The line for the 2018 American Exploration & Mining Association (AEMA) keynote luncheon was long and some miners were agitated. For $50 per seat, the AEMA had promised U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) Secretary Ryan Zinke, but he didn’t turn up. Based on the conversations held in line, however, Zinke’s approval rating among western miners isn’t as high as one would think. The skeptics believed that is why the DOI dispatched Joe Balash, assistant DOI secretary for lands and minerals, to address the crowd.
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