Mining’s future and past to be discussed at 2024 SME Minnesota Conference

William Gleason

April 2, 2024

Minnesota’s mining industry helped build the United States and protect its freedoms thanks to the iron ore mines in the northern part of the state. Its reserves of critical minerals in addition to the iron ore mines that are still in operation hold great promise for the future. From April 15-17, the 2024 SME Minnesota Conference will take place in Duluth, MN where the future of the industry in the state will be discussed while also recognizing the lessons learned from its past.

LaTisha Gietzen, Market Manager-Mining North America, Kalenborn Abresist Corp. will kick off the opening plenary session with a presentation titled, “Sustainable mining: Our past reveals our future” which will be followed by a talk from Peter Kero, VP and Sr. Environmental Engineer, Barr Engineering titled “Reclaiming Minnesota’s mined lands: Lessons from Minnesota’s mining past.” The plenary session will conclude with a presentation from Ida Rukavina, Commissioner of the Iron Range Rehabilitation and Resources titled “Iron Range resources & rehabilitation: Our history and future.”

“Minnesota has a long tradition of mining excellence, bolstered by a commitment to responsible reclamation of our mined lands with an eye toward future use, be it for future mineral production or other innovative economic development opportunities,” said conference chair Kurt Doran. “The 2024 program attempts to pay homage to past mining on Minnesota’s Iron Range, with an eye toward future mineral production and societal benefits associated with long- term reclamation.”

The three-day program will cover a variety of topics with sessions focused on Mine permitting and regulatory obligations; Mine engineering and underground construction; Advancements in iron processing and steelmaking; The geology of emerging mineral opportunities and Mining and plant maintenance.

“Attendees to this conference can expect to gain a wealth of knowledge on a variety of topics, from innovations in mineral processing to future exploration targets to meaningful engagement with the public and indigenous partners,” said Doran.

The conference also features a vibrant exhibit hall and a number of social events including a vendor reception on April 16.

This year the conference will be at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. In 2023 the conference was held closer to the iron ore mines in Virginia, MN.

“The decision to return to Duluth was not made lightly,” said Doran. “Understanding the long history of holding the conference in Duluth, and the unique opportunities presented with holding the conference in Virginia, in the center of the Iron Range, the MN section will continue to attempt to be a bridge between The Range and Duluth. It is our hope that this and future conferences reflect this.”

To register for the conference


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