Highlights See All

February 2018
Leigh Clifford’s spectacular journey
Leigh Clifford spent nearly 40 years working for Rio Tinto, and the lessons he learned in mining have carried across into the boardroom at one of the world’s most iconic airlines The name Leigh Clifford is inextricably linked with Australia’s mining industry and leviathan miner Rio Tinto, even though it’s been ten years since Clifford hung up his pick and shovel and retired as Rio’s chief executive. Clifford spent 37 years with Rio Tinto Group, the last seven as CEO. But it’s what he did Read More
February 2018
Groundwater insight – a critical resource
Although groundwater is an essential component of the production cycle at most mines in Australia, demonstrating the viability of a water source is often seen as a ‘regulatory tick box’ rather than a critical factor in the feasibility of a project At least one quarter of mining projects in Australia encounter some type of groundwater challenge. As a mining hydrogeologist, I’ve seen projects go under as a result of having too much or too little water, or water that is contaminated. In Read More
February 2018
The boom in mining start-ups
This graphical overview shows that there is a growing trend in the opening of new mining start-up companies Similar to the growth seen in other industries in the 21st century, the mining industry is experiencing a growing trend in the number of start-up companies in various mining-related operations. At the beginning of 2018 there are nearly 200 start-ups operating in the sector, and these companies are located all over the world. What is a start-up? The Oxford Dictionary defines a Read More
February 2018
Getting more from your drone: superpowers for onsite and offsite decision-makers
Drone technology is providing mining companies with an array of benefits that can improve health and safety, collaboration and productivity While the mining industry is often accused of being slow to adopt a new technology, that can’t be said about drones. Mines are using drones more frequently and across a wider range of applications than many other industries. From managing inventory and monitoring road construction, to tracking strip campaigns and tailings dams, drone-based survey Read More
February 2018
The future of mining and renewables
Examining the emerging landscape of renewables and how the Australian resources industry is set to transition towards sustainability The mining sector currently contributes around eight per cent to Australia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and employs around two per cent of the workforce. It is also Australia’s largest export sector, representing over 50 per cent of Australia’s total export earnings with iron ore, coal and liquefied natural gas representing the largest exports by value. Read More
February 2018
A brief reflection on geoscience ethics codes
Ethics codes are an important tool that help reassure the public of the expertise and integrity of professionals. While the AusIMM represents resources professionals from all disciplines, this article looks at the importance of ethics codes for geoscientists. Professional organisations representing geoscientists, including those founded in the 19th century like AusIMM, generally have membership requirements that include some stated amount of professional education and perhaps experience. Read More
Recent Articles

February 2018
Lean management processes in the resources sector
The cyclical nature of mining means that real value can be achieved by implementing lean methodologies across all areas of business Since the industry downturn, the resources sector has received a lot of media attention regarding cost reduction and productivity improvement. Significant gains have been made in lowering labour costs, improving equipment uptime, using automation, minimising ore waste in processing and reducing machine downtime for maintenance. For example, BHP embarked on a Read More
February 2018
Setting reasonable fees for consultancy services to the mining industry
An overview of some of the important factors to consider when setting consulting fee rates Consulting is a service that involves the participants, be they individuals or larger consultancy enterprises, being available on-call with appropriate skills of value to the mining industry. Consulting is a demanding, challenging and competitive work area and participants deserve to be financially well-rewarded for their involvement. This article sets out how fee rates for consultants can be Read More
February 2018
A seat at the board table
Becoming a non-executive director is an increasingly common ambition for professionals, but it is important to understand the responsibilities of the role For resources professionals, being a director can be a powerful way to enhance and develop your leadership capabilities. Aspiring directors looking for a seat at the board-table – whether it be part-time alongside their careers in management or technical leadership, or those looking to make the transition to full-time director – face Read More
February 2018
Compass management – a leadership methodology
To lead, inspire and motivate others effectively, it is important to understand that each person you interact with is an individual with their own story to tell Compass management is a leadership methodology used to cover the complexities of building and managing stratified relationships within a work environment. This methodology is the result of reflection, observations and research undertaken during my own leadership journey, and will hopefully provide some guidance for someone at Read More
February 2018
Book Review: Mining in the Asia-Pacific: Risks, Challenges and Opportunities
Edited by Terry O’Callaghan and Geordan Graetz My first impression from looking at the author list of this book was that it was very academic, and I thought ‘where are the contributions from real-world mining engineers, geotechnical engineers, geologists and metallurgists?’ However, I found the majority of the book a decent compilation of well-referenced research, and below I give a brief account of the sections that particularly piqued my interest. The book starts with a candid Read More
February 2018
Book Review: Monograph 32 – Australian Ore Deposits
The 900-page sixth edition of the AusIMM Australian Ore Deposits monograph weighs three-and-a-half kilograms and may be Australia’s most valuable resource. This book is the motherlode of our industry’s geological intellectual property. This knowledge has been developed and shared over many decades through the great work of the AusIMM. It may have taken 18 years between editions, but this wonderful new publication – containing 175 papers from 350 authors covering 200 deposits – is Read More
February 2018
The stories of our resources professionals
Few organisations have the privilege to celebrate their 125th anniversary. Our modern global resources industry of today looks very different to how it was back in 1893. The sheer scale and complexity of 21st century mining would surpass what most people from that time could have ever imagined. This milestone is testament to the people of our industry, past and present. During our 125 year anniversary celebrations, we will tell the story – with our members and the wider public – about Read More
February 2018
Celebrating the past and shaping the future
The AusIMM is entering its 125th year in wonderful shape to celebrate our extraordinary milestone, at a time when we are re-establishing ourselves as a more contemporary, financially sustainable organisation. We have a clear Future Directions strategy that has been developed by the Board and Management Team. We have streamlined our member application process, launched a new Chartered Professional Program and modernised our governing documents, with the new Royal Charter now in effect and Read More
AusIMM announces major partnership with Rio Tinto
AusIMM is pleased to announce a major global partnership with Rio Tinto – one of the world’s leading resources companies. The partnership was confirmed at a signing ceremony at AusIMM offices in Melbourne on Monday 12 February. AusIMM is a member-based professional association that is celebrating our 125 year anniversary in 2018. Our history encompasses 125 years of technical excellence, upholding professional standards and bringing together highly-skilled professionals across the Read More
February 2018
Book Review: Geology of the Tallarook Plateau
by Neil Phillips FAusIMM(CP) and John Clemens Many geological field guides are either hastily assembled extracts from published journal articles or densely written volumes for geologists with a very specific professional expertise. The guide recently produced for the Granites2017@Benalla Symposium, published by Outdoor Recreation in Australia, Geology of the Tallarook Plateau by Neil Phillips and John Clemens – is a refreshing exception. Printed on high quality paper in a clear sans Read More
February 2018
Iron ore developments in India
An overview of a growing mining and steel industry and its potential opportunities Resource mapping and mining of iron ore in India While India has an estimated iron ore reserve of 25-30 billion tonnes, it is also true that the ‘obvious geological potential’ for iron ore occurrence is much higher. It is said that only about 10 per cent of the potential 5000 square kilometers has been explored due to forest cover, issues of access and activism. Iron ore occurs in several parts of India: Read More
MetFest 2017 recap
MetFest 2017 was held in Parkes during November, and graciously hosted by Northparkes Mine (CMOC). The day kicked off with a plant tour of the Northparkes concentrator, which was attended by 23 visitors from all over the country. After lunch, numbers swelled to over 60 for the afternoon’s operations-based presentations and discussion forum. Seven presentations were given by regional metallurgists who discussed both big wins and ongoing innovative projects at central west operations: Read More