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Arizona Mining Review On the Road at SME Annual Conference & Expo, February 2016

Article Author(s): 

Michael Conway

Figure 1. Bare-chested miner man-handling a one-legged jack drill.The more than 6,200 mining engineers, CEOs, geologists, consultants, and mining suppliers attending the 2016 Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME) Annual Conference and Expo in Phoenix, Arizona, this past February were met on the exhibit floor by a bare-chested, bronze miner drilling with a one-legged jack stand (Figure 1). This year’s theme, “The Future for Mining in a Data-Driven World,” contrasted nicely with the miner and his one-legged jack, and emphasizes the long technological road that mining has traversed in the 20th and 21st centuries.   

Figure 2. Joe Dixon (ASLD) and Nyal Niemuth (AZGS) preparing our exhibit space for the evening premiere of SME’s Expo on Feb. 21.The Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS) was on hand and shared an exhibit booth with the Arizona State Land Department (ASLD) (Figure 2). AZGS formally launched the completed Mining Data website, home to more than 400,000 scanned mining documents that includes: ~21,000 mine files, 6,800 maps, 8,500 reports, and 5,500 photographs (Figure 3). The bulk of these documents represent unpublished, one-of-a-kind records of Arizona’s mining past.Figure 3. AZGS Mining Data website: 400,000 pages of largely unpublished mine data – georeferenced, discoverable and accessible free at

The exhibit floor included hundreds of vendors that service the mining industry with everything needed to take a property from exploration, through development, production, and finally, reclamation. It was a great event for AZGS as we engaged hundreds of people in conservation about the utility and merits of the new mining data site, the vagaries of the mining industry, and the outlook for growth and recovery in the last half of 2016 and 2017.

From the exhibit floor – filming the Arizona Mining Review (AMR)

Figure 4. A rock core of graphene-rich material from the Granite Wash Mountains, Arizona.AZGS’ AMR team was on the exhibit floor interviewing and filming individuals from government, industry, mining, and the media for our 37th episode. Hélio Samora, President of Hexagon Mining, described a business model that’s fueled double-digit growth in 2015 – a remarkable story given the state of mining – and landed Hexagon more than 500 mining clients in over 30 countries.

Consulting geologist Stan Keith described a world-class graphene deposit in the Granite Wash Mountains of western Arizona (Figure 4). First discovered in 2005, graphene is extraordinarily conductive, harder than diamond, and 300 times stronger than steel. These properties are likely to make it the “miracle” semi-metal of the 21st century.

William Langer (Figure 5), formally the chief aggregate expert of the U.S. Geological Survey, discussed development and challenges to aggregate in Arizona and the Southwestern U.S.Figure 5. William Langer on the exhibit floor of the Phoenix Convention Center, 22 Feb. 2016.

Figure 6. Growth in imports of nonfuel minerals commodities by the United States, 1954, 1984 – shown here, and 2014. The Director of the U.S. National Minerals Information Center, Dr. Steven Fortier, talked about the U.S. Geological Survey efforts to better document the distribution of strategic and critical minerals in the U.S. and elsewhere (Figure 6). 

The Mining Record, once the daily newspaper of Denver, has been covering mining issues in the U.S. and elsewhere for 127 years. Dale Howell, president, chatted with us about sustaining an industry newspaper during the vagaries inflicted on the boom and bust mining economy.

The interviews, listed below, are online at our Arizona Geological Survey YouTube channel.  


Figure 7. Arizona Mining Review underwriting opportunities.Underwriting Arizona Mining Review. The Arizona Mining Review, the premier e-Video Magazine addressing mining in the Southwestern U.S., is seeking underwriters for 2016 to help offset production and broadcasting costs (Figure 7). Please contact Mike Conway ( | 520.209.4146) for additional information and to discuss the benefits of underwriting.

Subscribe to the Arizona Mining Review listserv ( for regular reminders of upcoming episodes. The Arizona Mining Review is a product of the Arizona Geological Survey. Additional information about previous episodes can be found here:

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