September 2013

CIM’s fall lineup

Maintenance, safety and metallurgy round out the 2013 conference schedule

By Herb Mathisen

This fall, CIM and its societies are hosting a variety of conferences across the country, examining some of the most pressing and relevant issues for mining professionals committed to keeping operations competitive and safe.

MEMO 2013 – September 29 to October 1

The Maintenance Engineering/Mine Operators’ Conference, hosted by CIM’s South Central B.C. branch, will be held in sunny Kamloops, from September 29 to October 1. This year’s theme is “Mining 4 Generations,” and the plenary will bring together mining executives and CEOs, senior executives from the supplier sector and a former chief of the Simpcw First Nation to speak about lessons learned from the past and how to move forward responsibly.

Kamloops is near a number of operating mines, such as New Gold’s New Afton mine and Teck’s Highland Valley Copper mine. In fact, tours of those mines will be open to attendees. “It’s also an easy drive from Vancouver, which is home to well-known major and mid-tier miners like Teck, Goldcorp, Taseko, Imperial Metals and Silver Standard, and where Canada has its greatest concentration of junior miners,” said Patty Moore, conference chair, adding that she also expects a strong turnout from the consulting, engineering and supplier side of the industry. MEMO typically draws between 600 and 1,000 mining professionals.

The event features an extensive technical program, an exhibition floor that has sold out both indoor and outdoor spaces and, for the first time, four workshops that range from open pit slope management to production energy optimization. CIM’s Mining 4 Society (M4S) show will also highlight the importance that mining, minerals and metals play in society and help young people understand what mining is all about. Organizers expect 1,400 students will participate in the interactive, educational and fun M4S activities.

Safety in Mining – October 22 to 24

The third annual Safety in Mining symposium, jointly hosted by CIM and the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME), will be held in Toronto, from October 22 to 24. The symposium, which attracts safety and operations professionals and senior executives, provides an opportunity for attendees to strengthen the links between safety and reliability, said Bill Wright, conference co-chair. “This still is the only show that I know of anywhere that tries to draw that connection between safety and reliability,” he said, adding the two disciplines are often housed in different silos at operations.

This year’s theme is “A Reliable Mine is a Safe Mine,” and the event will, for the first time, host a joint plenary session and program on the first day to bring safety and reliability professionals together in one room. “That’s pretty different from past events,” said Wright. “We used to run two tracks, two programs, two rooms.”

The technical program will feature operators presenting case studies on subjects ranging from industry standards and safety and reliability research, to training and technology sessions. Wright said organizers are hoping to crack 200 attendees this year. “It’s a new show and it’s growing every year,” he said.

COM 2013 – October 27 to 31

Organized by CIM’s Metallurgy and Materials Society (MetSoc), this year’s Conference of Metallurgists (COM) is scheduled for October 27 to 31 in Montreal. For the first time, it will be co-hosted by Materials Science & Technology (MS&T).

“There are so many conferences per year and it’s very difficult to make sure that there are no overlapping themes and venues,” said Priti Wanjara, conference chair. With MS&T and COM typically occurring close to each other on the calendar, they decided to merge events in 2013. “We felt that the programming would be mutually beneficial with COM’s strengths in extractive metallurgy, pyrometallurgy and hydrometallurgy and MS&T’s in Materials. Also it would give us a taste of being part of a larger conference,” she added. It appears the collaboration is proving wise: COM has received more than 400 technical abstracts and MS&T is sitting around 2,400 abstracts as of mid-August, said Wanjara, adding these are very high numbers for both ­conferences.

The technical program offers both new themes and old favourites. Wanjara is especially excited that COM 2013 will hold the first hydroelectric turbine manufacturing symposium. It will also feature a magnesium technologies program and the Ralph Lloyd Harris Memorial symposium on extractive metallurgy. COM 2013 will host 10 symposia in total, including technology cross­pollination, neutron scattering, light metals, aerospace, hydrometallurgy, and water and energy in mineral processing programs. COM 2013 will once again feature a rare earth symposium after last year’s success. Further, the event includes a trade show and this year’s plenary will look at advanced materials and manufacturing in extreme environments and feature presentations on hypersonic flight technologies, materials in turbine engines and matter-radiation interactions in extremes.

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