

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.

Report: Modest growth expected in Australian mining industry
Against a backdrop of global economic uncertainty, a slowdown in global growth and a drop in commodity prices affecting resources project pipelines and development, Australia’s resources sector has been resilient, according to “Resources Sector Skills Needs 2013” published by the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency. Overall employment in the mining sector is expected to grow by 7.4% between 2013 and 2018, as compared to a 103% growth rate from 2006 to 2012. The demand for mining engineers from 2013 to 2018 is expected to grow by 17.5% and geologists by 14.5%, while the supply for these positions is only expected to grow by 8%. Interestingly, the number of four-year visas for mining engineers and geologists has dropped 33% and 50%, respectively, since 2012. Contrasting the slowdown in the need for foreign workers, Australian graduates are being placed in mining careers within four months of graduation at a rate of 94% for mining engineers and 84% for geologists. As the demand for skilled workers in mining has eased a bit, employers are recruiting more suitable candidates in-country without difficulty.

Aggregate production increases in first nine months of 2013
In a sign of resurgence in the U.S. economy, the USGS estimated U.S. production of crushed stone and sand and gravel in the first nine months of 2013 was 1.56 billion metric tons, an increase of almost 3 percent compared to the same period of 2012. The estimated production of crushed stone in the first nine months of 2013 was 904 million metric tons. The estimated production of sand and gravel was 657 million metric tons, a 3-percent increase compared with the same period of 2012. According to the quarterly commodity report issued by the USGS, Texas, California, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Ohio led with the highest amount of production-for-consumption, providing a combined total of 183 metric tons and representing 28 percent of the U.S. total.

Washington Updates

Obama administration proposes permit for Arizona Rosemont copper mine
On December 13, the U.S. Forest Service released final environmental reviews and a proposed record of decision to permit Augusta Resources Corp.'s proposed Rosemont copper, silver and molybdenum mine about 30 miles south of Tucson. The controversial mine would affect about 1,000 acres of private land in the Santa Rita Mountains and more than 3,600 acres of the Coronado National Forest. Even though the environmental reviews of the proposed mine call for impacts to land, water and biological resources, the decision to approve the proposal is guided by federal law, according to the draft record of decision. The primary guidance comes from the General Mining Act of 1872, which grants citizens the right to conduct mining activities on public lands that are open to mineral exploration.

New US policy limiting funding for projects abroad excludes coal mines
The Export-Import Bank of the U.S. is excluding mines from its new policy to significantly limit assistance for coal projects around the world. The World Bank recently approved expected new guidelines prohibiting funding for coal-fired power plants abroad unless they have carbon capture technologies or if no other feasible alternative exists in poorer countries. The new policy, however, explicitly excludes applications for financing covering exports either to existing coal mines or to new coal mines that are not part of an integrated coal-fired plant project. Environmental groups see the guidelines by the World Bank, plus a similar move by the U.S. Treasury Department, as a step in their effort to eradicate coal-fired power production worldwide.

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