The Mining Claim

Jackson Hole, Wyoming | August 24-26, 2022

You and your family are cordially invited to attend the 66th Annual Wyoming Mining Association Convention at the Snow King Resort in Jackson, Wyoming.

Jackson Hole is where pioneers sought new adventures. With so many activities right outside our door – like convenient day trips into Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks – today’s traveler can explore on skis, mountain bikes, rafts, horse-drawn stagecoaches, and much more! Make your plans to join us today!

The WMA convention will begin at 1:45pm the afternoon of Wednesday, August 24 with speakers and a panel discussion, followed by drinks and heavy hors-d’oeuvres hosted by the Mining Associates of Wyoming.  On Thursday, August 25 the general session of the convention will convene at 8:00am to hear from a variety of speakers.  The annual WMA President’s Lunch will follow upon conclusion of the session at noon.  On Thursday evening the convention will hold its annual banquet and silent auction for all attendees at 6pm.  On Friday, August 26 we will host the Governor’s Safety and Reclamation Awards breakfast at 9:00am, and will conclude with our annual golf tournament at Jackson Hole Golf and Tennis Club at 1:30pm.

Register By Clicking Below.

Snow King Resort – SOLD OUT!

Hampton Inn – Room must be reserved by Sunday, July 24!

Annual WMA Golf Tournament will be held on Friday, August 26, 2022

The Annual WMA Golf Tournament will be held on Friday, August 26, 2022 at the beautiful Jackson Hole Golf and Tennis Club.  Challenge yourself on this Robert Trent Jones, Jr. course featuring dramatic Teton views, local wildlife, full service pro shop, and dining at the North Grille.

Things To Do In Jackson

Dining in Jackson

For more information, please contact Heidi Peterson at or 307-635-0331.



The Honorable John Barrasso, M.D. | United States Senator

Senator John Barrasso was sworn in to the United States Senate in 2007 having represented the people of Natrona County in the Wyoming State Senate from 2003-2007. In November 2018, Barrasso was reelected to the U.S. Senate with more than 67% of the vote.

He is the third-ranking member in the Senate Republican leadership as Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.

He serves on committees that directly impact Wyoming’s economy, energy interests, public lands, national parks and trade. In addition to other committee assignments, Barrasso is the ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Senator Barrasso is known by many as Wyoming’s Doctor. During his 24 years as an orthopedic surgeon, Barrasso served as President of the Wyoming Medical Society and was named Wyoming Physician of the Year.

Barrasso has three children – Peter, Emma and Hadley. He and his wife Bobbi live in Casper.

Report From the Trenches: the State of Play on Environmental Regulations and Grid Reliability”

Mr. Michael J. Nasi | Partner, Jackson Walker LLP

Mike Nasi is a partner with Jackson Walker LLP where he practices environmental and energy law. Mike has been practicing before state and federal environmental and energy agencies and appellate courts for 25 years and active in multi-state carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) projects for 15 years.

Mr. Nasi’s compliance counseling, permitting, and enforcement defense work spans the following federal (and related state) programs: Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Solid Waste Disposal Act, Endangered Species Act, and National Environmental Policy Act.  He is often asked to play a strategic planning role on behalf of his clients in the midst of large, complex project developments.

Mike is counsel for parties in ongoing EPA regulatory proceedings relating to carbon dioxide, interstate air quality, regional haze, and coal combustion residuals, including appeals pending before the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fifth, Eighth, Tenth, and D.C. Circuits, as well as the Supreme Court of the United States.  Mike helps coordinate multi-state outreach efforts regarding these and other regulations impacting the electric power and mining sectors, appears at hearings and energy policy events across the country, and is published in several trade, law, and business journals on environmental law and energy policy topics.

Mr. Nasi is a Past Chairman of the State Bar of Texas Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section and serves as a guest lecturer in the  “Energy Law & Policy” course at the University of Texas Law School and contributed to Rice University’s “Leadership & Decision Making in the Energy Industry” course.

Mike is consistently recognized on several “Who’s Who” and “Best Lawyer” lists and was awarded the Law 360 “Energy and Environmental Trailblazer Award.” Mike is on the Central Texas Salvation Army Advisory Board and is a Board Member for the West Austin Youth Association (WAYA).

The Outlook for Mining Under the Biden Administration”

The Honorable Bill Johnson | United States Representative

Bill Johnson was born and raised on family farms, where he learned early the values of hard work, honesty, and sacrifice.  Johnson entered the U.S. Air Force in 1973 and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after a distinguished military career of more than 26 years.

Following his retirement from military service, Johnson turned to creating and building high technology businesses and also served in the executive leadership team as Chief Information Officer of a global manufacturing company.

In 2010, Johnson was elected to his first term to represent the people of Ohio’s 6th Congressional District, which covers much of eastern and southeastern Ohio. He was reelected to his sixth term in November of 2020.

Since first taking office, Johnson has been fighting to create jobs in Eastern and Southeastern Ohio, improve services to our nation’s heroes – our veterans, and to make our federal government more effective, efficient, and accountable to the American people. 18 bills authored by Johnson have been signed into law by presidents of both parties.

He currently serves on the House Energy & Commerce Committee and he is the Co-Chairman of the House Natural Gas Caucus and a member of the House Shale Caucus.

Bill and his wife LeeAnn currently reside in Marietta with a son, Nathan. He is also the proud parent of three grown children and is a grandfather of six.

The Outlook for Mining Under the Biden Administration”

Mr. Jerry Mullins | Senior Vice President, Governmental Affairs, National Mining Association

Jerry Mullins is the Vice President for Governmental Affairs and External Relations for the National Mining Association.  Jerry has spent his career leading and implementing political, public affairs and communications campaigns that influence the public at large as well as targeted audiences. By combining his experience as a former reporter, television producer as well as a political strategist, Jerry has been active in national elections for 25 years.

Jerry’s work in the political arena included four years with the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee creating over 2,000 radio and television advertisements as well as producing hundreds of hours of programming from the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Republican National Conventions. Jerry also serves as the spokesperson for the Pentagon Memorial Fund.

Jerry is a graduate of North Carolina State University where he received Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Communications and Business Finance.  He and his family reside in Annapolis, MD.

The Outlook for Mining Under the Biden Administration” 

Mrs. Mandy Gunasakara | Former Chief of Staff,  US Environmental Protection Agency

From the Oval Office to the Senate Cloakroom, Mandy has been at the center of the most consequential energy and environmental decisions of the last decade.  She is a veteran Republican climate and energy strategist, communicator, and environmental attorney who has a well-earned reputation for delivering results.

Mandy served as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  Under the leadership of Administrator Andrew Wheeler, Mandy set and implemented environmental policy priorities for the Trump-Pence  Administration.  She created and managed teams of political and career employees to shepherd key regulatory actions through the rule-making process.  Mandy also served as a primary liaison with the White House and other administrative agencies.

Before returning to EPA as Chief of Staff, Mandy was the Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation. In this role, she spearheaded many of the  administration’s greatest energy and environmental policy achievements. Mandy was the chief architect of the Paris Accord withdrawal and the repeal of the Clean Power Plan – a costly regulation that undercut state’s authority and would have substantially increased electricity prices.

Previously, Mandy served in a number of roles in the U.S. Congress, including as Majority Counsel for the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee for Chairmen Inhofe (R-OK) and Barasso (R-WY), respectively.

Mandy and her husband Surya started a boutique consulting firm where they help clients navigate the administration, Capitol Hill and the courts. They specialize in matters related to energy, environment, tax and trade.  She is a graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Law and Mississippi College. She and he husband and two children call Oxford, Mississippi, home.

The Outlook for Mining Under the Biden Administration” 

Christian Palich | VP of Public Affairs Taft, Stettinius, & Hollister

Christian R. Palich is Vice President of Public Affairs for the firm Taft, Stettinius, & Hollister.  He serves in the firms Public Affairs Strategies Group based in both Columbus, Ohio and in Washington D.C.  He advocates for clients in multiple sectors across the nation, including Eagle Specialty Materials in Wyoming.

Christian began his professional career on the first campaign for Ohio 6th District Congressman Bill Johnson. He would go on to serve for several years in a variety of roles both on Capitol Hill, as well as in the Congressman’s District Office.

After serving Congressman Johnson, Christian in 2013 was selected to be President of the Ohio Coal Association, the state’s oldest energy trade association representing hundreds of members involved in the coal industry. Palich led that organization for nearly 4 years, advocating policy makers at both the state and federal levels.

In 2017, Palich  returned to public service in Washington D.C. as he was appointed by President Trump to serve as Senior Political Staff at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where he was a Deputy Associate Administrator of Congressional Affairs for the EPA Administrator. In 2019, he was appointed to the U.S. Department of the Interior working on mining and energy policy as a Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Department of the Interior.

Christian graduated from Kent State University, where he in 2022 was appointed by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine to serve on the Universities Board of Trustees for his Alma Mater. He now lives in Plain City, Ohio, with his wife Minyet, son Nolan, and daughter Grace.

Uranium and Nuclear Energy at the Intersection of National and Energy Security Good News For Wyoming

Mr. Scott Melbye | President, Uranium Producers of America

Scott Melbye is a 38-year veteran of the nuclear energy industry having held key leadership positions in major global uranium mining companies and various industry organizations.

Scott is the Executive Vice President of Texas-based, Uranium Energy Corp (UEC). UEC has licensed uranium operations and           development projects in South Texas and the Powder River Basin of Wyoming.  Scott is also Chief Executive Officer of Uranium Royalty Corp, the only pure-play royalty and streaming company in the uranium industry, providing development capital for new mine development.

Through June 2014, Scott was Executive Vice President, Marketing for Uranium One, responsible for global sales activities.  Uranium One is among the world’s top four uranium producers from its mines in Kazakhstan and is the wholly-owned mining subsidiary of the Russian nuclear energy company Rosatom.

Prior to this, Scott spent 22 years with the Cameco Group of companies, both in the Saskatchewan head office, and their U.S. subsidiaries.   He most recently served as President of Cameco Inc., the subsidiary responsible for managing the company’s world-wide uranium marketing and trading activities (annual sales exceeding 30 million pounds U3O8 through established relationships with most global nuclear utilities).

He has served as Chair of the Board of Governors of the World Nuclear Fuel Market and is the current President of the Uranium Producers of America.  He currently serves in an advisory role to the nuclear engineering graduate program at the Colorado School of Mines. Scott is a frequent speaker at international nuclear energy conferences and has testified on uranium matters before the International Trade Commission, U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources, and U.S. House Oversight Committees.  He has represented the U.S. and Canadian Nuclear Energy Industries in various global trade missions, including India, China, Mexico, Japan, Czechia and the United Arab Emirates.

Scott received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with degree specialization in International Business from Arizona State University in 1984, and resides in Castle Rock, Colorado.

Update on TerraPower Kemmerer Project

Mr. Chris Levesque | President and CEO TerraPower

Chris Levesque is president and chief executive officer of TerraPower, and also serves as a member of the TerraPower Board. He was appointed to that position in November 2018 after having served as president of TerraPower since 2015.   Levesque leads this nuclear innovation company in the pursuit of next-generation nuclear energy solutions and also oversees TerraPower’s new venture into therapeutic medical isotopes. His proven track record in scoping, planning and implementing complex projects began with his service in the U.S. Nuclear Navy and features more than 30 years of experience in the nuclear field.

Prior to joining TerraPower, Levesque led major new reactor build efforts at both Westinghouse and AREVA, overseeing projects in both the U.S. and Finland. Before his assignment in Finland, he led the formation of AREVA’s joint venture with Newport News Shipbuilding, AREVA Newport News, for which he served as chairman of the Board and president.

Levesque has extensive experience with the nuclear industrial base and nuclear component manufacturing. Earlier in his career, Levesque served as the manager of engineering and manufacturing at Westinghouse’s Newington, New Hampshire, component manufacturing facility, and he has served in multiple management positions at two nuclear-capable shipyards. Levesque began his career as a nuclear submarine officer and served on both the USS Boise (SSN 764) and the USS Will Rogers (SSBN 659). On Boise, he supervised initial criticality and reactor startup testing, and qualified as chief engineer.

Levesque holds a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a Master of Science in mechanical engineering and a Naval Engineer degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He also serves on the Board of the Nuclear Energy Institute.

CK Gold Project: An Advanced Stage Gold and Copper Project in Laramie County

Mr. George Bee | President and CEO, US Gold

George Bee is the president and CEO of US Gold.  He has an extensive career advancing world-class gold mining projects in eight countries on three continents for both major and junior mining companies.  Most recently in 2018 Mr. Bee concluded a third term with Barrick Gold as Senior VP Frontera District in Chile and Argentina to advance Pascua Lama feasibility as an underground mine. This capped a 16-year history with Barrick Gold with positions that included Mine Manager at Goldstrike during early development and operations, Operations Manager at Pierina Mine taking Pierina from construction to operations, and General Manager of Veladero developing the project from advanced exploration through permitting, feasibility and into production.

With his Barrick experience and having had eight years in South Africa working underground gold with Anglo American and open pit copper with Rio Tinto at Palabora Mine, Mr. Bee was well placed to advance projects internationally and domestically as a senior executive. This led to his appointment to various board and leadership positions at various companies. As COO of Aurelian Resources in 2007, he was in charge of project development for Fruta del Norte in Ecuador until Aurelian was acquired by Kinross Gold in 2008. Post-acquisition, moving on from Kinross, where he had also previously worked from 1996 to 1998 advancing projects in El Salvador and Nevada, he joined Andina Minerals as CEO in 2009. Andina and its 6 million-ounce Volcan Gold Project in Chile was acquired by Hochschild in 2013. By this time Mr. Bee had been appointed to the boards of Peregrine Metals and later Stillwater Mining and Jaguar Mining. In 2014, he also assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer of Jaguar Mining, operating mines in Brazil, as the company emerged from a financial restructuring process.

Mr. Bee is a graduate of the Camborne School of Mines in Cornwall, United Kingdom and is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors with an ICD.D designation.

IMCC: A Voice for State Mining Agencies

Mr. Tom Clarke | Executive Director Interstate Mining Compact Commission

Tom Clarke has served as Executive Director of the Interstate Mining Compact Commission (IMCC) since 2018.  IMCC is an interstate governmental organization of 26 states whose governors serve as its Commissioners.  It serves as a liaison for state mining regulators and abandoned mine lands (AML) programs with Congress and various federal agencies, including the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE), Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Prior to joining IMCC, Mr. Clarke served the State of West Virginia as Senior Policy Advisor for emerging national issues for the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Director of the DEP’s mining division and Counsel to the mining division.  Mr. Clarke has also served as counsel for two of the nation’s largest coal producers, Peabody Coal Company and Zeigler Coal Holding Company.  He has degrees in law and mining engineering and has worked as an underground miner in West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Emerging Workforce Development Issues

Mrs. Dana Pray | President and CEO, Pray & Company

Dana Pray is a co-founder of P&C Recruiting and HR whose focus is on executive and technical recruiting as well as human resources support in the mining and green energy sectors – with 12 employees and dozens of clients located throughout the Americas. 

Dana has over 15 years leadership experience in mining recruiting, and over 15  years in the accounting field within mining.    She previously worked for one of the largest gold producers in the world where she was responsible for leading approximately 1500 c-suite, technical professional and skilled trades hires per year.  Dana holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance.  She is involved in several state mining trade associations as well as the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) and she engages with a variety of higher education institutions in support of career and workforce partnerships within the engineering and technical disciplines.  Dana is also a member of the Society for Human Resource Management and she is a certified training for DISC personality and behavior assessing.

Dana is also involved in the ‘Pray for Life Foundation’ which was developed in memory of her son, Jeston Pray, supporting various aspects of organ transplantation.  More information about this important cause can be found at

Emerging Workforce Development Issues

Ms. Regina Turberville | Sr. Engineer, Tata Chemicals

Regina Tuberville is a Senior Mine Engineer with over twenty years of experience working with a diverse population and 8 years of experience in the mining industry.

She Graduated from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Mineral Engineering.  With her degree she received a strong foundation in science, math, engineering science and basic engineering principles as well as fundamentals in applied engineering design concepts. She then focused on studies in the mechanics and control of earth materials; mineral explorations, evaluation, and economics; environmental issues; and the design and operation of surface and underground mines.

Following her collegiate studies Regina participated in Conscious Inclusion Training, Corporate Leadership Training and Green Belt. Regina was a representative on a Benefits Council where she communicated ways to improve benefits and roadblocks that were experienced with current benefits.

As a leader Regina has supervisory experience with both production and engineering departments. Having held an underground supervisory role where she supervised seventeen production employees and a Mine Engineering Superintendent role overseeing the mine engineering department staff of four as well as Acting Superintendent of the Capitol Engineering Group, consisting of nine staff at various levels in their careers. As part of her superintendent roles Regina was responsible for Capitol Project Management and reporting, as well as leading her teams to the safe and timely completion of all scheduled projects.

Emerging Workforce Development Issues

Mr. Grover Wallace | President, Grover Wallace and Associates

Grover Wallace is a seasoned Human Resource and Leadership professional with over 38 years in all facets of the HR profession. Grover has worked predominantly in the mining sector with HR and Safety experience in Coal, Gold, Trona, Platinum/Palladium and contract drilling. He has worked in both underground and surface mines with vast experience in both union and non-union cultures.  Grover has held senior HR and Safety leadership roles with Peter Kiewit Mining, Solvay, First Drilling, AngloGold Ashanti, Newmont and most recently Sibanye-Stillwater.

Grover is currently President and Owner of Grover Wallace and Associates Leadership and HR Resources, LLC. He provides Leadership coaching, Leadership development training, Supervisor training as well as a spectrum of HR advisory and consulting expertise.

Grover has held various volunteer roles in State and local Government groups to include Governor appointments for two terms of the Colorado Workforce Board, a lobbyist for the Trona mining Industry through the Wyoming Mining Association, Governor appointed Board member and Chairman on the Wyoming State Emergency Response Commission, Board member on the   Sweetwater County LEPC, Chairman of the Wyoming Mining       Association Public Relations Committee as well as volunteer work with other city, hospital and local groups. For Montana he just finished serving his second term on the State Workforce Innovation Board (SWIB) and was also on the MonTECH Board, a non-profit which provides technology, support, and services that improve the quality of life for Montanans with disabilities.

Grover has a degree in Business Management from the University of Wyoming and an Associates of Arts Degree from Western Wyoming Community College in Rock Springs.  He also holds his SPHR (Senior Professional Human Resource certificate) and level two certification in Spiral Dynamics. He also maintains his MSHA underground and surface mining instructor certification.

Emerging Workforce Development Issues

Ms. Robin Cooley | Director, Wyoming Department of Workforce Servicess

In March 2019, Governor Mark Gordon appointed Robin Sessions Cooley as Director of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services. Previous to her current position, Ms. Cooley received gubernatorial appointments to the Wyoming State Board of Equalization (2015-2017) to hear and decide various mineral and property tax disputes and the Wyoming Public Service Commission (2017-2019) as a public utility regulator.

Before these appointments, Ms. Cooley enjoyed an 18-year career with the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office, beginning in the Criminal Division in 1997, writing criminal appellate briefs and litigating state and federal post-conviction cases. She later became the Deputy Attorney General of the newly-formed Human Services Division, representing numerous state agencies, including the Department of Workforce Services, Department of Health, Department of Family Services, Department of Education, Department of Transportation, Community College Commission, and various State Boards. Ms. Cooley served as Special Counsel to Governor Mead from 2013 to 2014 and was in private practice in Cheyenne for five years before entering government service.

As an adjunct professor at Laramie County Community College, Ms. Cooley has also taught Business Law I and II and legal research and writing. She also taught Public Health Law as an adjunct professor at the University of Wyoming College of Law. Ms. Cooley plans to pursue her LLM in healthcare to expand her interest in healthcare law this fall.   

Ms. Cooley has three college-age children, Rafer, Madison, and Dawson. Her husband of 30 years, Dan, owns an engineering business, GrizCreek Engineering, and a residential construction business, Cooley Construction, LLC.

Emerging Workforce Development Issues

Ms. Rhonda Zuraff | P&C Recruiting and HR

Rhonda Zuraff is a co-founder of P&C Recruiting and HR whose focus is on executive and technical recruiting as well as human resources support in the mining and green energy sectors – with 12 employees and dozens of clients located throughout the Americas.  Rhonda has over 20 years’ experience in operational leadership roles for two public companies and she holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business with emphasis in Human Resources Management.  Additionally, Rhonda has completed graduate-level studies in Human Resource Management.

Rhonda is on the board of the Advanced Battery Technology trade association promoting the upstream and downstream supply chain for lithium extraction and battery technology development in North America.  She is also involved in several state mining trade associations as well as the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) and she engages with a variety of higher education institutions in support of career and workforce partnerships within the engineering and technical disciplines.  She holds a Senior Certified Professional designation from the Society for Human Resource Management.


Mr. Dan Starks | Founder and Chairman National Museum of Military Vehicles Former President and CEO, St. Jude Medical

Dan Starks is the Founder and Chairman of the National Museum of Military Vehicles (NMMV), a $100 million, 140,000 square foot facility located 8 miles east of Dubois, WY. The museum houses Dan’s personal collection of 500 military vehicles and his collection of several hundred firearms, including the musket that fired the first shot at the Battle of Bunker Hill. The museum was recognized by USA Today as one of the 10 best new attractions in the U.S. in 2020. NMMV is 100% funded by the Starks family and is dedicated to (1) honoring the service and sacrifice of our veterans and their families, (2) educating next generations on the history of American freedom, and (3) preserving and sharing historic military vehicles.

He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Abbott Laboratories, a NYSE Fortune 50 global health care company, and as as a member of the Board of Directors of the Army Historical Foundation.  The AHF is dedicated to educating Americans about the sacrifices American Soldiers have made to safeguard the freedoms of this Nation and to supporting Army history educational programs as well as fundraising for the National Museum of the Army.

He is the Owner and Chairman of American Shooters in Las Vegas, NV. American Shooters provides firearms, shooting ranges, tactical equipment, uniforms, and training to first responders and segments of the civilian market in Nevada and some surrounding states.

Starks retired from St. Jude Medical (STJ) in 2017 after serving 32 years in the high tech, specialty cardiovascular medical device industry as a director and senior executive officer. Starks served as Chairman, President & CEO of STJ,  a NYSE Fortune 500 company prior, to its purchase by Abbott Laboratories in January 2017.  He also enjoys being a cattle and bison rancher in the Dubois area of Wyoming.