MINExpo International 2000 overview

Described as the mining industry's most comprehensive trade show, MINExpo has been declared the most successful event in the history of the exposition

Staff Reporter

Described as the mining industry's most comprehensive trade show, MINExpo International 2000, held at the Las Vegas Convention Centre in Las Vegas, Nevada October 9-12, has been declared the most successful event in the history of the exposition. This was according to National Mining Association (NMA) president Richard Lawson. MINExpo is sponsored by the NMA, the USA's mining industry lobby group.

Records were set in all major categories, including registrants (36,500), exhibitors (1,292) and exhibit space square footage (588,000 net square feet), Lawson said. This compares with figures of 34,888 attendees, 1,123 exhibitors and 531,000 net square feet of exhibits for the previous MINExpo®, held in 1996.

International exhibitors came from Australia, Brazil, Canada, the UK, France, South Africa and many other countries.

The largest mining show ever held was kicked off by a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring the Hon. Kenny Guinn, governor of Nevada; NMA Chairman Steven Leer, president & CEO of Arch Coal Inc.; MINExpo Chairman Glen A. Barton, chairman & CEO of Caterpillar; World Mining Congress Chairman Eugeniusz Ciszak; and other dignitaries.

Reflecting on the successful show, Lawson said MINExpo once again reinforced its image as the one international event that attracts all key segments of the global mining community.

"This exposition was the result of a lot of hard work by everyone involved -- NMA staff, our member companies, government representatives, and all of the exhibitors and vendors who contributed to the planning and execution. We are gratified by the results and look forward to even bigger and better things at the next MINExpo, Sept. 27-30, 2004."

Other special events during MINExpo included the NMA Board of Directors' unanimous approval of Jack Gerard as Dick Lawson's successor as NMA president. Republican vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney was a surprise visitor at an awards breakfast, where he spoke about the important choices involved in the 2000 election.

Aside from exhibiting the latest in mining equipment, technology and services, MINExpo 2000® featured comprehensive education sessions and the first ever joint meeting with the 48-member-nation World Mining Congress. Technical sessions covered a range of subjects from human resources to environmental issues to underground coal.

The NMA reported on its weekly news site that James M. Griffin, managing director, N.M. Rothschild & Sons Ltd., noted that stock prices of public coal companies "have improved an average of 27% in the last 12 months, due primarily to improving industry fundamentals. Also, analyst coverage of coal has improved."

He said there is an inaccurate prevailing sentiment that coal's situation is bad and getting worse; but, in fact, "coal's competition is coal." Coal, he said, enjoys a "cost advantage across the board" in relation to natural gas for large-scale electricity generation in the U.S.

Meanwhile, "the urge to merge or acquire (in the coal industry) has been relentless," he added. "Whether it's Australia, South Africa or Europe, transactions are up. World coal supply has become more concentrated. New global players have emerged."