Highlights See All

August 2019
Our global membership
Experiences from AusIMM members living and working across the globe The AusIMM is internationally recognised and our members live and work all over the world, reflecting the global nature of the modern sector. In this special feature, we asked some of our international members to recount their experiences. These stories highlight the diverse opportunities on offer for talented resources professionals.  Rosalyn Wullandhary MAusIMM, Geologist, Harita Mineral Jakarta, Read More
Foundations for the future: stability and sustainability for the long term at Olympic Dam
This article was originally a presentation delivered at the Copper to the World Conference in Adelaide, July 2019. It has been edited for publication on the AusIMM Bulletin website. Many resources professionals today share a common belief: that the future depends on us embracing change and new technology in a relentless pursuit of innovation. At BHP, we know that these are the keys to making our operations at Olympic Dam and around the world safer, more productive, more inclusive, Read More
Forecasts of a lithium ‘glut’ are far from the truth
There has been much talk around an apparent 'oversupply' of lithium, including at the recent Diggers and Dealers forum in Kalgoorlie. Here, veteran Australian lithium expert Adrian Griffin puts this talk into context. Many equity market and lithium industry analysts have seized on recent statistics for lithium supply and demand as indicative of long-term market trends. They see the rapid increase in hard-rock production, combined with a slower-than-anticipated uptake of electric Read More
August 2019
The path to autonomous mineral processing operations
Autonomous technology is being deployed across the resources sector. A new type of technology, based on proven techniques, looks to bring the benefits of AI to processing plants. Automating mineral processing operations can increase safety, optimise performance, improve system reliability and help to detect problems early. In mining, autonomous technology is now applied to haul trucks, trains, drill rigs, drone-based monitoring and other simple systems, but not yet to processing plants. Read More
August 2019
Walking the talk – St Barbara’s Bob Vassie
St Barbara’s MD and CEO Bob Vassie is no stranger to hard work, and through his dynamic lead-by-example style, the company is well-poised to continue its remarkable resurgence. Bob Vassie describes himself as lucky. Born in Otago and growing up in Invercargill, he had an idyllic childhood in ‘small town New Zealand’. He was born into a loving family and he feels privileged to have had an excellent education. Crucially, he crossed paths with the mining industry at a young age, setting Read More
August 2019
To maintain growth, Australia’s mining companies must adapt
By reading between the lines, Australia’s mining sector can learn a lot from the latest results from the world’s Top 40 mining companies. Growth and profitability can only be maintained by adapting to stakeholder expectations. The saying ‘All that glitters is not gold’ derives from a play written more than 400 years ago, but for the mining industry it still rings true in 2019. William Shakespeare’s point in The Merchant of Venice was that appearances can be deceiving and that is Read More
Recent Articles

Getting the balance right: Q&A with Alita McPhee
AusIMM Women in Mining Network (WIMnet) NSW recently caught up with Alita McPhee, a Senior Dewatering Specialist who has set up her own consulting business, Vexa Engineering, serving customers in WA, NT and QLD. Alita talks about her career background, starting her own business, remuneration and maintaining work/life balance. Alita McPhee. How did you become a hydrogeologist? I was one of those kids who liked being outdoors and playing in the dirt. Then, when I was 12, I Read More
The importance of autonomous technology training
With the huge potential for new technology to revolutionise mining operations, high-quality training of personnel is needed to ensure safety and efficiency Across the global mining industry, there is an ever-increasing adoption of smart technology. Gone are the days where miners worked in isolation, digging up earth and hoping to strike pay dirt. Now, every stage of the mining process is jam-packed with technology designed to improve the mining process and safeguard mining personnel. Read More
August 2019
President’s editorial: Making our voice heard
In my previous editorial I spoke about AusIMM’s critical role as the Trusted Voice of resources professionals. Given this initiative underpins our Future Directions strategy, in which AusIMM is transforming into a more contemporary and influential organisation, I wish to expand on what being the Trusted Voice means – for us as professionals, for our industry and for the communities we are part of. Being the Trusted Voice is about having a visible profile and a strong position on key Read More
August 2019
CEO’s Editorial: Growing our influence
AusIMM is deeply committed to playing a stronger leadership role as the Trusted Voice of resources professionals. We are working more closely than ever with companies, universities and governments to bring high quality, timely information and advice to the table. Our July Thought Leadership Series is a prime example of our Trusted Voice in action. Delivered across five capital cities, these events featured Chief Scientists from around Australia to highlight their role as a key partner Read More
Top 5 AusIMM Bulletin stories of 2019
The following articles have topped the AusIMM Bulletin website’s most-read list for the year to date. 1. Creating a high-performance culture Laura Tyler believes firmly in the importance of culture. ‘It is the keystone for high performance,’ she says. Without it, everything else falls away.’ 2. Sandeep Biswas – building trust and respect through action One of Australia’s leading mining company executives, Sandeep Biswas, says getting social licence right is Read More
August 2019
Embedding health and safety practices into your professional life
This is a reflection on many years in the resources sector – investigating major losses, working with organisations to avoid health and safety incidents, and taking an ‘always learning’ approach to professional life. It also attempts to distil ideas put forward by my fellow AusIMM Health and Safety Society Committee members during our discussions and meetings. There is no magic panacea that will cure all health and safety issues. But there is one common theme among every organisation Read More
August 2019
Composite or variability samples for metallurgical testing?
Metallurgical tests are a critical input to mineral processing plant design and operating cost estimation Compared to regular sampling and assaying for exploration and resource definition, metallurgical tests are expensive and require large sample masses. It’s not surprising then that the number of samples selected for metallurgical testing is relatively small. From the perspective of process plant design and equipment sizing, composite samples selected to represent something like an Read More
August 2019
Expert insights into apron feeder evolution
Apron feeders are used to transport large, lumpy, abrasive and heavy ores under severe impact conditions – including wet, sticky or frozen operations. Recent design innovations have made these machines longer lasting and safer for operators.  Apron feeders are robust machines that are designed for long-term use in a diversified range of industrial applications. Their primary function is to extract or feed material short distances at a controlled rate of speed, which prevents Read More
August 2019
Into the void: managing abandoned underground mines
A real-life case study showing how robotic technology can safely and efficiently carry out inspections in hazardous environments  What happens to a mine at the end of its life? Ideally, as required by law and the mining lease, it is up to the mine owners to rehabilitate the site to make it safe for the land users and the environment.  While the mining industry has great experience and technology to build and operate mines, there has historically been little investment in Read More
August 2019
Fostering diversity in your organisation
Being different means thinking differently The spotlight is on diversity. In this article, I want to provide some practical tips for organisations to start thinking about diversity and becoming more diverse. I’ll do this through exploring answers to three questions that many organisations are now asking themselves:  1. what are the benefits of being a diverse organisation?  2. are we a diverse organisation?  3. how can we increase our diversity? Defining Read More
August 2019
What’s one aspect of the resources sector you’d like to learn more about, and why?
We asked our members what they're interested in outside their own disciplines. Danielle O’Toole MAusIMM Technical Director – Geotechnics and Mine Waste Engineering, SLR Consulting With mine closure becoming more and more prevalent, it is incumbent on mine closure professionals, regardless of their area of expertise, to become familiar with a wide array of professional practices. As a geotechnical engineer involved in mine closure I am exposed to a variety of other Read More
August 2019
VALMIN Code: 25 years of setting the standard
2019 marks the 25th anniversary of VALMIN – the world’s first code governing public disclosures pertaining to technical assessments and valuations of mining and petroleum assets and securities. This article celebrates this important milestone.  Now in its fourth iteration (1995, 1998, 2005 and 2015) the ‘Australasian Code for Public Reporting of technical assessments and valuations of mineral assets’ (VALMIN Code) sets out minimum requirements for the technical assessment and Read More