April 2016

The AusIMM Awards 2016

  • By AusIMM

Celebrating excellence

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 AusIMM Awards 2016 will be presented on Saturday 18 June in Melbourne, Victoria. The 2016 Awards are an important opportunity for AusIMM members to recognise the efforts of leaders within the Institute and the minerals industry. Nominations for the 2017 awards will close on 30 September 2016.

The Institute Medal: Charles Sartain FAusIMM

University of Queesland Senate MembersThe 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.

Charles (Charlie) Sartain’s commitment to the global minerals industry spans 35 years. He spent the early part of his career in a variety of mining engineering and management roles at the Mount Isa Mines complex in north Queensland, Australia. He then held several general manager and senior executive roles in Australia and overseas before being appointed Chief Executive of Xstrata Copper and a member of Xstrata plc’s Executive Committee in January 2004. Over the subsequent years Xstrata Copper grew to become the world’s fourth largest copper producer. Charlie left the Xstrata Group upon the completion of the merger with Glencore plc in May 2013.

As his career progressed, Charlie developed parallel philanthropic and corporate activities that enhanced research, promoted social responsibility and recognised the importance of the minerals industry in a global context.

Charlie is a Fellow of the AusIMM and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. He is currently serving on numerous Boards and committees, and is involved in charitable works through the Sartain Family Endowment.

AusIMM President’s Award: Denby Ward FAusIMM

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

Denby Ward has been instrumental in developing new metallurgical technologies, leading research and engineering teams, and mentoring young metallurgists and chemical engineers. As Research Superintendent at the Broken Hill Associated Smelters Pty Ltd at Port Pirie, Denby helped develop a number of innovative technologies. He then spent a period as General Manager of the Port Pirie works, before transferring to Melbourne in the 1980s as General Manager Technology of Wimmera Industrial Minerals.

Denby also spent some years as a Fellow in the Faculty of Engineering at Monash University, where he contributed considerably to student development
and research.

Honorary Fellow of the AusIMM: Greg Chalmers FAusIMM(CP)

Greg Chalmers #4Honorary 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.

Greg Chalmers joined the Council of the AusIMM in 1995, serving continuously until Council was replaced by an elected Board in 2001, when he was elected a Director. He was then elected President of the AusIMM for 2009 and served a second term in 2010, completing an unbroken 12 years of service on the Board with two years as Immediate Past President in 2011-2012.

First elected as secretary of the Broken Hill Branch in 1978, Greg has served on and chaired many Branch, conference and Board committees, including the AusIMM’s OH&S, Audit and Risk Management, Awards, Investment and Ethics Committees, as well as the Education Endowment Fund Board of Trustees. He is still active in several of these committees.

Beryl Jacka Award: Ray Tolhurst MAusIMM

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

Ray Tolhurst has had a very long relationship with the AusIMM, both nationally and in the Illawarra. His association with the AusIMM first began in 1966 when he joined as a student member.

Ray has been actively involved on the AusIMM Illawarra Branch Committee, first in the 1970s and again since 2001, holding the position of Branch Chair on several occasions. During this time Ray has encouraged many new people to join the committee, including younger materials engineers and geologists. His foresight and mentorship has equipped these newer members of the committee with skills and passion to contribute to the AusIMM Branch and the Institute. Ray also sat on the AusIMM EEF scholarship committee and the previous Education Taskforce for a number of years and chairs the current paraprofessional course-recognition working party.

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. These awards have been added to the AusIMM awards program from 2016.


Helgi Stedman has pioneered the use of blasthole data to maximise coal recovery in Thiess’ Central Queensland operations. Helgi led development and implementation of the technique within Thiess, which has increased geological model precision and closed the gap between actual and forecast recoveries compared with traditional exploration models. The technique involves integrating exploration drilling with tightly-spaced pre-split holes and additional mid-strip blastholes, using geophysics to model the interface between coal and overburden.

Dave Wiseman 2Feb16David Wiseman MAusIMM

David Wiseman is recognised for the invention, development and commercialisation of an innovative software application for flowsheet development and drawing, mass balancing and process simulation called LIMN® ‘The Flowsheet Processor’. Development of LIMN began in1994 and it has since found application in 31 countries and more than 20 commodities/industries. More than 800 licenses have been sold. It has become the industry standard for modelling and simulation of coal preparation and diamond and iron ore upgrading plants in Australia and South Africa and increasingly in Europe and the Americas. It has also been applied in many other industries, including base metals minerals processing and hydrometallurgy.

Jim Torlach Health and Safety Award: Stewart Bell PSM

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

Stewart Bell has had a distinguished career with more than 35 years’ experience in mine safety in Queensland and internationally. Prior to being appointed Queensland Mine Safety and Health Commissioner, he was Director of the Queensland Government’s Safety in Mines Testing and Research Station, and during this period had management roles in the Australian Government’s India Mine Safety Training Program (1997-2002) and was instrumental in initiating and managing the Australia–China Xuandong Mine Coal Safety Project (2010-2011). Both projects had a significant and sustainable impact on mine safety in each country. In 2010 Stewart was appointed as one of three Royal Commissioners to inquire into the 2010 Pike River Mine disaster in New Zealand with the final report being produced in October 2012. Stewart was awarded the Public Service Medal (PSM) in 2013 for services to Mine Safety.

Jacinta RiedelNew Professional Award: Jacinta Riedel GAusIMM

Jacinta Riedel has displayed notable service to the AusIMM, specifically in the area of developing new professionals. She was the inspiration behind the reinvigoration of the New Professionals Committee and was involved in organising the flagship New Professionals Network event in Adelaide. She has also attended the New Leaders conference and encouraged others to get involved. She was the driver for the AusIMM webinar on email etiquette and she will continue to contribute in the years to come.

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: Ryan Lee GAusIMM

Considered the highest student award, the 2016 G B O’Malley Medal is
awarded to Ryan Lee for providing an excellent paper, poster and presentation
at the AusIMM New Zealand Branch conference. His presentation provided a
clear outline of the rationale for the research being undertaken, what had already
been done, and a conclusion based on the information gained to the stage at
which the research had been progressed.

Best Paper Prize: Jim McCluskey MAusIMM and Nicolau Barros MAusIMM

Each year an award is given to the author(s) of the paper judged to be the best delivered at an AusIMM conference during the preceding year. The winning paper is by Jim McCluskey MAusIMM and Nicolau Barros MAusIMM, titled ‘Life of Asset Planning Uncertainty and Value Optimisation of the Iron Ore Business from Exploration to Market to Closure’. This paper was published in the proceedings of the Orebody Modelling and Strategic Mine Planning Conference.

Nicolau Barros - professional photo - in suit Jim McCluskey v2

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.

Mark Chalmers at right option 2Mark Chalmers FAusIMM

In 2005, as uranium prices began to soar, Mark Chalmers and several members of the AusIMM discussed whether the Institute should consider a first-ever attempt at organising a uranium conference. Mark was nominated as Chair of this inaugural event because of his many years in the uranium sector. Now having completed its tenth year and with the next uranium conference to be held in June 2016, this event has evolved into the largest and most successful annual uranium conference in the world. The hallmarks of the event are the quality of speakers and presentations and a very devoted following of repeat delegates and sponsors. Mark has provided outstanding leadership as Conference Chair at every event and utilises his many industry contacts and relationships to help ensure the viability and quality of this established conference series.


Chris Sykes_largeChristopher Sykes MAusIMM(CP)

Chris Sykes began his involvement with the AusIMM Adelaide Branch Committee in 2008 and has given unreservedly of his time and effort in supporting and sustaining a strong Committee. Chris’s key role since 2009 has been Branch Treasurer. Chris has also been an active participant in the Branch’s technical and social events program and Student member support. His tireless efforts in this area have ensured the Adelaide Branch continues to have one of the Institute’s most successful programs for its members.




Terence Fisher FAusIMM(CP)Terence Fisher FAusIMM

Terence Fisher has been an advocate for health and safety (H&S) over many years in both industry-based and inspectorate/regulator-based roles within Australia and overseas. Terry has also performed numerous roles within the AusIMM, including being a founding member of the AusIMM OHS Taskforce in 2000 and a member of the ensuing AusIMM H&S Committee from 2005 until his retirement in early 2015. He was vice chair of the North West Queensland Branch from 1976-1977, Secretary of the Perth Branch in 1991, and served on a number of organising committees for conferences and conference tours such as the Eighth International Mine Ventilation Conference in 2005.


Sir Willis Connolly Memorial Medal

Tim Napier-MunnThe Sir Willis Connolly Memorial Medal and its accompanying lecture is a joint award between the AusIMM and the Barbarians* which 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 2015 was awarded to Dr Tim Napier-Munn FAusIMM(CP). Dr Napier-Munn is Emeritus Professor at the University of Queensland, and his distinguished career spans more than 40 years in mineral industry research and development in both the public and private sectors in three countries. Dr Napier-Munn has delivered his professional development courses on Statistics for Mineral Engineers for more than 20 years, and has recently published a book on the subject. He was also the recipient of the AusIMM President’s Award in 2011.

*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 West Germany. Saint Barbara is the Patron Saint of miners. 

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