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December 2016
An introduction to mentoring
Fostering a mentoring relationship can have positive career benefits for both mentors and mentees What is mentoring? Mentoring involves a partnership between a less-experienced individual (the mentee) and a more-experienced individual (the mentor) where the purpose is the personal and/or professional growth of the mentee. Although the goals of the mentoring relationship may differ across both settings and relationships, nearly all partnerships involve the acquisition of knowledge (Allen Read More
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December 2016
Navigating volatility – do you change your business or the way your business works?
The key to success is agility and getting into shape to deal with volatility now. It is important to focus on six areas that will lead to more effective cash management. Mining companies must move faster to generate cash and strengthen their balance sheets if they are to successfully navigate ongoing volatility. This is a challenge that management will need to deal with for some time. EY’s recently released report, Navigating volatility: do you change your business or the way your Read More
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December 2016
Building and maintaining effective project teams
Effective project teams are essential for project success – how should owners and project managers form the right team for the job? Several factors contributed to the severe cost escalation in the first decade of the 21st century. Some relate to increased complexity and massive infrastructure requirements due to location, challenging metallurgy and significant environmental and social requirements. However, many problems were laid at the feet of ‘people’ and the falling skills and Read More
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December 2016
Can renewable energy lower your cost of production?
Renewable energy solutions are becoming more viable for mining operations and have the potential to reduce costs The ongoing downturn in most commodity prices has led many companies to actively seek out opportunities to lower their cost of production to remain profitable. While many cost-cutting avenues have been thoroughly explored and implemented, the potential for reduced energy costs through the integration of solar photovoltaic (PV) is often either overlooked or put in the too-hard Read More
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December 2016
Organic management structure – its advantages in a mining consultancy
An alternative organisational structure that is flexible and meets the needs of the dynamic and cyclical nature of the mining industry The purpose of any consultancy is to provide a superior service for its client. Organisational structure is a key element in providing this service and differentiating between consultants. In an organic organisation, the emphasis is on effectiveness, problem solving, responsiveness, flexibility, adaptability, creativity and innovation. Such an organisation Read More
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December 2016
Local level agreement making
Partnering beyond stakeholders, from across the table to around the table Stable local level agreements with land-connected people throughout the life-of-mine are fundamental to successful resource development. How this process is facilitated and executed sets the tone of the relationship with stakeholders, host communities and regulators throughout the life of the project and beyond. In developing a Native Title Mining Agreement for the Carrapateena project, OZ Minerals and the Kokatha Read More
Recent Articles

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December 2016
Book review: Applied Mining Geology by Marat Abzalov
Applied Mining Geology brings together aspects from field geology, mine geology and mineral resource estimation in a practical guide that could easily become the new handbook for mining geologists of the future. Dr Marat Abzalov is probably known by many readers, having published a number of papers with co-authors in the AusIMM’s Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve Estimation (Monograph 30), the Transactions of the Institutions of Mining and Metallurgy and the Journal of the Southern Read More
Plaza de Armas, Lima, Peru
December 2016
Country snapshot: Peru
Peru is an increasingly attractive mining destination due to its considerable mineral reserves and favourable regulatory environment. The country has a well-established mining industry and is one of the world’s largest producers of base and precious metals. Strengths As of 2013, Peru was the: second-largest producer of silver (accounting for approximately 17 per cent of world supply) third-largest producer of copper (~7 per cent), tin (~10 per cent) and zinc (~10 per cent) Read More
Main tailings at the end of road 44A - Ruth, Nevada, USA, 3.10.2013
December 2016
Waste not, want not – rethinking the tailings and mine waste issue
An exploration of ideas that could help make the reuse of waste and tailings more economically viable Over the past 15 years, the mining industry has begun to incorporate the concepts of sustainable development and sustainable mining practice across the life cycle of mineral operations. This requires addressing economic issues and community impacts and concerns, as well as environmental protection, and is captured in part by the phrase ‘design for sustainability’ (McClellan et al, 2009). Read More
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December 2016
The gender pay gap and the mining industry
What the 2016 AusIMM Professional Employment Survey says about the gender pay gap As part of the AusIMM Professional Employment Survey conducted in June 2016, the AusIMM asked questions about the remuneration that survey respondents receive. These questions are included every two years in the Professional Employment Survey and provide a valuable insight into how the current industry climate is affecting members’ salaries. As the remuneration results from the 2016 AusIMM Professional Read More
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December 2016
The Australian and New Zealand gold industry – going all in
An overview of the current state of the gold sector and the opportunities and challenges it faces in Australia and New Zealand Gold is hot. Reported all-in sustaining costs (AISC) indicate that strong margins prevail for the vast majority of Australian and New Zealand gold producers in 2016. The outlook for miners will continue to be positive if gold prices and exchange rates remain around present levels into 2017. However, in the longer term, significant challenges to the sustainability Read More
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December 2016
Challenges in obtaining a social licence to mine
Social aspects related to mining such as inclusive recruitment, participation in community planning and creating safe workplaces can affect a company’s social licence to mine Traditionally in mining, the social licence to mine, and indeed social sustainable development in general, has been concerned with the mining company proving their potential to bring positive effects to the local community. It has been a process of building trust with the community through dialogue and outreach Read More
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December 2016
Transforming Australia’s economic landscape through supplier diversity
Connecting Australia with Indigenous-owned businesses Supply Nation’s vision is of a vibrant, prosperous and sustainable Indigenous business sector. Founded in 2009 by some of Australia’s leading Indigenous entrepreneurs with the support of government, Supply Nation champions the Indigenous business sector and supports the integration of Indigenous-owned businesses into the supply chains of Australian companies and government agencies. Supply Nation aims to increase opportunities for Read More
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December 2016
Detonators – best-for-project practices in drill and blast
Developments in detonation systems have the potential to improve blast capability and productivity As the mining industry becomes increasingly lean, a ‘one size fits all’ approach is becoming increasingly obsolete. A commitment to continuous improvement – finding ways to do things better, faster and more cost effectively – is how asset owners and contractors are ensuring their ongoing success. In drill and blast, developments in detonation systems have provided forward thinkers with Read More
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December 2016
Challenging the norm – innovate to differentiate
An outline of the innovative solutions that were implemented during the successful execution of the Kestrel mine extension and Grosvenor coal mine projects Kestrel mine extension Redpath Australia utilised a unique mining method for the Australian underground coal industry at the Kestrel mine extension project in the Bowen Basin, Central Queensland. The project involved completing two separate drifts from the surface for access to the German Creek coal seam located approximately 230 m Read More
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December 2016
Trigger action response plans for diesel exhaust exposures
An approach to risk management that allows for the changing conditions of underground mining operations In situations where levels of risk fluctuate, imperceptibly increase over time or exert their effect over a long time frame, the risk management approach can become clouded. As a result, the decisions and actions required by those involved may or may not adequately deal with the hazard. In a regulatory environment where risk is to be managed to ‘as low as reasonably practicable’, it is Read More
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December 2016
Corporate memory
The modernisation of mining operations has meant that much information from the pre-digital era has been lost. How can companies ensure that important knowledge is passed from one generation to the next? Until the digital era, mining companies operated internal libraries that stored and indexed technical reports and memos so that they were accessible to all technical staff. When I was given a technical assignment, the first port of call was the records office to check on the history of Read More
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December 2016
Costerfield – a narrow-vein case study
Over the last six years, Mandalay Resources has increased production rates and improved safety outcomes at its Costerfield mine in Victoria, Australia The Costerfield mine is an underground operation utilising narrow mining techniques to extract vertical veins. It produces up to 80 000 equivalent ounces of gold per annum in both gold and antimony value. Costerfield sells a gold-antimony concentrate comprising 54 per cent antimony (Sb) and approximately 60 g/t gold. A gravity gold Read More