By Steve Fiscor, Editor-in-Chief
To say the mood at this year’s annual meeting of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME) was noticeably upbeat would be an understatement. The event opened with a keynote address from Doug Silver, portfolio manager for Orion Mine Finance. Readers might recall that Orion financed the Stornaway diamond project in Canada. Silver was guardedly optimistic as many of the seasoned professionals in the mining business are these days. He pondered the industry’s ability to find financing and whether traditional financiers may already be too late for the next upward cycle.
The annual SME meeting took place in Denver this year and the technical sessions were packed with engineers as they normally are, but the biggest difference was the demeanor among the delegates. For the last eight years, this has been a depressed group of beat down dogs, as the despair from regulatory overreach took its toll. This year, however, they were standing tall, proud and happy.