Register Today!

Take part in the most innovative regional mining conference in the Southwest and meet industry professionals leading the way in technology and process development.

Register Today!

Meet Our Expert Speakers


The 2017 Annual Meeting of the SME Arizona Conference is proud to present speakers who are experts in their respective fields with a focus on industry developments, trends, and innovations specific to the Southwest.

*Please check back often for updates on speakers.

Keynote Speaker


Monday, December 4, 2017 | 8:30 am - 9:00 am

Update on Freeport North American Operations

About the Speaker

Josh began his career with the Company in 1993 at our Morenci operations as a front line supervisor. For more than 20 years, he has held positions of increasing responsibility in various areas of the organization, including roles in Operations, Engineering, Maintenance, Administration and Senior Management both in North and South America. In 2003, he was named Mine Superintendent at our Candelaria operation. In 2007, he became Administrative General Manager at Morenci and was named President of El Abra in 2009. At the beginning of 2013 he was named Senior Vice President of the Morenci operation and in 2015 became Senior Vice President-North America Copper and oversees the North American copper mining sites as well as the Rod and Refining plants. Josh has a Bachelor of Science degree in mining engineering from Colorado School of Mines. He is a graduate of the Harvard Business School General Management Program.


Luncheon Speaker


Monday, December 4, 2017 | 11:45 am - 1:00 pm

Is it Still Possible to Permit a Major New Mining Project in the United States?

After 150 years of mining development in the United States and significant growth of the mining sector in the last two decades of the 20th century, industry observers have now raised the question of the likelihood of new mining projects being permitted based on the growth of regulation, Federal oversight and citizen involvement. Congressional, state and local statutory requirements in the last 35 years have proliferated along with the accompanying regulations enforced by various federal, state and local agencies. In particular the 2014 pre-emptive action by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) against an Alaska mine project which had not submitted a permit application has raised the bar for any would-be mine developer. Yet, a closer look at the recent history of projects developed or expanded in the U.S. may portray a more positive picture than at first glance. Mining policy changes as a result of the 2016 Presidential election could benefit new projects. Successfully permitted mining projects share common themes in conducting an adequate community assessment and public outreach which follow a systematic approach to sustainable development. New mining projects can be developed in the U.S. if properly planned and managed.

About the Speaker

Mr. Ewigleben brings more than 35 years of experience in the mining industry to his role with Holland & Hart. He has extensive experience in regulatory, environment, and government affairs, mergers and acquisitions, and other legal issues facing mining companies. He has appeared before countless government agencies at the local, state, and federal level and he has successfully negotiated conditions for permits and approvals that allow mining companies to begin and continue profitable operations. Mr. Ewigleben's substantial experience as an in-house counsel and executive in mining companies affords him a unique perspective on the objectives of company legal officers and the need to provide cost-effective solutions for compliance, transactional and regulatory matters. He has served as the Chairman, CEO, President and General Counsel of many mining companies including International Tower Hill Mines, Ltd., Uranium Resources Inc., AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., AngloGold Ashanti North America Inc., Echo Bay Mines Ltd. and AMAX Gold/AMAX Coal.