Blog Detail

Home/Industry & Applications/SME Annual Meeting Focuses on Changes Within Mining Industry

SME Annual Meeting Focuses on Changes Within Mining Industry

The Annual Meeting of the Society of Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME) is one of the best opportunities to learn about the latest advancements in the mining industry. Sam Werler and I, along with nearly 7,000 other attendees, recently traveled to Salt Lake City to learn about the state-of-the-art technology and services that are improving the efficiency and safety of mining operations around the world.

Chemstar has a long history of serving the mining industry and it continues to be a large and growing part of our business. In fact, our Carlton plant originally opened in 1979 to support mining and mineral production in northern Minnesota. The industry has seen resurgence in recent years and forecasts suggest the growth will continue. Due to technological advancement in consumer products; mined metals are in demand in order to keep phones, computers and other technology in the hands of everyone.

Safety and Recruitment at the Forefront of Annual Meeting
One important aspect of this year’s SME Annual Meeting was a focus on safety. The mining industry is eager to share new ways of enhancing the safety of mining operations to keep people out of harm’s way and improve the industry’s image. One of the most fascinating sessions I attended was the presentation on the Bingham Canyon Mine landslide. The magnitude of the landslide was incredible. But nearly as impressive was the ability of scientists to predict its timing and make necessary preparations to minimize its impact and make sure nobody was injured.

Another noticeable aspect of the event was student recruitment. There is a strong demand for workers at mining operations around the world, and companies were actively recruiting at the event. A signature element of this effort was the launch of the first ever “Mining in Society” Boy Scout Merit Badge at the Annual Meeting. This is a big initiative for the organization, and is designed to help Scouts understand the scope and value of the mining industry and determine if career in the field is right for them.

Alternatives to Guar Gum in Mining Operations
A noticeable change we’ve seen in recent months is a tremendous increase in interest in alternatives to guar gum for electroplating and electro-winning. The demand for guar – driven by increased use in food products and hydraulic fracking, among others – has driven the price of guar to new heights. This is causing companies to seek substitutes to guar without sacrificing quality. We are getting calls from all around the world asking about our HydroStar product line, as companies are intrigued by the stable price point, steady supply and strong performance of our starch-based solutions. We had many positive conversations at the SME Annual Meeting about HydroStar and are excited about what the future holds for this product line.

We pride ourselves in staying at the forefront of the industries we serve. Attending events like the SME Annual Meeting is just one of the ways we learn about new technologies and collaborate with industry experts to develop our starch-based solutions that improve mining and mineral operations. If you would like to learn how Chemstar’s solutions can fit your needs, feel free to email me any questions you may have.

-Bob Johnson
Sales & Marketing Manager