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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a mine site in Tasmania in late 2016, I noticed the nutrition posters on the crib room walls were more than 15 years out of date.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

Welcome to our 125 AusIMM Anniversary Year
A happy new year to all of our members and supporters. As we enter the AusIMM’s 125th anniversary year, I would like to set out some of the exciting things we have planned as we look to celebrate with our members this incredible milestone. Our plans throughout the year will leverage the work we have been doing at the AusIMM to re-establish ourselves as a more contemporary, financially sustainable organisation with a stronger external brand. The past year has been a successful Read More
Castle Hill Blackstone Reserve, Blackstone, Queensland
Bypassed by the nearby Cunningham Highway and 5 km removed from the central business district of Ipswich, the suburb of Blackstone in Queensland today reveals little of its past industrial significance for the Queensland coal mining industry. But the topographic landmark of the suburb, now known as Castle Hill, hides evidence of an industrial and social heritage that is being showcased through the development of a new multi-use heritage park – the Castle Hill Blackstone Reserve (Figure Read More
AusIMM New Professionals Network 2017 Technology and Innovation Flagship Networking Event
On 24 November the AusIMM NPN proudly hosted their Technology and Innovation Flagship Networking Event that was kindly supported by BHP and Dassault Systemes. The event was sold out and well attended by over eighty people of diverse backgrounds and career stages from more than thirty different organisations. The event was held on the top floor of the iconic BHP building in Perth and the views and atmosphere did not disappoint with a fantastic skyline and sunset providing the backdrop for Read More
AusIMM New Professionals Network and Canberra Student Chapter event
On 27 October the AusIMM Canberra Student Chapter and Australian National University (ANU) hosted two ANU alumni, Elliot Kahn (an AusIMM NPN Committee member) and Alex Waters, to given a series of talks and practical sessions that covered the role of geosciences throughout the mining value chain. Elliot and Alex drew on their experiences having worked respectively for BHP and Gold Fields in both open pit and underground operations and exploration, allowing them to provide a balanced Read More
International Mining Geology Conference 2017: new standards, new professionals
The 10th International Mining Geology Conference was held in Hobart, Tasmania from 20-22 September 2017. The conference was well attended, with approximately 200 delegates and presenters, including international delegates, who made it a truly global gathering. Many new professionals – the future of the resources industry – were also among the more experienced delegates. Of particular note were the quality and quantity of keynote presenters. Highlights included Jill Terry looking at Read More
December 2017
Celebrating 125 Years in 2018
The AusIMM was founded in 1893 and has a long history of bringing together professionals from all disciplines within the global resources industry. In 2018, AusIMM celebrates its 125th anniversary. To recognise this extraordinary milestone, a year-long dedicated program of events, activities and a media campaign is being developed with stakeholders from across Australia, New Zealand and the world. Our rich history On 6 April 1893, the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy Read More
December 2017
Country snapshot: New Zealand
The resources sector of New Zealand is one of the nation’s oldest industries and the country has notable natural resource endowments A geographically isolated country, New Zealand sits in the southwestern Pacific Ocean and includes two main islands – the North Island, which is divided by mountain ranges surrounding an active volcanic and thermal centre; and the South Island, which contains mountains, fjords and the towering Southern Alps. Around three-quarters of New Zealand’s 4.8 Read More
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