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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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ATSDR Draft Toxicological Profile - Silica

Posted By Mark Ellis, Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Yesterday the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) published the long-anticipated draft toxicological profile for "silica."  A copy of the Federal Register notice in which the draft publication is referenced is attached.  ATSDR is seeking public comments and additional information or reports on studies about the health effects of four substances, including silica.  The draft toxicological profile makes clear that amorphous and crystalline silica both are addressed.  Comments on the draft must be submitted by September 11, 2017.


The draft toxicological profile for silica can be accessed on the following portal page, which includes a description of the process through which the draft currently is progressing:  The complete 370-page document can be accessed and downloaded through the following link:  The document is 11.4 MB in size.  Please go to the link to download it.

Download File (PDF)

Tags:  ATSDR  comments  silica  toxicology profile 

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Monday Move: The Power of the Obliques!

Posted By Darrell Smith, Monday, June 12, 2017

The Power of the Obliques (…but what is that?)

The oblique muscles are your waistline muscles. They are among the top muscles we use the LEAST often. They are located between the end of the ribcage and the hipbone. 

But, why does this matter?  

When the obliques are shortened due to a hunched posture (sitting in a chair, your car, or operating equipment) it is difficult to turn from left to right properly and leads to compensating actions, which can inevitably lead to middle-back strain. Moreover, under-active obliques contribute to a false aesthetic of weight gain and poor posture.

Turn on your obliques with this simple standing exercise to lengthen and tighten your waistline, and promote better turning and twisting motions.  

Click here:

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IMA-NA Presents on the Percentage Depletion at the Western Caucus meeting

Posted By Chris Greissing, Friday, June 9, 2017

Earlier today, IMA-NA President Mark Ellis joined with our coalition colleagues from the National Mining Association and National Stripper Well Association to present to the Western Caucus on the importance of the percentage depletion deduction to our industries.  


The Western Caucus is made up of members of Congress from Western states.  The meeting was held before about 40-50 staff for those members of Congress including several in leadership and staff from the Trump administration.  The message of the importance of the deduction to the natural resources sector was well-received.  We are going to follow-up with many of the offices that were in attendance in the coming weeks to continue to educate them on the importance of retaining percentage depletion deduction in tax reform.  



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Webinar on June 13th- North American Minerals Day 2018

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Friday, June 9, 2017

As you know, 2018 marks the 10th anniversary of European Minerals Day and the 3rd for North American Minerals Day. Staff for both IMA-Europe and IMA-NA developed the program as a way to spread awareness of the industrial minerals industry through member hosted events.  European Minerals Day takes place in September, a month before the target week of October 8th for North American Minerals Day.  We are beginning the process of planning events across Europe and North America. Join us on June 13th at 1:00pm EDT for a webinar to learn about the program and how you and your company can get involved.

Click here to register

Tags:  education  European Minerals Day  IMA-Europe  North American Minerals Day  North American Minerals Days  outreach 

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Sage Grouse Conservation Plans Under Review

Posted By Chris Greissing, Thursday, June 8, 2017

United States Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced a review of the federal greater sage grouse conservation plans.  The secretarial order signed by Zinke, will establish a review panel to look at both federal and state level efforts to protect the birds, and will likely lead to changes to how they are managed.  


The review panel will include members of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and will focus on principal threats to the sage grouse’s habitat. 


The review will last for 60 days and then a summary and recommendations will be given to Secretary Zinke for next steps.  


IMA-NA will closely follow this process and will be prepared to file public comments if and when that opportunity arises.


To view the press release from the Department of Interior, click here.

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