AMIRA International - Newsletter




Message from the Managing Director

Mr Joe CucuzzaIt is an exciting time for AMIRA International. Firstly, the new Constitution was approved by Members at the recent AGM.  The Constitution was re-written to bring it into line with governance best practice and with recent legislative changes. One major amendment will see the number of Member-elected Directors reduced from 18 to a maximum of seven, plus the Managing Director. In addition, the Board has the power to appoint up to three independent Directors, should it be deemed necessary to bolster the skills on the Board.  

Ms Ramanie NaidooSecondly, I am pleased to report that Ms Ramanie Naidoo (Partner at KPMG) was elected to the Board. Ms Naidoo joins with re-elected Directors, Dr Walter Valery (Hatch) and Dr Luiz Mello (Vale), to make up an eight-member Board. Finally, the Board has approved a strategy that will include investing in capacity building. As a consequence, we shall be announcing a senior appointment in late January that will bolster our capacity to engage with members and accelerate the development of project ideas that are aligned with our member’s needs.

Our faith in the improving industry conditions will be vindicated over time, but my discussion with many people over the last few months suggests that green-shoots are appearing and we are probably out of the woods. Many suppliers are increasing their order books, as demand for studies and optimisation of operations is increasing. I guess it’s fair to say that the cost-cutting frenzy and divestment of high-cost assets in order to improve companies' balance sheets has taken its course.  This seems true at least with respect to reducing headcount, indeed some companies are now hiring again.  Although, perhaps not, at the time of writing, a newspaper article had the headline “Mining titan eyes $2.1bn in savings”; although to be fair it was reported that this was in part through productivity gains associated with automation and “big data” analytics.

So the focus is on optimisation and productivity, and finding other ways of reducing costs sustainably. The latter takes many forms, whether at the enterprise level or at the site level. Digitization is probably in the former category. In fact, digitization seems to be turning into a frenzy as well, implementation challenges abound (not to mention cybersecurity issues), and no doubt mistakes will be made. Recently, I read an interesting article by Jeanne Ross, principal research scientist for MIT’s Center for Information Systems Research, in which she explained the difference between digitization and going digital ( To use her own words:

“Digitization involves standardizing business processes and is associated with cost-cutting and operational excellence. In essence, it imposes discipline on business processes that, over the years, were executed by individual heroes in a variety of creative (but not always optimal) ways. SAP, PeopleSoft, and other integrated software packages that burst onto the scene in the 1990s helped lead the way into more digitizing, but it remains a painful process.

“Today, companies are confronting something new and different: digital. Digital, of course, is an adjective. It refers to a host of powerful, accessible, and potentially game-changing technologies like social, mobile, cloud, analytics, internet of things, cognitive computing, and biometrics. It also refers to the transformation that companies must undergo to take advantage of the opportunities these technologies create. A digital transformation involves rethinking the company’s value proposition, not just its operations. A digital company innovates to deliver enhanced products, services, and customer engagement. Digital is exciting, thrilling — and a bit unnerving!”

Robotic armMany mining companies have started down this journey, although I am not sure to what extent their vision embraces the sort of transformational change that Ross is talking about. Nevertheless, digitisation will be an enabler of such a digital transformation and the implementation of the Industry 4.0 paradigm in the mining industry. Clearly, digitisation is intertwined with the other hot topic, Internet of Things (IoT). According to Inmarsat, the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, IoT has become the number one priority for 92per cent of organisations who responded in a recent global survey (

There is little doubt that these emerging technologies will be the next disrupter which collectively have the potential to significantly improve productivity, reduce costs, improve safety and enable real-time evidence-based decision making. Hitachi, a major equipment supplier, predicts that Australia’s mines will use fully integrated IoT systems to connect them to central analytics hubs that will help drive costs down by up to 25% by 2030. At the recent Mines and Money conference in London, Tony O’Neil, Technical Director at Anglo American, was very bullish in predicting that in the next five to seven years, mines will run without humans and instead rely on robots, virtual models and sensors. Rio Tinto is looking into developing the Koodaideri mine in the Pilbara, currently under feasibility study, into an intelligent mine, one fully incorporating automation technologies.
Many of the global suppliers are only too happy to help companies to digitise, whether it is data management, or offering fully instrumented automated equipment, or in “digital re-invention”. Barrick has partnered with Cisco for the “digital re-invention’ of its business ( Barrick has also started what has been described as the gold mining industry’s most ambitious experiment to modernize their Cortez mine in Nevada by deploying thousands of sensors at and around the mine. Barrick predicts digital mining will drive production costs down to US$700 an ounce by 2021, from current levels of US$740-$770. Schneider Electric is assisting Roy Hill in resource-to-market simulation and optimisation ( We are all aware that Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton have set up remote operations centres for monitoring operations in the Pilbara in Perth. So the race is definitely on.
All of this got me wondering whether these emerging technologies may help companies better manage the commodity cycles and dampen the swings that plague the sector. These cycles have a negative impact on strategy, and on a company’s approach to the development and deployment of innovation. At the recent IMARC conference, Henry Tricks, energy & commodities editor at the Economist, gave a very interesting keynote address entitled “State of the Global mineral commodity market: how can we escape the boom and bust mindset. Is it possible to transition to a more stable market?”  His solution was not technology per se but a more enlightened approach to managing shareholder’s expectations. For example, if I have understood correctly, he suggests that mining companies commit towards a guaranteed dividend irrespective of where we are in the cycle.  By doing, this companies can then focus on the longer term and on strategies that will support this policy rather than responding to short-term pressures of the market.  I guess this requires CEO’s to ignore the squeaky, but powerful, institutional voices out there – well good luck with that.

Despite the hype, I think digitisation is important for the reasons that many people have already outlined. But in my view it is not going to save the industry in the long term – I would put the implementation of digitisation as a necessary but not sufficient condition for survival. Industry’s real problem, apart from the fact that we are not finding tier 1 deposits to replace what we are mining, is the reduction in head grade of existing deposits and the increasing complexity of ores (this excludes the key externalities like the license to operate).  Brook Hunt predicts that industry head grades (weighted paid copper) will reduce from 1.60% in 1990 to less than 0.5% by 2026.  As ores become more complex and harder, the energy intensity is going to increase.

I have no doubt that sooner or later theindustry  will be able to fully digitise and automate mines, but if you can’t process your low-grade ore economically, you are not going to remain in business for long. So I believe this move to digitisation and automation, although necessary, is only going to provide some breathing space before the real problems have to be addressed.  Let’s hope the industry is up to the task.  AMIRA international is well positioned to help industry address the big, but difficult, challenges. Many of which can be addressed in a collaborative manner – minimise risk by sharing it, leverage and pushing the R&D budget further. The type of collaboration required to address the big challenges need not affect the competitive position of individual companies, there is plenty of room for companies to differentiate themselves.  Collaboration is hard work, but then this is why AMIRA International was created – we take on the hard work of developing and managing the collaboration on behalf of the participating companies.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday period.




The Ideas Factory - December 2017

On Thursday 7 December, Directors and guests were treated to a morning of stimulating presentations on a variety of topics. Six invited speakers participated in our “Ideas Factory”, an invitation-only event that accompanies the AMIRA International Board meetings:

Mr Steven Travers - GM, Australian Information Industry Association: “Industry 4.0 in Resources context”

  • Steven pointed to the fact that 54% of the stocks in the ASX are resources & energy stocks. Most important sector in Australia
  • Third industrial revolution saw computers changing work processes. The fourth revolution (industry 4.0)  builds on this through improved automation, machine-to-machine and human-to-machine communications, artificial intelligence, continued technological improvements and digitisation
  • To truly embrace the potential of the Industry 4.0 the minerals industry needs to borrow methodologies and processes from other more advanced sectors
  • Edge computing and sensor availability has opened the possibility of real-time analytics at the coal face

Prof. Ben Adair - CEO and MD of CRC Ore: “Energy, Water and Productivity – how to effect step-change improvements in these key areas for the mining sector”   

  • Ben shared a story of innovation action at Minera San Cristobal SA in Bolivia which has managed to make incredible gains over the last five years despite some of the lowest head grades in the business
  • A culture of innovation and trust at both the mine site and parent headquarters which has resulted in reduced power consumption by 26%
    • Increased throughput by 35%
    • Decreased water consumption by more than 50%
    • Decreased grinding media consumption by 40%
    • Mining costs decreased from $1.35 down to $1.04
    • Milling costs decreased from $6.45 down to $4.70

Modular approach and plug & play methodology for quick deployment and testing of CRC Ore  research outcomes

Mr Lucas Cullen - Bitcoin Brisbane Pty Ltd: “Seven reasons not to use Blockchain”

Lucas explained what blockchain is and its history. Blockchains enable the transfer of value between untrusted parties – they solve the double spend problem. A double spend is an attack where the given set of coins is spent in more than one transaction. He pointed to supply chain management and certifications as some of the key applications in mining. The seven reasons why one would not use blockchains are:

  • You have bad systems – blockchains do not replace bad systems they augment them. 
  • No one cares about your business – the same people that meter you are the same people that bill you
  • You have no customers / clients – ‘everyone needs to do it” to be of real value.
  • Legislation has not caught up - so it’s best to start small, like asset tracking or provenance. But there could be a first mover advantage in some cases.
  • You have a public key infrastructure problem - Do you really want all your information stored there forever?
  • You require a fast interface – state changes in blockchain happen each time a block gets mined and this can be around 12 seconds in Ethereum (around 10 minutes in bitcoin). The latency can be a problem in some applications.
  • The other guy has one – know why and what you are doing.

Prof. Neville Plint - CEO of Sustainable Minerals Institute – Uni. Qld: “Responsible Resource Development – what is required to move from an extractive industry to a development partner?” 

  • Neville described the Sustainable Minerals Institute, its structure, and research programs.
  • He then explained how mining companies can future proof themselves, by developing an alternative mining process that reduces costs and harm
  • Transparency, disruption & talent and how they can help influence and deliver on this for the mining sector
  • The above can be actioned by the following
    • Manage expectations -> Understand expectations
    • Marketing -> Product
    • Primary production -> Recycling – “green”
    • Big -> Small (modular)
    • Batch -> Continuous

Ms Alex Moss - CEO and Head designer Canaria: “The state of the art of wearable technologies and the implication to mining”  

  • Alex delivered an excellent address around wearable technology which can highlight problems and force solutions thereby creating opportunities. An example of which is early identification of signs of fatigue
  • Canaria, a fashionably designed and wearable 3-D printed earpiece, that simultaneously detects heart rate, heart rate variability, blood oxygen levels, respiratory rate, temperature, CO2 and head position.
  • Alex pointed out that fatigue causes 60% of accidents which results in losses of some $2.5B per year.
  • Her message to the industry is to be willing to take a risk on a team that does not come from the mining industry. Talent can be attracted through outreach hackathons.
  • Alex’s key message was “if you can imagine it, we can build it”

Dr Drew Rae - School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science, Griffith University:“Decluttering safety: When are we improving the safety of work, and when are we just doing safety work?”

  • Drew clarified the differences between “safety work” and “safety of work”. The former talks to demonstrated safety, social safety and administrative safety, the latter is all about operational work.
  • Organisations trying to improve safety often add in more safety work, without measuring (or often even thinking) about what impact it has on operational work
  • He went on to discuss the key questions which companies need to ask to establish whether it is clutter or safety:
    • Does it duplicate something that you’ve already done?
    • Do you get it done some other time if you can get away with it?
    • Do you suspect it’s just to cover someone’s backside?
    • If you ignored it, would you get hurt, or just in trouble?
  • Drew used his experience with Woolworths and a major water treatment facility operated by Downer to demonstrate the research principles.
  • AMIRA is working with the Safety Science Innovation Lab to develop a collaborative project; Adele Seymon can be contacted for more information.

Copies of the presentations are available to AMIRA International members.

For information about future Ideas Factory events or AMIRA International conferences please contact




Unlocking South Australia's copper resources
The University of Adelaide will lead an AU$14.6 million research consortium to develop advanced technologies to boost South Australia’s copper production and develop a globally competitive mining technology services sector in the state.

The Research Consortium – Unlocking Complex Resources through Lean Processing – has been granted AU$4 million over four years by the State Government through its Research Consortia Program under the Premier’s Research and Industry Fund, announced by Science and Information Economy Minister Kyam Maher. This is in line with the State Government’s Copper Strategy and objective of tripling South Australia’s copper production to one million tonnes a year by 2030. The University of Adelaide is investing AU$4.46 million (cash and in-kind) and the remainder will be contributed by a large range of mining sector and research partners
In 2014-2015, copper andcopperconcentrates exports from South Australia were valued at over AU$2 billion making it South Australia’s single largest export item in value. 

"There is a large untapped copper resource in the state with total value (with gold as a by-product) at over $800 billion copper resource,"says Professor Stephen Grano, Director of the University of Adelaide’s Institute for Mineral and Energy Resources, who will be director of the new Consortium. 
"There is a significant potential to increase the rate of commercial exploitation of these resources which would have major beneficial economic impacts for the state. However, there are also significant capital and operating cost hurdles to overcome, due in large part to the geological complexity of the resource."

"The Research Consortium will develop advanced technology to tailor the mining and processing options to specific characteristics of the mineral ore in real-time – an approach known as lean processing. We will be able to look at copper mining across the whole value chain from the resource in the ground, right through mining and processing, enabling the whole system to be optimised rather than optimising isolated parts."

South Australian copper ores are very complex with many different minerals that are finely interwoven. Processing requires high levels of energy, water and capital.

"The objectives of the Consortium are to address these challenges and opportunities in more sustainable mining, minimising environmental impacts, and to commercialise technological outcomes for global, market opportunity" says Professor Julie Owens, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Adelaide.

"The Consortium will leverage the existing strengths of the partners who will come together to assist in fully unlocking the State’s complex resources and building a globally competitive mining equipment and technology services sector in South Australia."
The other Consortium industry, government and supporting partners are: BHP, OZ Minerals, AMIRA International, Australian Information Industries Association (AIIA) IoT Cluster for Mining and Energy Resources, Australian Semi-Conductor Technology Company, Boart Longyear, Consilium Technology, CRC Optimising Resource Extraction, Datanet, Data to Decisions CRC, Eka, Innovyz, Magotteaux, Manta Controls, Maptek, METS Ignited Industry Growth Centre, Mine Vision Systems, Rockwell Automation, SACOME, SAGE Automation, Sandvik, Scantech, South Australian Mining Industry Participation Office (SA MIPO), SRA IT and Thermo Fisher Scientific Australia (Processing Instruments & Equipment), with the University of South Australia as a key research partner. The Consortium is supported by the South Australian Mining and Petroleum Services Centre of Excellence.

Part of the role of AMIRA International is to attract additional industry support.



Prof. David Cooke wins prestigious award and AMIRA's new P1202 project proposal

AMIRA International is excited to report that long-time collaborator, Professor David Cooke (TMVC University of Tasmania) has been awarded the Haddon Forrester King Medal for 2018. This medal is awarded by the Australian Academy of Science, sponsored by Rio Tinto, for life-long achievement and outstanding contribution to science.

David is in esteemed company, with recent past recipients of the award including Murray Hitzman (2016), Neil Williams (2014), and Shunso Ishiahara and Anthony Naldrett (2012), all the way back to Roy Woodall (co-recipient of the first medal of this type in 1993).

David’s main research is focused on geological, chemical and fluid processes that produce the world’s major copper-gold porphyry deposits. His current interest in the chemistry of minerals surrounding these and associated mineral systems forms the premise of a series of AMIRA International projects. These are recognised for the development and testing of exploration fertility and vectoring techniques increasingly used as part ofroutine procedure by company exploration geologists in the search for magmatic copper –gold deposits.

AMIRA International is currently circulating a proposal for P1202 “Far Field and near mine footprints – find the next generation of Tier 1 ore deposits”. This will continue the development of new and refined geochemical and geological tools for fertility assessments and vectoring in porphyry and epithermal districts, greenstone belts and carbonate-hosted mineral systems. These tools will ensure cost-effective exploration, with research outcomes pertinent to exploration at a variety of scales, from belt through camp and district to near mine.

For more information on sponsoring this project, please contact Adele Seymon, Program Director at




Get Gamified! The Gamification Project

AMIRA International together with Initiative is working with AMIRA members and the mining industry to look at challenges faced by the industry which can be solved through gamification. We are currently undertaking an engagement process with individual companies to identify and prioritise key challenges which can then be used to create a collaborative gamification project and strategy for implementation.

Sergio Brodsky, Head of Strategy at Initiative and an expert in gamification, along with Imran Hussain Knowledge & ICT Manager at AMIRA International, recently delivered presentations on gamification to a number of companies. Sergio stressed the need for the mining sector to get onboard this exciting new technology which has the potential to significantly improve operations. The engagement and enthusiasm received to date from mining companies has been impressive, and both AMIRA International and Initiative are looking to circulate a proposal in early 2018.



For further information about the gamification project and if you are interested in Gamification and it's applications within the mining industry, please contact either:

Imran Hussain, Manager - ICT & Knowledge Systems at AMIRA International,; or
Sergio Brosdsky, Head of Strategy at Initiative,





AMIRA P420F Sponsor Review Meeting 
AMIRA International's P420F sponsors’ review meeting was recently held in Perth and attended by 21 Sponsors, with CRC ORE sending one representative.  Sponsor representatives flew in from Belgium, South Africa, Spain, Canada and Norway and throughout Australia.  In addition, eight sponsors attended the meeting via web conference from locations as far away as Brazil.

The results of the work carried out during the previous six months was presented on the five themes into which the project is split.  They are the following;


  1. Theme 1 - Enabling process optimisation
  2. Theme 2 - Optimising post-crush liberation for Coarse Particle Gangue Rejection optimisation
  3. Theme 3 - Optimising reagents and consumables
  4. Theme 4 - Managing the water balance
  5. Theme 5 - Enhancing the processing of difficult ores

There was some lively discussion after each presentation with the results of the work bearing interesting and useful outcomes for Sponsors.

The next six months are packed with work that the Research team will be carrying out.

During the previous six months, the Research team carried out one regional technology transfer event, two national symposia, and four site visits (Tarkwa, Mungari, Damang and Corrego do Sitio), as well as two modelling workshops held at Tarkwa and Nova Lima, Minas Gerais.

In the coming months, four site visits and plant surveys are planned for Jundee, Tanamai, Lihir and Cowal.
For more information contact John Visser, Program Manager at




AMIRA International WAXI and SAXI News 

The AMIRA International P934B Stage 3 of the West African Exploration Initiative moves into its final year with a successful and well attended sponsors meeting recently held in Accra, Ghana.
WAXI 3 Overview in numbers
- 11 countries
- 73 partner organisations over 11 years
- 81 international publications
- 90 Postdoc, PhD, MSc and Hons projects
- 650GB exploration geoscience database
- 1800 person-days of technical training in West Africa
- 650,000 km.sq. of geophysically constrained geological mapping


In this final year, the emphasis is on the continued development of a synthesis, integrating data from the various modules and delivering a geodynamic atlas. These outcomes will enable explorers to better undertake exploration targeting, through an improved understanding of the relevant settings for mineralisation in the West African Craton.

Considerable interest was raised amongst the WAXI3 sponsors about a new AMIRA International proposal that is currently circulating. The P1061A South American Exploration Initiative (SAXI) has been designed on the WAXI model; it will focus on enhancing the exploration potential of the Guiana Shield through an integrated program of research and data gathering into its ‘anatomy’. The research team at the University of Western Australia is in the unique position to produce a seamless coverage for the WAXI and SAXI regions. A growing group of sponsors are signing up to support SAXI. This project is expected to start in late March 2018.

For more information contact Adele Seymon, Program Director at




Save the Date - 12th Biennial Exploration Managers Conference!

AMIRA International's 12th Biennial Exploration Managers Conference will be held on 27-29 March 2019. 

The venue will be advised at a later date. 

Please keep your calendars free for this important conference. Attendance is by invitation only.
For more information contact Adele Seymon, Program Director at





AMIRA P705C Project Closes to Accolades

The AMIRA International P705C Project, “Improving Base Metal Electrowinning” closed in November 2017 with one sponsor claiming great improvements directly resulting from involvement in the project.  It is very rare that operating companies publish claims to benefits associated with collaborative research but just such claims were published in the National Institute of Science and Technology on Mineral Resources, Water and Biodiversity Activity Report 2016 – Belo Horizonte.  The article is reprinted below for your information:

The benefits reported by Votorantim came from site-based technology transfer work that was performed for each sponsor of the P705C Project.  Also accomplished during the P705C Project were 6 workshops, 6 site studies/audits, 6 site training courses, 5 webinars on electrowinning principles and over 20 consultation reports by the research team.  The AMIRA International P705C Project ended in November 2017 but the next extension, P705D, will be focused on, “Cost, Productivity and Occupational Health Improvement for Base Metal Electrowinning.”   The extension project is anticipated to start in early 2018. 

If you would like more information on the P705D Project please contact Terry Braden at or Dr. Mike Moats (Project Leader) at



AMIRA International would like to extend to everybody a Merry Christmas and a prosperous and safe 2018!

Please note that our offices will be closing from 17:00 Friday 22 December 2017, reopening on Tuesday 2 January 2018.



METS Ignited corner


METS Ignited celebrates with the Igniting METS SMEs and KPMG at the graduation ceremony in Brisbane last week


Doors opening for METS accelerator graduates

Congratulations to eight METS companies on the completion of the Igniting METS Accelerator in Brisbane last week.
The Igniting METS Accelerator was a highly successful pilot program between METS Ignited and the Queensland State Government. It was Australia's first late-stage accelerator with the sole focus on METS companies.
The companies underwent an intensive 12-week program run by KPMG that included workshops and mentoring from industry leaders, entrepreneurs and subject matter experts. They received financial, marketing, commercial and technical advice to commercialise their products and services.
The program culminated in pitch events with industry representatives and the investment community.

Meet our graduates

  • Artemis Intelligent Robotic Systems - Whitsunday Islands

Providing complete through wall analysis of tubular structures with three-dimensional reporting. Use of next generation sensors to move reporting and prediction from best educated guess to quantitative knowledge.

  • Commitworks - Brisbane

Software for the frontline team in the mining, energy and infrastructure industries including flexible shift plans and a visualisation of the hazards, equipment, tasks and people.

  • FDP Mining - Rockhampton

Mines and reprocesses tailing dams to deliver product coal from a resource currently considered waste.

  • Mackay Conveyor Equipment - Mackay

Creators of Jibaroo, an underground maingate transfer system that collapses and stands with hydraulics.

  • Paradyn Systems - Melbourne

Creators of BlendOpt, an integrated pit-to-port planning and scheduling cloud platform built with advanced optimisation and machine learning technologies. BlendOpt delivers transformational step-change improvements to operational profitability within complex supply chains.

  • QuickSafety - Toowoomba

A field force automation platform that enables the electrical industry to solve issues in compliance, risk and safety. Helps users eliminate legal liability and personal risk, while saving time and money.

  • Vayeron - Mackay

An industrial IoT company which has developed the Smart Idler - a sensor technology for monitoring and predicting conveyor roller failure in high capacity, time critical bulk materials handling conveyors used in mines, ports and processing plants.

  • XDR - Ipswich

Designs, manufactures and sells fast, agile, safe and powerful onshore oil and gas well workover rigs. Coupled with its patented Power Drill Snub and Hands Free Systems, the XDR range of oilfield products is changing the way workover is conducted and significantly reducing the costs of well servicing.

METS Ignited and AMIRA International
METS Ignited is an Industry Growth Centre funded by the Australia Government to support the mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector. Earlier this year METS Ignited and AMIRA International signedan Memorandum of Understanding aligning the strategies and roadmaps of the METS and mining companies to ensure innovation is characterised by industry collaboration.



CEEC corner


2018 CEEC Medal applications now opening!

Applications are now open for the 2018 CEEC Medal.

The CEEC Medal recognises the contribution that outstanding research andfield work plays in improving energy-efficient comminution around the world. Granted annually, it recognises the authors of the most outstanding published paper, article or case study profiling improvements in energy-efficient comminution practice. Medals are awarded in two categories: (1) Technical research, and (2) Operations.

Evaluation criteria 

CEEC Medal applications are reviewed against four primary criteria:

  1. Potential improvement in comminution energy efficiency and the financial benefits resulting from that improvement.
  2. Ability of concepts to be readily adapted to operating plants or incorporated into the design of new circuits.
  3. Robustness of the data analysis and conclusions drawn.
  4. Extent to which the paper, article or case study communicates its ideas clearly and effectively.

Submit your paper, article or case study here. Applications close 15 March 2018 – with winners announced in June 2018.

CEEC CEO Alison Keogh said she was pleased to announce that applications for the CEEC Medal were open.

“Since the medal was first awarded in 2012, we have continued to receive a high standard of applications. This year was no exception,” she said.

“Our Medal Evaluation Committee advised a strong and competitive pool – with several of the 18 applications potential winners.

“The 2017 CEEC Medal (Operations) winners were Aidan Giblett and Steven Hart from Newmont. Professor Frank Shi, Dr Weiran Zuo and Professor Emmy Manlapig from SMI-JKMRC won the 2017 CEEC Medal (Technical Research).

“I encourage you to submit published papers, articles or case studies that capture the excellent comminution work you’ve been doing around the world.”

2017 CEEC Medal (Operations)

CEEC proudly celebrated outstanding comminution excellence at MetPlant 2017, when CEEC Chair Joe Pease formally presented Newmont’s Aidan Giblett with his CEEC Medal (see photo above). Fellow 2017 CEEC Medal winner, Newmont colleague and co-author, Steven Hart, was also proudly acknowledged.

Giblett and Hart received the 2017 CEEC Medal for their outstanding and inspiring work outlined in the paper: “Grinding Circuit Practices at Newmont”, which was delivered at the AusIMM’s Mill Operators Conference in 2016.

The paper highlighted Newmont’s approach to improving grinding practices across 12 of its operations worldwide, sharing learnings with colleagues and sites globally, and inspiring and informing them of the many opportunities available. An exceptional contribution to the global mining industry’s body of knowledge, the paper provides practical solutions and clear guidance on how to improve productivity and efficiency at site, reducing risks and improving performance.

2017 CEEC Medal (Technical Research)

Researchers from the SMI-JKMRC of The University of Queensland – Fengnian (Frank) Shi, Weiran Zuo and Emmy Manlapig – won the technical research category of the CEEC Medal for their paper: “Pre-concentration of copper ores by high voltage pulses. Part 2: Opportunities and challenges”, published by Minerals Engineering in 2015.

CEO Alison Keogh presented the CEEC Medal to Professor Shi on behalf of his colleagues at a special presentation at Procemin-Geomet 2017 in Santiago on 6 October.

Shi, Zuo and Manlapig identified that breakage by high-voltage electrical pulses (HVP) can be used to achieve to selectively break mineralised particles in preference to gangue. After HVP processing, ore particles can be screened to produce low and high-grade ore streams. The novelty of this technique is that it combines three stages of mineral production in a single process: (1) the initial stage of comminution, (2) ore weakening (from earlier work), and (3) selection by grade. This novel ore pre-concentration technique has the potential to dramatically reduce comminution and energy requirements and, thereby, improve mineral production costs.

CEEC's global activities

CEEC has been active around the world this year, holding events and activities in Chile, Peru and Australia.

CEO Alison Keogh said it was an exciting time for the mining industry as it moved out of the downturn and looked to targeted improvement and innovation options. CEEC sought to play a role by sharing excellence not only in comminution practice, but also in exciting, complementary efficiency advances in mining and processing steps.

“We are proud to engage with thought leaders and innovators to communicate, collaborate and celebrate some exciting advances in our industry. Innovative advances in comminution and mineral processing can boost productivity, value, and reduce energy and water use per unit of mineral or metal produced. And that’s vital for our industry’s future,” she said. 

Stay in touch via CEEC News to hear about CEEC’s interactive workshops and forums. These engaging, low-cost forums help you improve your knowledge. Visit CEEC’s website or email us to receive regular updates.  

Melbourne - Mining Energy Efficiency and Innovation workshop

More than 40 mining industry professionals, METS representatives and researchers converged on the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre for CEEC’s successful Mining Energy Efficiency and Innovation workshop on 30 October.

Tagged “engaging, collaborative, strategic” by participants, this stimulating and highly interactive workshop was part of CEEC’s worldwide program of events delivering practical options for improvement and innovation across mining. Workshop participants took away practical improvement ideas that could be implemented on site, and an understanding of important, industry-changing innovations and advances.

The workshop was delivered in partnership with Australia’s largest annual mining conference IMARC, which attracted over 3,500 delegates.

Industry leaders Michelle Ash (Barrick Gold Chief Innovation Officer) and Dr Mary Stewart (Energetics Chief Operating Officer) shared practical site improvement options to reduce costs and improve efficiency, withdeeper understanding of advances changing the industry. Phil Bangerter discussed NPV uplift opportunities from energy efficiency and productivity improvements.

CEEC Director and PETRA Data Science Principal Dr Zeljka Pokrajcic presented case studies on PETRA Data Science’s engineered data science solutions. The exciting advances are helping companies predict, optimise and improve their business across the value chain.

Numbers for the workshop swelled to more than 50 when Ash and Stewart joined Dan Curry (MMG Las Bambas Transformation Leader), Sandy Gray (Gekko Systems Co-Founder and Technical Director) and Susan Thompson (Rio Tinto Growth and Innovation Principal Advisor) for an engaging panel session. The panel explored global change and innovation; mining challenges and opportunities across the world; collaboration between miners, METS and researchers; and breaking down silos. Workshop participants posed insightful questions and shared their own experiences in an engaging and informative session.


PHOTO: Top row – Alison Keogh (CEEC CEO), with CEEC sponsors in attendance including Evert Lessing (Weir), Nicholas Bartsch (OZ Minerals), Robert Braun (Ausenco), Zeljka Pokrajcic (CEEC Director and PETRA Data Science), Mary Stewart (CEEC Director and Energetics), Noor Crookshanks (Donhad) and Ezio Viti (Eriez). Seated – Forum panel experts Michelle Ash (Barrick), Sandy Gray (Gekko Systems), Dan Curry (MMG) and Susan Thompson (Rio Tinto), with facilitator Phil Bangerter.



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