Northwest Mining Association in December

The 113th NWMA Annual Meeting and Exposition is December 3-7, 2007 at the new Spokane Convention Center, Spokane, Washington. There will be two days of short courses followed by three days of technical sessions which run concurrently with the exposition. These will be followed by field trips. The short courses are:

Avoiding permitting pitfalls and delays on Federal lands with case histories – This two-day workshop will cover permitting requirements, Plans of Operations under the Forest Service 36 CFR 228A regulations and the BLM 42 CFR 3809 regulations. Speakers will focus on case histories: what went wrong and what worked. The workshop will close with a joint industry/regulatory panel. This is a must attend course for anyone with the responsibility for permitting exploration and mining on federal public lands.

Epithermal ore deposits – involves a series of lectures over two days that cover (1) geological/mineralogical characteristics of epithermal deposits; (2) fluid flow and fluid chemistry in active epithermal environments; (3) transport and deposition of precious and related metals; (4) hydrothermal mineral zonation patterns and overprinting; (5) case studies; guides for exploration. Lecture materials include handouts and a CD with the power point presentations.

Geophysics, geochemistry and geology – cutting edge case studies and technologies – The fundamentals of exploration are covered in this short course in light of breakthroughs in technology and field applications. In the past the industry solved the problem of keeping the pipeline full by applying an army of geoscience professionals, rock picks and a lot of boot leather and sweat which resulted in a significant discovery rate for new deposits. Our modern reality is greatly reduced numbers of professionals who survived the downturn of the last 20 years and are still in this industry. Coupled to this is the significant generation gap that has developed between the tail of the last boom, and the nose of the one we are in. Into this mix we have seen major innovation in the development and application of new technologies that can be deployed in the field and used realtime to greatly reduce the staffing requirements that supported the armies of the 1970s and 1980s. This course will look at these applications as they pertain to the trinity of exploration support that drives discovery today: Geology, Geochemistry and Geophysics.

Real world geophysics – This one-day course is designed to review the application of geophysical tools to the exploration process in many exploration environments. The addition of geophysical methods into the exploration program can be integral to the discovery of resources and usually allows the quick identification of the best exploration targets early in the exploration process. While this Short Course will not make a geophysicist out of the attendees, it will present several important principles that will make geophysical applications useful in exploration programs and improve the understanding of these applications. In particular, the principle of Non-Uniqueness is integral to understanding the interpretation of geophysical data. Data from several consulting projects will be presented, from economical and not so economical properties. The logic of determining the most useful methods, designing the surveys, supervising the contractors, presenting the data collected, and interpreting the data relative to the target expected will be reviewed. No formula, just ideas and applications!

Principles and practices of water management by land application – Many mining operations need to manage excess water during operation and closure. Land application of excess water avoids challenges associated with surface water discharge – including aquatic life protection issues and costly treatment processes that require chemical reagents, energy inputs and expertise to operate effectively. In addition, the lengthy NPDES permitting process is unnecessary. Properly designed and managed land application systems provide appropriate application rates of nutrients and moisture to vegetation while attenuating trace elements in soil. Design options are site specific, depending upon the operator’s objectives and the environmental conditions (climate, soils, vegetation, etc.) Land application is also used as a seasonal alternative to discharge, when low flow conditions in streams effectively limit permitted surface water discharge rates. This course is structured to enhance understanding of land application: basic principles, strategies, and management practices for compliance, the latest regulatory issues and practical land application operations, including hands-on monitoring and reporting calculation exercises.

The following questions will be answered during the short course:

 How does land application treat the constituents in the excess water?

 What are basic principles of soil-water-plant relations and land application treatment?

 How are land application systems permitted and what are the regulatory limits based upon?

 What are the engineering design criteria and practical considerations needed to design or improve a land application system?

 How are pretreatment, storage and alternatives evaluated?

 How are land application systems monitored and what does the data mean?

A brochure about this year-end mining event is downloadable at The brochure provides information about current sponsors (and the form to complete if you would like to become a sponsor), the short courses, the technical session topics, the pre-registration form, and the space reservation form for companies that wish to exhibit. The current list of exhibitors and the floor plan is in the brochure to assist in selecting a location and reserve your space.

177 spaces have been reserved-more than last years total- but there are spaces still available. NWMA is projecting total attendance of 1,800.