Steve Fiscor, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief
As this edition was going to press, the National Mining Association (NMA) announced hard dates for the postponed MINExpo 2020 event (September 13-15, 2021). At the same time, the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME) and the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) announced they were moving to a virtual format for their annual conferences, which were scheduled to take place in the first quarter of 2021. SME and PDAC offer considerable continuing education programs and they hope to do that virtually in 2021.
From a business-to-business marketing perspective, publishers and conference organizers compete for your attention on behalf of their advertisers and exhibitors. One delivers information to you at your desk through the printed page or digital means, while the other wants you to meet face-to-face with its clients and kick the tires. It will be interesting to see if the regular attendees embrace the virtual format.
Mining Media International (MMI) also produces two small niche conferences with much smaller, more targeted attendance profiles. We currently believe that format is sustainable from a personal safety and health perspective, and we still plan to hold Haulage & Loading in Tucson, Arizona, March 14-17, 2021.
Like many of you, I haven’t set foot on a plane since March, but I hope to begin again soon. Business travel can be culturally rewarding, but long-term assignments can steal valuable family time. As a platinum flyer on Delta, I remember looking at those diamond bag tags sympathetically, hoping I never achieved that status. Many of my colleagues have recently remarked about the fact that they have never been home for this long and they have enjoyed it. Future mine visits are being discussed and MMI is still planning to attend the American Mining & Exploration Association’s annual meeting in Reno, Nevada, in December.
While writing two articles for this edition of E&MJ, I spoke with a lot of essential companies who were supplying equipment and services to mining companies, who are also essential. Most of them were quick to remind me that they were doing more than simply selling equipment, they were also providing solutions. Many of them have had to not only develop the logistics to deliver equipment to mine sites with travel restrictions in place, but they also had to conduct remote training. One supplier talked about commissioning upgraded equipment half a world away on Zoom. He said they have a great local team, but this is the first time they have done this without someone from headquarters on site, and everything went according to plan. Like all great engineers, they found a way to solve the problem. Enjoy this edition of E&MJ.