2017 Annual Meeting

Pre-Registration for Exhibitors and Attendees/Speakers is now closed. 

Registration must be completed on-site. ONLY. 

See you in Reno!

2017 AEMA Annual Meeting

Join us at the Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks/Reno, Nevada December 4-8, 2017 for the 123rd Annual Meeting, Short Courses & Exposition. 


Don't forget, AEMA offers special member pricing. Become a member and save 66% on Annual Meeting registration. 

Thank you to our Sponsors

Wan to join this Sponsor list? View Sponsorship opportunities below and send completed forms to Pat Heywood: pheywood@miningamerica.org


2017 AEMA Annual Meeting Information

Exhibitor Info


Currently we have limited spaces available. Contact Mike Heywood to inquire about a booth – mheywood@miningamerica.org, or 509.624.1158 x 10

Prices are:

  • Corporate Member – $1,650
  • Non-member – $2,250
  • Non-profit $1,000
  • School $750

Important Dates:

  • Registration Opens July 1
  • Pre-Registration Closes: November 15
  • Exhibitor Setup is Tuesday December 5
  • Exhibitor Tear-down Begins at noon on Friday December 8


Exhibitor Manual

Chair & Speaker Info

All chairs & speakers must register before Sunday, November 19,2017. After that date you will be charged $50 for on site registration. 

Important Dates

September 30
  • Final Abstract for the 2017 Abstract Book
  • Final Program changes to your presentation title, or personal contact info
  • Final changes to Session Titles or Descriptions
  • Short Course Chairs – your speaker information is now due
  • AV requirements

November 19

  • Deadline for registration. Registration closes at midnight. After that you will have to register on site and pay $50.


We will comp technical session registration for 1 speaker per talk (maximum of 6 comped speakers per session) provided they are either individual members of AEMA, one of the two corporate representatives of a member company, or employed by a member company. The exception to this is employees of the federal government and state regulatory agencies & geological surveys. This exception DOES NOT apply to college or university professors or other employees of colleges and universities who are not associated with the state geological survey/bureau of mines. Non-member speakers will be required to register at the member rate of $375.

We do not mail registration packets. Packet pickup begins on Sunday December 3 from 3 – 5 and continues throughout the week. The AEMA registration desk will be located on the 2nd floor of the Nugget Casino Resort in the foyer close to the casino tower (formerly east tower) elevators.

Speakers are expected to pay their own expenses. Information for booking rooms at the Nugget Casino Resort can be found in the brochure. All registration and housing information will be on the AEMA website soon. https://www.miningamerica.org/ Please do not register as a speaker until your presentation has been accepted.

Attendee/Speaker Registration

Field Trips


Agru America, Inc. Fernley Facility Tour (1/2 Day)

Agru America, Inc. Fernley Facility Tour
Cost: $75
Organizer: Clark West, Mining Service, Agru America, Inc., Fernley, NV

Morning Tour will depart at 8 am and return at 12 pm

Afternoon Tour will depart at 1:30 pm and return at 4:30 pm

Agru America has a state of the art polyethylene liner manufacturing plant in Fernley, Nevada less than 30 minutes from Reno/Sparks and invite interested parties to tour the plant taking the raw resin pellets delivered in rail road tankers and extruding them into 23' wide rolls of liner used extensively in the mining industry for leach pads, tails dams, channels and more recently impermeable closure materials. This is a calendared system well known in the industry for its high quality. The tour will include the manufacture and testing in the GRI/GAI certified in house laboratory and include a short presentation on the company, a detailed demonstration of field seaming, patching and quality control procedures of the materials along with commentary by a quality assurance third party engineer.

AEMA’s Multi-Mine Site Tour

Tuesday, December 5

Cost: $275 *includes lunch  

Organizer: Nick Rauh, Midwest/Mountain Technical Manager, Agru America, Inc., Fernley, NV 
Tour will leave the Nugget at 7am and return at approximately 6pm. 
Attendees will meet at the 1st Floor Tour Bus Entrance at the Nugget
This tour will visit Coeur's Rochester Mine, Pershing Gold's Relief Canyon Mine, and Rye Patch Gold's Florida Canyon Mine. The tour will allow attendees to witness a gold pour firsthand at the Florida Canyon Mine. This is a great opportunity to see two world class gold mining operations and a silver mine operation. 
Short Courses


Using the Standardized Reclamation Cost Estimator (SRCE) Version 2.0 Effectively
Cost $650
Instructor: Jeff Parshley, P.G., C.P.G., C.E.M. Group Chairman, SRK Consulting (U.S.), Inc., Reno, NV
The Standardized Reclamation Cost Estimator (SRCE) is a public domain Microsoft Excel-based tool that can be used to calculate mine closure costs. The SRCE uses straightforward user input to create a first-principles estimate of closure costs. A state-specific version is currently used in Nevada by most of the mines and another version is available for use in other states and internationally.
This two-day short course is designed to introduce the SRCE and provide hands-on training to persons interested in using the tool. Instructors will use a combination of teaching tools including hands-on examples, to familiarize attendees with the components of the model, and provide short-cuts and tips to help them make effective use of the tool. Advanced topics will include how to create custom calculations within the SRCE and integrate the results from other closure cost estimating tools into the SRCE to create an all-inclusive closure cost estimate.
We will be using a beta version of the new SRCE 2.0 for the short course. This version has a number of new features including the ability to perform detailed scheduling of costs, filtering by location, area and project phase.

Attendees will need to bring a laptop computer and engineering scale for the hands-on exercises.


Mine Waste Management, Tailings and Waste Rock – Technologies and Techniques
Cost $600
Instructors: Ibrahim Karajeh, Service Leader, Design and Pierre Primeau, Sr., Process Engineer, Golder Associates Ltd., Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Mine waste management is an integral part of mining operations. Different strategies for the management of tailings and waste rock are being developed to mitigate environmental impacts, decrease costs and help reach the mining company’s sustainability goals. The intent of this workshop is to provide the audience with the latest technologies and techniques in mine waste management.
The workshop will first present the current concepts employed in today’s modern mines to manage tailings; process tailings to different dewatered states, to a thickened non-segregating, paste or filter cake consistency. The workshop will then show how these processed tailings can be deposited in pit or combined with waste rock in some cases in co-disposal, co-mingling and paste rock applications. Strategic planning for closure and dam stability will form a part of these discussions. The advantages and disadvantages of these mine waste disposal techniques will be discussed along with the technologies required to process the tailings and waste rock. Current trends in backfilling will also be a topic within this workshop. Case studies will be used to demonstrate the advantages of these techniques. Emphasis will be on the practical aspects of the mine waste facility and tailings processing plant operations, systems and procedures, based on our experience in design, construction, commissioning and operation of such systems.
The design of mine waste management systems involves a multi-disciplinary team. On the deposition side, on site selection, dam design and water management, expertise in the areas of geochemistry, hydrology, water resources, hydrogeology and geotechnical engineering are required, with careful consideration on the environmental and social aspects of the mine waste facility. On the tailings processing side with transporting and dewatering tailings, a diverse team of engineers, fully conversant in process, mechanical, pipeline, electrical, instrumentation and structural engineering is required. In all cases, a thorough understanding of the tailings and waste rock properties is essential to the successful, holistic implementation of the mine waste solution.

Minimizing Permitting Pitfalls & Delays on Federal Lands
Cost: $350
Instructors: Kevin L. Johnson, Geologist, Minerals and Geology Management (CNO) – Regions 5 and 6, Grants Pass, OR and Adam Merrill, Geologist at Bureau of Land Management,Springfield, Virginia
This two-day workshop will cover permitting requirements and Plans of Operations under the Forest Service’s 36 CFR 228A regulations and the BLM’s 43 CFR 3809 regulations. The first day will cover the basic regulatory requirements. Presenters will then cover specific aspects of the process, including suggestions for minimizing, if not avoiding, permitting pitfalls.
On the second day, presenters will discuss their experience with the permitting process, specifically focusing on what went wrong and what worked. The workshop will close with a joint industry/regulatory panel.

1-Day Short Courses  | MONDAY DECEMBER 4

Understanding and Running an Effective QA/QC Program
Cost: $300
Instructor: Todd McCracken, Manager – Mining, WSP Canada, Inc., Sudbury, ONT CANADA
Your project has a QA/QC program, but is it effective and does it meet the standards of best industry practice? This full day course examines various components of an effective QA/QC program, and will concentrate on how to setup and run a program in the real world.
Topics will include an in-depth look at data management, drilling, sampling, specific gravity and analytical QA/QC, including how to select a laboratory and the use of Blanks, Duplicates and Standards in the program.
Real examples of effective programs will be presented to the group with an active discussion on what should be considered minimum requirements. Tricks of the trade and cost effective solutions will be presented throughout the course. Participants will be encouraged to engage in discussions throughout the course.

1- Day Short Courses | TUESDAY DECEMBER 5

U.S. Mining Law One Day Short Course
Cost $300
Course Organizer: R. Craig Johnson, Parsons Behle & Latimer, Salt Lake City, UT
This full-day course contains a comprehensive overview of the mining law in the United States relating to the acquisition, exploration, development, operation and closure of hard rock mining projects. The course provides in-depth coverage of types of land and mineral ownership in the U.S., types of mineral claims, historical and current issues under the General Mining Law of 1872, the process and issues involved in obtaining, holding and financing mineral tenures, an overview of environmental permitting, acquiring power, and an overview of water law in the western U.S. The course includes an overview of the typical methods for entering into exploration and development joint venture arrangements, including the revised Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation “Form 5” limited liability company agreement, lease, purchase and sale of exploration and mining project issues, and a discussion of the standard royalty mechanisms including net smelter return and net profits interest royalties. The course also covers current significant environmental issues in the exploration and development of operations, including key air and water discharge issues, environmental impact statements, permitting of tailings facilities, bonding, and mine closure and reclamation issues. The course is ideal for persons who are interested in acquiring mining projects in the U.S., or simply wish to have a refresher on key concepts.

Designing for No More Lousy PowerPoint Slides
Cost $150
Instructors: Eric S. Cheney, Professor Emeritus, Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA and Eric A. Cheney, CFP, Turman Financial, Corvallis OR
Learn how to prepare presentations that will keep the audience interested. The first half of the class will be classroom discussion on building presentations and public speaking. The second half will be hands-on learning. Basic knowledge of PowerPoint is required for this class. Come to class with your laptop and 4 slides that you have prepared that include text and illustrations.

Fundamentals of Mineral & Metallurgical Processing
Cost: $300
Instructors: Eur-Ing Dr. Corby G. Anderson QP CENG FIMMM FICHEME, Harrison Western Professor, Kroll Institute for Extractive Metallurgy, George S. Ansell Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO and Dr. Courtney Young, QP, Department Head and Lewis S. Prater Distinguished Professor, Metallurgical & Materials Engineering, Montana Tech, Butte, MT
This short course is open to anyone wanting to learn about mineral processing and extractive metallurgy operations. It is particularly good as a refresher or introductory course. In this regard, the course begins with simple concepts such as sampling, analysis (mineralogical, chemical and size), material balances and smelter schedules. It then introduces attendees to processing methods and equipment, particularly those utilized in the mining industry (but also the recycling industry as well). Various unit operations are reviewed including comminution (crushing, grinding, screening and classification), mineral separations (flotation, magnetic, gravity and electrostatic), and metal production and purification (hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy and electrometallurgy) as well as environmental management (dewatering, tailings disposal, and waste treatment for water, dust and air). Flowsheets of typical operations are reviewed throughout with implications on flowsheet development.
Attendees will need to bring a laptop computer.

MSHA Annual Surface Miner Refresher Course
Cost: $20 Lunch Fee
Instructor: Tim Pruitt, EHS Manager, Boart Longyear Drilling Services, Elko, NV
MSHA Part 48 regulations require that surface mining workers complete a minimum of 8 hours of refresher training each year. This 8 Hour Surface Miner refresher class will do just that. Boart Longyear Drilling Services is offering this class at no cost to you. Prerequisite to this class is participants previously had new miner or refresher class.
Participants will receive a Certificate of Completion (MSHA 5000-23) – good for 1 year.

Student Opportunities


The Student Poster Contest is designed to give young men and women the opportunity to present papers to the convention attendees. This year’s contest will be judged on Wednesday, December 6. Set up will take place on Tuesday, December 5.


The contest is structured to simulate the presentation of a project or process to management by an engineer, geologist or metallurgist. The candidate will be judged on his/her ability to convey meaning and conviction that the work is significant and is of benefit to the minerals industry. The contest provides an excellent opportunity for young people to meet leaders in the minerals industry and to develop communication skills with other professionals who may not necessarily be skilled in the student’s particular discipline. We are accepting papers dealing with exploration, operations, management, economics, reclamation and other subjects pertinent to the mining industry.


  • Grand Prize ~ $350 – a $250 gift certificate from Miners Incorporated – donated by the Wray D. Farmin Family Fund and a check
    for $100 donated by the William C. Jordan Fund
  • 2nd Prize ~ $200 Check donated by Sponsors of the 2016 AEMA Annual Meeting
  • 3rd Prize ~ $150 Check donated by Sponsors of the 2016 AEMA Annual Meeting
  • 4th Prize ~ $100 Check donated by Sponsors of the 2016 AEMA Annual Meeting
  • 5th Prize ~ $ 75 Check donated by Sponsors of the 2016 AEMA Annual Meeting


  • BOOTH DIMENSIONS: Each student will be provided a 4’ x 8’ poster board display unit (that will accept push pins), a table and a chair.
  • DISPLAY MATERIALS: The display materials for hanging on the panels should be maps, diagrams, charts and posters that are of good quality. Core, rock samples, test
    results, demonstrations, handouts or other such items can be displayed or distributed on the table.
  • SIGNAGE: AEMA will prepare one “identifying” sign for each student to display at his/her booth. The sign will have the student’s name, school name and
    the presentation title.
  • SET UP & JUDGING: Exhibitor, core shack and student poster set up will take place between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm on Tuesday December 6. Judging will be on Wednesday, December 7. Students are expected to be at their posters and ready to discuss their poster projects.
  • COST: Technical Session fees are waived for all full time students who are members, or become members of AEMA. Student membership fees are $25.00
    annually. Student travel aid is available. Contact Pat Heywood – pheywood@miningamerica.org


Interested students should complete and return the Poster Contest Entry Form (below) and Annual Meeting Registration to AEMA on or before October 15. If you have any questions please
contact Pat Heywood pheywood@miningamerica.org.

Student Poster Contest Entry Form

This entry form does not constitute a registration to Annual Meeting. Students must complete and return a registration form.


AEMA's Annual Meeting is hosted by the Nugget Casino Resort with special Annual Meeting rates for attendees. 

East Tower Single or Double: $99 (Government $89)

West Tower Single or Double: $99 (Government $89)

To receive the special Annual Meeting rates room must be booked through the button below. 

Book Hotel Now

Press Info

Media passes are available. Please contact Devon Coquillard at dcoquillard@miningamerica.org or 509-624-1158 x 17

Key Contacts

For Sponsorship information contact Pat Heywood at pheywood@miningamerica.org or 509-624-1158 x 12

For Exhibit or Core Shack information contact Mike Heywood at mheywood@miningamerica.org or 509-624-1158 x 10

For media inquires contact Devon Coquillard at dcoquillard@miningamerica.org or 509-624-1158 x 17

Nugget Casino Resort Map

The Nugget Casino Resort has been busy this past year remodeling the casino floor and convention center. We are excited to be in the remolded space this year! 

2017 Annual Meeting Keynote Speakers

Welcoming Luncheon

Casey Hammond - Deputy Assistant Secretary for Lands and Minerals Management

Casey Hammond currently serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Lands and Minerals Management within the Department of the Interior.  Casey started with the Department in January 2017 as part of the Administration’s “Beachhead Team” and until September was assigned to the Fish and Wildlife Service as the lead political. 

Prior to arriving at the Department he worked in various capacities within the House of Representatives, including as Legislative Staff for the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, Professional Staff for the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation, and Senior Adviser for the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.  Casey is originally from Costa Mesa, CA, later graduating from Brigham Young University and now resides in Virginia.  


Industry Outlook Luncheon

Tony Jensen - President & CEO, Royal Gold, Inc

Tony Jensen is President and Chief Executive Officer of Royal Gold, Inc. Prior to joining Royal Gold, he spent 18 years with the Placer Dome group of companies. Tony’s background is anchored in operations and balanced with corporate administration, finance and business development experience gained in the United States and Chile, where he occupied senior management positions.

Tony has over 30 years of experience in the mining industry and currently represents Royal Gold at the World Gold Council (Chair, Compensation Committee) and the National Mining Association. He is a member of the University Advisory Board of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mining Engineering from South Dakota School of Mines and a Certificate in Finance from Golden Gate University in San Francisco.

All luncheons will be held on the Main Floor of the Casino in the Celebrity Showroom. Tickets are $50.00 each, order tickets on the registration form.

There will be a limited number of tickets available for sale at the AEMA registration desk.

AEMA's 2017 Annual Meeting Program Committee

2017 Program Chairman

Eric M. Struhsacker - Consulting Exploration Geologist - Reno NV

Eric M. Struhsacker is an exploration geologist with approximately 40 years of experience including assignments with Renaissance Gold Inc., AuEx Ventures, Inc., Victoria Resources, Homestake Mining Company, Sante Fe Pacific Gold Corporation, Chevron Resources Company, and Exxon Minerals Company. He has conducted exploration for gold and silver deposits in the Great Basin, copper and molybdenum deposits in the western United States, volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits in Maine and Arizona, and geothermal resources in the Great Basin.

Eric is a Certified Professional Geologist (CPG #11107) with the American Institute of Professional Geologists. He is a 1973 graduate from Dartmouth College and earned a Master of Science from Montana State University in 1976. He is a member and former President and Vice President of the Geological Society of Nevada.

2017 Program Co-Chairman

Clark West - Global Mining Service/Marking Manager, Agru America, Inc. - Reno, NV

Clark started in the waterproofing industry in 1985 as a superintendent for a roofing company. He worked up to the position of Vice President before leaving to start in the flexible geomembrane industry in 1990 with National Seal Company as a field superintendent specializing in mine leach pads and ponds construction. In 1993 he was promoted to the Sales Division as the Sales Engineer for the Western Region moving to the position of Western Region Sales Manager in 1996. In 1999 through acquisitions Clark became an employee of the Serrot International company and served as the Western Region Sales Manager until 2002. He then started the Sierra Geosynthetics Incorporated liner installation company with partners.

In 2008 he joined Agru America as the Western Region Manager with the major responsibility of developing the mining industry market for them to coincide with their new manufacturing facility in Fernley, Nevada. Currently Clark holds the position of Mining Service and Marketing Manager working globally and has experience in all facets of the flexible membrane industry dealing with installation, sales and marketing.

2017 AEMA Board President

Erik Best Land Manager – North America Kennecott Exploration Company Rio Tinto - Salt Lake City, UT

2017 American Exploration & Mining Association President, Erik Best, has a B.S. in Biology and J.D. from the University of Wyoming College of Law.   He works as Rio Tinto Exploration-Kennecott Exploration Company’s Land Manager for North America where he focuses on land management, negotiations, permitting and governmental outreach. He has been a member of the AEMA Board of Trustees since 2012 where he has been involved on issues relating to Public Lands, Mining Law & Policy and Membership.   In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, fishing and traveling.