April 2015

The AusIMM Awards 2015

  • By AusIMM

The AusIMM awards have been recognising contributions to the Institute and professional excellence in the minerals industry for more than eighty years. First awarded in 1935, AusIMM awards celebrate outstanding contributions to best practice professionalism in the minerals industry.

The AusIMM Awards 2015 will be presented on Saturday 18 April in Fremantle, Western Australia. The 2015 Awards ceremony is being held in conjunction with the annual AusIMM Congress, and is an important opportunity for AusIMM members to recognise and reward the efforts of leaders within the Institute and the minerals industry.

The Institute Medal

Sam Walsh FAusIMM(CP)

Sam Walsh

Sam is currently Chief Executive Officer of the Rio Tinto Group. Prior to this he was Chief of Rio’s Iron Ore Group and Rio Tinto Australia, during which time he oversaw mining operations and expansion in the Pilbara. He spent 20 years in senior positions at GM and Nissan before joining Rio Tinto. From his automotive industry background, Sam brought a deep understanding of production systems and productivity tools. He was instrumental in introducing techniques such as Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing into the Australian aluminium and iron ore industries. These initiatives were responsible for the increased automation in Rio Tinto’s Pilbara mines, including the development of autonomous loading, haulage and train operations.

Sam is a leader among mining industry chief executives. He maintains his membership as a Fellow and Chartered Professional of the AusIMM and has provided support to AusIMM events and projects, including major AusIMM publications.

President’s Award

Peter Stoker HonFAusIMM(CP)


The 2015 President’s Award goes to Peter Stoker for new and significant contributions to the Institute and industry since he was awarded Honorary Fellowship in 2011. Key achievements include the development and delivery of a major revision to the JORC Code, significant contributions to AusIMM’s Monograph 30 publication and promotion, and increasing the recognition and uptake of the JORC Code by the Chinese minerals sector.

Peter has also helped to build professional capabilities in Resource and Reserve Estimation practice in China. Peter’s involvement has introduced the prospect that China may become a member of CRIRSCO (Committee for Mineral Reserves International Reporting Standards), by developing and adopting a public reporting code for mineral resources and reserves that aligns with CRIRSCO standards.

Peter’s work to promote the JORC Code and potential membership of CRIRSCO to Chinese minerals professionals has contributed greatly to the growing awareness of the AusIMM in China. Peter’s extensive networks and the respect that he has earned overseas have been key factors leading to very senior and influential Chinese professionals seeking to join the Institute. As a result, there is now a growing network of active and engaged AusIMM members based in China who bring valuable new experiences, perspectives and capabilities to the Institute.

Peter has increased his influence on CRIRSCO’s activities as JORC’s representative. He has the deep respect of his colleagues and his contributions to new programs and the education of potential new members are especially noteworthy.

Honorary Fellowship

Peter Lyle McCarthy HonFAusIMM(CP)

Peter McCarthy

Peter has been nominated in recognition of his exceptional leadership and contribution to the Institute over many years. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated outstanding professionalism and technical excellence, as well as unstinting dedication to preserving the important mining history of Australia.

Peter has been a member of the Institute for 45 years, a member of the Board for seven years (2003-2010) and was President of the Institute in 2007 and 2008. He has contributed to a number of committees over an extended period, including Audit and Risk Management, Awards, JORC, Emerging Issues, EEF Board of Trustees, Remuneration and Consultants Society and three Branch committees. He was instrumental in the rejuvenation of the Heritage Committee in 2008, having previously been a founding member in the 1980s. Peter has always been prepared to tackle difficult tasks with complete professionalism.

Beryl Jacka Award

Alice Clark FAusIMM(CP)

Alice Clark

Alice was elected President of the Institute for 2011 and again for 2012, having been first elected to the Board in 2008. As President, Alice implemented strong governance standards in the interests of members, and communicated the changing industry circumstances that were to affect many members in 2012 and since. Alice worked with management and Institute committees to consolidate and deliver a defined program of professional development services and activities.

Alice has been heavily involved in the activities of the JORC Committee since 1996, except 2005-2006, and made a leading contribution to the revision of the JORC Code in her position as Deputy Chair from 2007-2013. Alice has been a long-term contributor to the VALMIN Committee and during her time on the AusIMM Board has made a vigorous and valued contribution to the deliberations of the Awards, Ethics, Audit and Risk Management, Remuneration, Investment and Nominating committees. Alice is now in her 25th year of membership, and after seven years of leading and participating in the Institute’s governance, she is a most appropriate nominee for the Beryl Jacka Award.

Jim Torlach Health and Safety Award

Prof Philipp Kirsch AAusIMM and team

Kirsch photo

Philipp and his team have helped develop the ACARP-sponsored RISKGATE generic risk assessment material, an online tool developed by and for the coal industry to assist with the risk assessment process. RISKGATE contains checklists to help assess and control 17 potential hazards in coal mining, such as fires, collisions, and explosions.

Described as a ‘decision support tool’, the checklists have been formulated by careful analysis and research. They are designed to be used by industry professionals to assist with risk assessment, auditing, accident investigation, and training.

The RISKGATE team is also developing information pertaining to ‘Fitness for Work’ for coal industry employees, covering such topics as fatigue, drugs, alcohol, and physical and psychological wellbeing.

The work by Philipp and his team is a major breakthrough in risk management, and a project is being scoped to add similar information for other industries, such as hard-rock mining.

AusIMM Service Award

Chris Carr FAusIMM(CP)

Chris Carr

After long-term involvement in Branch committee activity, including being Chair of the North West Queensland Branch, Chris was elected to the Board of the Institute, a position he held for six years (2007-2012). As a Board member he came to participate in a number of Institute committees and ultimately made an outstanding contribution to Institute affairs and leadership as the Chair of a number of key committees.

Chris is Chair of the Chartered Professional Board and the AusIMM Board’s Investment Committee, where he has made a particularly strong contribution to the financial stability of the Institute. Chris has contributed to a number of conferences, including the 2009 AusIMM Congress held in Mt Isa and was an active member of the Mining Society Committee from 2008-2014 including a leading role with the Mine Manager’s Handbook.

AusIMM New Professional Awards

Chris Rendall MAusIMM

Chris Rendall

Chris was a member of the New Zealand Branch Committee from 2011-2014 and held the position of Vice Chair in 2014. He was part of the New Zealand Branch Conference Organising Committee from 2012-2014, and as Conference Chair in 2014 he oversaw a very successful conference in Hamilton. He became involved in the AusIMM through working for a consultant geologist preparing permit applications under the Crown Minerals Act.

Chris represented the New Zealand Branch at the 2012 New Leaders Conference and associated mining games and at a previous AusIMM Congress, both of which provided him with insight into the aspirations of new members of the industry and the realities of the environment within which mining exists, including obtaining a social licence to operate.
Chris operates across the mining industry, is active within the AusIMM, and at an early stage of his career has an important position with the New Zealand Department of Conservation. He also brings new ideas and a fresh approach to the New Zealand Branch.

Erica D’Silva GAusIMM

Erica D'Silver PortKembla0142

Since graduating, Erica has been on the AusIMM Illawarra Branch Executive Committee and BlueScope Women’s Network Steering Committee, as well as being a regional representative for the New South Wales WIMnet Committee. She hosted ‘The Oscar Experience’, an event honouring Oscar Gregory for her work at BlueScope. Oscar was formerly General Manager of Mills and Coating and is Director ARC Research Hub for Australian Steel Manufacturing. Erica organised the first WIMnet event in the Illawarra in 2013 and in 2014 organised another WIMnet event for the Illawarra community.
Erica is committed to supporting women in the minerals industry. In January 2015 she volunteered as a mentor at the Women in Engineering Summit, a program aimed at high school students and hosted by the University of Wollongong.

Best Paper

Paul Angus MAusIMM

Paul Angus copy-EDIT

The successful paper for 2014 was included in the proceedings of the New Zealand Branch Conference. It was by P M V Angus, entitled ‘An update on the Sams Creek porphyry gold deposit, northwest Nelson, New Zealand’. It is worth noting that a paper by Paul and four co-authors on Sams Creek was the runner-up for this award in 2013, though this was not considered by the judging panel in its assessment of entries for the 2015 award.

Branch & Society Service Award

David Clark FAusIMM(CP) (Darwin Branch)

Dave Clark

Dave was responsible for the revitalisation of the Darwin Branch and transformed it during his term in office from 2010-2014. The Branch was inactive upon Dave’s relocation to the Northern Territory at the beginning of this period and he was instrumental in forming a committee and successfully Chairing the team during this period of reactivation. A balanced program including regular technical presentations, social activities, university and industry engagement and joint annual technical seminars was developed under Dave’s leadership and continues today within the Branch calendar of events.

James Didovich MAusIMM (Kalgoorlie Branch)

2015-03-24 13-39-47.641

Until 2015, James took care of the administration of the Kalgoorlie Branch as the honorary secretary while the positions of Branch chair and vice-chair remained vacant. During this time, the Branch functioned well under his management. James deserves to be recognised and appreciated for the service he has given to the Branch and the Institute.

Kevin Marston MAusIMM (Illawarra Branch)

Kevin Marston (1)

Kevin has been nominated for his extensive involvement in many industry boards and committees. Positions he has held include: Illawarra Branch Treasurer (2007-2010); Honorary treasurer (2011-2014); acting Illawarra Branch Secretary (2013-2014); Member of AusIMM EEF Scholarships Interview Panel in the Illawarra area (2011-2014); Illawarra Branch representative on the Illawarra Student Chapter Executive Committee; Mentor to Illawarra Student Chapter committee members; Illawarra Representative on Moss Vale Committee for Student Thesis Competition (2011-2014); Member of the Organising Committee of Coal Operators’ Conference (2012-2014) and 35th APCOM Symposium in 2012.

Over the last five years, Kevin has also been an organiser and supervisor of student trips – some up to ten days long – to various states of Australia.

Paul Harper FAusIMM(CP) (Mining Society)

Paul Harper Congress 2013 copy

Paul has been nominated in recognition of his contribution to the Mining Society Committee and his conspicuous contribution to the Institute. In late 2007 the Mining Society was re-established and chaired by John Collins. The aim of the Mining Society is to establish and maintain a mechanism for representing the interests of mining professionals within the Institute. Paul was Chairman from 2009 to 2011 and during this time he introduced face to face meetings to develop comprehensive and meaningful strategic plans for the society and its members. The society developed an identity and promoted its relevance to its members and is now a very active contributor to members and the Institute. Some notable achievements include: Mine Manager’s Handbook;Guidelines for Technical Economic Evaluation of Minerals Industry Projects;

Contributions to the AusIMM/IOM3 Transactions, Monograph publications and NewsletterProgram recognition for university courses; Encouraging and facilitating mentoring arrangements for mining engineering students and young professionals;Advising the AusIMM and CP Boards on various matters.

Paul has also been a leader, mentor and supporter of several Institute activities and has worked towards increased collaboration among the Institute societies and committees and their members.

Sir Willis Connolly Memorial Medal

Prof Robin Batterham FAusIMM

Robin Batterham presenting Connolly lecture

Professor Batterham has been recognised for his outstanding communication in the fields of science, engineering and technology within the mining sector. He is Kernot Professor of Engineering at the University of Melbourne. Until recently Dr Batterham was Group Chief Scientist, Rio Tinto Limited, President of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, and Chairman of the International Energy Agency Expert Group on Science for Energy.

He has had a distinguished career in research and technology in the public and private sectors in areas such as mining, mineral processing, mineral agglomeration processes and iron making. He is inventor of more than 20 patent families. Professor Batterham was Chief Scientist to the Australian Federal Government from 1999 to 2005.

Sir Frank Espie/Rio Tinto Leadership Award 2015

Michael Assmann SAusIMM


Michael is in his fourth year of study, completing a Bachelor of Engineering (Metallurgical Engineering) at Curtin University (Western Australia School of Mines).

Michael finished as the top engineering student from a field of more than 800 at the end of his first year which earned him the Most Outstanding Engineering First Year Award in 2012 and the Engineering Mechanics Prize. He followed this by earning the Kalgoorlie Student Guild Prize at the end of his second year.

Michael is the President of AusIMM Kalgoorlie Student Chapter. In 2014 he was the Treasurer of that Chapter and has been a member of the AusIMM since 2012. He has been actively involved in fundraising events to assist the Student Chapter to host events for students on campus.

Michael was chosen to be part of the John Curtin Leadership Academy which focusses on leadership with community values and entrepreneurial spirit. He also participated in the Curtin University Focus on Mining Camp in his final year of Secondary School.

Daniel Travers GAusIMM


Daniel is in his fourth year of study. He has completed a Bachelor of Science (Mineral Geoscience) at the University of Adelaide and is pursuing Honours in Economic Geology.

To broaden his understanding of the minerals industry, Daniel has undertaken various vacation work placements and internships with a range of companies such as IMX Resources, Newcrest Mining, CWT Mongolia and MRI Trading AG. These placements have covered underground mining, surface mining, exploration geology and physical commodities trading.

Daniel studied Mandarin at Tsinghua University in Beijing and also received the DEEWR Endeavour Student Exchange Program Scholarship to study Economics and Earth Science for one semester at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in Sha Tin, Hong Kong.

Daniel has been a member of the AusIMM since 2011. He has been an active member of the Henley Surf Lifesaving Club for the last ten years and has represented both his club and South Australia in the Australian National Surfboat Rowing Series.


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