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December 2017
Can a focus on productivity deliver tangible results for mining?
Productivity is regaining ground as a popular business strategy to enhance value after being sidelined in favour of revenue maximisation during the commodity price boom. But what does productivity actually mean? Is it more than just a buzzword? And is it the answer to the industry’s post-boom blues? The productivity challenge in mining Productivity is commonly defined as a ratio between output volume and the volume of inputs (OECD, nd) or a measure of using resources efficiently to Read More
December 2017
Unlocking Australia’s resource potential in areas of cover: an industry plan
In order for Australia to maintain its position as a world leader in mining, improving the success of finding major deposits under cover will be required. AMIRA International’s roadmap outlines some key ways Australia can meet the current exploration challenges. In Australia, not only are the average head grades decreasing, but the remaining ore is also becoming more complex and requires more energy and water to process. More importantly, we are simply not finding enough high-quality ore Read More
December 2017
Nutrition for resources professionals
Occupational health and safety, fatigue management and site efficiency are arguably three of the most important aspects of any mine site. But where does nutrition fit into the picture? After touring a mine site in Tasmania in late 2016, I noticed the nutrition posters on the crib room walls were more than 15 years out of date. In contrast, I noticed the up to date and informative displays in the toilets about dehydration, posters on the walls about personal protective equipment and many Read More
December 2017
Rewriting the rule book – geology organisational design
An overview of a new approach to geology department organisation with a focus on building an engaged and capable team Tropicana Gold Mine (TGM) is owned by AngloGold Ashanti Australia Ltd (AGAA) (70 per cent and manager) and Joint Venture Partner Independence Group NL (30 per cent) and is a large-scale open pit operation in Western Australia. The geology department at TGM is a multidiscipline team of some 65 personnel, reaching 72 at its peak. The geology department consists of the Read More
December 2017
Getting the best out of autonomous mining fleets
Many mining companies are seeking to address their productivity gap by introducing autonomous mining fleets. The variable results highlight that operating an autonomous mining fleet is not as easy as it seems. The mining industry is suffering from falling commodity prices, aging mines, increasing strip ratios, longer haul distances and tightening cash flows. Inevitably, this raises the focus on productivity – getting more from the assets, spending less on them and running them Read More
December 2017
Achieving and sustaining productivity benefits through a mine to mill approach
The mining industry is facing low metal prices, lower grade and complex deposits that are difficult to exploit, as well as growing challenges associated with the cost and supply of energy and water. To make these projects economically viable, improved resource efficiency is needed. Mine to mill optimisation aims to develop and implement integrated mining and processing strategies that are tailored for a specific operation. The objective is to maximise production with the available assets Read More
Recent Articles

December 2017
Emerging risk: mine closure and rehabilitation
An outline of the risks and opportunities for companies, investors and regulators in relation to rehabilitation and provisioning Recently, there has been significant increase in concern by investors and regulators over the levels and adequacy of bonds held for mine rehabilitation. But are these concerns just alarmist and associated with recent bad publicity and market volatility? If poorly managed, mine closure and rehabilitation represent a significant and material risk to companies, Read More
December 2017
Demystifying personal brand for resources professionals
The importance of building and maintaining your own personal brand Perhaps the best way to start explaining what personal brand is, and why it is important, is by sharing a personal anecdote. I once stepped into an elevator with a famous musician. I was startled and managed a smile and a nod to him as we stepped inside. My wife, oblivious to this person’s fame, said ‘Hi!’ and followed up with some elevator small talk. As the musician disembarked at his floor and the doors shut, I Read More
December 2017
The new AusIMM Chartered Professional Program launching January 2018
AusIMM Chartered Professionals: Competent, current and qualified resource industry leaders We are excited to announce the relaunch of the AusIMM Chartered Professional Program. The revised program will ensure a streamlined member experience and continued recognition of our Chartered members as leading professionals in the global resources sector. Chartered Professionals demonstrate an ongoing commitment to professionalism that is valued by employers, staff, clients, regulators and the Read More
December 2017
Innovation in mining and mineral recovery
This article is based on the AusIMM Hunter Region Branch Jameson Distinguished Lecture that was delivered by Robin Batterham in August 2017 There can be no doubt that Graeme Jameson is one of Australia’s great innovators. The impact of his work is measured in billions of export dollars as well as contributing to more sustainable mining. How do some pull off such great achievements and others not? It is worth exploring this in some detail. First up, we should note that innovation is Read More
December 2017
Climate impacts for mining: risk, materiality and actions
With appropriate life cycle planning, many of the challenges for mining operations presented by climate variability can be better understood and mitigated For those in the mining industry who are not directly involved in planning and response to our highly variable climate, it only takes a quick read of quarterly, half-yearly, or annual reports from the country’s mining companies to realise the materiality of climate variability. One may read of missed financial targets due to Read More
December 2017
Recommended practices for battery electric vehicles
Why GMSG and CMIC’s latest guideline is a key tool for the resources industry As mine operators are forced to move deeper underground to collect precious ores and minerals, and regulations around diesel particulates and carbon monoxide emissions tighten, the operating costs on properly cooling and ventilating mines safely for personnel will only increase. Innovation in batteries and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) have advanced to the point where commercial trucks, cars, trains and Read More
December 2017
Water quality monitoring – moving beyond compliance
Better protection of a mining company’s social licence to operate can be achieved through a more holistic and less reactive approach to water quality monitoring Water quality monitoring is often designed to comply with regulatory requirements, and to demonstrate to communities that mining operations are committed about maintaining their social licence to operate. In spite of the significant cost and effort invested by mining operations into these programs, the objectives of water Read More
December 2017
AusIMM: a Trusted Voice of credibility and authority
There is no doubt we are entering a new era of strong growth for the resources sector in our region. There is increased investment across several commodities including zinc, lithium and gold, and a noticeable pickup in exploration expenditure and activity. Our own 2017 Professional Employment Survey showed a clear uptick across Australasia, and there has been significantly increased engagement and participation from delegates and companies at AusIMM conferences. In fact, attendance Read More
December 2017
Raising the profile of professionals in the resources sector
At AusIMM we are committed to rebuilding ourselves to be a more contemporary and externally-focused organisation. This is a fundamental principle of our Future Directions strategy. One example of how we are positioning AusIMM as the Trusted Voice is our relaunch of the AusIMM Bulletin. This relaunch will raise the profile of leading professionals through highlighting their important work and sharing their inspiring stories. In this first issue we are pleased to feature Michelle Ash from Read More
December 2017
History and Heritage: The contribution of the minerals industry to the development of Australia
The following article is an excerpt from an AusIMM Presidential Address delivered at the Annual Meeting of the Institute in Melbourne on 30 May, 1960. As a basis for my address to you tonight I thought it might be opportune if we considered the great history of the minerals industry in Australia, and the contribution it has made to the development of the country. While it is perhaps interesting to review the achievements of the past, there is also the opportunity to examine the Read More
Joint workshop held by the AusIMM and the Philippine Mining and Exploration Association
The Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association (PMSEA) just concluded the 64th Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference (ANMSEC) in Baguio City from November 21 to 24, 2017. On 21 November, the AusIMM and Philippine Mining and Exploration Association (PMEA) organised a joint workshop entitled 'The PMRC and JORC Codes – Examples of Good Reporting Practice'. The resource persons were Peter Stoker HonFAusIMM(CP), Principal Geologist of AMC Consultants Pty Ltd, and Read More
Exciting scholarship opportunity for female members in WA
In a joint partnership with the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), AusIMM is thrilled to announce we are offering three places for senior executive women from Western Australia who are AusIMM members to take part in the Director Pipeline Program (DPP) in 2018. The DPP is an initiative of the AICD and is designed to create a cohort of highly networked 'board-ready' executive women who are suitable candidates for board roles. AusIMM is committed to building diversity and Read More