Australian industry presents its awards

With Australia as a focus in the August issue it is appropriate to note the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM’) Awards, which recognise individuals with the commitment, drive and professional excellence that underpin mining success in the region and were presented last month. "The diverse backgrounds of the Awards recipients reflect the variety of contributions in mining," said AusIMM President, Peter McCarthy. "Our industry’s success is built on achievement in a range of disciplines, such as safety, innovation, exploration as well as commitment to building a community of professional excellence through participation in The AusIMM."

Some key Award recipients included Pat Stephenson, who was presented with the Institute Service Award for his role as Chairman of the Joint Ore Reserves Code (JORC) Committee from 2000-2006. JORC sets the standard for reporting of mineral resources and reserves on the Australian Stock Exchange and has been instrumental in ensuring market integrity, and hence investor confidence, in the reporting of exploration results.

Jeffrey Whittle was presented the Miota Award for innovation. In his ‘retirement’ Mr Whittle developed mining software that has changed the way the industry practices optimisation in mine design. Marketing was initially handled by his wife, Ruth. The software is now used in over 400 companies in 50 countries.

The Institute Medal was awarded to Robert Bryan, who has driven four public companies, including Pan Australian Resources, from explorer status to producer. As well as driving the expansion of the industry, Bryan has a strong commitment to both research and sustainability in the sector and serves on the Boards of both the Sustainable Minerals Institute and the W H Bryan Mining Geology Research Centre, both within the University of Queensland.

Peter Minahan received the Jim Torlach Safety and Health Award, for his significant contribution to the restructuring of the Queensland Moura mine disaster and findings of the Inquiry.

The AusIMM Awards Dinner was attended by leaders from across research, industry and government. Attendees included Peter McCarthy, The AusIMM President and Managing Director of AMC Consultants, Charlie Sartain, Chief Executive of Xstrata Copper, Michael Roche, Chief Executive of the QRC and Peter Lilly, Chief of CSIRO Exploration and Mining (also Past President). "The Awards night is a great opportunity to get leaders from different parts of the industry together to celebrate what can be accomplished with the right mix of individual drive and sector collaboration," said McCarthy.

Future leaders in the industry were also present at the awards night with the Premium Sir Frank Espie/EEF scholarships presented to University students Sarah Wheeler (Mining Engineering) and Amanda Geard (Geology). Meanwhile the winner of the Atlas Copco Scholarship, which gives the winner a chance to visit Atlas Copco’s operations in Sweden, was Melanie Clasberg

The New Professional Award went to Michael Bartlett, who has organised a number of mining events for students and continues to be active in the mining community as he pursues a career as a mining engineer.

"The Awards are not just about past achievements," said Mr McCarthy, "They are also providing inspiration to our future leaders on what being a professional in the industry is all about and where mining can take you."

There was also a surprise award, from the Board of The AusIMM to the CEO of The AusIMM, Don Larkin, who has been CEO since 1999. The Award followed advice from Don Larkin that he would not be renewing his contract at the end of 2007 when it expires. The citation for the Award reads: "For taking The AusIMM to new heights of professional standing and relevance, from 1999 to 2007, through superior and sustained advocacy, inspiration, leadership and management".

Full awards citations can be requested from [email protected]