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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
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
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
December 2016
Can the gold industry avoid the sins of the past?
The global gold industry faces a number of challenges now that the gold price is showing signs of recovery Over the past few years, the gold industry has implemented some of the more painful restructuring in its history in the face of a falling gold price. This has led to improved financial positions and returns for investors. But as the gold price is beginning to stabilise and fundamental economic factors are trending in the sector’s favour, there are red flags emerging that the industry Read More
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
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
Recent Articles

Gravity – a new trend in exploration
Mineral exploration, especially greenfields exploration, is a precarious venture for a company director to explain (let alone promote) to investors. Then there is the small matter of undertaking the exploration itself and signing off as a company director on a use of funds that, of itself, pre-assumes an exploration strategy. However, if there is little or no data on the mineral project in question, then what is the initial exploration strategy? What is the first step in mineral Read More
Notes from the MetSoc Chair
Hello and best wishes to you all for a happy and healthy 2017. The wheels are well and truly turning again after our festive season downtime and I am looking forward to a strong year for the AusIMM Metallurgical Society as we continue to focus on providing professional development opportunities and resources for AusIMM members. Following elections late last year we welcomed new MetSoc committee members Martin Ackland, Dean David, David Seaman, Bianca Newcombe, Chris Gianatti, Stuart Read More
Notes from the Geoscience Society Chair
Hello my fellow AusIMM Geoscience Society (GeoSoc) members as we welcome another year. I am honoured to serve as the GeoSoc Chair for 2017 and thank Pamela Naidoo-Ameglio for her efforts as Chair in 2016. Following elections in late 2016, we welcome four new committee members: Stella Martinez, Annette Pocock, Michael Leggo and Marcel Kamperman. In addition, Geoff Balfe has been re-elected to serve for another term. We also acknowledge the service of outgoing committee members Dale Sims, Read More
AusIMM Geoscience Society to run Pilbara field skills workshop
In past years, the AusIMM Geoscience Society (GeoSoc) has run a geological field trip in the east Pilbara focusing on combining Pilbara field mapping skills with an understanding of Hamersley Iron Ore Province geology and structure. GeoSoc is pleased to announce that the Pilbara field skills course has been revitalised and updated and will be run (for the first time since 2012) in 2017 from April 30 to May 5. The course has an iron ore focus and it includes a visit to an operating iron Read More
AusIMM Geoscience Society Committee member profile: Dr Marcel Kamperman MAusIMM
Born and raised in the Netherlands, my family migrated to Tasmania in 1979 when I was 16 years old. There I completed a science degree at the University of Tasmania (Hobart) in 1985, with a major in geology and chemistry. After spending six years working in the mining industry, I returned to university and graduated from the University of Tasmania with a PhD in geology in 1997. I have continuously worked in the resources industry with some truly great companies for more than 30 years, Read More
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ICMM releases new health risk assessment guidance for mining and metals sector
The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) released a new edition of its guidance on occupational health risk assessment (HRA) on 14 December 2016. This new edition replaces the first edition of the guidance published in 2009. The guidance provides health risk practitioners with information and tools that are needed to assess the health and well-being of employees and contractors on mine sites. The guidance has been updated to reflect changes in occupational health risk Read More
JKMRC Friday morning seminars showcase the latest developments in sustainable mining
The Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre (JKMRC) Friday seminars are an institution to JKMRC staff, students, friends and alumni. Every Friday before 9 am during the university semester, the car park fills and visitor badges are donned as friends past and present make their weekly pilgrimage to the JKMRC lecture theatre at the Indooroopilly Experimental Mine site. The Friday seminars have a long, proud history of approximately 1500 seminars, starting in 1971 on the lawn by the Read More
Coal workers’ pneumoconiosis – how is reactive pyrite a contributing factor?
The issue of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP) has recently re-emerged in some Australian mines. Harmful effects from coal dust inhalation have been well documented, but the underlying causes and mechanisms of CWP are still debatable. Several recent epidemiological studies in the United States have shown a general correlation exists between the concentration of pyrite (FeS2) within coal and the prevalence of CWP in miners. The possible role of pyrite as a contributor to the coal dust Read More
AusGeol builds a library of virtual field trips
Every geologist recalls undergraduate field mapping trips – walking hills and hitting rocks in all kinds of weather. Then there were great nights back at camp supposedly plotting up data collected during the day but more so enjoying the social side of the field trip. Experiences included squinting at a rock outcrop to see the S3 schistosity and taking measurements to discover an obscure macro-scale fold hinge. After all the effort, field trips delivered important lessons to the Read More
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Pulp, paste and putty: thickeners and flocculants for high density underflows
Part One Abstract Water balance is an essential design requirement for modern mineral processing facilities. Water efficiency has become dominant in project design and regulatory approvals, with the response of flowsheet designers and plant operators to discharge higher density slurry to residue storages. Thickener technology and flocculant performance have advanced as water balance and conservation demands on projects have increased. This paper discusses the changes to testwork and Read More
The Metallurgical Education Partnership – elevating Australian metallurgical engineering graduates
The Metallurgical Education Partnership (MEP) is co-funded by the Minerals Council of Australia and partner universities Curtin University, Murdoch University and The University of Queensland. The partnership, in collaboration with industry professionals, delivers a learning program to final year students enrolled in four-year Bachelor of Engineering (Metallurgical Engineering) programs. The program’s directive is to produce graduates that are better prepared for the commencement of Read More
AusIMM Geoscience Society Committee member profile: Stella Marris Martinez MAusIMM(CP)
Stella Marris Martinez MAusIMM(CP) is one of the incoming AusIMM Geoscience Committee members for 2017. Originally from the Philippines, Stella’s interest in geology was triggered not so much by economic geology or mining but rather by a curiosity to understand the prevalence of earthquakes and volcanic activity in her native country. Similar to Japan, Indonesia and New Zealand, the Philippines is located in the Circum-Pacific Ring of Fire, which is the site of about 90 per cent of the Read More