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Conference Brings Together Mining Pros

SOCORRO, N.M. April 16, 2010 – Mining professionals will congregate at New Mexico Tech for the third annual New Mexico Mine Health and Safety Conference on May 3 to 5 at Macey Center.

State Mine Inspector Terence Foreback said he expects this year’s event to be just as successful as the first two conferences.

“We had 200 participants in our first year and are hoping for the same turnout this year,” he said. “We have excellent guest speakers and a series of important, informative breakout session topics."

The New Mexico Bureau of Mine Safety, a department of New Mexico Tech provides services to the state and its miners. Foreback has served as State Mine Inspector for three years. Those interested in attending can print the brochure and registration form from the Bureau's website.

This year’s conference continues to expand and improve on the quality of the presentation and speakers, said Foreback. Sessions on health topics and emergency management exercises have been added so the state’s mining industry can remain current on evolving issues. Joseph Main, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Health and Safety, will deliver this year’s keynote address  on Tuesday May 4th. at a special banquet Wednesday, May 5.

“We are extremely honored to have Mr. Main as our keynote speaker this year” Foreback said. “We’re trying to draw a cross-section of the more than 7,000 people employed in the mining industry in New Mexico, to bring together different parts of mining organizations to work on mine health and safety issues.”

The conference theme “Go the Distance” gives a nod to the concept that the quest for zero incidents at mining organizations requires long-term effort. As partners in safety, mining companies and the Bureau must continually step up and do the right thing for the long haul. Foreback said.

Most of the events take place at Macey Center, including four meals which are included in the $90 price of the conference. Those interested may get information and registration forms from http://www.bmi.state.nm.us.

The conference opens at 9 a.m. Monday with registration and exhibitor setup. Monday afternoon’s schedule is devoted to recreation and interaction, including a golf tournament at 11:30 p.m. and tours of the Very Large Array operated by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.

A special “Miner’s Lunch Bucket” dinner starts at 6 p.m. at Macey Center. A cocktail hour will proceed dinner with entertainment by Holy Water and Whiskey, a folk music trio from Albuquerque. Dinner speaker will be state Sen. Howie Morales, who hails from a Silver City mining family.

Assistant Secretary for Mine Health and Safety, Joseph Main will be keynote speaker for the Tuesday morning session, followed by break-out sessions in the morning and afternoon.

New this year is a spouse tour of the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge followed by lunch at the Owl Bar and Steakhouse in San Antonio. Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources’ Bob Eveleth will speak about “New Mexico Gold Throughout History” during the Tuesday luncheon.  

Tours of the Mineral Museum will begin at 4:45 p.m. Tuesday, followed by a banquet starting at 6:30 p.m. Walter Precourt, Corporate Vice President of Health and Safety with Mosaic Potash in Carlsbad will be the featured speaker.

Wednesday’s opening session begins at 8 a.m. followed by break-out sessions and adjournment at noon.

Gov. Bill Richardson appointed Foreback as State Mine Inspector on April 12, 2007. Foreback previously worked for the Mining and Minerals Division of the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, following 26 years in private mining industry.

This year’s conference committee includes representatives of the Bureau of Mine Safety, the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration and the New Mexico mining industries.

– NMT –