SME developed this series to bring its technical information to members who are not able to attend Annual or regional/topical meetings and short courses. The series will feature one-hour segments from prominent industry leaders. Each webinar will focus on a different aspect of our industry--from rare earths to HR issues to health and safety initiatives in the coal industry to the future for gold and more. Each webinar can be viewed from a personal computer using its speakers.
All Past Webinars are recorded and available in our library.
"Mining Business Trends: Investing in Our Future"
Date: Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 9:00 AM MDT (11:00 AM EDT)
Speaker: Jessica Kogel, Senior Manager of Group Mining and Geology, Imerys, and 2013 SME President
Webinar Summary: There are a number of global trends that are changing the business environment in which the mining industry must operate. These trends create challenges as well as opportunities for a stronger and more robust mining sector in the future. Many of these challenges are short-term while the long-erm overall growth outlook for mining remains positive; however, companies will have to adopt new strategies to be successful. This business environment requires the industry to continue demonstrating strong leadership, integrity and responsibility to ensure a secure and vibrant future for the mining sector.
"Stable Operation of Iron Ore Balling Circuits"
Date: Tuesday, March 25, 2014, 11:00 AM MDT (1:00 PM EDT)
Speaker: Kal Sastry, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley
Webinar Summary: Production of good quality green balls is commonly achieved by hit-or-miss, trial-and-error practices. The balling circuits are known to become unstable frequently. In this interactive webinar, we will explore the basic principles of iron ore agglomeration and their relationship to the operation of iron ore balling circuits.
"Lessons Learned from Kennecott Utah Copper's Manefay Slide"
Date: Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 9:00 AM MDT (11:00 AM EDT)
Speakers: Cody Sutherlin, Cornerstone Operation Manager, Rio Tinto, Kennecott Utah Copper and Brad Ross, Mine Technical Services Manager, Rio Tinto, Kennecott Utah Copper
Webinar Summary: Kennecott Utah Copper's Bingham Canyon Mine experienced a massive slide (the Manefay Slide) of nearly 145 million tons of material on April 10, 2013. The Slide covered a majority of the ore, cut off large equipment access to the mine and destroyed equipment. However, with all this damage, no lives were lost and no injuries were suffered as a result of the Manefay Slide because of the geotechnical monitoring and operations response planning that occurred beforehand. This presentation provides background information on the Manefay Slide, preparations that kept people safe, impacts to the Bingham Canyon Mine, as well as the remediation work undertaken to return the mine to full production.
"2014 SME Annual Meeting and Exhibit Preview"
Date: Tuesday, January 28, 2014, 9:00 AM MST (11:00 AM EST)
Speaker: Patrick Williamson, 2014 Annual Meeting Program Chair
Webinar Summary: This webinar provides a preview of SME's 2014 Annual Meeting and Exhibit, including the Best of the Best Technical Sessions, Can't Miss Social Events, Mining in Society Merit Badge rollout, top exhibitors, annual meeting sponsors, and more!
"New Residual Metal Recovery Opportunities: DEMET Applications and Operation"
Date: Tuesday, January 14, 2014, 9:00 AM MST (11:00 AM EST)
Speaker: Patrick James, Blue Planet Strategies
Webinar Summary: Residual metals in waste-grade ore, tailings, processing streams, and wastewater represent a significant underutilized resource. The application of innovative electrolytic capability pursues the transformation of these wastes into resources.
Designed for practical metal recovery from dilute streams, DEMET provides a powerful and versatile new capability and can open new opportunities to reclaim these valuable constituents from a variety of sources in current operations.
In this webinar, this process will be reviewed, its operation examined and results discussed for actual process streams and synthetic analogs. A brief discussion of key features enabling DEMET's superior performance and illustrating its advancements over conventional methods will be included along with examples of its modeled impact when applied to selected representative target mine scenarios. Development of site-specific DEMET solutions will be considered and followed by an open forum for questions.
"Strategic Mine Planning Under Uncertainty: From complex orebodies and single mines to mining complexes"
Date: Tuesday, December 17, 2013, 9:00 AM MST (11:00 AM EST)
Speaker: Roussos Dimitrikouplos, McGill University
Webinar Summary: Growing uncertainty in global markets highlight the need to focus on new technologies that can add significant value to strategic mine planning. In the last decade a new mine planning paradigm has emerged where new technologies have been developed to account for core sources of risk and uncertainty, namely the orebodies being mined (supply) and commodity prices (demand). This webinar will review core concepts of a new generation of applied technologies leading to substantial improvement in the way uncertainty and risk are managed, better financial assessments and metal recovery.
"Mine Waste Characterization"
Date: Tuesday, December 3, 2013, 9:00 AM MST (11:00 AM EST)
Speaker: Ingar Walder, Professor, New Mexico Tech
Webinar Summary: The program provides timely information on ways to reduce the potential economic and environmental risk through proper waste characterization while improving the effectiveness of your mine planning process.
"Rheology, Flotation and Dewatering of Kaolinite as Explained by Their Surface Chemistry Analyses"
Date: Tuesday, November 12, 2013, 9:00 AM MST (11:00 AM EST)
Speaker: Vishal Gupta, Research Engineer, FLSmidth Minerals Inc., Midvale, Utah
Webinar Summary: The surface charge feature of two layer clay minerals such as kaolinite, halloysite, antigorite, chrysotile etc. is complicated by their platy shape and anisotropic crystal structure which exposed silica tetrahedral layers (001 basal plane), aluminum or magnesium octahedral layers (001 basal plane) and broken silica tetrahedral and aluminum or magnesium octahedral bonds at the edge surface (010 basal plane). In this paper, the surface charge of kaolinite is reviewed. Surface force measurements were conducted to interrogate the basal planes of kaolinite particles (silica tetrahedral face and alumina octahedral face). These colloidal force measurements reveal that the silica tetrahedral face of kaolinite is negatively charged at pH > 4, whereas the alumina octahedral face of kaolinite is positively charged at pH < 6, and negatively charged at pH > 8. This new information would be useful to understand mechanical properties of such suspensions such as yield stress, and dewatering characteristics.
"On-site Mineralogy for Metallurgists"
Date: Tuesday, October 29, 2013, 2PM MDT (4:00 PM EDT)
Speaker: Dirk van der Wal, Mining Director, FEI
Webinar Summary: Attention metallurgists, plant superintendents and operators! Are you interested in achieving operational excellence and addressing organization kpi? This SME webinar will report on the development of an alternative analytical workflow for metallurgy superintendents to address monthly recovery, ore quality and flotation performance variations. The workflow is based on millions of direct microscopy observations (QEMSCAN or MLA) of particles, on a shift-by-shift basis, by mineral species, by grind size and by mineral liberation. Results from a field test at a remote Ag-Pb/Zn concentrator in Alaska yield cumulative sum trend changes for Freibergite, Galena and Sfalerite recovery, as well as trending data on likely recovery losses root causes such as mineral locking or overgrinding. The data was used to assess the magnitude of monthly Ag, Pb and Zn recovery losses, not from a geochemical (grade) perspective, but from an alternative mineralogical perspective instead.
"Fatigue Risk Management Systems in Mining: Applying New ANSI Standards to Improve Occupational Health and Safety"
Speaker: William G. Sirois, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Circadian Technologies, Inc
Webinar Summary: Are you a professional dedicated to occupational health, safety or risk management? Are you concerned about the cost and liability? Recent evidence suggests that fatigue in the 24/7 workplace is a high risk, safety and health hazard. In the mining industry alone, some 47% of all incidents have been caused by fatigue related human error. This has led to the development of Fatigues Risk Management Systems (FRMS), which have emerged as the internationally accepted standard for managing the costs, risk and liabilities of shiftwork
"Selected Factors Affecting Longwall Mine Layouts in the Pittsburgh Coalbed of Southwestern Pennsylvania"
Speakers: Nicole Iannacchione, GAI Consultants, Pittsburgh, PA and Anthony Iannacchione and Michael Keener, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Webinar Summary: Between 1971 and 2013, 596 longwall panels have been mined at 12 different mines in the Pittsburgh coalbed of southwestern Pennsylvania. This represents one of the largest concentrations of longwall mining experience within North America. Originally, longwall mine layouts were designed to fit within existing room-and-pillar operations where production panels were a few hundred feet wide by a few thousand feet long. In these early designs, the gate entries were comprised of chain pillars similar to those found along main entry systems or within pillar recovery sections. The modern longwall mine has little in common with their 1970's predecessors. Today the entire mine layout is designed around the longwall mining method. The longwall panels have grown to well over 1,400-feet in width with lengths now measured in miles. Some of the more important mine layout design criteria include, a) minimize the impacts from the vertical and horizontal stress fields, b) maintain the stability of the strata around the mine openings under diverse geologic and loading conditions, and c) reduce the effect of subsidence to surface structures, water sources (wells, springs and ponds), and streams
"What Will Halt the Worldwide Decline in Equipment Performance?"
Speaker: Richard Adsero, President-the Americas, GBI Mining Intelligence Inc.
Webinar Summary: The analysis of equipment trends in AUSIMM's Revision of Monograph 19; Australasian Mining and Metallurgy Operating Practices (AMMOP), by Dr. Graham Lumley raises some disturbing trends in worldwide mine equipment productivity. According to the ABS, productivity of the whole mining industry is down 34% since 2001. In terms of surface equipment median output, draglines are down 15% since 2003; electric rope shovels down 40% since 2003; hydraulic excavators down 30% since 2008; front end loaders down 39% since 2007 and trucks down 41% since 2006. During this same period, best practice (average of the top 10%) has declined much less (eg. shovels-8%,excavators -19% and FEL's -5%).This paper builds on the analysis of AMMOP to understand the differences between median and best practice and identifies the factors contributing to the decline in performance. As the industry enters a period of potentially lower prices and reduced margins, pressure will increase to move more with existing equipment. An understanding of where efficiency has been lost is a key to improvement. The analysis of AMMOP information in papers such as this will be crucial to reversing the decline in equipment performance.
"A discussion on TBM Cutter Change Time and Cutter Consumption"
Speaker: Jamal Rostami, Associate Professor, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Webinar Summary: Estimation of the cutter life and cost is a part of evaluating performance for a hard rock TBM in any project. Various approaches have been proposed for calculation of disc cutter life in various rock types based on machine specifications and rock strength and abrasivity. Cutter change time is a parameter that is used in some of the estimates and is defined as the average time required for changing a cutter on the cutter head and cutter life is the number of cubic meters of excavated rock per each disc cutter. Analysis of cutter life information from several tunnel projects from around the world has revealed that the published models for estimation of cutter consumption require some revisions to offer more accurate predictions. The preliminary analysis of data shows that the average cutter change time is approximately 66 minutes for different cutter sizes and there is a minimal difference between corresponding cutter change times of the large (e.g. 19 or 20 in.) versus smaller cutters (e.g. 15.5 to 17 in.). This presentation reviews the available and published cutter life data from various projects. It also introduces new models for estimation of cutter life and cutter change time as part of TBM down time and utilization analysis.
"Designing New Rotors and Stators for Flotation Cells Using CFD"
Speaker: Zhi Huang, CFD Engineer, FLSmidth Salt Lake City, Inc.
Webinar Summary: CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) has been extensively used in designing rotors and stators for FLSmidth's next generation flotation cells. CFD simulations yield detailed information of flow field, air distribution, and particle motion that are used to characterize the hydrodynamical transport processes. Coupled with a particle-bubble collision model, CFD is also able to predict particle-bubble attachment and detachment rates in the whole flotation cell to evaluate the flotation performance. In this work, parametric studies of different rotor and stator designs for FLSmidth Dorr-Oliver forced-air flotation machines were carried out using CFD. The hydrodynamical consequences of design changes were analyzed and correlated with flotation recovery characteristics. The results were compared with lab tests and good agreement was found which led to the selection of optimal designs. CFD is seen to be an effective tool in understanding the flotation process and accelerating the designing of new flotation machines.
"CART: A Fundamental Tool for Process Circuit Design"
Speaker: Aaron Noble, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
Webinar Summary: The design of separation circuits can be a complex, labor-intensive and costly process. While the engineer's experience along with extensive data sets and simulation are crucial tools for determining the final solution, a more fundamental approach is suitable to compare preliminary options and reduce the number of potential alternatives. In light of this need, the authors have developed the Circuit Analysis Reduction Tool (CART). This software package uses the fundamental principles of linear circuit analysis to derive analytical circuit solutions; however, the solution methodology has been streamlined to produce rapid results, while assessing numerous circuit configuration permutations. The resulting tool provides a methodology for the preliminary analysis of circuit designs without the need of detailed feed characterization. This presentation will describe the basic analytical approach and demonstrate the utility of the tool for a simulated lead flotation circuit.
"Integrated Production Management System – Step Further"
Speaker: Dragan Bogunovic, Mining Engineer, North American Coal Corp., Liberty Miner
Webinar Summary: Significant effort has been made to develop an Integrated Data Environment for Analysis and Control of Energy (IDE-ACE) consumption in surface coal mining. The system is integrated in the mine environment and has been successfully used during the past three years. The capacity of the system has been expended and today it not only provides the analysis of the fuel consumption, but also delivers multiple reports that identify bottle necks in the production or maintenance departments. Advanced Integrated Production Management System (IPMS) unifies multi data streams (from a crew line-up to equipment availability reports) into a user-friendly application. IPMS has been thoroughly tested and validated using data streams from one mine site. Based on this success, the IPMS will be implemented at NACOAL's greenfield project in South East Mississippi.
"Locating and Determining the Status of a Thermal Event in Longwall Panel Using Mine Atmosphere Monitoring Data"
Speaker: Yi Luo, Associate Professor, Dept., Mining Engineering, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia
Webinar Summary: Mine atmospheric monitoring data from a longwall mine with flame fire have been analyzed. Efforts are made to identify the possible causes, locations and status of these events using the obtained gas data as well as other ventilation, geological and mining parameters. The effects of injected inert gas to control the events have also been quantified. The explosibility of the sealed atmosphere has been determined using two methods.
"Passive Treatment 101: An Overview of the Technologies"
Speaker: James J. Gusek, Senior Consultant, Golder Assoc.
Webinar Summary: There are basically three kinds of passive treatment technologies for treating mining influenced water (MIW): Abiotic, Limestone-based methods for treating net-acidic MIW have been effective in adding alkalinity; semi-biological methods condition MIW for subsequent limestone dissolution; and biologically-facilitated components round out the list. Some of the biological components can function without plants: Biochemical Reactors (BCRs) are typically applicable to metal mine drainage with high acidity and a wide range of metals. In contrast, Aerobic Cells containing cattails and other plants are typically applicable to coal geology derived MIW where iron and manganese and mild acidity are problematic. However, iron terraces and manganese removal beds at metal mine sites could be included in this group. Most passive treatment systems employ one or more of these cell types. The track record of aerobic cells and limestone-based methods in treating coal geology MIW is impressive, especially back in the eastern coalfields of the US. BCRs have tremendous potential in metal mining and coal mining geological environments but have not seen as wide an application. Mr. Gusek is a Senior Consultant with Golder Associates, Inc. He graduated from the Colorado School of Mines in 1973 with a B.Sc. in Mining Engineering. He specializes in the design of passive treatment systems for mine influenced water. Since 1987, his work with acid rock drainage prevention and passive water treatment systems has included about 50 projects throughout the U.S. and internationally. He is on the steering and mitigation committees of the Acid Drainage Technology Initiative - Metal Mining Sector (ADTI-MMS).
"Mining: It's About the People: An Overview of the 2013 SME Annual Meeting & Exhibit and CMA 115th National Western Mining Conference • February 24-27, 2013, Colorado Convention Center, Denver, Colorado"
Speaker: James D. Humphrey, Senior Mining Market Professional, Caterpillar, Inc. (2013 SME Annual Meeting Program Chair)
Webinar Summary: Meeting Highlights include: Record breaking exhibit: 589 exhibiting companies in 818 booths, 290,000 sq ft of exhibit space. Come to the industry marketplace and see the most innovative and progressive companies in business. 96 Technical Sessions: choose from Coal & Energy, Environmental, Geology, Industrial Minerals & Aggregates, Innovation in Mineral Processing, international, Mineral and Metallurgical Processing, Mining & Exploration, Underground Construction, valuation and much more. Keynote Session, Colorado Mining Association Program and much, much more.
"What factors drive metal prices? Historical evidence, 1900-2012"
Speaker: Roderick Eggert, Professor and Director, Division of Economics and Business, Colorado School of Mines
Webinar Summary: Metal prices exhibit both year-to-year instability and longer-term trends, which some observers have labeled supercycles. What factors are responsible for these characteristics of metal prices? This webinar examines this question, using data from the period 1900-2012.
"Removal of Inorganic Contaminants from Mine Effluents"
Speaker: Lucas Moore Sr., Research Scientist, Kemira Minerals Processing, Atlanta, Georgia
Webinar Summary: Mining is essential to our standard way of life. Whether it's mining for energy (oil, uranium, and coal) or mining for construction and development (metals and minerals) mining affects us all. Mining is also potentially a source of devastation to life as during the mining processes contamination of the most important and vital fluid, water, is a high probability. Such contamination has become an increasing concern as governmental restrictions begin to tighten, which has made the treatment of such water critical and mandatory. There are methods in practice today for treatment of contaminants, such as toxic oxyanions and heavy metals, however each may vary in success due to the coordination properties associated with each contaminant thus an understanding of the water chemistry is essential in developing a successful treatment scheme. This presentation will focus on case studies highlighting how the right chemistry can make the difference in a successful treatment and an unsuccessful one. 2012 WEBINAR SERIES
"Mining Policy in 2012 and Beyond: A Look at the Last Days of the 112th Congress and the Post Election Landscape"
Speakers: Mark N. Savit and Gregory M. Louer, Patton Boggs LLP
Webinar Summary: Patton Boggs will review timely legislative and regulatory items related to (1) mine safety and health legislation, (2) natural resources legislation pertaining to resource permitting, public land transfers to local governments to resolve mining related issues, and mountain-top mining related legislative initiatives, (3) regulatory items circulated by MSHA, EPA, and other agencies that affect mining; (4) legislation that responds to those specific regulatory items specifically, and the issue of regulatory reform generally; and (5) appropriations related policy riders that impact mine safety and health and environmental issues. Additionally, we will analyze the upcoming election and describe how the results of that election could impact the legislative and regulatory dynamic in Congress and the Administration in 2013. We anticipate that webinar participants may have questions during the presentation, and if the webinar technology allows for interaction between the participants and presenters, we will be happy to address questions at the end of the presentation if time permits.
"Plant Performance Improvements through Increased Grinding Circuit Classification System Efficiency"
Speaker: Robert McIvor, Chief Metallurgist-Grinding Systems, Metcom Technologies, Inc.
Webinar Summary: “Classification System Efficiency (CSE)” is a simple, powerful concept which is used to increase ball milling circuit efficiency. This presentation defines “CSE” and reviews case studies demonstrating its use to increase grinding circuit efficiency, from 3 to 30 percent, through manipulation of the pump and cyclones. The increased effective mill grinding energy is recaptured from energy that was going into over grinding, which can also significantly improve downstream performance. The achievable CSE for any given ball milling circuit is described.
"Compensation in the Context of Competencies & Careers for the Minerals Industry"
Speaker: Leigh Freeman, General Manager and Principal, Downing Teal, Inc.
Webinar Summary: This webinar will present a simple relationship between compensation and increasing technical and social competencies in context of global supply and demand. Compensation for mining professionals in the US is increasing faster than many other sectors. Demographics drive the current imbalance in the US while both demographics and demand drove recent compensation increases in Australia and Chile. Global competition for talent will drive unprecedented compensation increases in the next decade.
"The Road to Zero Harm"
Speaker: Gary J. Goldberg,
Webinar Summary: Some believe that eliminating serious injuries and fatalities from mining is impossible. Yet, we know every accident is preventable. Creating a Zero Harm workplace must go beyond processes and tools to honestly analyze an organization's culture and the factors contributing to accidents. Some mining companies are tackling safety in new, innovative ways. However, ensuring all our workers are safe needs to be a commitment of every mining company, large or small. This webinar will discuss collaborative efforts – such as CORESafety that aims for zero fatalities and a 50 percent reduction in the industry's injury rate within five years – as well as programs underway or planned to affect the necessary culture change so all workers arrive home safe at the end of the work day.
"Coal Mining and Science: New Opportunities"
Speaker: John Craynon, ARIES Project Director, Virginia Tech
Webinar Summary: Widely publicized disasters and accidents, the controversies over mountaintop removal mining in Appalachia, and public concern about the health impacts have led to unprecedented levels of public acceptance and regulatory challenges for coal mining. Many of these issues have emerged during an extended period of extremely limited public and private research on coal mining issues. Recently, new opportunities have emerged focused on the science needs of the coal community, particularly related to health and safety, environmental performance, and coal preparation. This webinar focuses on both the nature of the challenges and the details of the opportunities.
"Emerging Workforce Trends in the U.S. Mining Industry"
Speaker: Cliff Brandon, President, Automated Systems Alliance Inc.
Webinar Summary: To understand if and how mining labor demands will be met over the next 20 years, this webinar considers some of the factors that are currently driving the mining business in the U.S. as well as issues that are anticipated to drive the business in the near future. We will then consider the information sources for mine labor and how the workforce is divided up between the mining sectors. Compensation, workforce age, retirement rate, skill level, retention, education, and long-term safety and health issues will also be evaluated. Mining will be one of a handful of sectors that will add jobs at a fairly constant rate (11,000 to 13,000 per year) over the next 20 years. Job openings will largely be driven by retirement of the current workforce and projected increase in demand for resource production. Historically, these have tended to be well-paying, stable, and relatively long-term jobs. On the downside, the U.S. may not presently have the skilled labor base to meet the current resource demand and the skilled labor that does exist may well be lured to places promising higher wages (Australia, Canada, etc.). This does not mean people will not be found to fill U.S. mining positions. The question will be: How skilled will this new, young workforce be and from where will they come?
"Directions in Mineral Exploration"
Speakers: Robert Schafer, Executive Vice President, Hunter Dickinson; David Cole, President and CEO, Eurasian Minerals Inc; and Ron Parratt, Executive Chairman, Renaissance Exploration Inc.
"Rare Earth Resurgence: Diversifying Global Supply Chains"
Speaker: Mark Smith, President and CEO, Molycorp