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April 2017
The mining industry disrupted
How ‘industry 4.0’ will fundamentally change the global mining industry I would like to challenge you to suspend your disbelief and come on a journey to explore what might be possible for a disrupted mining industry. To explore a world where we will see the operating cost of producing metals halve, capital intensity halve, safety approaching the zero harm goal that the industry strives for and all this with a drastically reduced environmental footprint while delivering enhanced social Read More
April 2017
Reflections on professional ethics
It is vital to understand your obligations as a professional, both informally as personal moral codes and as part of formalised codes of ethics Professional ethics has been an interest of mine throughout my career, beginning with my first job as a geologist with the US Securities and Exchange Commission where the investigation of mining and oil and gas frauds was one of my duties. The American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) focuses on professional issues, including ethics, Read More
April 2017
Joanne Farrell discusses health and safety best practice in the minerals industry
Joanne Farrell is Group Executive Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE) and Managing Director Australia at Rio Tinto, and was a keynote speaker at the Minesafe International 2017 conference. The AusIMM Bulletin asked Joanne for her views on key issues and best practice relating to health and safety in the minerals industry. What do you see as the key issues that the industry needs to address from a health and safety perspective? Health and safety management in the mining industry has Read More
April 2017
Country Snapshot: Mining in Mongolia
Despite some progress, bureaucratic obstacles continue to prevent further development of Mongolia’s significant mineral resources An underdeveloped minerals sector with significant potential Mongolia is a mineral-rich country in Central Asia that boasts significant proven deposits of gold, copper, iron ore and coal. As of January 2010, 1130 mineral deposits and 7668 mineral occurrences encompassing 80 different commodities had been discovered and recorded in Mongolia. These deposits Read More
April 2017
Managing major emergencies in coalmines
A discussion of emergency management systems in relation to underground coalmines This is an excerpt from a paper that was presented at Minesafe International 2017, which was held in Perth from 1-2 May.  Underground coalmine emergencies can be complex events that are difficult to analyse and respond to in a timely manner. This is due to the isolated environment in which they may occur, their potentially violent nature that may result in damage to mine infrastructure and installed Read More
April 2017
Risk – why do people do what they do?
If company leaders are to better understand and manage risk, a systematic shift in mindset is required to dissolve the traditionally procedural mindset of mining engineers Firstly, I need to declare that I am not an academic. Nor have I studied any of the social sciences or human behavioral fields such as psychology. Nor have I gone down the MBA route. I am a dyed-in-the-wool mining engineer with a master’s degree in engineering science. But what I do have, and what I want to share, is Read More
Recent Articles

The development of big issues and ideas for AGCC 2018
An outline of the technical program for our inaugural Australian Geoscience Council Convention (AGCC 2018) was provided in the last issue of The Australian Geologist (March 2017), when geoscientists were invited to engage directly with planning the program. The technical program will provide the opportunity for all geoscientists to communicate their work to a wide audience, and to hear about relevant developments presented by other geoscientists in multiple fields. Essentially, this Read More
Winners recognised at fourth annual Tasmanian Women in Resources Awards
Finalists from across Tasmania gathered at Parliament House in Hobart on Thursday 4 May where their outstanding achievements working to shape the future of Tasmania’s mining and resources sector were recognised. Hosted by The Tasmanian Minerals and Energy Council (TMEC), in conjunction with the AusIMM Women in Mining Network Tasmania (WIMnet Tasmania), the Awards recognise individuals and organisations working to build a world-class industry which provides attractive career opportunities Read More
MetFests and Delprat Lectures – save the date(s)
Following the success of last year's Central West MetFest, the event will be run again this year in Parkes, NSW to coincide with the Delprat Distinguished Lecture. We have had a strong response from the operations in our region and are presenting on a number of interesting and challenging topics that should be of interest to all operations metallurgists. We would like to encourage attendance from far and wide and extend an invitation to all plant metallurgists to not only attend the Read More
DeGrussa Processing Plant overview
The DeGrussa Copper Mine (DCM) is 100 per cent owned by Sandfire Resources NL and located 150 km north of Meekatharra in the Doolgunna region. The greenfield deposit was discovered in 2009 with the first direct shipping ore (DSO) mined February 2012, with prompt development to an operating sulphide concentrator in September 2012. Figure 1 shows an aerial view of the current concentrator layout. [caption id="attachment_10676" align="alignnone" width="800"] Figure 1. DCM Read More
AusIMM Kalgoorlie Branch technical talk recap
AusIMM Kalgoorlie Branch hosted a technical talk on 2 May, 2017. It was presented by Peter Crennan, who works for DDH1, and Inia Heperi, who is employed at Newmont. The topic of the two-hour presentation was 'The Art & Science of Deep Directional Drilling.' The event was well attended, with over 70 people showing up. There was a healthy mix between young industry professionals, students from local universities and retired experts. Specific details and insights were provided about Read More
Progress of harmonisation of Workplace Health and Safety laws for Australian Mining
Abstract The Australian mining community needs to be aware of the lack of progress made towards harmonisation of Australian mines safety legislation and the potential impact this may have on mining operations and safety and risk governance. Harmonisation of Australian safety legislation began in the mid-2000s as a result of recommendations from the Productivity Commission in order to promote cross-border mobility of work forces and to reduce contradiction, duplication and complication Read More
Photo gallery: AusIMM Awards Dinner 2017
The AusIMM Awards Dinner took place on Saturday 8 April in Newcastle, NSW. The AusIMM Awards have been recognising contributions to the Institute and professional excellence in the minerals industry for more than 80 years. First awarded in 1935, AusIMM Awards celebrate outstanding contributions to best practice professionalism in the minerals industry. The awards help to promote and raise the overall standard of professional practice, and send a clear message to our communities that Read More
Photo gallery: AusIMM Congress 2017
AusIMM Congress 2017 was held from 7-8 April in Newcastle, New South Wales. The annual Congress is an opportunity for the Institute's leaders to work together, sharing information, experiences, opportunities and concerns with each other and with the AusIMM Board and CEO on strategic and other matters. As part of Congress, presentations to the recipients of the 2017 AusIMM Awards and scholarships took place at the AusIMM Awards Dinner on 8 April. View photos from the AusIMM Awards Read More
April 2017
Protecting yourself as a professional
It is important for professionals to have the correct insurance and to engage in good risk-management strategies when involved in mining consulting work In Australia, a professional has a legal duty to do their work to the reasonable standard expected of their profession. Where they are engaged as independent contractors and perform work without due care that results in loss or damage, they can be sued and held liable to pay compensation. Who is a professional? Anyone who gives to Read More
April 2017
Staying in the game – the importance of engineering-based decisions
Mine managers should not overlook the importance of technical specialists in pursuing successful project outcomes There was a good reason at the time … I just can’t see it now! As I moved around in my career, I hoped that the skeletons left behind didn’t have a negative impact and as I visit projects in my current role, I often wonder why certain decisions have been made. Reflecting on my experiences, including mistakes, the importance of knowledge-based decisions is evident, but if the Read More
April 2017
Leadership lessons from the mining greats
Which traits make for a successful leader in the mining industry? Enough has been written about leadership over the years to fill several libraries. Yet it has always astonished me how little has been written by people with the long-term track record of success to warrant being considered an authority. Once you eliminate the learned tomes of academics and the rapidly published, slim volumes by the one-hit wonders, you’re left with very few books that have stood the test of time. For Read More
April 2017
The development of computer vision technology in mining
Computer vision technology has the potential to revolutionise mining and improve worker safety Taking a step into the unknown world of mining innovation is usually only for the brave or foolhardy, particularly for any company that is not a tier-one miner. It is one of the hardest landscapes in which to succeed in mining. Mining is seriously complex, dynamic and conservative in nature and is subject to boom and bust cycles. Despite this, Gold Fields has managed to turn out a very Read More