Keynote and Signature Lectures

Leading experts from around the globe share insights on the trends and factors changing the future of the industry.

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Monday, February 26, 2024 | 8:30 am – 11:00 am



Energy is Everything

Speaker: Alex Epstein, Author, Energy Expert

Fossil fuels have fostered global human flourishing and pulled millions of people out of poverty. Factoring in an estimated coal reserve of approximately 250 billion tonnes in the United States, roughly 23% of the world reserve, these minerals continue to have an impact on the global energy mix.

Energy expert Alex Epstein opens the keynote session with a presentation about the need for affordable and reliable energy in the future and perspectives on how coal and other fossil fuels can continue to provide improved energy delivery systems for developing nations. With nearly a billion people without reliable power and potable water, providing affordable, reliable energy encourages the innovation necessary to support developing countries sustainably.

The transition to alternative energy resources and the related supply chain development is long. The use of fossil fuels, including coal, is needed during this process. The session will also discuss the state of the U.S. energy grid, plans for improvement and growth, and the complexity of balancing the grid.

A panel discussion follows the overview and covers possibilities on the ability to adapt green energy solutions to a wide energy grid.

Bradford Crabtree, Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM)

Joseph Craft III, President and CEO, Alliance Resource Partners, L.P.

Jimmy Brock, President and CEO, CONSOL Energy

Jimmy Staton, President & CEO, Santee Cooper


Not So Fast: The Continuing Role of Coal in a Sustainable Future Robert E. Murray Innovation Award Lecture 

Daniel Connell, Vice President – CONSOL Innovations

Jacqueline Fidler, Vice President, Environmental & Sustainability, CONSOL Energy

About the Speaker:

AEAlex Epstein is a philosopher and energy expert who argues that “human flourishing” should be the guiding principle of energy and environmental progress. He is the author of the new bestselling book Fossil Future: Why Global Human Flourishing Requires More Oil, Coal, and Natural Gas—Not Less. He is also the creator of—a source of powerful, well-referenced talking points on energy, environmental, and climate issues.


Monday, February 26, 2024 | 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm


Mineral Processing – Where Experiments Go to Die

Antoine M. Gaudin Award Lecture

Speaker: Timothy Napier-Munn

Mineral engineers spend a lot of time doing experiments, and gathering and analyzing data. Many do so by the seat of their pants, rather than using the powerful experimental design and analysis tools they learned in Stats 101 at university (and then forgot). These tools maximize information, minimize effort, control decision-making risk, and are accessible through user-friendly software. For these reasons, most numerate professions use them routinely and uncontroversially. So why don’t we? This talk explores this vexed question, and shows how simple techniques generate greater returns for the shareholder and professional satisfaction for the practitioner.


Froth Flotation Then and Now

Robert H. Richards Award Lecture

Speaker: Richard H. Johnson

RJJIn 1976, I began my career operating 7-rows of 48-ft3 (1.4-m3) Galigher Agitair float cells in the old plant and 3-rows of 300-ft3 (8.5-m3) Wemco cells in the new plant. Within a five-year span, we started replacing some of the small Agitair cells with 2,000-ft3 (56.6-m3) Maxwell pre-rougher cells, followed by 500-ft3 (14.2-m3) Outokumpu units. I was thinking what a very progressive operation I had joined. Flash forward 10 years, the OK-1,350-ft3 (38-m3) and Wemco 1,500-ft3 (42.5-m3) cells were the new rave. Jump another 10 years, and the Wemco 3,000-ft3 (85-m3) were making a splash, and we were talking about even larger tank cells in our future. Another 10 years later, the tank cells arrive at 100 m3 and are jumping to a new standard of 300-m3 cells. What I would like to discuss today is the ongoing shift back to smaller, more efficient cells and how we got there.


What the MPD Can Learn from the Lead Battery

Milton E. Wadsworth Award Lecture

Speaker: Gus Van Weert

GVWThe automotive starter battery industry provides just about the second-best example of what’s going to happen to most industrial metals: near complete recycling! With only residual domestic mining, U.S. steelmakers already operate with 50% steel scrap. Concrete waste and bricks are attracting attention as cement replacement and wood is turned into char. What’s the utility of the MPD in this happening? The role of minerals?

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