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First Friday Ask IMA - Tomorrow

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Thursday, July 6, 2017

Click here to register

Please join us for July's First Friday's Ask IMA tomorrow, June 7th at 1:00pm EST. IMA-NA staff will update members on ongoing legislative and regulatory issues, including percentage depletion, CERCLA 108(b), and the Waters of the US. In addition to updating members on lobbying efforts and issues of concern for the industry, staff will also be discussing the upcoming Fly-in and ongoing planning for North American Minerals Day.

Tags:  first friday  member outreach  outreach 

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EPA Begins Repeal of Obama Water Rule

Posted By Chris Greissing, Wednesday, June 28, 2017

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has initiated the repeal of the Obama administration’s 2015 water jurisdiction regulation.  The proposal issued yesterday by the EPA would be the first step the Trump administration takes to repeal the highly controversial 2015 Waters of the United States rule.  The proposal would “recodify” the prior regulation text defining waters of the United States.  This will remove the 2015 rule from law and render moot all outstanding court cases against the regulation.  


The next step in the process, which the EPA hopes to begin by the end of the year, will be to have a “substantive re-evaluation of the definition of waters of the United States” in a new rulemaking effort.


IMA-NA applauds the Trump Administration for taking these steps and seeking to provide clarity to this issue.  We will continue to be involved in this process, along with our industry coalition, to have our voices heard as the EPA seeks to replace this rule.  


To view the EPA press release and see more information, click here

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Soda Ash Legislation Passes House Committee

Posted By Chris Greissing, Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The House Natural Resources Committee held a markup of H.R. 1399, the American Soda Ash Competitiveness Act.  The legislation is designed to allow the industry to be more competitive in the global marketplace where they are facing very stiff competition from a heavily subsidized Chinese industry.  In order to allow the industry to be more competitive, the legislation would lower the federal royalty rate the industry currently pays for the minerals mined on federal lands from 6% to 2% for a period of 5 years.  H.R. 1399 and its companion bill in the Senate S. 546 both have wide bipartisan support.  The Committee approved the legislation by a bipartisan vote of 27-9.  


IMA-NA would like to thank Congressman Paul Cook and Congressman Liz Cheney for their leadership and support on this important bill for the U.S. natural soda ash industry. 


IMA-NA provided comments for the markup which are attached.  

 Attached Files:

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Friday MineFit TidBit: Why Does My Foot Hurt?

Posted By Darrell Smith, Monday, June 26, 2017
Plantar Fasciitis affects many of us. It presents most often as a pain in the heel, either on one foot or both, and can spread to all parts of the foot.  

How to Fix It? 

1. Begin with lifting your foot up 6 inches away from the floor and extending your foot straight out in front of you. 

2. Second, curl your toes underneath you, to activate the insertion of your posterior tibialis muscle. This is called inversion and eversion of the foot.  
3. Third, move into ankle flexion and extension (a.k.a. lift your foot up and down like you are waving).

4. Last, with your toes on the floor, make “clocks” 12x in each direction, which is an ankle full turn.  

These are a few good starters for you to keep your foot and ankle active, and to prevent plantar fasciitis! 

Learning to walk with good deceleration using the upper part of your leg (think of walking with you HIP instead of your FOOT) to prevent slamming down on your foot and ankle, also helps.

Here is an article which summarizes the problem: 

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U.S. Silica Donates Land to Preserve Historic Road

Posted By Mark Ellis, Monday, June 26, 2017

A road made of tree trunks laid across swampland and dating back to the War of 1812 is being preserved along with 95 acres of wetland at the mouth of the Huron River through a new partnership between U.S. Silica Holdings Inc., the National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Maryland-based supplier of industrial minerals, which owns 95 acres of coastal wetlands in southern Wayne County, has entered a cooperative management agreement for conservation of the fish and wildlife, U.S. Silica was to announce Monday.

To preserve the quarter-mile of what is called a corduroy road, the company is donating two acres of land to the River Raisin National Battlefield Park in Monroe.

The road tells the history of Michigan dating back before it was a state and bears witness to the relocation of Great Lakes native nations, according to the release. It followed Native American trading routes and stretched more than 200 miles linking Ohio to the Post of Detroit in Michigan (now downtown Detroit), according to the release.

Conservation efforts under the agreement will include invasive species management, wildlife habitat management, ecological inventories and monitoring, the release said.

Learn more about the park and its history at

Tags:  National Park Service  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  U.S. Silica 

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Quartz Corp Receives Award for Outstanding Safety Record

Posted By Chris Greissing, Friday, June 23, 2017

The Industrial Minerals Association - North America would like to congratulate the Quartz Corporation for recently being recognized for their outstanding commitment to safety.


The Quartz Corporation is a member of the IMA-NA Feldspar Section.  The company was recognized at the North Carolina Department of Labor Safety Awards Banquet held in Asheville, NC.  The Quartz Corporation received three awards at this event, including being the only mining operation to be recognized with the 2 Million Hours Award, which is given to firms which accumulate two million employee hours with no injuries or illnesses involving days from work.


For more information, please view the attached announcement. 

 Attached Thumbnails:

 Attached Files:

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House Passes Career & Technical Education Bill

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Thursday, June 22, 2017

This afternoon the House passed the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353) with broad bipartisan support.  The bill is an updated version of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which provided federal funding and support for Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs on the state and local level. The Perkins bill has unfortunately been left unauthorized for over a decade. As we look at a rapidly approaching gap in our skilled workforce, reinvestment in programs that provide training and education is more important than ever. Last Congressional Session, the House passed a similar bill but the Senate failed to take the issue up. IMA-NA supports the passage of H.R. 2353 and the federal commitment to multiple pathways to education. The bipartisan H.R. 2353 focuses on investment in future generations of the US workforce in four main ways: 

  • Empowers state and local community leaders by simplifying the application process for receiving federal funds and providing more flexibility to use federal resources to respond to changing education and economic needs.
  • Improves alignment with in-demand jobs by supporting innovative learning opportunities, building better community partnerships, and encouraging stronger engagement with employers.
  • Increases transparency and accountability by streamlining performance measures to ensure CTE programs deliver results, empowering parents, students, and stakeholders with a voice in setting performance goals and evaluating the effectiveness of local programs.
  • Ensures a limited federal role by reining in the Secretary of Education’s authority, limiting federal intervention, and preventing political favoritism.


 Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), chairwoman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) issued the following statements upon passage of H.R. 2353 this afternoon:

“Far too many Americans have difficulty accessing the education and skills needed to build a promising career and successful future," Rep. Thompson said. "Jobs are going unfilled as employers face a shortage of skilled workers. Stronger career and technical education programs are exactly what this country needs to prepare our workers for the demands of a 21st century economy and meet the needs of employers. Today, we have handed a win to the American worker. This bipartisan bill puts America on the right path to closing the skills gap and sets our workers up for a future of success.”

“All education is career education," Chairwoman Foxx said. "Our nation’s career and technical education programs prepare many Americans to enter the workforce with the skills they need to succeed, and help close our nation’s skills gap. This bipartisan bill opens the door for more innovation in workforce development with the help of community leaders, educational institutions, and private business. We must continue to promote demand-driven workforce development that aligns education with the needs of employers who are anxious to hire American workers.”

To read the bill click here

To read a fact sheet on H.R. 2353 click here

Tags:  bill  committee on education and workforce  education  House  legislation  perkins reauthorization  Senate 

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IMA-NA Signs Letter of Support for Funding USGS Library

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Last week IMA-NA signed onto a letter along with other industry groups and geoscience organizations asking Congress to maintain FY17's funding level, of $5.8 million, for the US Geological Survey's (USGS) Library.  The Library is one of the world’s largest and most important Earth and natural resources libraries and provides an estimated return of over $7 to every $1 invested. The $45 million annual value is calculated according to what it would cost to reproduce the Library's information and services in the open market. The President's FY18 budget request includes a $3 million reduction in funding for the USGS Library. This substantial cut would result in the closure of 3, and potentially all 4, of the library locations and the elimination of 75% of the library employees. Additionally, the collections would also be placed in a dark archive. These cuts would effectively prohibit the general public, as well as the majority of USGS staff, from accessing the information of the USGS Library and prevent further financial return on the science housed in the library.

IMA-NA signed onto a letter urging Congress to continue funding the library at previous levels. As Chair of the Minerals Science and Information Coalition, IMA-NA feels there is substantial value in the geoscience contained in the USGS Library. An investment in the science that underpins the mining industry, is an investment in the mining industry's future in the United States. The USGS Library is a good example of a program that provides a substantial return on a, relatively small, investment in US geoscience. 

You'll find the letter attached below.

Download File (PDF)

Tags:  administration  budget  Congress  legislation  letter  minerals science  msic  usgs 

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Monday Move: My Neck

Posted By Darrell Smith, Monday, June 19, 2017

Protect your Neck!

Over time, especially over the age of 50, degenerative changes to the cervical vertebrae (aka the back of your neck) can affect both the neck and the arms significantly.  

Compression of the discs and joints in the neck have significant effects on the spinal cord. The consequence is (at best) chronic neck pain, and (at worst) numbness and tingling down into the arms and hands.  

Help your employees identify what is going on in their neck and upper back area, and offer this set of exercises to help reduce discomfort. This will also avoid unnecessary doctors visits and time away from work!

Happy Monday from your MineFit Head Coach,

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IMA-NA Welcomes 2 Summer Interns

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Industrial Minerals Association - North America (IMA-NA) has welcomed two new members to the team for summer internships. We would like to introduce RJ Alpers and Anselme Subtil to IMA-NA members.


 RJ recently graduated summa cum laude from St. John's University (MN) with degrees in political science and Hispanic Studies. Last summer RJ interned in Washington, D.C., for Congressman Tim Walz (MN-1), and enjoyed the experience so much that he decided to move back to the area upon graduation. During his time at IMA-NA, RJ hopes to contribute to the team’s continued success by attending numerous legislative and regulatory meetings with IMA-NA staff, aiding in research, making professional contacts, and by assisting on a variety of other vital tasks.

 At St. John’s, RJ played baseball, performed in 2 of the university’s comedy groups, and was a student senator. When he is not working hard at his internships, he loves running and performing standup comedy. Though now a proud member of the District; RJ is originally from Avon, Minnesota, where his parents Bob and Elli have lived for almost 30 years. Moving forward, RJ plans to enjoy his internship, attend law school, and take advantage of every opportunity afforded to him.


Anselme, originally from Sézanne (France), has been attending the Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina for three years, and will receive the traditional ring of his, soon to be, Alma Mater in October. After a long experience of boarding schools and rigid discipline, he hopes to enter the sphere of politics in Washington, D.C. Anselme was invited by, Citadel alum, Darrell Smith to participate in 10 weeks of association life to learn, serve, and represent the industrial minerals industry. In just a week, Anselme and RJ have already contributed to the Association by supporting the research necessary for the drafting of IMA-NA’s CERCLA 108(b) comments.  Additionally, Anselme has participated in lobbying visits to maintain the percentage depletion allowance in the tax code.

 Outside of his internship Anselme is an avid reader of classical literature and philosophy, to better prepare himself for the life of a public servant, to which he aspires. Upon graduation he will return to D.C., and work to begin a career in the association world, or in the legislative branch, while pursuing a Master’s degree.


IMA-NA is pleased to welcome these two spectacular new interns for the summer of 2017. Staff is looking forward to working with RJ and Anselme as they learn about our industry and the public policy process.

Tags:  education  intern  operations  outreach  staff 

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