Technology for the Future: Report of the SME Research Forum


The Research Council of SME, at its Annual Meeting in Reno, NV, in February 1993, held a Research Forum on Technology for the Future. The Forum's purpose was to find out from the members, particularly those from industry, their opinions on research needed in the mineral industries. Panelists were selected for their breadth of knowledge and connections. Many panelists, in turn, solicited opinions from additional contacts. A similar effort is underway with mineral-oriented schools. A parallel mission has been undertaken by the American Mining Congress (AMC) through its Committee on Technology. In particular, AMC is concerned that the needs of industry be transmitted in a timely way to federal agencies, especially the US Bureau of Mines. This article reports to the SME membership the principal findings of the Research Forum. The article is derived from a full report that is available from SME. Many of the calls for research made during the Forum can be clustered into five broad categories. These categories are discussed in the following sections of this article. However, since the time of the Forum, many reviewers of the full report have noticed that fundamental research was not given much emphasis. The Research Council points out that the Forum was organized around industrial needs. There is a call to the academic and research community to organize a similar Forum. The Council emphasizes that this is not the last word on research needs and that the membership is urged to continue to give ideas and opinions to the SME Research Council. There will be an opportunity at its next meeting during the SME Annual Meeting in Albuquerque, NM, Feb. 22, 1994, for open discussion of this report. Because the opinions were intentionally confined to representatives from industry, the problems portrayed and the solutions sought are from the vantage of an operator. It comes as no surprise that many of the espoused research desiderata seek more efficient or cost-effective outcomes for the various mining activities discussed. The order of the Forum was a straightforward set of mining activities: exploration, evaluation, mining and processing.


Mining Engineering

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Article - Journal

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© 1993 Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 1993

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