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Two New SME Committees are Approved by SME Board



By Genevieve Homyack

May 6, 2022 - When an SME member identifies a hot topic or a great need or even a gap in the industry that has significant support and interest from SME members; an ad hoc committee may be formed to address this topic. Ad hoc committees may complete a specific task and be dissolved, or as in the case of the environmental, social and governance (ESG) Toolkit, an ongoing need becomes clear and the committee can apply to become a permanent standing committee. During the SME Board meetings which took place at the 2022 SME MINEXCHANGE in Salt Lake City, UT, two new committees were approved.

ESG Toolkit Committee becomes a permanent Standing Committee of SME

The SME Board unanimously approved the formation of the ESG Toolkit Standing Committee during the Board Meeting on Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022. Over the last few years, this committee, first chaired by Anne Williamson and then Kathleen Tew, has accomplished a significant amount of work. When asked how this committee was conceived, Tew recognized 2020 SME President Bob Schafer as having proposed and received SME Board approval for the ad hoc committee in 2018. She added Schafer “recognized the need for SME to take a proactive approach to ESG.”


Bob Schafer

She also noted that as the committee evolved, “The exact format of the Toolkit changed from the Responsible Mining Toolkit to the ESG Toolkit to better align with what the site would look like- a public Wikipedia style site relating to ESG information.”

When Tew was first recommended and then asked to be involved with the committee, she said, “I was hesitant at first but I was intrigued by the topic and was happy to help.” The inaugural committee members also included Mary Korpi, Steve Richards, Jordi Ventura, Bob Washnock, Mark Savit and Susan Moore. They have already made great strides towards realizing their vision “to be the leader in ESG information sharing for the mining and underground construction industries, through a public database” with the creation and successful launch of the ESG Toolkit Website.

Currently they are seeking volunteers to fill out the new standing committee. Besides the immediate goal of developing test criteria to approve articles for the website, Tew added, “The main task for volunteers would be gathering and reviewing content for the site. The committee is structured to have project area managers (PAMS) who will keep their volunteers on track and organize the information. Each PAM will have a group of volunteers who will do the majority of the work in gathering and reviewing articles, case studies, and other impartial, informative documents. We will take all the help we can get to make this toolkit relevant and achieve the goal of being a warehouse of ESG information.”

If you are interested in volunteering for this committee, please reach out to Kathleen Tew ( or the SME staff liaison, Rebecca Smith (, for more information. 

Tailings Workforce Ad Hoc Committee is approved

The Tailings Workforce Ad Hoc Committee was unanimously approved on Thursday, March 3, 2022. This committee was born out of a discussion held during the Responsible Mining and Underground Construction Strategic Committee (RMUC) meeting. The committee plans to address the scarcity of tailings practitioners available to mining companies, consulting firms, and regulators to implement conformance with the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (GISTM). The RMUC, chaired by Anne Williamson, “recognizes that while part of the overall workforce issue, the tailings practitioner scarcity issue is uniquely critical because of the GISTM requirements and specialized expertise required. While the issue is urgent, the need to work now on mid- and long-term solutions is also critical.”

The purpose of the ad hoc committee is “to assess the current situation regarding availability of and demand for tailings practitioners, evaluate ways in which SME may be able to help with the situation, and propose the best solution or set of solutions the SME Board.” The committee will send out invitations to the following groups for volunteers: SME Tailings Stewardship Committee, SME Industry Workforce Strategic Committee, SME Young leaders, SME member(s) in the recruiting field, SME industry professionals, and SME academia representatives. If you are within one of these categories and are interested in volunteering for this committee, please contact Jackie Dorr (

For more information on how committees are formed at SME, contact Genny Homyack (