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Happy Snow Day! MineFit Addendum

Posted By Darrell Smith, Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Due to the popularity of yesterday’s most recent Monday Move, we have created a general PDF document (attached) to illustrate these four important stretches. Please print it for your use on-site, and see the additional Monday Moves for resources.

These three photos below illustrate three of our four stretches.  The standing hip extension has not been performed on site yet — do we have any volunteer locations to be the next photo shoot on-site!? Let us know!

Download File (PDF)

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MineFit Monday Move: The Secret of a Stretch to Losing Weight

Posted By Darrell Smith, Monday, March 13, 2017

Did you know that stiffness in the hip area is actually more prevalent than tight hamstrings in causing referred lower back pain?  

That’s right - if your hips become tight, you are not only at risk for chronic discomfort and a subsequent reduction in physical activity, but also acute stress and pain.  

Scenario: you want to start exercising to lose a few LB’s, so you’ll need to start walking, moving, lifting, and using cardio equipment. BUT, a common adverse affect of this activity is the “hmm, why does my lower back feel funny? I think I will skip my exercise today.” It’s rather discouraging for folks who do want to be more active but are confused about the body ache side effects.  

Solution: Here is an easy guide of Hip Opening Magic to Release you From Impingement and Make Exercise More Feasible: 

Start with Hip Extension with knee bend: bend your leg and open the front of the hip and side of the body, like you are kicking a door open behind you. Hold 30 seconds...

You can do this one in standing form easily. Do 15 on each leg.  

Then move to a HALF Kneeling Trunk Rotations, make sure kneecaps stay facing forward and shoulders away from the ears, arms are straight and chest is open,10 per side...

We did this one on-site! It’s a great full-body stretch and strengthen. The only addition from the picture is to turn your head and shoulders off from one side to the other, getting more of a challenge and a total body stretch. 

Standing Forward Fold: be carful to brace the abdomen, and let your upper body hang in front of you, folding from the waist with your knees BENT...

It’s best to hold this one for 10 deep breaths, or two sets of five.

Leg Bent Cross Body: keep the knees at hip level at all times, fold one leg across the other kneecap, keep your spine flat, and ease your chin down to the floor, 8 times for three seconds per...

A great break-room stretch or something to do at your desk.  

***These three photos below illustrate three of our four stretches. The standing hip extension has not been performed on site yet — any volunteers to be the next photo shoot on-site!?***




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Friday MineFit TidBit: Stimulate Your Brain to Manage Weight and Boost Employee Engagement

Posted By Darrell Smith, Friday, March 10, 2017

There are two puzzles below, meant specifically to improve mental acuity, reduce the risk of mistakes in the workplace, and increase engagement.  

(A) Which bicycle actually works? A, B, C, or D? Only one can function on the road.
(B) These are photo close ups of objects in the manufacturing industry - can you identify them?  

To get the answers and see if you are right, and comment on how this affected your mental acuity, email your Head Coach, Monica Pampell.  

Have a great weekend.  

PS - See these two sites to sharpen your skills and help stave off mindless eating patterns...

Brain Games 


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The American Soda Ash Competitiveness Act Has Been Introduced in the House and Senate

Posted By Chris Greissing, Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Earlier today, Senators John Barrasso (R-WY) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced S. 546, the American Soda Ash Competitiveness Act.  Joining them as original cosponsors on the bill were Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Gary Peters (D-MI), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Bob Casey (D-PA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Mike Enzi (R-WY).  The legislation would lower the federal royalty rate the U.S. producers pay for soda ash mined on federal lands from 6% to 2% for a period of five years.


The House also introduced a companion bill (HR 1399) today led by Congressman Paul Cook (R-CA).  Joining him on the bipartisan bill were 19 cosponsors: Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Steve Knight (R-CA), Jim Costa (D-CA), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Scott Tipton (R-CO), Jim Himes (D-CT), David Valadao (R-CA), Kevin Yoder (R-KS), Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), John Culberson (R-TX), Randy Weber (R-TX), David McKinley (R-WV), Mimi Walters (R-CA), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), Trent Kelly (R-MS), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), and Liz Cheney (R-WY).


This is an essential bill for the United States natural soda ash industry, glass manufacturers, ports and the men and women that work these jobs.  Currently, the U.S. soda ash industry accounts for $1.3 billion positive to the trade balance and is the second largest inorganic chemical export.  The U.S. industry is facing increasing pressures though from foreign competitors, particularly in China, who have been taking advantage of unfair trade conditions which have allowed them to undercut our members in the global market.  The large VAT rebate they receive along with the currency fluctuation in China has resulted in their companies having a $30 per ton price advantage over the U.S. producers.  The legislation would place the U.S. natural soda ash producers to be on a more even playing field with our global competitors and allow for the U.S. manufacturers of soda ash to once again be able to compete with foreign producers.  


IMA-NA and our member companies would like to thank Senators John Barrasso, Ron Wyden and Congressman Paul Cook along with their colleagues that cosponsored these bills for their leadership on this vital issue for the U.S. natural soda ash industry.  We look forward to continuing to work with these offices to get the legislation passed in the near future.


A copy of the legislation is attached.

To view Senator Barrasso's press release, click here.

Download File (PDF)

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MineFit Monday Move: Don’t Move!

Posted By Darrell Smith, Monday, March 6, 2017
In the theme of our Q1 Weight Loss and Weight Management focus for MineFit, it is important to understand how movement and exercise affect weight loss. But we often forget one important factor: SLEEP!

There are several factors that contribute to weight loss when it comes to sleep. First, you are less likely to consume calories if you are not awake. A dinner at 7pm leads to a 10pm irresistible urge to open the pantry or the fridge. Reading a book and going to bed might be a better idea. Second, much like not eating breakfast, the body learns to store calories, versus burn them, when it doesn’t get ample rest. People who get the proper amount of sleep actually burn more calories when they are awake. Third, did you know that people who sleep fewer than 7 hours per night are more likely to gain weight, or have trouble keeping it off?  

So, learn to get some ZZZ’s this week in three ways:

1. Turn off all devices an hour before bed. Light from computers, phones, and television produces serotonin, which keeps you awake when you should be resting.
2. Track your sleep patterns on an activity tracker to see how many hours you are getting per day and how many times you are restless.
3. Try placing a pillow under your legs, and examining different body positions while resting, to reduce discomfort and waking during the night.

How to Position Yourself for the Best Night’s Rest:

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Friday MineFit TidBit: Confusing Thirst and Hunger

Posted By Darrell Smith, Friday, March 3, 2017
As we get older, our thirst mechanism decreases. As a result, the feelings of weakness or dizziness that we have when thirsty sometimes falsely alert the body to eat to raise blood sugar. When you feel tired, you will feel subconsciously hungry because your body thinks it needs food for energy. This effect can also be a result of sitting too. The cookie platter or vending machine seem like a good idea, but maybe all you really needed was a walk, a few deep breaths, and a glass of water.  

Getting Hydrated When You Can’t Rely On Your Natural Craving For Fluids

Any beverage is hydrating (except alcohol). Even coffee, despite some erroneous beliefs, has hydrating benefits, and other attributes which are positive for your health. Drinks with additives (e.g. soda, artificially flavored powders and pre-made drinks) do have hydrating benefits; however, they also take more effort for the body to digest because of their chemical additions. So, best bet is to drink 60oz of water per day, and add a coffee or tea or sparking water to get you over the 70oz mark. If you think about it, that is only a bit less than 6oz of water every hour for 12 hours. Not so difficult!  


Take a large water bottle to work, and re-fill it once or twice throughout the day.  
On-site and can’t get to the restroom? Front load and back load your day with liquid - on your way to and from the worksite. And, be sure to take one lunch break with fluids, and one bathroom/water break during your shift.  
Take note of how many times you use the restroom per day, and what color your urine appears. It should be every three-four hours, with a light/medium color appearance.  
Fruits and vegetables contain water, too! So, you can beef up your hydration and your vitamin consumption with produce packed meals.

Check out this interesting BrainFacts Sheet on our thirst mechanism and the consequences of lack of hydration.

Cheers, and Happy Friday, from you MineFit Head Coach,

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First Friday Ask IMA - This Afternoon

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Friday, March 3, 2017
IMA-NA will be convening First Friday's Ask IMA this afternoon, at 1:00pm EST. IMA-NA staff will take the opportunity to review the legislative, regulatory, and executive actions that could impact our industry in the coming months. We'll discuss IMA-NA's upcoming Fly-in, the focus of our lobbying visits and other actions we're taking to represent the interests of the industrial minerals industry.

Click here to register.

Tags:  first friday 

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Cabinet Confirmations Move Forward - Zinke and Perry

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Thursday, March 2, 2017

In the past two days, the Senate has approved two more Cabinet members for the Trump Administration. Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT-AL) was confirmed as Secretary of Interior on March 1st, by a vote of 68-31. Secretary Zinke won the support of all voting Republican and 17 Democrat Senators in his confirmation.  The former Navy Seal served just one term as the At-Large Representative for the State of Montana before being tapped by President Trump for the position of Secretary of Interior.  A self fashioned Teddy Roosevelt conservationist, Secretary Zinke, hopefully brings a sense of balance between conservation and responsible land development to his new position. As mentioned by IMA-NA previously, while Secretary Zinke's Congressional record is relatively short there are indications that under his leadership the Department of Interior will be open to working closely with industry, states, and stakeholders to ensure the United States is making the best use of our natural resources in a way that allows future generations to enjoy the same access.

Today, the Senate confirmed former Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) for the position of Secretary of Energy by a vote of 62-37. The former Governor of Texas will now be in the position of leading a department he vowed to abolish during his past presidential campaigns. In his role as Secretary of Energy, Perry will oversee over the maintenance of the country's nuclear stockpile as well as the Department's grants and loans and national R&D laboratories. While the focus of the Department of Energy is not on the development of energy sources many are hoping that Secretary Perry's experience with the benefits of the robust and diverse energy portfolio of Texas will lead to the maintenance of key grants and loans to research in the renewable sector. The impact on DOE funded R&D across the country will develop as Secretary Perry begins his new role in directing the agenda. 


Bonus trivia: On his first day as Secretary of Interior, Ryan Zinke rode into work on a National Park Service horse named Tonto.

Tags:  administration  confirmation  DOE  DOI  perry  rick perry  ryan zinke  zinke 

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EPA Extends Comment Period for CERCLA 108(b) NPRM

Posted By Mark Ellis, Thursday, March 2, 2017

EPA issued a 120-day extension of the written comment period for its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to establish financial responsibility requirements for classes of facilities in the hardrock mining industry under Section 108(b) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, also known as “Superfund”).  Comments previously were due on or before March 13, 2017.  Comments now are due on or before July 11, 2017.  This is a significant rulemaking for the mining industry, potentially costing individual affected mining facilities millions of dollars in financial assurances.  IMA-NA will file timely written comments on the proposed rule.

To view the Federal Register notice, click here.

Tags:  CERCLA  EPA  rulemaking 

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EPA Announces Intention to Review and Revise Waters of the United States rule

Posted By Chris Greissing, Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Trump Administration announced yesterday via newly confirmed Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), E. Scott Pruitt, a notice of intention to review and rescind or revise the Clean Water Rule that was approved by the Obama Administration.  The rule had been in flux in the court system since October 9, 2015, after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit stayed the 2015 Rule nationwide pending further court action.  


IMA-NA  truly appreciates the Trump Administration’s commitment to reconsider the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule and repeal and replace it with a clearer and more reasonable rule.  IMA-NA member companies were seriously concerned with the scope and flaws within the 2015 WOTUS rule, which would have extended federal authority far beyond the original intent of Congress.  The heavy federal permitting and restrictions that would have been imposed could have been devastating for our industry.  


IMA-NA is looking forward to working with the Trump Administration to develop a new rule that provides clarity to our member companies.  We hope the new rule will allow for state and local governments to continue to play the role they were intended to in proctecting our nation’s waters.  We believe any new rule should be clear, based on well-founded science and law, and strike the necessary balance between protecting the environment and allowing buisnesses to thrive.


To read the Notice, click here

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