Meet Our Expert Speakers

At MineXchange 2020 SME Annual Conference & Expo we bring together some of the brightest minds in the industry. Featuring more than 700 speakers from over 25 countries, you’ll hear from recognized as experts the mining and mineral field.


Monday, February 24 | 8:30 am - 11:00 am

The Executive’s Role in Tailings Management: Preserving our Social License to Operate

The increasing number of tailings dam failures is causing significant global reactions that will have a lasting impact on how the mining industry manages its mineral processing wastes. SME is tackling this issue head-on at MineXchange 2020 SME Annual Conference & Expo.

The Keynote session titled The Executive’s Role in Tailings Management: Preserving our Social License to Operate will launch the conference by introducing the topic from the perspective of mining industry leadership. Executives from Consol Energy, Freeport-McMoRan, Mosaic, and Newmont Goldcorp will provide perspectives that span several commodity interests. The session will explore what changes in leadership tack are needed to prevent future failures, and what executive leadership can do to reduce reputational risk and preserve social license to operate for the entire industry.

The Keynote session is followed by a five-session technical Symposium titled Mine Tailings: Perspectives for a Changing World.

The Keynote and Symposium comprise three full days of information and idea exchange on the state-of-the-practice and the future of mine tailings management systems.


Nancy Case, The Mosaic Company, Vice President, Environment, Health and Safety

Nancy Case is a professional engineer who brings 20 years of experience in a variety of operational and leadership roles to the crop nutrition industry. She is currently the Vice President of Environment, Health and Safety for The Mosaic Company—a position she has held for the past three years. During this time, Mosaic has fully implemented its EHS Management System across all operating locations, achieved record-setting safety and environmental performance, and integrated EHS values, programs and priorities into Mosaic’s newest business unit in Brazil. In her early career, Case worked at Mosaic’s Belle Plaine potash solution mine facility, where she held numerous engineering and management roles before assuming the role of Director - Health, Safety and Security for the potash business unit in 2013. In 2015, she was named General Manager for the Belle Plaine facility. Case earned her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Manitoba and her Executive M.B.A. from Queens University. She is also a Six Sigma Green Belt and was a member of the Executive Committee for the Saskatchewan Mining Association for several years.

Red Conger
Harry M. (Red) Conger, Freeport-McMoRan,  President and Chief Operating Officer – Americas

Harry M. (Red) Conger is President and Chief Operating Officer - Americas, and is responsible for management of the company’s North and South America copper mining operations and Climax Molybdenum Co. This includes nine mining operations in North America, two in South America, and the associated downstream processing facilities. These operations employ more than 16,000 people and have annual copper production of 2.7 billion pounds and annual molybdenum production of 95 million pounds from mines operated by Freeport-McMoRan. He also has environmental and corporate social leadership responsibilities in North and South America. Mr. Conger has 42 years of mining industry experience with Freeport-McMoRan and its predecessors and is considered a leader in safety, change management and production efficiency.


DPC1Daniel Connell, CONSOL Energy Inc., Vice President of Business Development & Technology

Dan is Vice President of Business Development & Technology for CONSOL Energy Inc., which is a producer and exporter of thermal and metallurgical coal from the Eastern US.  In his current position, Dan is focused on developing and executing CONSOL’s growth strategy and advancing the company’s initiatives to create value through the application of new technologies.  Prior to this, Dan spent about 15 years working in CONSOL’s Research & Development, Marketing, and Strategy & Engineering groups, where he focused on the development and economic analysis of advanced power generation and environmental control technologies, technical marketing for thermal and metallurgical coal customers, energy market analysis, strategic planning, new market development, and major transactions.  Dan served as Principal Investigator and administrative lead for the Greenidge Multi-Pollutant Control Project, a $33 million clean coal technology demonstration project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, and he was CONSOL’s lead investigator on a number of research projects. Dan led the development of a strategic plan for CONSOL’s coal master limited partnership, and he was a key team member for several major transactions including the successful spin-off of CONSOL’s coal business from its natural gas E&P business. Dan earned his B.S. in chemical engineering, summa cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame.


D Gehring 1Dean Gehring, Newmont, Executive Vice President and Chief Technical Officer
Dean currently serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Technical Officer for Newmot.  Over his 28 year career, Dean has worked for a number of mining companies including Rio Tinto, Freeport and BHP holding a variety of executive roles including President and Chief Executive Officer of Rio Tinto Minerals, Global Head of Safety and Security and General Manager of Resource Development. He earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Mining Engineering from the University of Idaho, and his Masters of Science in Project Management from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.  He has served on university advisory boards and is co-chair of the SME Foundation Corporate Giving Committee.
Dean, his wife, Maria, have enjoyed the opportunity a mining career provides and have lived in the US, Canada, Indonesia and Peru.  They have two sons age 21 and 24.  Dean enjoys flying, skiing, woodworking, fly fishing and ice hockey.


2020 SME Robert E. Murray Innovation Award Lecture

Eric_Hansen-colorEric Hansen, Chief Executive Officer, Innovative Wireless Technologies, Inc.

Digital Transformation & Next Gen Networking Solutions for Mine Rescue & Mining Operations

IWT's Mine Rescue System was developed to meet the rigorous and demanding specifications of mine rescue teams. As a result, mine rescue teams are moving faster, safer, and more efficiently than ever before.


Replacing legacy sound-powered or walkie-talkie handsets, the system enables constant communication among the exploration team members, the briefing officer, and the Command Center. Small, lightweight, rapidly deployable Portable Mesh Nodes (PMNs) are the heart of the system, acting as repeaters that establish a robust wireless network. The nodes join the network automatically – no IP address needed. Just turn them on and go. Scale the system from inby the Fresh Air Base all the way to the surface Command Center by dropping PMNs outby as the Fresh Air Base advances.

Eric Hansen is CEO of Innovative Wireless Technologies, Inc. (IWT), an engineering company specializing in wireless solutions for commercial, industrial, public safety and defense markets.   IWT currently holds the largest market share for wireless underground networking and communication systems compliant with the U.S. Miner Safety Act. 

Innovative Wireless Technologies, Inc. (IWT) is an engineering company specializing in wireless solutions for commercial, industrial, public safety and defense markets. IWT provides engineering and technical consultation to several governmental defense agencies and public safety equipment manufactures.  In addition, IWT is the leading supplier of wireless communication and tracking systems for underground operations, as well as the trusted provider for underground high data rate transfer, gas monitoring, and mine analytics.  Adopted by MSHA, IWT’s Mine Rescue System accelerates mine rescue operations through rapid deployment of reliable communications to improve the safety of rescue personnel.

Sponsored by: Freeport-McMoRan