Engineering & Mining Journal

DEC 2018

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2 E&MJ • DECEMBER 2018 FROM THE EDITOR The line for the 2018 American Exploration & Mining Asso- ciation (AEMA) keynote luncheon was long and some miners were agitated. For $50 per seat, the AEMA had promised U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) Secretary Ryan Zinke, but he didn't turn up. Based on the conversations held in line, however, Zinke's approval rating among western min- ers isn't as high as one would think. The skeptics believed that is why the DOI dispatched Joe Balash, assistant DOI secretary for lands and minerals, to address the crowd. Next year will be a transitional year for the AEMA with its Executive Director Laura Skaer passing the torch to Mark Compton. Before Balash was introduced to a large, crowded room, the association took care of some important business. The new incoming AEMA President Steve Alfers was the emcee. He explained how Skaer transformed a regional mining association into a leading national voice for exploration, the junior mining sector and federal lands issues. Skaer was presented with an award for her 22 years of service and received a standing ovation. Under Skaer's leadership, the AEMA fought regulatory overreach and Alfers ex- plained that the group needed to maintain its momentum. "The collaborative way in which this association works is impressive," Alfers said. "As far as expertise in public lands and operational issues, no one is more informed than the AEMA. We don't want to compromise our capacity as a group to stay on top of issues as they pop up." The AEMA intends to defend the Mining Law of 1872. "Tenure and security of title for the mining industry is becoming increasingly important," Alfers said. "Twenty years ago, it didn't take six or seven years to approve a plan of operations, but it does now. With those timelines, we have an even greater need for security of title. We should restore patents under the Mining Law." Alfers introduced Balash, who is a young man with a big job, but he convinced the crowd that he was up to the challenge. Before accepting the DOI position, he was the commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources. He managed an organization that is responsible for one of the largest portfolios of land and water resources in the world. Today, he oversees four agencies within the DOI, including the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which is of paramount interest to western U.S. miners working on federal lands. When BLM was fi rst organized, Balash said, they had a badge that depicted the BLM mission and there were people on it: a cowboy, a miner, a surveyor, a rough- neck and a forester. The more modern version of the badge has no people. Balash found this symbolic and said this administration is committed to addressing and rectifying that situation. I can't do his speech justice with this short column, but E&MJ will publish it next month. Balash talked about all the regulatory overreach that was rolled back in the last two years. He discussed what the administration has planned for 2019 and be- yond. The miners in attendance, however, were loaded for bear. During a Q&A period that seemed to last for 20 to 30 minutes, he fi elded questions, many of which were very specifi c and technical in nature. He answered all their questions and silenced the room, and then he too received a standing ovation. It's been a long time since a federal regulator received that type of recognition from a room full of miners. Balash Impresses the Crowd at AEMA Keynote Steve Fiscor Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Steve Fiscor, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief sfi scor@mining-media.com Mining Media International, Inc. 11655 Central Parkway, Suite 306; Jacksonville, Florida 32224 USA Phone: +1.904.721.2925 / Fax: +1.904.721.2930 Editorial Publisher & Editor-In-Chief—Steve Fiscor, sfi scor@mining-media.com Associate Editor—Jennifer Jensen, jjensen@mining-media.com Technical Writer—Jesse Morton, jmorton@mining-media.com Contributing Editor—Russ Carter, rcarter@mining-media.com Latin American Editor—Oscar Martinez, omartinez@mining-media.com South African Editor—Gavin du Venage, gavinduvenage@gmail.com Graphic Designer—Tad Seabrook, tseabrook@mining-media.com Sales Midwest/Eastern U.S. & Canada, Sales—Victor Matteucci, vmatteucci@mining-media.com Western U.S., Canada & Australia, Sales—Frank Strazzulla, fstrazzulla@mining-media.com Scandinavia, UK & European Sales—Colm Barry, colm.barry@telia.com Germany, Austria & Switzerland Sales—Gerd Strasmann, info@strasmann-media.de Japan Sales—Masao Ishiguro, ma.ishiguro@w9.dion.ne.jp Production Manager—Dan Fitts, dfi tts@mining-media.com www.e-mj.com Engineering & Mining Journal, Volume 219, Issue 2, (ISSN 0095-8948) is published monthly by Mining Media International, Inc., 11655 Central Parkway, Suite 306, Jacksonville, FL 32224 (mining-media.com). Periodicals Postage paid at Jacksonville, FL, and additional mailing offi ces. Canada Post Publi- cations Mail Agreement No. 41450540. Canada return address: PO Box 2600, Mississauga ON L4T 0A8, Email: circulation@mining-media.com. Current and back issues and additional resources, including subscription request forms and an editorial calendar, are available at www.e-mj.com. SUBSCRIPTION RATES: Free and controlled circulation to qualifi ed subscrib- ers. Visit www.e-mj.com to subscribe. Non-qualifi ed persons may subscribe at the following rates: USA & Canada, 1 year, $90. Outside the USA & Can- ada, 1 year, $150. For subscriber services or to order single copies, contact E&MJ, c/o Stamats Data Management, 615 Fifth Street SE, Cedar Rapids IA 52401, 1-800-553-8878 ext. 5028 or email subscriptions@e-mj.com. ARCHIVES AND MICROFORM: This magazine is available for research and retrieval of selected archived articles from leading electronic databases and online search services, including Factiva, LexisNexis, and Proquest. For mi- croform availability, contact ProQuest at 800-521-0600 or +1.734.761.4700, or search the Serials in Microform listings at www.proquest.com. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to E&MJ, 11655 Central Parkway, Suite 306, Jacksonville, FL 32224-2659. REPRINTS: Mining Media International, Inc., 11655 Central Parkway, Suite 306, Jacksonville, FL 32224 USA; email: subscriptions@e-mj.com; phone: +1.904.721.2925, fax: +1.904.721.2930; www.mining-media.com. PHOTOCOPIES: Authorization to photocopy articles for internal corporate, personal, or instructional use may be obtained from the Copyright Clear- ance Center (CCC) at +1.978.750.8400. Obtain further information at copyright.com. EXECUTIVE OFFICE: Mining Media International, Inc., 11655 Central Park- way, Suite 306, Jacksonville, FL 32224 USA phone: +1.904.721.2925, fax: +1.904.721.2930, www.mining-media.com. COPYRIGHT 2018: Engineering & Mining Journal, incorporating World Mining Equipment, World Min- ing and Mining Equipment International. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. The line for the 2018 American Exploration & Mining Asso- ciation (AEMA) keynote luncheon was long and some miners were agitated. For $50 per seat, the AEMA had promised U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) Secretary Ryan Zinke, but he didn't turn up. Based on the conversations held in line, however, Zinke's approval rating among western min-

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