From the Editor - Steve Fiscor - July 2017

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Steve Fiscor, Publisher/ Editor-in-Chief

A Mining Crisis Looms in South Africa

The world these days seems highly polarized, where evenly divided groups of people are taking extreme positions. This can be seen in several recent elections and referendums, and it has shaken the status quo. This is also having a knock-on effect on mining. Some governments who realize the importance of mining to regional economies have reversed course and created an environment conducive to mining-related investments. Others, many of which take mining for granted, are moving in the opposite direction, not realizing that excessive taxation and regulation may be killing the Golden Goose.

E&MJ’s lead news story this month covers the new mining charter that was introduced in South Africa during June. The country is blessed with an abundance of natural resources. Some of the world’s deepest and richest gold mines are located near Johannesburg. They are steeped in history. They are also mature and costly to operate. This new mining charter, however, covers all mining, not just gold. South Africa produces platinum group metals, diamonds, coal, iron ore, etc.

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From the Editor - Steve Fiscor - June 2017

Committed to the Mining Business

You may not have noticed it, but a change has taken place. There was a slight change to the masthead (that column of fine print to the right) and the title below my signature is now different. Late last year, I formed a new company, Mining Media International Inc. based in Jacksonville, Florida, and purchased Engineering & Mining Journal (E&MJ) along with Coal Age and other mining-related properties from Mining Media Inc., the Denver, Colorado-based company that has owned the titles since 2003. The title publisher was added to editor-in-chief below my signature.

Shortly after MINExpo 2016, the former owner, Peter Johnson, expressed an interest in selling the titles. In a friendly transaction, he sold the titles to Mining Media International. The similarities with the company names were intentional. Our hope was to implement as smooth a transition as possible for our readers and the advertisers that support the titles. For the last four to five months, we have been working to migrate these properties and their respective intellectual assets (databases, websites, etc.). Now, that Mining Media International Inc. has been firmly established, we will begin to make other changes to improve operations.

Since it was founded in 1866, E&MJ has served as a trustworthy source of technical information for professionals involved in mining and mineral processing. We intend to uphold that standard. With insights on the economic and political forces that constantly reshape the market, E&MJ not only tells readers what happened last month — it often explains why it happened and what is likely to develop. As a free editorial service, E&MJ shares information and ideas on how to improve safety and efficiency at mines and mineral processing plants.

Mining Media International Inc. will make significant investments to provide you with greater quality and value. These investments will improve the editorial content for the print edition and the digital offerings. Enhancements in format and design should make reading easier, more informative and more enjoyable. E&MJ also offers free weekly news updates with its MMI eNewsletter.

You may have already received an email from us prompting you to renew your subscription to E&MJ. This is important. We have made the transition to a new data collection system and we do not want you to get lost in the shuffle. E&MJ’s advertisers expect a thorough and timely list of subscribers, and as we add new names, older names will be culled.

We offer these editorial services to you at no cost, but you have to renew your subscription. If you have not heard from us, please visit and subscribe. Please feel free to mention this to your colleagues.

Finally, I would like to thank Peter Johnson. We, meaning he and the collective group of people employed by Mining Media and now Mining Media International Inc., rescued E&MJ and the other mining titles 14 years ago during another difficult period, and we built a great company. We remain committed to the mining business. Likewise, I want to thank you for being a loyal E&MJ reader.

Steve Fiscor, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief


From the Editor - Steve Fiscor - May 2017

By Steve Fiscor, Editor-in-Chief

Apple to End Its Reliance on Mining

During April, Tim Cook the CEO of Apple, the 8th largest publicly held company, pledged to end its reliance on mining and make all its products only from renewable or recycled sources. It was the Thursday before Earth Day and who would expect less from a company with such a strong environmental sustainability track record. In its Environmental Responsibility Report, the technology leader outlined its accomplishments and some of its goals. Apple has been tracking and reducing its carbon footprint for years and in 2016 it reported that 96% of the electricity that the company consumed globally came from renewable sources.

The slogan for the report is: “To ask less of the planet, we’re asking more of ourselves.” Two of the mining-related questions it asks are: Can we get 100% of our supply chain to move to 100% renewable energy? Can we one day stop mining the Earth altogether? The first question can be addressed by the engineering cliché that nothing is impossible, some projects just cost more than others. That expression can’t be applied to the second question, which has probably been asked rhetorically, but nonetheless it has been asked. Stop mining the Earth simply does not compute. Apple, however, might be able to one day make all of its products from recycled or renewable sources, but the rest of the world cannot.

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From the Editor - Steve Fiscor - April 2017

By Steve Fiscor, Editor-in-Chief

The Truth Hurts

In mid-March, Agence France-Presse (AFP) posted an article, “Jakarta Mining Policy Shift Sparks Turmoil,” which was picked up by most of the wire services, especially the local news outlets in Indonesia. As far as mining pieces in the mainstream press go, it was fair. It documented Indonesia’s about-face on its mineral exports, saying it is creating another headache for mining companies struggling to work with the country. That policy change has led to a standoff with one of its biggest partners in the mining business, Freeport-McMoRan.

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From the Editor

Steve Fiscor, Editor-in-Chief, EMJ, Engineering Mining Journal
Steve Fiscor heads a world class group of writers and editors serving the mining and construction markets. He has served as editor-in-chief for E&MJ since 2003 and Coal Age since 2001. He writes articles on mining and processing, organizes the technical programs for several conferences, and produces many of MMI's ancillary products.