Published On: 11/24/2015

Mining Minerals For Our Lives

Mining professionals will gather in Duluth for three days

The 2015 Conference of the Minnesota Section of SME will be held April 13-15, 2015 at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. Held in partnership with the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME), the theme of the conference is “Mining Minerals For Our Lives.” It will feature an extensive technical program and an exhibit hall with more than 200 vendors.

SME 2015 President J. Steven Gardner will welcome attendees on Tuesday, April 14, with an outlook on the future of the mining industry. Opening plenary speaker Donald Fosnacht, Director of the Center for Applied Research and Technology Development, will address impacts on iron ore demand. Closing plenary speaker Allan Rudeck, Vice President of Minnesota Power Strategy and Planning, will discuss Minnesota Power’s Energy Forward Initiative.

The conference will include technical sessions on environmental technology, industrial minerals, mining’s social license to operate and corporate responsibility, as well as mining exploration and processing. Short courses include “Crushing Operations in Hard Rock Mining,” “Minnesota Peat: Soggy Wasteland, Ecological Treasure, or Economic Gold Mine?” and “State-Owned Lands and Minerals: Leasing, Mining and Auxiliary Use.”

Attendees will be able to choose between two very special events on Monday, April 13. A tour of the Port of Duluth, MN/Superior, WI, will present the interworkings of one of the world’s largest freshwater ports located at the westernmost tip of Lake Superior. A tour of U.S. Steel’s Minntac operations will give visitors a view of how taconite is mined and processed into iron ore pellets, followed by a visit to the Magnetation Plant 4, where the beneficiation facility processes tailings from previous iron mining operations to produce high-quality iron ore concentrate.

For conference registration and housing information, please visit

The Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME) is a professional society (nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation) whose more than 15,000 membership represents all professionals serving the minerals industry in more than 100 countries. SME members include engineers, geologists, metallurgists, educators, students and researchers. SME advances the worldwide mining and underground construction community through information exchange and professional development. SME's staff is located in Englewood, Colorado.

For more information contact John Hayden, Deputy Executive Director - Public Affairs and Government Relations, at (303) 948-4250 or