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Bureau researchers and students win honors at Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration annual meeting

March 8, 2024

New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources researchers and students, along with representatives from New Mexico Tech academic departments, had a strong showing at the 2024 Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME) annual meeting, held in Phoenix, AZ, in February. The students and Bureau of Geology researchers authored a total of nine oral and five poster presentations.

Undergraduate Brianna Detsoi won second place in the Environmental Division Student Poster Competition for her work on using humates as a filtering medium for removing uranium from water. Among her collaborators were Bureau of Geology scientists Bonnie Frey and Virginia McLemore and NMT Earth and Environmental Science faculty member Ranalda Tsosie. Her poster was in competition with those presented by MS and PhD graduate students.

“Humates have been mined in New Mexico for soil additives since the early 1970s,” said McLemore. “Brianna's work shows that humates may have additional applications, including reclamation of legacy uranium mines. We’re proud of Brianna's accomplishments and look forward to her graduation this spring and further research in the future.”

McLemore, with NMBGMR co-author Evan Owen, won the Outstanding Paper in the Environmental Division Award for their preprint entitled “Geochemistry of Critical Minerals in Mine Wastes in New Mexico.” These authors also presented papers on rare earth elements in coal and heavy minerals in beach placer sands in New Mexico.

Brianna Detsoi with her winning poster.
(click for a larger version)