SME helps bring outstanding speakers to the Local Sections through the Henry Krumb Lecture Series. The program is offered to all local SME sections to enhance their appreciation and understanding of important new methods and technologies. Lecturers are selected from the professionals who present technical papers at the SME annual meeting. The Series is administered by SME and is partially funded by a grant from the Seeley W. Mudd Memorial Fund.
Select a Krumb Lecturer below to learn more:
An Experimental Study of Rock Stress Redistribution for both Mine Stability and Caprock Integrity in CO2 Sequestration Using Passive Seismic Tomography
Abstract: The safe and efficient operation of both underground mines and CO2 injection sites is hindered by the inherent complexity and non-uniformity of the geologic environment. Workers and productivity are frequently impeded by the lack of available science and tools for monitoring and assessing conditions surrounding the openings. Geophysical methods developed by the earthquake seismology research community can be adapted from the multiple-kilometer scale of fault zone characterization to the sub-kilometer scale of underground mines and injection sites. This talk includes the background of the method as well as results from laboratory tests, CO2 injection sites, and underground mines.
Stress redistribution in laboratory rock samples simulate an analysis of caprock integrity in geological CO2 sequestration, focusing on seismic tomography and velocity changes during the caprock failure. This experimental study applies a four-point bending load on a granite sample to analyze the stress redistribution for the long-term in-situ caprock integrity in CO2 injection. The induced seismic waves are recorded by passive seismic sensors and the results show highly-stressed zones prior to rock failure. Similar results from underground coal and hardrock mines are presented.
Biography: Erik Westman is a Professor and the Interim Department Head of the Mining and Minerals Engineering Department at Virginia Tech. He is a Registered Professional Engineer and earned a BS degree in Geophysical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines, an MS degree in Geotechnical (Civil) Engineering from the University of Colorado, and a Ph.D. in Mining Engineering from Virginia Tech. Prior to joining Virginia Tech, Dr. Westman worked for five years each in private industry and for the US Bureau of Mines. His research focuses on the use of seismic tomography for imaging stress redistribution and changing conditions in underground mines. He has worked with seismic data from multiple countries and many different mines, including both coal and hard rock. Additionally, he has used numerical modeling and advanced instrumentation to better understand the geomechanics of mining operations, particularly to increase safety and productivity.
Estimates of the withdrawn uranium endowment of the Arizona Strip District, Northern Arizona
Abstract: On January 9, 2012, the Department of the Interior withdrew approximately one million acres in the Arizona Strip uranium district from mineral entry for 20 years. The following April, the affected exploration companies together with several local counties filed a lawsuit in District Court alleging that the Secretary did not adhere to mandated statutory procedures and failed to address scientific controversies related to the withdrawal in the final environmental impact study. One of the most significant controversies was the size of the resource endowment; a paramount factor in determining virtually all impacts of the action and the resulting decision to withdraw the lands. The impact study used the paucity of published estimates to reduce a potential resource of world class importance to insignificance. The preliminary conclusions were coupled with exaggerated impacts from mining to justify the full withdrawal decision even before publication of the final report. While acknowledging that the Administration clearly did not make its case justifying any environmental threat to the Grand Canyon, the Arizona District Court upheld the legality of the withdrawal on September 30, 2014 and found no legal principle that prevents DOI from “acting in the face of uncertainty.”
This study addresses the “face of uncertainty” and presents two estimates of the withdrawn uranium endowment to provide lawmakers a basis for understanding what the US has lost through the Secretary’s action. One estimate uses breccia pipe density at different stratigraphic levels to determine the total number of potentially mineralized pipes in the subject area. The second estimate employs the results of an airborne VTEM geophysical survey and the success of subsequent exploration drilling. Both estimates use historic production data and drilling results from programs since the early phases of exploration in the district to define a corridor of mineralization and to extrapolate the potential endowment of withdrawn land within this area. The presentation also puts into context several of the known mineralized breccia pipes within the Grand Canyon; a spectacular exposure through the center of the district that has been almost totally ignored by any study attempting to assess the mineral potential of the surrounding district.
Biography: Mr. Spiering is an exploration geologist with over 30 years of international experience in mineral exploration and senior level project management in the Western United States, South America, and Europe. He served 14 years as VP exploration for Rio Narcea Gold Mines in Spain where he participated in the discovery of the El Valle gold deposit and managed the definition of the Aguablanca nickel sulfide deposit. During his 9 year term as VP Exploration with Quaterra Resources, he managed the definition of 2 porphyry copper deposits in Nevada and participated in the discovery of 3 uranium breccia pipe deposits in northern Arizona. He presently serves as a consultant to Metamin Enterprises, a director of Southern Silver Corp. and VP exploration for Group Ten Metals Inc. Mr. Spiering is a registered member of Society of Mining, Metallurgy, & Exploration and a fellow member of Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.
Discriminating Opaline phases from Cristobalite and Tridymite in Clays
Abstract: This talk centers on continued characterizations and evaluations to discriminate an opaline phase from that of regulated cristobalite and tridymite phases and when these opaline phases are within clay matrices. Present regulations consider crystalline silica (quartz, cristobalite, tridymite) as “known human carcinogen”. Opal-A, a silica hydrate, has a radial distribution pattern resembling the X-ray diffraction pattern of cristsobalite where analysts and regulators misinterpret opal-A as cristobalite. Additional misinterpretations arise with the opaline states, opal-CT and opal-C. Historically, Jones and Signet proposed that opal-CT and opal-C had progressively greater crystallinity attributed to cristobalite and tridymite. However, these historical and continued present day categorizations of this given crystalline state may have overstated the inherent crystallinity of these opaline structures. To confirm a crystalline state of cristobalite or tridymite versus that of opal-A, opal-CT, and opal-C, a combination of known NIST reference materials (1878a quartz and 1879a cristobalite) are used as internal standards to observe alpha to beta and beta to alpha transition states using Thermal-XRD and TGA-DSC.
Biography: 36 years in natural and synthetic minerals and materials characterizations, degrees in geology, chemistry, and biology, patents in synthesis of silicates making and composition thereof, publications in mineral characterizations, and responsibilities of problem solving in all aspects of Minerals Technologies Inc. business segments including pure and applied R&D, Technical Service, Sales/Marketing, Technology Group, QA/QC, mine plan development, mineralogy and regulatory analyses (crystalline silica, asbestos) for raw, in-process, and finished goods. Analytical expertise in: XRD, Thermal-XRD, and simultaneous Thermal Analysis (TGA-DTA, TGA-DSC), sample preparations/selective dissolutions, sampling and sub-sampling, milling/ grinding, and the utilization of data evaluations from PLM, SEM, FESEM or TEM analyses in the determination for asbestos.
Some Perspectives of Mine Pit Re-Purposing
Abstract: Numerous open pit mine re-purposing projects are underway or under consideration in metropolitan areas of the United States. Because these projects contemplate future integration of active mine sites into existing water or waste water infrastructure systems, many involve either public/private or private/private partnerships where agreements, long term commitments and open dialogue guide and influence orderly transition from original to secondary pit use. Public perception and social contract benefits are often realized by the participants in these visionary conversion processes but the best outcomes are achieved when the miner, infrastructure engineer, regulator and end-user work toward common goals. At first glance it might be easy to envision immediate common ground between miners and second generation users. Each party desires the same things: maximum resource extraction; safe operating conditions and efficient reliable infrastructure systems. The reality is that even with such apparent commonality, the details of re-purposing transition from miner to end-user are myriad and the details deserve discussion and deliberate planning.
Biography: Mr. Knight is a second generation Geologist in a family that includes 4 Geologists. He received his education at Lake Superior State University and Old Dominion University, where he studied the diverse geologic settings of the Michigan Basin; the Canadian Shield; and the Atlantic Coastal Plain. He is a registered Professional Geologist in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Tennessee and Wyoming and is a Past-President of the Pennsylvania Council of Professional Geologists and the Harrisburg Area Geological Society.
Professionally, Mr. Knight is a Vice President of Gannett Fleming, Inc. and its Canadian subsidiary, Gannett Fleming Canada ULC where he has been engaged since 1986 in geologic aspects of public and private infrastructure and natural resources projects.
Pushing Automation of Shearer Loaders to the Next Level – Horizon Control Through Usage of Cutting-
Abstract: Automation of mining processes can increase mine safety as well
as productivity. In order to push automation of shearer loaders to the next level, the IMR at RWTH Aachen University
has been working on the possibilities of utilizing laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) analysis on released
mining dust for horizon control. Since shearer loaders are equipped with water sprays a great amount of released dust
is directly bound with water during cutting. Hence, the idea is to analyze this mixture for determining the coal contents
of excavated material. Although state-of-the-art devices can determine the amount of airborne dust fractions up to
35μm there is no current method for measuring the concentration of coarser and water-bound particles. The challenge
is to design an enclosure enabling LIBS analyses without affecting the operation. Therefore, the IMR worked on the
principal design of a dust transport system and an enclosure meeting these requirements. The next step is to
determine the amount of generated dust available for analysis. This article will give an overview on the conducted
research and emphasizes on the possibilities of automating shearer loaders by dust analysis.
Biography: Nina Fietz studied waste management engineering at RWTH Aachen University and
received her Diploma degree in early 2012. Her major was processing of raw materials and waste. Her Diploma thesis
dealt with the potentials of Raman spectroscopy for sensor-based sorting of minerals.Since march 2012 she is a PhD
candidate at the Institute for Mining and Metallurgical Machinery (IMR) at RWTH Aachen University which is led by
Prof. Karl Nienhaus. She works on the research for automating mining machinery with utilizing laser-induced
breakdown spectroscopy on generated dust. She also is part of the research group “SiR – Sensor Technologies for
Raw Materials”, a collaborative group of young scientists from three different institutes at RWTH Aachen.
System Integrated Metal Production
Abstract:Achieving resource efficient production throughout the metal value is an imperative for society. This paper will discuss resource efficiency in a system integrated manner. It will highlight the role technology and its innovation as well as system optimization and its innovation as key drivers. Integration of water, energy and metal productions systems will be investigated and analyzed, also highlighting the use of digitalization methodologies (e.g. simulation, process control, environmental footprinting, life cycle costing, etc.) to achieve this. Also key to these discussions is among others training of young talent, stimulating innovation at university (also through massive open online courses) and engagement in policy discussions. Examples shown will be based on a wide range of base metal recovery and production while integrating water and energy recovery solutions with the aforementioned. Ultimately we as an industry must show that we know what our resource efficiency baseline is and show how crucial we are to producing the metals and materials that are enabling a resource efficient society. This paper will show how this can be achieved.
Rock dust application in underground coal mines to prevent the propagation of coal dust explosions
Abstract: Rock dust is applied in underground coal mines to prevent the propagation of coal dust explosions. The application is conducted either dry or wet. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages, however, the formation of caked rock dust particles is cited as a significant concern for wet applications. A study was conducted to evaluate the effect of modifying the rock dust particle surfaces to repel water and each other by the addition of oleic acid (OA) and sodium oleate (NaOL). At a NaOL dosage of 1 kg/t, a contact angle of 112o was measured indicating strong surface hydrophobicity and thus the ability to repel water. FTIR studies indicated a chemisorption mechanism which is necessary for long-term stability of the surface modification. The dispersibility of the modified rock dust samples was elevated by the application of both OA and NaOL thereby indicating a significant reduction or elimination of the detrimental effect of caking. Tests in an explosion chamber showed an 82.8% reduction in the dust explosion potential relative to untreated rock test applied by the wet technique.
Biography: My name is Qingqing Huang, a Ph.D candidate in Mining engineering at University of Kentucky (UK). I got my bachelor degree in Mineral Processing from Central South University (CSU) in China in 2009. I entered the Ph.D program of UK Mining Engineering in September 2011. During the years at UK, I completed a series of courses and achieved a grade point average of 4.0. I have been fortunate to be involved in a number of industrial projects, department and professional service activities including projects of coal separation, phosphate separation, economic assessment for building a plant to pelletize, dry and briquette fine coals, teaching classes, co-chairing the 2015 WVCMI conference of SME and so on. I am currently working with Dr Rick Honaker on the rock dust modification for improved dispersibility and coal dust explosion prevention. I have published papers in the conference and peer-reviewed journal and presented my work at technical conferences. I have also been lucky to receive the awards presented by SME, Coal Preparation Society of America (CPSA) and the industries.
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