The topic for the meeting was “The Power of Mining – Energy’s Influence” and, while other classes and subcommittee meetings extended the commencement and adjournment to nearly a week, the event itself was held February 26-28.
The organisation offered short courses beginning February 24 and 25, both days with the focus topic of mine closure. The group’s subcommittees had the opportunity to meet outside of those courses during that weekend.
The social and professional activities officially kicked off Sunday, highlighted by a reception and dinner as well as a two-hour timeslot to visit vendors in the sold-out exhibit hall of Denver Convention Center.
All sectors of mining, underground and surface, were represented each day of the conference in the form of technical sessions offering the latest information on research, technology and product availability. Some coal-related topics from the three days of papers included safety and health, carbon management, geomechanics, ventilation, valuation and education.
International Longwall News spoke with guests in the exhibition hall and at technical sessions throughout the event, with virtually all noting the vastness of the attendance and their ability to network and gather with other professionals to share ideas and discuss issues. One first-time guest said that, while distance had kept him away in the past, he wouldn’t let it do so again because of what he was able to take from the speakers and vendors he connected with.
SME also announced its plans for the 2008 Annual Meeting at the Denver gathering. The topic for the meeting, to be held in Salt Lake City, Utah on February 24-27, 2008, will be entitled “New Horizons, New Challenges”