The Mining Institute hosts a wide range of events from live music to poetry readings, lectures and plays.  The spaces are available to hire for your events and many of the talks are open to the public.


Mining Institute lectures are free and open to everyone with tea and coffee served from 5:30pm in the Library upstairs and a cash bar to follow at 7:00pm.

 Thursday 5th October 2017, 6pm

“Misadventures in Colombian Coal”

Dr F.W. Smith, FIMMM, FNEIMME, CEng.

Coming soon after an explosion that killed 13 miners at Cucunuba, this illustrated talk describes conditions in Colombia’s coal mines and reflects on the reasons why such calamities continue. Official statistics record 1147 deaths in Colombian mines for the years 2005 to 2016; mostly in the coal industry. Although best known for its huge open-pit coal mines, Colombia produces about 5 million tpa from underground collieries and Rick focusses on these, using personal experiences from working there as a geological consultant over the last 15 years. Conditions are relatively primitive and the industry faces a major challenge in trying to advance from mining methods that would have been familiar to our Institute’s founders,  to modern standards of production, productivity and safety.

After graduating from the University of Durham Rick Smith worked in the exploration and mining industry for 43 years, firstly with BSC and ICI, then since 1977 as a geological consultant, building consultancy companies in the UK and Colombia.  He has enjoyed working in many regions of the world on commodities such as coal, fluorspar, barytes, lead & zinc, gold, gas and potash; and on projects involving contaminated land remediation, underground storage, and geothermal energy. He joined NEIMME in 1979 and is the incoming President for 2017-8. Although now semi-retired he still retains many connections in Colombia,  the mining world, and local universities.

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