MINExpo International 2000 - Everything for mining from beginning to end.

The slogan for MINExpo International 2000 was 'Everything Begins With Mining,' but it easily could have been 'Everything For Mining From Beginning To End.'

Almost 1,300 exhibitors and more than 36,500 attendees from around the world packed the Las Vegas Convention Center Oct. 9-12 as the National Mining Association (NMA) showcased the worldwide mining industry in MINExpo.

Literally anything needed for mining operations was featured among the 588,000 net square feet of exhibits inside and outside the sprawling Convention Center.

Sharing center stage with enormous dump trucks and massive loaders were hundreds of booths and exhibit areas touting the latest in products, services, and technology for coal, metal and industrial minerals mining and processing.

MINExpo is held every four years, and the 2000 MINExpo International more than lived up to its name as registrants from some 48 nations traveled to Las Vegas to participate in the NMA event and the 18th World Mining Congress.

This year marked the first time the World Mining Congress has met in the US. The international group has met every two to three years since 1958.

NMA President and Chief Executive Officer Richard L. Lawson said the MINExpo offered a unique opportunity for the mining industry.

"We are truly proud of our modern mining community and grateful for the opportunities that MINExpo has afforded us to exchange ideas and share experiences with our industry peers around the world," he said.

"MINExpo 2000 focused on the global technologies and innovations that will reinforce mining's role as a key player in our world's future and we are particularly proud of this year's record-setting registration figures and exhibit space sales, making this the biggest and most important MINExpo ever," Lawson added.

The NMA executive said the mining industry plays a key role in society by making lives safer, cleaner, healthier, and more productive.

ÙEvery part of our life is touched by mining -- from the food we eat, the low-cost clean energy we take for granted, to the latest in new computers, cell phones, diagnostic medical equipment - and the list could go on and on. It is not hard to imagine that, on average, every American uses 48,427 pounds of minerals per year or 3.7 million pounds over a lifetime,Ó Lawson said while welcoming attendees to MINExpo.

John Grasser, NMA vice president for external communications, said this yearOs event lived up to everyoneOs expectations.

ÙMINExpo is the one event that under one roof brings together everything involved in the mining industry domestic and worldwide,Ó he added.

MINExpo International 2000 also featured presentation of numerous awards including two Distinguished Service Awards. Those winners were Milton H. Ward, former chairman and CEO of Cyprus Amax Minerals Co., and Douglas C. Yearly, former chairman and CEO of Phelps Dodge Corp. They were recognized for more than 40 years of service each to the mining industry and for their efforts in helping form NMA.

Several mines and mining companies were named winners of Sentinels of Safety, mining's most prestigious safety award. The award was presented by NMA and the Mine Safety and Health Administration for the number of injury-free employee hours.

The award winners were: Surface Coal: Cordero Mine, Cordero Mining Co., Gillette, WY, 814,451 hours; Open Pit: Phelps Dodge Sierrita, Phelps Dodge Sierrita Inc., Green Valley, AZ, 471,873 hours; Underground Metal: Sweetwater Mine/Mill, The Doe Run Co., Reynolds, MO, 277,254 hours; Dredge: Briggs Plant, Fordyce Company, Victoria, TX, 250,976 hours; Bank or Pit: Blue Diamond Materials, Pioneer Concrete of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV, 228,934 hours; Underground Coal: Kingston No. 1 Mine, Kingston Mining Inc., Scarbo, WV, 197,464 hours; Quarry: Thornton Quarry, Material Service Corporation, Thornton, IL, 184,159 hours; Underground Non-Metal: Locust Cove Mine, United States Gypsum Company, Saltville, VA, 129, 515 hours.