April 2017

The AusIMM Awards 2017

  • By AusIMM

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 we are committed to the highest professional standards.

All AusIMM members are eligible to nominate and be nominated for one or more awards, and all members are encouraged to nominate individuals or groups to recognise and celebrate achievement of the highest professional standards and/or service to the Institute.

Recognition of these achievements by the Institute, our peers, the industry and the community is a fundamental responsibility of the AusIMM. Recognition occurs in many ways within and beyond the AusIMM, from appreciation at Branch level, through to the formal AusIMM Awards and on to the national honours systems.

The AusIMM Awards 2017 were presented on Saturday 8 April in Newcastle, NSW. Nominations for the 2018 awards will close on 30 September 2017.

Highest honours

The Institute Medal: Joe Pease FAusIMM

The Institute Medal is the most prestigious award and highest honour conferred by the AusIMM. It is awarded in recognition of eminent leadership services to the Australasian minerals sector.

Joe has had an eminent career working in technology and applied research over his 36 years of membership. He is a gifted teacher and has been a mentor to many minerals professionals globally and authored and presented countless technical papers throughout his career.

Following operational and management roles in Mount Isa, Joe spent 12 years as Chief Executive of Xstrata Technology, later Glencore, leading the development and marketing of technologies to improve the efficiency of grinding, flotation, smelting, refining and leaching. His services delivered significant financial and technical benefits to the Australian and global minerals industry, and without the successful commercialisation of these key Australian processing technologies many operations would not have survived or ever made it to production.

Joe has made many contributions to industry via volunteer research and education leadership roles. He is Chair of the Coalition for Energy Efficient Comminution, and has held positions with the AMIRA Board, the CRC Ore Board, the Ian Wark Research Institute and JKMRC Advisory Boards, the MCA and the Minerals Education Partnership Steering Committee.

AusIMM President’s Award: Dr Hua Guo FAusIMM

The AusIMM President’s Award is presented in recognition of notable achievement in the industry in a specific sphere of activity.

Hua has made outstanding and sustained scientific and technological contributions to mining over the last 30 years. At Pasminco’s underground operations at Broken Hill and BHP’s iron ore surface operations in the Pilbara, he was instrumental in developing and implementing advanced mine geotechnical programs that significantly contributed to safety and efficiency.

At the CSIRO, Hua and his team have developed new insights into the dynamics of complex mechanical-fluid interactions during mining, cutting-edge numerical modelling and mine monitoring techniques, and integrated mine planning methodology and processes. Hua and his team also developed coal mine methane capture technologies that have delivered major safety, environmental, and economic benefits to coal mining in Australia and China.

In 2016, Hua led Australia’s successful bid to host the 26th World Mining Congress in Brisbane in 2021. This is the first time Australia will host the Congress. Hua worked tirelessly to secure strong support from industry, government, service industries and research organisations to create this major opportunity to profile Australia’s mining industry and expertise.

Honorary Fellowship: Neil Cole FAusIMM (deceased 2016)

Honorary Fellowship is awarded to a Fellow of the AusIMM who is a person of distinction in the minerals sector and has given notable, active and sustained service to the AusIMM.

Neil has contributed to the Institute significantly over his 53 years of membership. He was actively involved in AusIMM Sydney Branch activities, chaired symposia, authored papers and represented the Sydney Branch on the AusIMM Council.

Neil was involved in the early development of the JORC and VALMIN Codes and became a foundation member of the Complaints Committee in 2006. He continued to serve on the Complaints Committee for ten years, retiring from it just two months before his death. He gave freely of his time as the Complaints Committee workload increased with more complex ethical and procedural matters that required addressing. Neil’s involvement was exemplary and he drew on his extensive industry and regulatory experience to ensure conclusions and actions were fair and reasonable.

Honorary Fellowship: Geoffrey Sharrock FAusIMM(CP)

Geoff has been an outstanding contributor to the Institute since 1968. Elected to the Board in 2011 and then as President in 2013-14, his dedication to the needs of members (championing the Member Assistance Program) and his ability to personally engage with every Branch during his tenure was truly awe-inspiring. His work as Inaugural Chair of the Governance Committee lead to the AusIMM Charter and By-Laws review. He was also instrumental to AusIMM’s reach into Asia and helped establish MOUs with other international kindred bodies. As Immediate Past President he provided support to other Directors and was part of the Awards, Investment and Remuneration Committees.

Geoff was Chair of the Hunter Region Branch for 11 years, completely reinvigorating this region to build the largest regional Branch, and initiated the Student Chapter. He was Chair of the AusIMM’s OH&S Taskforce (now the H&S Society) for five years, developed the Safety Beliefs and Principles and recommended the creation of an Institute OH&S Award.

Beryl Jacka Award: Ron Morland FAusIMM(CP)

This award is named in honour of Beryl Jacka, a stalwart of the AusIMM over a period of 40 years and AusIMM Secretary from 1945-1976. The award is presented in recognition of extraordinary and sustained service to the AusIMM.

Ron has demonstrated extraordinary and sustained service to the AusIMM over his 32 years of membership. A long-term active contributor and past Committee member and Chair of the West Coast Tasmania, Broken Hill and Melbourne Branches, he helped set up the Melbourne Mining Club. Ron also served on the Awards Committee for seven years, and has Chaired the Membership Applications Committee for the past three years.

He has been Vice-Chair of the Project Evaluation Conference, has served on the International Mine Management Conference Committee, and has been Chair of the AusIMM IMARC Committee.

Ron is a regular and active contributor to Congress and other AusIMM meetings, a great supporter of students and new professionals, a scrutineer for Board elections and generously provides counsel and advice to senior AusIMM members.

Professional Excellence Awards

These awards recognise professional excellence demonstrated by a minerals professional (individual or group) for significant contributions to the development and/or application of professional knowledge and practice and/or leadership.

Steve Durkin MAusIMM (Jim Torlach Health and Safety Award)

Named in honour of James (Jim) Torlach, the AusIMM Health and Safety Award recognises notable achievements in health and safety for the minerals sector.

Steve is the key driver, developer, designer and manufacturer of the Safescape Laddertube – a safe, practical, adaptable and cost-effective escape system for underground mining operations. A modular light weight escape system, it is designed for installation in raise excavations inclined from 50° to vertical.

Minimal resources and personnel are required for installation and re-use, and the design also facilitates a straight-line stretcher pull, making the extraction of injured personnel quicker and easier than conventional steel or timber ladders. There is currently more than 19 000 m of Safescape Laddertube installed across 73 mines worldwide to date.

Sandy Gray MAusIMM, Nick Moony, Nick Katsikaros

This team was responsible for the design, manufacture and commercialisation of Gekko Systems’ InLine Leach Reactor (ILR).

The ILR was subsequently designed to optimise the recovery of gold from any high-grade gravity and flotation concentrate streams, and it has the highest unit recoveries of any concentrate treatment available, allowing mine operators to efficiently produce gold doré on site from gravity and flotation concentrates.

Traditional tabling methods could not process the volumes of high-grade concentrates produced from Gekko’s InLine Pressure Jig and other gravity concentrates effectively.

Today, the ILR is installed in more than 40 countries and further work has advanced the technology and seen it introduced into silver mines.

Dr Kathy Ehrig MAusIMM

Kathy is recognised as a leader of technical excellence, establishing the Olympic Dam geometallurgy program more than a decade ago and was at the forefront of automated mineralogy techniques. She has made significant contributions to the development and application of professional knowledge and practice in the fields of mineralogy, geochemistry, core logging, orebody modelling and geometallurgy.

Kathy provides a leadership role in research projects supported by the Australian Research Council, South Australian Mining and Petroleum Services Centre of Excellence, and BHP Billiton Olympic Dam at the University of Adelaide and University of Tasmania. She is always willing to contribute and share knowledge via publishing research results in scientific journals and presenting technical papers at conferences. She engages effectively with both academic and industry professionals, and generously supports and mentors many PhD students and geoscientists.

New Professional Award: Robyn Teet MAusIMM

Robyn has displayed great leadership qualities as a Graduate Member and new professional. Robyn was the Chair of the AusIMM New Professionals Network (NPN) in 2015 and was part of the organising committee for the 2015 New Leaders’ Conference. She also serves on the committee of the Eastern Australian Ground Control Group and was recently appointed Secretary.

Robyn was instrumental in developing the relationship between the AusIMM and beyondblue to highlight the importance and raise awareness of mental health in young minerals professionals. She facilitated the flagship NPN networking events with beyondblue in Adelaide and Perth, and this partnership will continue in 2017 with additional awareness and fundraising events.

Technical Paper Awards (Student and General)

The Technical Paper Awards are the G B O’Malley Medal for a student (first awarded in 1987) and the Best Paper Prize (first awarded in 2011).

G B O’Malley Medal: Anna Eames SAusIMM, Dr Shaun Barker, Dr Patricia Durance MAusIMM

The 2017 G B O’Malley Medal is awarded to Anna, Shaun and Patricia for the paper ‘Pyrite geochemistry and textures in the epithermal Au-Ag mineralisation at Waihi.’ This paper was presented at the AusIMM New Zealand Branch Conference in September 2016.

Best Paper Prize: J P Sykes MAusIMM and Dr A Trench FAusIMM

J P Sykes MAusIMM.

Dr A Trench FAusIMM.

The 2017 Best Paper Prize is awarded to a paper presented at the International Mine Management 2016 Conference, entitled: ‘Using scenarios to investigate the long-term future of copper mining and guide exploration targeting strategies’, by J P Sykes and A Trench.

Institute or Minerals Sector Service Awards

The Institute or minerals sector service awards build upon the former Branch and Society Service and AusIMM Service Awards. These awards may be presented to any Institute member or to a group of members. These awards recognise consistent and significant contribution to the ongoing success of the Institute and/or the minerals sector.

Professor Damien Giurco MAusIMM

Damien Giurco of the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney has been a central leader in establishing the AusIMM’s Community and Environment Society. He first joined the AusIMM’s Sustainability Committee in 2010, became Chair in 2011 and then led the development of that Committee into becoming the Community and Environment Society, which was established in 2013 following AusIMM Board endorsement. He has presented multiple conference papers and AusIMM Bulletin articles and led research collaboration with AusIMM on adapting to climate risks.

Dr Kevin Wills FAusIMM

Kevin was the instigator of the annual South Australian Exploration and Mining Conference and remains the Chair 14 years later. Kevin has fostered a unique collaboration between the AusIMM and four other partners and has provided technical information exchange and cooperation between industry, government and students, while advancing the profile of the Institute.

Kevin also serves on industry and education committees, was past Chair of the AusIMM Adelaide Branch, has run short courses, and helps to reinforce the relations between universities and industry.

AusIMM Illawarra Branch Heritage Sub-Committee

The AusIMM Illawarra Branch Heritage Sub-Committee (Chair Andreas Hubscher and Secretary Graham Pryor) has for 30 years been active on practical projects focusing on the mining heritage of the Illawarra region, where coal was first discovered in 1797. Projects were developed in conjunction with the local council and other relevant groups. Their work is a model for similar action by other AusIMM Branches, Societies and Committees.

Sir Willis Connolly Memorial Medal: Dr Tony Marxsen

The Sir Willis Connolly Memorial Medal and its accompanying lecture is a joint award between the AusIMM and the Barbarians* that honours the contribution to science, engineering and technology by Sir Willis Connolly. The Sir Willis Connolly Memorial Medal particularly recognises his achievements as a communicator, and as such is awarded to an outstanding communicator from that broad arena in which he was so active.

The Sir Willis Connolly Memorial Medal for 2016 was awarded to Dr Tony Marxsen. With a career spanning close to five decades, Tony ’s experience and knowledge of the energy industry is almost unparalleled. Tony has held the role of Non-Executive Director on the Australian Energy Market Operator’s Board since 2011 and Chairman of the Board since November 2015. Tony has led projects of national significance in powerline bushfire interaction and powerline bushfire safety. Tony’s work informed the recommendations of the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission and he played a leading role in shaping the recommendations of Victoria’s Powerline Bushfire Safety Taskforce.

*The Barbarians is a group established by persons associated with brown coal mining and energy generation in Victoria, many of whom have had close ties to the industry in Germany. Saint Barbara is the Patron Saint of miners.

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