MINExpo International finally returns

By |  September 1, 2021
MINExpo International 2021 exhibits will be available in the Las Vegas Convention Center’s North Hall, Central Hall and South Hall 1 and 2. (Photo: National Mining Association)

MINExpo International 2021 exhibits will be available in the Las Vegas Convention Center’s North Hall, Central Hall and South Hall 1 and 2. Photo: National Mining Association

MINExpo International, the quadrennial trade show hosted by the National Mining Association (NMA), will take place Sept. 13-15 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

More than 1,300 exhibitors are slated to attend. Of the 1,300, NMA says 86 percent were originally scheduled to appear at the 2020 show. When last year’s event was canceled, NMA guaranteed the same space in 2021 to exhibitors who previously contracted space.

“We’re really excited about the tremendous response,” says Ashley Burke, senior vice president of communications at NMA. “People are ready to get back to work and see each other in person.”

According to Burke, the struggles many producers faced during the pandemic collectively made the industry stronger, putting it in a position to drive economic recovery.

“Right now, our industry is in such an exciting and unique position,” she says. “You look at how the world is preparing to go back to work and preparing for the post-pandemic life. Economic recovery, in so many ways, starts with mining.”



Due to the size of many MINExpo exhibits, Burke says overseas equipment shipping began in April while equipment builds began on-site July 15. While NMA won’t speculate on MINExpo 2021 attendance due to ongoing changes in safety protocols, Burke is hopeful for a strong turnout.

“[Exhibitors] have been there for almost a month already and will continue to build this huge equipment up until the show in September,” she says. “This year is so unprecedented. [With] the combination of countries having different restrictions and lifting them on an ongoing basis, this is going to lead to what we think is going to be the latest surge in attendance.

Burke is also excited about the prospect of informing the public about the modern aspects of mining, how the industry worked through the last year and what the future holds.

“We’re on the heels of an unprecedented last year-plus,” Burke says. “In many industries, things shut down, people stayed home. The mining industry doesn’t really have the luxury to do that. We are the front and tip of the supply chain for so many other industries. You still need the products of mining to make so many other aspects of our economy work.”

COVID cautious

With cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant surging throughout the U.S., Burke says NMA will incorporate additional safety procedures and follow national and local guidelines.

“We’ve taken the time to be thoughtful about this,” Burke says. “We’ve had representatives on the ground at other shows that have been occurring this summer, just to see what the best practices are. We’ve been adjusting and making modifications for that.

More than 1,300 exhibitors are expected to take part in MINExpo 2021. (Photo: National Mining Association)

More than 1,300 exhibitors are expected to take part in MINExpo 2021. Photo: National Mining Association

A key 2021 show change Burke discussed was NMA’s handling of education sessions. In years past, Burke says multiple sessions took place simultaneously in several rooms. In 2016, 24 presentations were held between the Tuesday and Wednesday of the event.

This year, in an effort to keep everyone safe, there will be 14 presentations delivered over the course of five sessions. All of those will take place in the same room with socially-distant seating and ample time to clean the room between sessions.

Burke says NMA is also keeping tabs on safety and health guidelines. It will keep attendees informed as MINExpo draws nearer.

“[There is] a lot of attention being paid to CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) guidelines, local guidelines and best practices in every industry,” Burke says. “We’re seeing what works, what doesn’t and incorporating lessons learned every day.”

As of Aug. 9, Clark County, Nevada, had 5,672 cases in the seven days prior for a weeklong average of 434.1 cases per day. The infection rate at the time was at 244.7 cases per 100,000 people.

According to the state of Nevada’s website, the state adopted the CDC’s guidance for mask wearing on July 30, recommending everyone – including fully-vaccinated individuals – wear a mask in public indoor settings in counties with a substantial or high transmission.

“We’re monitoring it every day because the situation is changing every day,” Burke says. “With the mask mandates, we will be on top of that, and we’re looking at ways we can enhance that further. We’re going to be prepared for everything, and we’re going to start regular updates to attendees as we get closer to the event so they know what to expect.”

Even with the delay COVID-19 caused in 2020, NMA currently plans to follow its original schedule of every four years and host its next MINExpo in 2024.

Jack Kopanski

About the Author:

Jack Kopanski is the Managing Editor of Pit & Quarry and Editor-in-Chief of Portable Plants. Kopanski can be reached at 216-706-3756 or jkopanski@northcoastmedia.net.

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