Nevada Gold Mines Executive Managing Director Greg Walker will be speaking on “Nevada – The Epicenter of Gold Mining” at the Dec. 5 luncheon during the 125th American Exploration & Mining Association annual meeting at the Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks.
The other keynote speaker will be Alexander Herrgott, executive director of the U.S. Federal Permitting Improvement Council in Washington, D.C. He will be a luncheon speaker on Dec. 4, speaking on “Federal Permitting: Cutting the Red Tape to Rebuild the Nation.”
Walker became the managing director of Nevada Gold Mines after the joint venture between Barrick Gold Corp. and Newmont Goldcorp Corp. went into effect July 1, combining the former Barrick and Newmont operations in Nevada under one umbrella, with Barrick as the operator.
He has been with Barrick since 2003, serving as general manager through the years of the company’s mining operations in Tanzania, Papua New Guinea and the Dominican Republic
President Trump named Herrgott to the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council in November 2018, after he served as associate director for infrastructure for the Council on Environmental Quality under the executive office from April 2017 to November 2018. He managed implementation of Trump’s executive order to streamline the National Environmental Protection Act permitting processes during that time.
Earlier, he was majority deputy staff director for the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and before that, legislative director for Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla.
“Lengthy permit timelines have long been an issue for mining projects in the U.S. I think from this administration we will have a great message on permitting,” said Mark Compton, who became executive director of AEMA April 1, succeeding retiring Laura Skaer.
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“Access to minerals and permitting projects in a timely manner are major topics of the annual meeting,” he said.
The annual meeting begins Dec. 1 with short courses. The exhibition, luncheons and technical sessions are slated for Dec. 4-6. The exhibition had 245 spaces sold as of Nov. 25, with five open, according to Mike Heywood, membership and exhibitor coordinator.
Online registration has ended for the annual meeting “but we still welcome people to come. They just need to register on site,” Compton said. “It’s looking like we will have a great turnout. It’s a great opportunity to come and network with folks from every aspect of the industry.”
Technical sessions begin Dec. 4, and Compton will chair a session on “Politics Matter: 2020 Implications to Mining in America.”
The technical sessions also will feature a wide variety of topics, including state and province reports, with Nevada Division of Minerals Administrator Richard Perry chairing; and an update on mine and exploration permitting changes, chaired by Ben Veach of Stantec Consulting Services Inc. of Reno.
Another session will be on New Mining in Old Districts chaired by Doug Stiles, general manager of Hecla Montana, and one will be on Moving Ahead – Growth Companies Advance, led by Ronald Parratt, executive chairman of Renaissance Gold Inc. of Reno.
There also will be sessions on how policy and legal decisions affect operations, critical minerals, mining communications and investor relations, abandoned mine lands, raising capital, improving productivity, mine closure and reclamation, mining hydrology, mining development in the Midwest, and exploration, including in Alaska and Mexico.
AEMA is offering continuing education credits for certain short courses and technical sessions, Compton said. Details on the short courses and technical sessions are available on the American Exploration & Mining Association website.
AEMA is a national organization that changed its name from Northwest Mining Association to reflect its wide membership. Compton said there are members in 44 states and six Canadian territories, as well as 10 other countries.
AEMA program chairmen for the 2019 annual meeting are Tim Arnold, chief operating officer of Integra Resources Corp. in Reno, and Rusty Hufford, senior project manager for Wood Environmental and Infrastructure Solutions of Reno and Elko.