Plant Managers and Area Engineers: Put These 2017 Conferences On Your Calendar

It’s that time to pull out your calendar for the year and schedule in any upcoming conferences you’d like to attend.

There are several good options in 2017 for plant managers, area engineers, and any other managers who work in the mining, construction or solid waste industries.

Below are our picks for the 15 upcoming conference, expos and trade shows throughout 2017 worth looking into.


PDAC 2017 — Toronto, March 5–8

PDAC 2017 is billed as the place where the mineral exploration and finance industries come together. Organizers predict 22,000 attendees and 900 exhibitors, representing more than 100 countries, will make the trip to Toronto this year to take part in network events and courses.

Two highlights stand out for this year’s event:

  • A session on March 5 on the mineral riches of the Western Tethyan Belt, plus an overall view of the opportunities afforded by Eastern Europe and Turkey.
  • A session on March 6 by the Colombian Government-National Mining Agency on their country’s commitment to transforming its economy through mining.


NRMCA 2017 — Las Vegas, March 4–6

Co-located with the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association’s 2017 Annual Convention, NRMCA 2017 will bring together thousands of concrete professionals from around the world.

A couple of speakers to look out for are University of Utah professor Dr. Arthur C. Nelson, who will deliver an opening talk on the future of concrete in the construction industry, and Sage Policy Group CEO and Chairman Anirban Basu, who will take a look at macro-level economic trends driving the industry.


Spring Coal Forum 2017 — Clearwater Beach, Florida, March 7–9

Spring Coal Forum 2017 will bring together the industry’s executive leadership to discuss issues such as coal suppliers, utilities, railroads and America’s energy policies.

The Heritage Foundation’s Stephen Moore, a distinguished visiting fellow at the Project for Economic Growth, will deliver the opening keynote by discussing the economic and regulatory outlook for coal under President Trump. This will be a fascinating year for the Coal Forum.


IFPE 2017 — Las Vegas, March 7–11

Co-located with CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017, the triennial IFPE 2017 will explore recent breakthroughs in the worlds of fluid power, power transmission and motion control applications. In the past, this has been a fruitful expo for engineers and executives in off-highway vehicles, in fluid power and power transmission production, and in materials handling, among other industries.

Keep an eye out for some of the education opportunities this year, which organizers say will touch on cutting-edge technologies and manufacturing processes.


Bauxite & Alumina Conference 2017 — Miami, March 14–16

The Bauxite & Alumina Conference is unique in that it’s the only one that calls together attendees from across the globe to drill down to market-specific topics.

“The bauxite & alumina markets continue to make dynamic shifts as geographical hotspots for bauxite supply jump from Indonesia to Malaysia to Guinea, and a number of export bans and infrastructure challenges restrict trade,” organizers write. “Meanwhile, alumina refineries remain under pressure due to the underperforming aluminium market.”

Speakers this year will include AMC Bauxite CEO Bob Adam and Alkhaly Yamoussa Bangoura, a senior advisor in Guinea’s Ministry of Mines & Geology.


Mines and Money Asia — Hong Kong, April 5–7

Mines and Money Asia bills itself as “the gateway to Asian capital for miners seeking investment.” This is the conference to attend for any mining executives hoping to expand their operations into Asia.

Organizers predict thousands of senior execs from around the world will make the trip to Hong Kong this year. All told, 40-plus countries will be represented, and over the two and a half days of the conference, there will be more than 150 speakers. Still, networking opportunities abound, and the focus will be on deal-making.


National Heavy Equipment Show — Toronto, April 6–7

The National Heavy Equipment Show in Toronto will give industry professionals nice close-ups of some cutting edge machinery poised to come to market. This will include

  • a showcase of snow and ice removal machines;
  • a display called the PIT that will feature heavy machines such as aggregate machines, crushers, front-end loaders and recyclers;
  • an expo specifically for safety and worksite security products.

Also, there will be an element of recruiting available for exhibitors. Attendees looking for new opportunities are encouraged to bring their resumes, and hiring companies will have the option of putting up signage that indicates they’re interested in speaking to candidates.


SPE Health, Safety, Security, Environment, & Social Responsibility Conference — New Orleans, April 18–20

This SPE conference in New Orleans will have the theme “Sustaining our Future Through Innovation, Collaboration, and Capital Efficiency.” The goal will be to call together some of the brightest minds and most influential decision-makers to find innovative solutions to social and environmental issues.

Organizers recommend anyone from the following industries and sectors take a look at the conference’s lineup:

  • Health, safety, security, environment, and social responsibility professionals
  • Operations management
  • Government and NGOs
  • Universities and other educational institutions
  • Emergency response and security organizations


121st Metalcasting Conference — Milwaukee, April 25–27

The American Foundry Society’s Metalcasting Conference has been an ongoing event since the late 1800s, and that heritage brings in a varied group of industry professionals representing suppliers, foundries and customers.

This year, expect several good roundtables and expert panels, plus some interesting courses and opportunities to network. This year’s keynote speaker will be Harry Moser, President and Founder of the Reshoring Initiative, which has been working diligently over the past seven years to promote manufacturing jobs in the United States.


ALTA 2017 — Perth, Australia, May 20–27

The eight-day ALTA 2017 conference in Western Australia is for anyone in the nickel, cobalt and copper mining industries, as well as anyone in uranium and gold mining.

In fact, it’s essentially three conferences rolled into one. You can approach it by following any one of the conference themes:

  • The nickel/cobalt/copper sessions
  • The uranium-REE sessions
  • The gold and precious metals sessions


CNRE 2017 — Prince George, Canada, May 26–27

Canadian North Resources Expo 2017 returns after a successful 2015 expo that focused on forestry, heavy construction and big projects. Expect to meet professionals from those industries as well as mining, biomass and transportation, among others.

All told, this expo will take place across four acres up in the middle of British Columbia, where organizers promise a show that “features all the equipment needed to get the big jobs done.”


Mining on Top — Frankfurt, Germany, July 6–7

This is the fourth Mining on Top Africa-London Summit, and organizers expect more than 200 participants from 20-plus countries to gather for a definitive look at mining in Africa. Officials from Africa’s most established economies will meet with global mining executives and investors to discuss opportunities and to share ideas.

Three excellent speakers stand out on the bill:

  • Tiémoko Sangaré, Mali’s Minister of Mines
  • Hon. Abdoulaye Magassouba, Guinea’s Minister of Mines & Geology
  • Shi Jiyang, CEO of the CAD FUND


ICUEE — Louisville, October 3–5

ICUEE 2017 is going to be fun.

The International Constructions and the Utility Equipment Expo, aka the Demo Expo, brings together utility and construction professionals each year “to gain comprehensive insight into the latest technologies, innovations, insights, and trends affecting their industry.”

Organizers predict ICUEE 2017 will welcome more than 950 manufacturers, and attendees will be able to field test products and other technology in job-like settings. There will also be a two-mile test track to test out on-road machinery.


Exploration 2017 — Toronto, October 22–25

Exploration 2017 returns to Toronto for the first such expo in a decade. The theme this time will be “Integrating the Geosciences: The Challenge of Discovery,” and organizers promise a multidisciplinary program of training, workshops and exhibitions.

The topic, organizers say, is especially relevant right now because the next wave of discoveries will shape the trajectories of rebounds in the commodities markets. “In this environment, looking back helps us to look forward and we invite you to join us for a unique learning exchange and interaction with the top professionals in their fields — working together for an integrated future of discovery,” they write.


Expo F — Panama, October 24–26

Expo F offers a couple of great opportunities: The chance to network with the decision-makers shaping Latin America’s growth, and the chance to get down around the equator just as the weather starts to cool off.

Focus on the former, though, because this is a chance to meet with exhibitors in the construction, security, home improvement and hardware industries, among others, who are establishing themselves in Latin America and the Caribbean just as those countries begin to flex their economic muscles.

Further, this could serve as a useful introduction to Panama itself, the country in charge of the most important shipping lane in the Americas, and a country whose GDP growth outpaces all of the other countries in the region. It’s worth the trip to explore the benefits of Panamanian trade agreements and regulations.

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