Whether you are a longtime Engineering & Mining Journal (E&MJ) reader or you have picked up the magazine by chance at either the Society of Mining Engineers’ (#SME2015) or the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada’s (#PDAC2015) annual conference, I would like to welcome you to our February 2015 edition. Much as it has done for nearly 150 years, E&MJ offers its readers useful information related to mining and mineral processing in a concise format.
This month, E&MJ focuses on gold. Readers will find extensive coverage of small and midtier miners beginning in the Leading Development section of the news (See p. 5) and an in-depth market analysis in a feature article that describes activity among the major producers (p. 32). The information is timely because no one really knows what is going to happen with the price of gold for the next few years. Gold has come out of the gate strong in 2015, mainly because of economic and monetary policies in Europe. A strong dollar, however, does not normally bode well for gold.
In addition to market-related reports, E&MJ also offers its readership food for thought—articles with ideas on how to operate more safely, efficiently and cost effectively. This month, Simon Walker wades into mine safety (See Safety & Health, p. 50). While the industry overall has seen some steady improvements in safety–related performance, there is always room for improvement. Research among miners in several countries has uncovered some interesting trends as far as behavior and experience.
During this period of uncertainty, all mine operators are doing what they can to optimize operations. This edition carries two articles (See Maintenance, p. 40) and (See Operating Strategies, p. 62) related to maintenance practices with heavy equipment. Mine operators are turning to technology in a lot of cases to either improve operations or identify areas for improvement. Writing about recent developments in simulator technology, (See p. 48), Russ Carter describes how simulator-based training can provide an essentially danger free route to improve employee and equipment productivity. Taking it one step further, others are analyzing the reams of data flowing from every aspect of the operation (See Advanced Analytics, p. 56) to set benchmarks and determine where improvements could be made.
E&MJ delivers this type of must-read content to its readers in several different formats. E&MJ is also delivered to readers’ desks via an eJournal (WoMP). All of the journal’s content is available at: www.e-mj.com in a slick, searchable format. A total of 18 digital editions along with other special editions are also available. E&MJ’s editorial team updates the website daily with news stories, which are compiled and emailed free of charge to readers weekly in a newsletter format (E&MJ eNews). E&MJ also has a strong presence on the three popular social media platforms.
Beyond printed and digital content, E&MJ also organizes the Haulage & Loading conference, which is held every two years at the Wigwam Resort in Phoenix during May. This year, the conference program is nothing short of phenomenal (See p. 44). More than 60% of mined commodities are produced at open-pit mining operations. The Haulage & Loading conference covers surface mining in general and truck-shovel mining in particular. The event attracts mining engineers and production managers from copper, gold, coal and oil sands operations. If you’re interested, I hope you can join us for these three productive days in May.
Thank you for your continued support and enjoy this edition of E&MJ.
Steve Fiscor, E&MJ Editor-in-Chief