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Sharing the Benefits through Collaboration Newsletter Issue 45 April 2017 In this issue Editorial AMIRA Chairman’s address to the Exploration Managers Conference New Ambassador takes up post in Chile Synopsis of AMIRA 11th Biennial Exploration ManagersConference A new AMIRA project is charged to deliver on costs, quality and occupational health JX Nippon Mining and Metals joins AMIRA International AMIRA’s P1152 “Bayer precipitation and Alumina Quality” Project Closure AMIRA P1171 – Dust Mitigation Technology proved in the Lab New AMIRA P933C project titled “Site demonstration of Acid and Metalliferous Drainage mitigation through source control” is now looking to implement past successful research at mine sites AMIRA International Forum at PDAC AMIRA’s P1150 “Moisture control and reduction for iron ore conveyor systems” Final SRM Roadmap for Exploration Under Cover - update Fraser Institute Survey of exploration investment, 2016 OECD publishes latest statistics on investment in R&D AMIRA International at Mining Indaba Ex- Director Joe Pease and Marc Le Vier receives awards Unearthed Hackathon 2017 first place winners – Digi-MIN FEATURE ARTICLE Bringing Mining into the THIRD Millenium Ballarat Gold Sympsium – May 30 – June 1, 2017 AMIRA International at the SME Conference CEEC Corner AMIRA International signs MOU with METS Ignited AMIRA International signs MOU with Minerals Council of Australia Staff developments David Stribley Obituary



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Joe Cucuzza Managing Director – AMIRA International

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We all like to think that we are indispensable. Certainly if the size of one’s salary is an indication of indispensability, a lot of CEOs are clearly indispensable; and lot of the financial types running our banks are also very clearly indispensable (unfortunately I am not in the same league as these guys). But perhaps things may be changing, albeit slowly at first but maybe with a rush as innovation in automation and AI tied to big data analytics, plus biotechnology, will change everything. In my view it will be a bigger revolution than the advent of computers and certainly usher in more changes than any of the past waves of industrialisation. I am both extremely excited and somewhat concerned about this. Many different estimates have been made regarding the number of jobs that are likely to be lost with the advent of AI-driven automation. According to a report by the Executive Office of the President (USA) AI has already begun to transform the American workplace, changing the types of job available and the skills that workers need to thrive (Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and the Economy, Dec. 2016). Researchers who have been looking at the impact that technology will have on the workforce seem to agree that in the next 20 to 30 years between 30% and 50% of the global workforce will be at great risk and for every job that is done by robots there will be at least two that are no longer advertised. The World Economic Forum in Davos last year, surveyed senior executives from over 350 of the biggest companies in 15 of the world's major emerging and developed economies. Together, those economies account for 65% of the global formal workforce. It found that as many as 7.1 million jobs in the world's richest countries could be lost through redundancy and automation. Those losses would be partially offset by the creation of 2.1 million new opportunities in sectors such as tech, professional services and media. There is little doubt that many of the routine repetitive tasks and many unskilled jobs are ripe for automation and there is also little doubt that the trend is unstoppable. However not all projections of job losses are in agreement. For example the OECD in its science technology and innovation 2016 outlook reported that across the developed world only 9% of jobs are at high risk of replacement by robots in the next 20 years (http://oecd/science-and-technology-and-innovation-outlook-2016). There are two camps in this debate; the pessimists who are very concerned at the above forecasts and the optimists who see no problem. The latter are the techno-entrepreneurs of the Silicon Valley type who see the future through rose tinted glasses and tend to underplay the downside of the impact of new technologies on society. These are the guys, including some economists by the way, who believe the advent of robots that can learn and act independently will eventually end up creating more new jobs than they replace, and raise overall prosperity, as have past waves of industrialisation. Some evidence for this comes from the study of census results in England and Wales since 1871 ( MIT professor David Autor, argues persuasively that despite advancements in automation in the workforce, there are still many jobs out there and the fraction of people working in labour force has increased decade upon decade over the last 125 years The pessimists see Armageddon coming, with mass unemployment and undreamt of demographic changes, accentuating the difference between rich and poor, ushering in a disastrous decline in equality of opportunity. And for some, it will pose an existential threat to democratic capitalism. Clearly, the politicians have much thinking to do, and they had better start soon. Indeed, apparently, some already are. In Brussels, France and Finland, the challenge automation poses for employment is starting to be taken seriously. But Members of the European parliament have rejected a proposal to make owners pay social security for their robots. Cont Page 2

AMIRA Chairman’s address to the Exploration Managers Conference Dr Anthony Harris delivered an address on behalf of AMIRA th International Chairman Dr. Stephen Grocott at the 10 BiAnneal Exploration Managers Conference at Healesville, Victoria in March 2017. Below is the full excerpt of the address, titled “Impediments to Exploration Success”.

Can I thank AMIRA’s Chairman Stephen Grocott and Joe Cucuzza for the opportunity to give this address, “Impediments to Exploration Success” The fundamental drivers of the minerals resource sector remain unchanged. The basic demand for shorter lead times to discovery of the resources we seek remains paramount. Exploration in increasingly physically challenged environments, being under cover or regions with difficult regulatory regimes, or for discoveries to occur in areas that are impacted by rapidly evolving social pressures, requires that our exploration toolkits have new innovative solutions. Although we may focus on the need for smarter and better geoscience data or a better widget or gadget, increasingly the impediments to exploration success can be simply overcome through better engagement of government agencies to improve permitting and ground access. Or simply, industries ability to succeed can be improved through faster implementation of nut-and-bolts drilling or technical programs that meet the operating environment of explorers. Since the 1960s, AMIRA has led geoscience research projects that have unquestionably upskilled exploration geologists. Good basic science has helped improved our understanding of the physiochemical ore-forming processes that have resulted in the construction of new paradigms. The impact need not be a massive step-change in understanding, but the decades of accumulated knowledge earned through the AMIRA led collaborative research projects becomes our accepted psyche. For example, the regolith science developed as part of the incredibly successful joint AMIRA-CSIRO CRC LEME research now forms the basis of an accepted excellence to our science that is now applied globally. Or the fundamental knowledge that was derived from careful strategic study of the igneous geochemistry and radiogenic isotopic chemistry of ore deposits of Eastern Australia, via multiple AMIRA-ANU projects. While now not considered high end science, these research outcomes remain a basic building block of our exploration science. As an industry, we can’t forget the important role that good basic science plays in the exploration process. To understand the processes, is to have the skills to handle diversity. More recently, AMIRA-CODES has brought together a huge consortium of industry members to advance the application of microbeam technologies to the green and white rock mineral halos to the porphyry and epithermal environments. Low-level and often subtle geochemical vectors are being increasingly adopted by industry as a new way to explore.

Editorial Minerals Exploration & AI...

Oxford University researchers have estimated that 47% of U.S. jobs could be automated within the next 20 years. The five jobs that robots will take over first are: Middle Management; Commodity Salespeople (Ad Sales, Supplies, etc.); Report Writers, Journalists, Authors/ Announcers; Accountants/Bookkeepers, and Doctors. So bosses, accountants, people who generate fake news and doctors will disappear, and now it seems lawyers may be an endangered species as well – ROSS is here. ROSS isn’t an AI lawyer, at least not yet; apparently it hasn’t been admitted to practice anywhere. But from all reports it’s a first-class paralegal, addressing many real-life issues and making a difference in negotiations and trials. Torontobased ROSS Intelligence claims it lets lawyers “do more than humanly possible”. Well this is code for ‘the beginning of the end’ for lawyers. After all robots in a car assembly line let those lucky few employees “do more than humanly possible” too. DoNotPay is another legal pseudo AI, based in the UK, dubbed “the world’s first robot lawyer,” which can automate routine legal procedures such as appealing an unfair parking ticket or claiming compensation for a delayed flight, while Lex Machina, another legal pseudo AI, can process the language of millions of court decisions to determine the best strategies to win a case. My own view is that the future will be both amazingly exciting and also cause for some concern. On the positive side, we will be able to do things that we can’t do now (perhaps new and more sophisticated and creative hobbies); we are likely to have more free time to do the things that we like doing, however trivial they may be. I hope that society as a whole will become more prosperous; and we know that increased rates of prosperity mean increased leisure time. I take comfort from the thought that indefatigable human-centric robots will be available to look after old folk who have the misfortune of becoming infirm with old age (perhaps they can stay home being cared for by Toby their robot butler, chauffer, sommelier, cook, and nurse if necessary (PS I am surprised that cooks are not in the top five jobs to be lost – a robot that will deliver that perfect risotto served with the right wine every time Ahhh!). So what has all of this got to do with the future of exploration? Well we are already seeing the increased use of automation in mining operations, although we still have a long ways to go. This is a good thing because it removes people from hazardous environments. There is an increasing interest in the application of “Internet of Things” (IoT). But at the exploration end of the business, not a great deal seems to be happening – success still appears to be more about luck than science. How else can one explain the appalling lack of discovery success over the last several decades? So here I will describe a possible future for the exploration business. This future will be ushered in by LEONARDO, the “true” AI geoscientist. LEONARDO will run 24/7 on a distributed quantum computing network. He will use distributed mass storage devices with mind boggling capacity and speed. He will have at his disposal all the scientific data and knowledge, for all disciplines, that underpin mineral exploration, and importantly make sense of it. LEONARDO will have access to all the multi-disciplinary data sets, and the advanced smart analytical tools necessary to develop medical-style, diagnostic criteria that will help him advise on where best to explore and where to drill (assuming drilling is still necessary for discovery). He will have access to all the learnings from historical discoveries which means reducing the need to take up great swaths of ground which then get whittled down to prospect size. Things will be done more smartly than that. LEONADO will have the smarts to be able to rank different options based on probability of success, risk rating, estimated costs, ROI etc and then update this in real time as new information comes in.

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Editorial Minerals Exploration & AI...

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Although an open system, it will be possible for entrepreneurs to develop novel analytical applications and offer them through LEONARDO as a service. Importantly LEONARDO will allow all proprietary data to be incorporated in any analysis without comprising any proprietary conditions that may be imposed by the data owners. He can use all the data which means that everyone can benefit from the utilisation of everyone’s data in assessing their own ground. The data and any individual analyses commissioned through LEONARDO will be totally confidential (utilisation of future enhanced blockchain technologies will guarantee this). Through the security of blockchain-like technologies companies can store their own proprietary data in LEONARDO knowing that no one can copy it but that they and others can benefit from the collective data repository. LEONARDO will use 3D visualisation technologies that are commonplace in current science fiction movies and will be able to communicate via avatars through the spoken word. LEONARDO will be plugged into sensors and will be able to see patterns in the data that a human will find impossible to see because of the multi-dimensional nature of the data sets. Through sensors, he will have real time access to the world – for example monitoring and optimising in-situ extraction of non-bulk minerals thus extending LEONARDO’S capability way beyond just exploration. So there you have it. Is this “pie the sky” stuff? Will it ever happen? I would not be surprised if some of the elements of what has been described above will come to pass in the next 25 years. The really interesting question is if and when LEONARDO comes on line, how will exploration companies differentiate themselves? Joe Cucuzza

New Australian Ambassador takes up post in Chile The Australian Chamber of Commerce in Chile, recently organized a reception at the ambassador’s residence to introduce the new Australian Ambassador in Chile Hon. Robert Fergusson. He replaces the outgoing the Ambassador, Mr Tim Kane. Mr Enrique Carretero, AMIRA International’s Latin American Program Manager was invited to the reception. In his address, the Ambassador pointed out the many similarities between Chile and Australia, the common challenges that the two countries face. He is committed to facilitating the continuation of the traditional cooperation between the two countries, in the mining and other sectors. In a press release in December 2016, Minister for Foreign Affairs, The Hon Julie Bishop MP said “Australia and Chile enjoy a strong relationship based on our shared values and interests and our long standing political and people-to-people links. We also have strong trade and investment links with over 100 Australian companies currently operating in Chile across sectors including mining, education and agriculture. The second Australia-Chile Economic Leadership Forum, being held in Melbourne over the course of today and tomorrow will identify further opportunities.” Mr Fergusson is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He has served overseas as Counsellor at the Australian Embassy in Beijing, with earlier postings to Timor-Leste, Hong Kong and Indonesia. In Canberra Mr Fergusson served as Director of the Papua New Guinea Section and the Counter-Terrorism Section. He has also worked as Senior Adviser in the Office of the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Mr Fergusson is also accredited to Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela.

Mr. Enrique Carretero congratulates Ambassador Robert Fergusson

Mr Fergusson holds a Master of International Law from the ANU and a Bachelor of Arts and Law from the University of Sydney. He is expected to take up his appointment in January 2017. Ambassador Fergusson is very enthusiastic about mining, has being very well received by the local community. AMIRA International extends its congratulations on his appointment and looks forward to working with the Ambassador in the future.


AMIRA Chairman’s address to the EMC...

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Uptake of research outcomes have resulted in adaption of research findings, and the development of fertility tools and vector guides. Assessment of multi-dimensional datasets now requires the specialised training of our geoscientist in advanced statistics. At the same time, we expect these same geologists to be effective field geologists and robust project managers, capable of delivering the resources we seek. Our expectation of an individual’s capability is high. The information we expect people to consume is high. Novel research solutions must come from an acceptance that our industry, its professionals, its leading researchers and its government agencies must all seek new ways of working together. Collaboration is a necessity. We can no longer pay it lip service. It was here at the AMIRA Exploration Managers Conference in March Dr. Anthony Harris delivers the Chairmans address at the 2007 that AMIRA initiated a consultative process to that help bring Exploration Managers Conference together support from industry to develop a mechanism to deliver research programs in more successful, cheaper and safer ways to drill, analyse and target deep mineral deposits. The DET CRC arose from the AMIRA Drilling Technology Roadmap. The DET CRC is one of the world’s best-supported independent research initiative in mineral exploration. Ten years later and the fundamental issue remains. The Australian exploration search space is mature, with the top 100 to 200 m of the Earth’s crust being heavily explored. The next generation of discoveries in Australia will come from depths of greater than 200 m, which will present many challenges for mineral exploration. The search for deep metal deposits is both expensive and time consuming. Present exploration toolkits are not as effective in the search for these deeper deposits. New innovative solutions are required to discover these deeper deposits. The AMIRA Exploration Under Cover Roadmap is built on inputs from all key stakeholders. AMIRA, and with thanks to the unrelenting determination of a few key individuals, successfully brought together a large cohort of industry representatives, subject matter experts, all relevant government agencies and research organisations to effectively corral the ‘gaggle’. It represents AMIRAs concerted effort to foster true cooperation. To develop a thoughtful plan to focus and prioritise industry’s demands, and to link these expectations to the capability of academia and government agencies. Outcomes of the Roadmap will include clear implementation plans and the mechanisms needed to ensure success and promote bold, deep exploration. Without these new solutions, discoveries will be difficult and companies will divert their exploration funding from Australia towards other global provinces where shallow discoveries can still be made. AMIRA is well positioned to connect individuals and organisations and their thinking will challenge our industry to make those new discoveries. AMIRA, like us all that work in the minerals sector, operate in an environment of increased volatility and complexity. Expectations remain high with performance measured in ever reducing timeframes. Every research dollar comes under immense scrutiny, making the participation in research a privileged activity. Dramatic reorganisation of the majority of exploration and resource companies over the past 5 years (with many in this room having first-hand experience), requires that the ‘process’ of research changes. AMIRA has recognized the importance to evolve, and is working hard to install a new business development function that will set the path of future growth of AMIRA. AMIRA is evolving to meet the modern day requirements of its members and stakeholders, but its fundamental role remains the same – creating strong networks of individuals and organisations driven to improve our sector - this is as important as ever. AMIRA is proactive in investigating new areas of focus, including sustainability, safety, human capital development and license to operate; and complete technology scouting, State-of-the-Art studies, technology implementation pathway studies, and the formulation of strategic roadmaps. AMIRA must be the change agent to influence how research outcomes are completed and that industry and research organisations are aligned. Existing business models and performance metrics for research organisations do not allow for agility in project delivery. Results are being expected of research within months not years. And although industry needs access to the best and brightest, the university structure does not foster longevity in staff appointments while allowing for short time frame projects. As such industry looks increasingly to service providers and consultancies to provide core research. Competitive funding and grant models continue to encourage the individual or groups of individuals. This lack of true collaboration remains the utmost impediment to successful research delivery and therefore remains an impediment to unlock the tools needed to radically change how we explore. AMIRA began life as a group of mining companies pooling their resources to get things done that were not achievable by individual companies. Today, decades later, many individuals of mining companies view AMIRA as a salesman trying to sell them things they don’t really need. As in the words of one of my fellow directors: “Oh no, here comes the door-to-door salesman again, let’s pretend we’re not home” or “Just another researcher trying to get industry to fund their project.” A big challenge for AMIRA is to make itself relevant in the dynamic environment in which we work and to remind itself of where it came from. The challenge to all the people in this room is to make this happen, to be pro-active and to figure out what you need that is bigger than one company and bigger than one researcher or one group of researchers. Talk to each other. Find seeds of common ground, and then pick up the phone to AMIRA. Know that AMIRA is there not as a salesman, but as YOUR agent for development and change. AMIRA can talk to another 15 companies on your behalf, and numerous research groups to establish a clear path forward. The reality is that the industry is not bringing ideas to the table, so the industry is reactive and feeling disenfranchised. Please get involved in the workshopping over the next few days. Remember that this AMIRA-led forum has generated great ideas. I hope together that we can truly unite, to focus our efforts to smash the barriers that impede exploration success.


Sharing the Benefits

AMIRA International 11th Biennial Exploration Managers Conference AMIRA International’s 11th Biennial Exploration Managers Conference was held at the RACV Club in Healesville in the last week of March. This rather unique conference was well attended by senior exploration managers and chief geologists from global mining and exploration companies, and senior level representatives from Australian geological survey organisations and research organisations. The conference is recognised to provide valued networking as well as an opportunity to discuss some of the challenges facing our industry, with a select group of delegates who are positioned to drive the advancement of our sector. Given the current state of the exploration industry, this EMC proved an opportune time to explore some of the impediments to exploration success. There are a complex set of factors that may inhibit exploration success. Some of these factors include company culture, exploration strategy, regulatory regimes, access to appropriately skilled people, and the availability of the right technologies. Globally renowned speakers addressed some of these topics. Discussion panels and breakout sessions permitted a deeper dive into some of these impediments and potential solutions to them. Talks from experts outside of our sector were highly valued and invigorated discussion. These included the topics of gamefication, data analytics and how to abstract our challenges in order to seek existing solutions from outside of our industry. The Conference helps us in AMIRA plan our ongoing strategies better with regard to project generation, as well as allowing the broader minerals industry stakeholder delegates a chance to consider future opportunities in more depth as part of their own planning. We thank the member companies who sponsored this event, making it possible, and look forward to our next Conference in 2019.


A new AMIRA P705D project is charged to deliver on costs, quality and occupational health in Base Metal Electrowinning Electrowinning is the critical final step in the production of high purity zinc, copper and nickel. Operational excellence and cost reduction are crucial in maintaining sustainable operations in competitive markets. Over the past fifteen years, the AMIRA P705 projects have delivered fundamental information in the form of 100+ reports, measurement prototypes, a current distribution model, a copper electrowinning model, an online troubleshooting guide, numerous on-site training workshops and technology transfer site visits to its sponsors. The AMIRA P705D project (P705D) will expand and implement past AMIRA P705 efforts while developing new knowledge and technology to improve occupational health, productivity and cost competitiveness of sponsor operations and associated supplier sponsors to these sponsor operations. AMIRA P705D will be a three-year project focused on delivering improvements to base metal electrowinning facilities through online services, innovative research and professional training. Professor Michael Moats will lead a world-class team of researchers, which is unrivaled in this field, to deliver knowledge and technology to the project sponsors. The P705 research program has developed a global reputation for research and technology transfer excellence, as well as being a model for successful global research collaboration. This will be further enhanced in AMIRA P705D with the expansion of the project to include even more electrowinning expertise and capabilities. This well-deserved status has been built due to the fact that the project:  includes the world's leading researchers in base metal electrowinning,  has researchers in key time zones and locations to work closely with sponsors and train the EW technologists of the future,  addresses both short and long term issues facing the industry,  will deliver tools for the improvement of existing operations and will also lead to greater fundamental understanding of parameters to enable improved future technologies,  provides for significant leverage advantages for your research investment by collaborating with other likeminded operators and suppliers and through the "in-kind" contributions of potentially six internationally renowned collaborating universities or research institutions,  allows for the research and operational learnings from 3 commodities (Cu, Zn and Ni) to be shared to facilitate cross commodity adoption where relevant,  provides opportunities to visit a number of operating facilities during the project,  enables suppliers to present and discuss their technologies to a group which is focussed on improvements, cost savings and improved efficiencies for their respective operations,  is focussed on the timely transfer of information and technologies to operations, and enables sponsors to have unlimited web-based access to a vast library of EW technology related reports, presentations and literature that address many issues facing the industry today and from the recent past.

Proposed work in P705D will focus on cost, productivity and occupational health improvements for base metal operations. These improvements will come from numerous research modules conducted by the international research team. The project is designed in tiers based on the amount of sponsorship funding secured from the project’s industry partners. Tier 1 modules will be funded first (Minimum Project Budget), followed by Tier 2 and then Tier 3. The purposed research modules are: 1.

Tier 1 Modules a. Expansion & implementation of into Zn and Ni b. Developing the ability to electrowin Cu at low temperature c. Controlling deposit morphology and minimizing pitting during Zn electrowinning d. Technology transfer through onsite training for each major producer sponsor and one technology showcase e. Examining mist suppressants and performance for Cu, Zn & Ni Cont Page 7


Sharing the Benefits

AMIRA P705D Project .... 2.


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Tier 2 Modules a. Predicting deposit structure using short-term testing for Zn, Cu, Ni b. Mitigating the effects of halides on aluminium corrosion and develop methods to extend blank lifetime for zinc c. Implementing a Cu electrowinning model d. Controlling copper electrodeposit adhesion to stainless steel cathodes Tier 3 Modules a. Validating laboratory acid mist improvements using large scale instrumented cell b. Developing an easy to use electrochemical technique for plant use

P705D will potentially involve up to six research providers from four countries on three continents. This will help ensure local expertise is maintained and future engineers are trained and have exposure to the most up-to-date electrowinning practices. Additionally, the project plans to employ and train numerous graduate students. Thus, the project will help with workforce development and provide potential future employees with enhanced electrowinning technology knowledge to meet our sponsors’ needs. The research team will be led by Prof. Michael Moats at the Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T). Continuing researchers from the P705C project will include Dr. Justin McGinnity (Murdoch University), Profs. Daniel Majuste and Virginia Ciminelli (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, UFMG), and Prof. Michael Free (Utah). If sufficient sponsorship is secured Prof. Jeffrey Shephard (Laurentian University) and Dr. Krishna Mohanarangam (CSIRO) will also be added to the research provider team.

P705D will be a highly focused three-year project. The project expects to: 1.

Deliver cost reductions through a. Application of online troubleshooting information ( b. Improving aluminium cathode lifetimes and mitigating the effects of halide ions in zinc electrowinning o c. Electrowinning of copper at 30 C 2. Enhance productivity through a. On-site training of operators and engineer b. Implementation of results from the P705 copper electrowinning model c. Predictions of deposit morphology from simple short-term tests d. Reducing pitting during zinc plating 3. Improve occupational health by a. Reducing acid mist by evaluating novel surfactants and understanding the control parameters for zinc, nickel and copper Decreasing self-stripping of copper deposits from stainless steel blanks If you would like to know more about this project please contact

New Member joins AMIRA International AMIRA International would like to announce the membership of JX Nippon Mining & Metals. Through membership the company will be able to initiate project ideas, support projects and access past projects reports and outcomes. Members will also be able to join any new and ongoing projects via AMIRA’s collaborative or one-on-one models.

The company is involved in:       

Developing and mining of non-ferrous metal resources Smelting & refining, and marketing of non-ferrous metals, such as copper, gold and silver Manufacturing and marketing of electro-deposited and treated rolled copper foils Manufacturing and marketing of thin film materials such as sputtering targets, surface treatment agents, and compound semiconductor materials Manufacturing and marketing of precision-rolled copper, copper-alloy, and special steel products Manufacturing and marketing of precision fabricated products such as gold-plated products Recycling of non-ferrous metal materials and treatment of industrial waste for reuse

Source : If you are interested in becoming a member of AMIRA International, please contact us on +61 3 8636 9999 or for more information.


AMIRA’s P1152 “Bayer precipitation and Alumina Quality” Project Closure AMIRA’s P1152 “Bayer precipitation and Alumina quality” 2-year program has concluded with the Final SRM held in Perth on the 1st December 2016. The project was undertaken by the team from CSIRO under the leadership of Iztok Livk and was supported by MRIWA and major Alumina producers comprised of Alcoa, Rio Tinto and South32. The primary objective of the proposed project was to quantify the impact of a high shear environment, as may be applied in precipitation circuits, on the strength of gibbsite (hydrate) and alumina. Based on the project outcomes, recommendations were provided with respect to the potential role of slurry shearing in controlling hydrate and alumina strength under Bayer precipitation conditions. Major achievements of the project are outlined below: · Characterisation of refinery hydrate using a wide-range of specialist analytical techniques; · Quantification of hydrate particle breakdown under different shear regimes; · Effect of hydrate particle breakdown on alumina strength; · Identification of precipitation conditions that enhance hydrate and alumina particle strength. All sponsors acknowledged the fantastic work by the research group over the last 2 years and the right level of information that was provided to sponsors at each milestone of the study. For more information, please contact AMIRA International’s Program Manager: Olga Verezub at

Dave Pannett (Alcoa), Dean Ilievski (Alcoa), Andrey Bekker (CSIRO), Dianne Bedell (CSIRO), Judy McShane (CSIRO), Iztok Livk (CSIRO), Olga Verezub (AMIRA), Eric Boom (South32), Tian Li (CSIRO)

AMIRA’s P1171 - Dust Mitigation Technology Proved in the Lab Recently the AMIRA International project P1171: Environmental dust removal – Stage 1, which focused on bench testing of a new technology for settling dust suspended in air in mining operations, was successfully concluded. The project proved to sponsors satisfaction that the technology, which utilises low energy microwaves, works in the laboratory. In addition to testing the technology in the laboratory, Stage 1 was tasked to design of a pilot plant to trial the technology in the field. BHP Billiton, Teck and Antofagasta Minerals supported the first stage of the project. The second stage, P1171A, will focus on the construction of flexible mobile pilot plant based on the design developed in Stage 1 that will be used to undertake field trials. The latter will be the focus of the Stage 3 of the project, with pilot plant initially deployed at Teck’s Carmen de Andacollo mining operation. Teck and BHP Billiton have already signed up for P1171A, and it is expected that Antofagasta Minerals will sign up soon. The sponsors are very excited about this technology and the course of the project, and BHP Billiton ordered an additional mobile pilot plant so that can start undertaking early field tests at their mining operations. The technology was developed by a Santiago-based technological company Quantum Matrix SpA. Once two pilot plants have been constructed, expected by September 2017, the third stage of the project P1171B focusing on the field trials will begin. If you are interested about this technology or would like more information, please contact AMIRA International Program Manager: Enrique Carretero at


Sharing the Benefits

The new AMIRA P933C project titled “Site demonstration of Acid and Metalliferous Drainage mitigation through source control” is now looking to implement past successful research at mine sites This project proposal has been developed by, and draws on the unique capabilities of, the University of South Australia (UniSA), Levay & Co Environmental Services and Blue Minerals Consultancy. This research team of AMD experts has, to date, been involved with six successful 3-year AMIRA projects. The P933C project builds on more than a decade of AMIRA research in the area of AMD control, in which it has been demonstrated that pyrite in acid-forming wastes can be passivated so that AMD generation rates can be reduced by >95% by the addition of small amounts of alkalinity (e.g. lime) and/or organic materials in the early stages of weathering, and that this passivation and subsequent reduction in AMD can be maintained by the addition of ongoing low levels of alkalinity (e.g. by addition of a limestone cover). This has been clearly demonstrated for wastes producing moderate AMD (typical acidities up to 2,000 mg CaCO3/L) and the mechanism of passivation fully investigated and characterised. For very reactive wastes (typical acidities up to 20,000 mg CaCO3/L), the amount of alkalinity required to promote passivation is not practicable in many instances, but results demonstrate significant reductions in acidity (principally metal acidity) can still be achieved. Findings have been demonstrated so far at laboratory-scale only and for a limited number of site wastes; however, the substantial reductions achieved in AMD generation rates mean that further evaluation of this approach to AMD control is warranted, specifically to trial application at larger scales across a wider variety of mining operations. The results from these projects have demonstrated that many mining operations have locally available materials which can be used, when assessed and applied appropriately, to reduce the site’s AMD liability. These methods are applicable to sulfidic mine wastes from base metals, coal, iron ore operations and legacy sites.

Figure above: The Dee River at Mt. Morgan, Queensland, Australia, contaminated by acidic wastewaters with toxic heavy metals. The AMIRA P933C project hopes to deliver low cost strategies that help make outcomes from mining like this a thing of the past.

With the AMIRA P933B project scheduled to end in August 2017. Discussions have been held with P933B sponsors to identify their continuing interest in the AMD control approaches examined in the project which have focussed on the industry requirements for further understanding, verification, optimisation and control of alternative, additive or combined treatments for AMD management. The industry objective remains to use the more complete understanding of alternative acid generation reduction and neutralisation reaction mechanisms to monitor/control optimal performance of the treatment and stability/safety in the long-term; and to reduce costs of AMD management. The three programs in P933C, developed following these discussions, present a route for the development of the multibarrier and site-focused approach based on the findings of the previous AMIRA projects. The primary focus of P933C will be to translate findings from previous AMIRA projects (P387A, P387B, P933, P933A, P933B) for prediction and source control of AMD, using geochemical and, where feasible, microbial strategies, to site-based field trials of varying scale. The three programs comprising the P933C project have been split into the following topics: Program 1.

Locally available resources for AMD source control/treatment

Program 2.

Site-based assessment of AMD source control/treatment

Program 3.

Definition of microbial action, mechanisms and performance for AMD control

The expected benefits for sponsors of the AMIRA P933C project will be:


A demonstration trial at Sponsor-nominated site (for Major Sponsors) of the unique low-cost, dual barrier control system. Where suitable organic amendments are not available, field trials will focus on geochemical AMD control;

Practical strategies for AMD control from acid-generating waste rock/tailings storage facilities (source control) or effluent release (treatment);

Reduction or elimination of the need for high-cost, in perpetuity treatment of AMD, potentially saving millions in ongoing treatment;

Comprehensive surveys at Sponsors’ sites (Major and Minor Sponsors) of local resources suitable for application in effective dual barrier AMD control;

Hands-on experience for site personnel in the application of this approach to AMD control;

In-depth interaction with leading AMD experts to help deliver practical and sustainable solutions to a challenging industry problem. Cont Page 10

AMIRA P933C Project....

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AMIRA has worked closely with the research team to develop the project proposal that is expected to:

Define geochemical resources for passivation and rates of neutralisation from on-site neutralising materials (Major and Minor sponsors);

Define requirements for maintenance of pH 7 for passivation in dumps with significant stored acidity buffering near pH 4 (Major and Minor sponsors);

Assess stored acidity and define types of secondary minerals in dumps (Major and Minor Sponsors);

Estimate acid generation rate (AGR) and acid neutralising rate (ANR) at pH 7 necessary to maintain passivation (Major and Minor Sponsors);

Define the need for lime or limestone to establish and maintain passivation (Major and Minor sponsors);

Define availability and quantity of organic amendments for microbially-assisted passivation (Major and Minor Sponsors);

Define suitability of different fast carbon sources (e.g. industry wastes, biosolids, manures) and the need for slow carbon sources (e.g. hay, straw, wood chips) to maintain microbially-assisted passivation (Major and Minor Sponsors);

Characterise key microbial actions and mechanisms for AMD control (Major and Minor Sponsors);

Demonstrate site trials of combined geochemical and/or microbial controls in large dumps, e.g. 500-1,000 t site-contained test pads (Major Sponsor only);

Assess and define the best practice approach for site implementation of multi-barrier AMD source control (Major Sponsor only).

For more information about this project and topic please contact Lydia Haile

AMIRA International Forum at PDAC Adele Seymon and Terry Braden joined an enthusiastic 24,161 delegates at the PDAC 2017 in Toronto in early March. As well as renewing their exploration and mining connections they used the opportunity to host an AMIRA forum with some of AMIRA’s valued research partners. The following projects were promoted: P1196 Application of Coldblock Digestion for Gold and Base Metal Analysis (Terry Braden, AMIRA International), P1187 Multispectral GPR for rock characterisation under cover (Jan Francke, International Groundradar Consulting), P1153 Applying the explorers' toolbox to discover Cu, Au and Mo deposits and future extensions - (Bruce Gemmell, TMVC and CODES, UTas), P934B West African Exploration Initiative (WAXI), P1169 East Africa Exploration Initiative (EAXI), P1061A South American Exploration Initiative (SAXI) (Mark Jessell, CET UWA). For more information on these projects, please contact either Adele Seymon or Terry Braden. Adele Seymon, Terry Braden,

Terry Braden delivers a talk at the AMIRA Forum at PDAC


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CSA Global/PDAC Networking event

AMIRA’s P1150 “Moisture control and reduction for iron ore conveyor systems” Final SRM The Final Sponsor Review Meeting for P1150 “Moisture measurement and control for iron ore conveyor systems” project was held on 15 March 2017 at Vale’s offices in Singapore. It was a great pleasure to see how far the research on moisture measurement and reduction has progressed since the beginning of this study and how nicely the team of research providers, comprised of Centre for Bulk Solids- University of Newcastle, Scantech International, Project Leader Tom Honeyands, and Project Sponsors, Vale SA and Roy Hill Holdings, have bonded over the last two years. This type of collaboration will definitely go beyond the project completion and AMIRA is very pleased to see how we help in building these strong links between research providers, supplier companies and industry. The Sponsors have acknowledged the great work which has been done to date by both research providers and are looking forward to the next stage of the project - P1150A which will be looking at getting the technological solution for moisture reduction closer to implementation phase on company mining sites.

Wei Chen (TUNRA), Craig Wheeler (TUNRA), Dauter Oliveira (Vale), Jie Guo (TUNRA), Tom Honeyands (CPI), Olga Verezub (AMIRA), Ken Williams (TUNRA)

For more information, please contact AMIRA International’s Program Manager: Olga Verezub at


AMIRA International Roadmap for Exploration Under Cover in the final phase A third and final workshop for AMIRA International Roadmap for Exploration Under Cover was held in Melbourne on the 21st and 22nd of February. This workshop provided the roadmap sponsors and other contributors the opportunity to review and discuss the draft programme designs. The workshops also offered an opportunity to explain the size of the challenge - with 177 program strands identified. As the AMIRA International Managing Director pointed out at the recent 11th Biennial Exploration Managers Conference, the size of challenge underscores the critical importance of the need for collective endeavor to the implementation of the Roadmap. Regrettably there is already evidence that some stakeholders particularly in the research community, are being driven by self-interest which may pay off marginally in the short term if they are able to secure some government funding, but will be destructive to the greater cause in the long term. The cause that should be driving collective action is the vision outlined by the Roadmap, endorsed by the Roadmap sponsors, and one that cannot simply be achieved through anything but true collaboration. The importance of united action seems to be lost with some groups. Current government funding levels mean only a very small and selective component of what needs to be done will be funded, and therefore it’s doubtful that anything meaningful will be achieved and this is certainly not what Australia really needs for the long term. Yes, there are challenges in implementing the Roadmap not the least of which is how sustainable funding can be secured to ensure that a credible programme can be realised. It may mean a more modest start with an appropriately designed research vehicle that is will be tasked to undertake the necessary R&D. AMIRA International is committed to work with all stakeholders who have a more strategic view to create such a vehicle and find ways that the necessary programme can be funded. The Roadmap is currently being finalised, and is expected to be released in early May 2017. For more information about this industry led initiative please contact either Adele Seymon or Robbie Rowe: Adele Seymon ( or +61 3 8636 9978) Robbie Rowe ( or +61 419 899 095) Public website –


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Fraser Institute Survey of Exploration Investment, 2016 Two Canadian provinces—Saskatchewan and Manitoba— are the top two most attractive jurisdictions in the world for mining investment, followed by Western Australia, according to an annual global survey of mining executives released by the Fraser Institute, an independent, nonpartisan Canadian policy think-tank. “A richness of mineral reserves, coupled with competitive tax regimes, efficient permitting procedures and certainty surrounding environmental regulations can still attract significant investment—even with slumping commodity prices,” said Kenneth Green, senior director of the Fraser Institute’s energy and natural resource studies and coauthor of the Fraser Institute’s Annual Survey of Mining Companies, 2016. The annual survey ranks 104 jurisdictions around the world based on geologic attractiveness and the extent government policies encourage or deter exploration and investment. The rest of the top 10 (in ranking order) includes the U.S. state of Nevada, Finland, the Canadian province of Quebec, the U.S. state of Arizona, Sweden, Republic of Ireland, and the Australian state of Queensland. Notably, Chile tumbled in the rankings this year from 11th to 39th, and now ranks below Peru at 28th. Argentina continues to fall in the eyes of mining investors, with five Argentinian provinces placing in the bottom 10 jurisdictions worldwide. Near the bottom of the rankings, Venezuela is the 3rd least attractive jurisdiction for mining investment globally. The African continent, as a whole, continues to look better and better in the eyes of investors, this year buoyed by Ivory Coast (17th), Botswana (19th) and Ghana (22nd). As a region, Africa ranks ahead of Oceania, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Argentina for its investment attractiveness. This year, the Fraser Institute also released a separate study examining issues surrounding the exploration permitting process. Overall, Permit Times for Mining Exploration in 2016 finds that Canadian provinces performed better than their international counterparts for approving exploratory permits, but a number of states in the U.S. and Australia, as well as Finland and Sweden tended to offer more transparency in the permitting process, and explorers in these jurisdictions had more confidence than those in Canada that they would receive their necessary permits. “Time is money, and if permit approval times are unnecessarily long or lack transparency, confidence plummets, overall costs increase and investors will take their money elsewhere,” said Taylor Jackson, a senior policy analyst with the Fraser Institute and co-author of the two studies with Green. Worldwide investment attractiveness rankings (Top 10): 1. Saskatchewan 2. Manitoba 3. Western Australia 4. Nevada 5. Finland 6. Quebec 7. Arizona 8. Sweden 9. Republic of Ireland 10. Queensland Worldwide investment attractiveness rankings (Bottom 10): 104. Jujuy (Argentina) 103. Neuquén (Argentina) 102. Venezuela 101. Chubut (Argentina) 100. Afghanistan 99. La Rioja (Argentina) 98. Mendoza (Argentina) 97. India 96. Zimbabwe 95. Mozambique. Source:


OECD publishes latest statistics on investment in R&D The latest available data on investment in Research and Development (R&D) for OECD countries and other major economies published in the OECD Main Science and Technology Indicators shows that R&D intensity across OECD countries remained stable at 2.4% in 2015. R&D intensity - expenditure on R&D as a R&D intensity: Gross Domestic Expenditure on R&D as a  percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - also plateaued at 1.95% in the EU percentage of GDP , 2000‐15  area driven by the EU countries which perform the most R&D (Germany 2.9%, France 2.2%, UK 1.7%). In 2015, Israel narrowly overtook Korea as the country with the highest Research and Development (R&D) intensity (4.25% compared to 4.23%), reclaiming the top-spot after 2 years in second place. Japan experienced a slight decline in 2015, to 3.5%. The United States, which spends more than any other country on R&D and accounts for around 40% of total OECD R&D expenditure, saw its R&D intensity rise slightly from 2.76% in 2014 to 2.79% in 2015. Meanwhile, China continued its steady increase in R&D intensity, reaching 2.1% in 2015 – only 0.3 of a percentage point below the OECD average. In volume terms, China’s R&D spending was equivalent to 81% of the United States level in 2015 and 9% higher than that of the EU. The latest patent data show the number of patents filed by Chinese inventors     R&D intensity, 2015  continued to rise in 2014, while filings under the Patent Cooperation Treaty by United States inventors declined. Across OECD countries, real Expenditure on R&D grew 2.3% in 2015. Overall, this was in-line with increases in GDP so R&D intensity remained stable at 2.4%. Business Enterprises powered the rise, growing their R&D expenditure by 2.5%. Businesses conducted 68.8% of the R&D performed in the OECD in 2015. Meanwhile, real R&D expenditure in the Higher Education sector grew by 2.1% in 2015, continuing the persistent upward trend seen ever since records began in 1981. Government R&D expenditure on performing R&D (which does not include money paid out to other sectors for R&D) also grew by 1.8%, the third consecutive increase since a brief contraction of -0.8% in 2012. Higher Education institutions performed 17.7% of the R&D conducted in OECD countries in 2015, while Government accounted for 11.1%.     R&D Expenditure in OECD countries, 1981‐2016  Government-financed R&D includes all R&D performed using government funds in all sectors of the economy, such as R&D performed by businesses or universities under government contracts or grants, and within government itself. Governmentfinanced R&D has declined (in real, PPP terms) by 2.4% since 2010 when it accounted for 31% of total OECD R&D expenditures, falling to 27% in 2014. “Government-Financed GERD as a percentage of GDP” has likewise declined - from a peak of 0.73% in 2009 to 0.66% in 2014. The 2015 data available, which cover 19 OECD countries, are mixed: most countries show, mild growth in government-financed R&D in 2015 but declines in the United States and Japan – key countries comprising 54% of OECD R&D expenditures in 2015 and 47% of government financed R&D in 2014 – make the overall outlook less     Direct government funding of business R&D an d tax  clear.     incentives for R&D, 2014; as a % of GDP/  Meanwhile, the latest government budget data, which present information on amounts allocated for R&D rather than actual expenditure on R&D, showed that government budgets for R&D in OECD countries increased by 0.7% in 2015. However, once inflation is taken into account this was a real- terms fall of -0.2%. The outlook for 2016 is mixed, with the United States showing fairly strong growth, Japan showing a decline, and the aggregate movement for the other OECD countries being broadly flat - although government budgets for R&D decline in 9 of the 16 countries for which 2016 data are available. These figures do not include the (off R&D-budget) cost of tax incentives for business R&D, where they exist, which have been increasing in many countries - but not always enough to offset budget cuts. The latest OECD data on the cost and design of R&D tax incentives ( have been launched alongside the MSTI release and provide an up-to-date and comprehensive overview of government efforts to incentivise business R&D across OECD and other major economies. The relative importance of tax incentives has generally increased in recent years. In 2016, 29 of the35 OECD members and a number of non-OECD economies gave preferential tax treatment to business R&D expenditures. This figure has been steadily rising over time, and the share of tax relief in total government support increased on average from 37% in 2006 to 45% in 2014 in the OECD area. In 2014, approximately 6.4% of business R&D was directly funded by governments. R&D tax incentives account for the equivalent of an additional 5.3% of public funding of business R&D. Source: OECD Main Science and Technology Indicators Database, February 2017.


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AMIRA International at Mining Indaba Mr Jeremy Man represented AMIRA International at the Mining Indaba Conference in Cape Town in February. The following is a summary of his take away learnings. WATER IS A TOP CONCERN FOR MINING COMPANIES. The International Council on Mining and Metals quotes research showing increased levels of conflict because of water and the financial cost of water issues, saying water-related infrastructure accounts for approximately 10% of the industry's capital expenses. Since 2000, water-related issues were implicated in 58% of mining cases lodged with the World Bank Group's Compliance Officer Ombudsman, which deals with complaints from communities around mining operations, data published





IMPROVING EFFICIENCIES REMAINS A PRIORITY AngloGold Ashanti says its focus remains improving margins across the business, despite lower grades at some of its operations, as well as currency headwinds. Their CEO added the company would improve its production mix in the medium- to long-term through brownfield opportunities. “We carefully consider every dollar we invest to ensure that capital is rigorously allocated to the highest return options. We target returns in the mid-teens for these investments.” Read the article at: SOUTH AFRICAN GOLD MINING AND THE MINING PHAKISA Chamber of Mines VP Neal Froneman (also CEO of Sibanye Gold) said that latest estimates indicate that South Africa still has 400million tonnes of gold ore in the ground that are amenable to profitable extraction using mechanised techniques. In addition, there are 160-million tonnes of high-grade ore locked in underground support pillars, accessible from current infrastructure. But without a shift in mining methodology, this gold would likely go unmined, with research suggesting a loss of 200 000 jobs by 2025. The challenging South African reality is mine depth, with eight of the ten deepest mines in the world being gold mines in South Africa, in which the labour-intensive mining method deployed involves physically demanding manual drilling methods with blasting and cleaning on a stop-start basis, predominantly in hard-rock, narrow reef. With increasing depth and distance from the shaft, travel time to the rockface can take up half of the eight-hour working day. A great deal of attention is being put on the development of processes and technologies that will remove – as far as possible – people from the rockface, to minimise the threat of injury. Through the Mining Phakisa, new connections and commitments have been made between companies, government, academic institutions and original-equipment manufacturers. In less than six months after the Phakisa, the old Comro campus was redesigned as a mining innovation precinct, with the aim of transforming the South African mining industry into a safer, more productive, better skilled and better-paying business. South African government allocated R150-million towards mining research and development, supplementing R500-million spent by mining companies in recent years. Research and development activities have already begun at the old Comro site in Richmond, Johannesburg, with technical skills programmes now needing to follow to provide a workforce for both the mining operations and the supply industries. The industry has set a milestone for the implementation of a cyclical drill-and-blast suite of equipment that mechanises all activities in the stoping and development cycle, including remotely operated equipment. See: In general, many of the presenters were bullish about Gold as being the metal to invest in, certainly for the medium term. PLATINUM, COPPER AND NICKEL Ivanhoe Mines executive chairperson Robert Friedland in his presentation said that enormous global demand is building up for copper, platinum and zinc, driven by new technology, mitigation of health risks in hospitals and agricultural augmentation. In a comprehensive address he used statistics from credible global institutions and well-recorded technological advances to highlight major looming copper shortages, strong upcoming platinum demand for hydrogen fuel cells and the practice of adding zinc to soils to grow food, which promotes good health and renders the metal non-recyclable. An article on his presentation can be accessed via the link:


Ex- Director Joe Pease receives AusIMM highest medal AusIMM’s most prestigious award, the Institute Medal was awarded to AMIRA International ex-director Mr. Joe Pease. The AusIMM describes the Institute Medal as amongst its highest honours: “The Institute Medal is the most prestigious award and highest honour conferred by the AusIMM. It is awarded in recognition of eminent leadership of the Institute and/or the minerals sector. It was first awarded in 1935. This award may be presented to anyone who has provided eminent leadership to the minerals sector.” Joe started in September 2003 as a Director on the AMIRA International Board and after 13 years of service retired on 30 June 2016. Joe has held the positions of CEO of Xstrata Technology, and Director on the Boards of the JKMRC and the Ian Wark Institute. Joe is currently a Steering Committee Member and Keynote Lecturer for Metallurgical Education Partnership, Chairman of CEEC, and a Director of the CRC ORE, of which he was formerly CEO. Joe is also a senior consultant to the minerals industry. AMIRA International would like to congratulate Joe Pease on this exceptional achievement and looks forward to a continued association with him.

Ex- Director receives educational award from SME SME’s Ivan B. Rahn Educational Award was presented to K. Marc Le Vier for his phenomenal passion and exemplary contributions to mining education at university campuses and professional society outreach. Le Vier is metallurgical engineer with a B.S. and M.S. from Michigan Tech. In May 2015 he received a Doctor of Science (Hon) from Montana Tech for his contributions and dedication to the school and its students. He retired from Newmont Mining Corp. in 2011 after 23 years as the director of metallurgical research and development. From 2011-2015, he served as CEO and president for two junior rare-earth mining companies. Currently, Le Vier is a consultant to the mining industry with his company, K. Marc Le Vier & Associates Inc. Le Vier has a passion for working with academia in research as well as in the development of funding support for scholarships. He has been a member of the industrial advisory boards to Montana Tech, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, the University of Arizona, Virginia Tech and Michigan Tech. He has served on the board of trustees for the Montana Tech Foundation and the SME Foundation, where he also served as president. He is a past president of the Mining & Metallurgical Society of America (MMSA), where he helped to create the MMSA/SMEF scholarship fund. He served as the president of the Minerals Information Institute, and was instrumental in merging it into SME as the Minerals Education Coalition. Le Vier has also served as a director to AMIRA International from 2006 to 2010, an industry collaborative research group based in Australia that supports graduate level research for industry in Australia and North and South America. Source : Mining Engineering January 2017

Unearthed Hackathon 2017 first place winners – Digi-MIN AMIRA would like to congratulate the Digi-MIN team who won the 2017 Unearthed Hackathon at Melbourne’s General Assembly. The Unearthed Hackathon was an open innovation event which gathered a range of people from different IT and scientific professions from design, development and engineering to participate and develop solutions to challenges provided by Newcrest. The challenge set by Newcrest was the “unplanned downtime and rate interruption events within its concentrators at Cadia, which caused major business and safety exposures”. First prize was awarded to the Digi-MIN team which consisted of three Gekko representatives (Graduate Process Engineer Eliza Craig, Graduate Metallurgist Barry Tuncks and Mechanical Designer Matt Kurtze) and Monash University student, Daniel Bechaz. Eliza Craig from Gekko explains, “We developed a tool that flags small variations in the correlation between two related variables. We demonstrated that the correlation between two variables in the HPGR changed several times before a single downtime event and our algorithm was able to flag this more than 24 hours in advance. The algorithm is robust enough that it can easily be applied to any two related variables across any piece of equipment or site. By flagging small changes in the correlation in real time, equipment can be inspected and downtime can be planned. This can drastically reduce the cost and impact of unplanned downtime on-site.”


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AMIRA FEATURE Bringing Mining into the THIRD Millennium Imagine miners, geologists, equipment engineers, researchers, financiers, governments, tribal elders and the general public being able to learn how to work together safely in a multiplayer 3D video game rehearsal environment.

Clifford S. Saunders, PhD, MSc, BSc Managing Director Centre for Applied Neuroscience in Business

Welcome back! This is the third essay in the series “Bringing Mining into the Third Millennium” for AMIRA International. Thanks as always to Joe Cucuzza and his AMIRA International team for inviting us to write these Centre for Applied Neuroscience in Business feature articles. In our first article in the series, we proposed some tangible steps that the Mining Industry must take immediately if we are to really become more agile ‘in deed’ rather than just ‘in word’. As the folks at 3M say, “Ideas are only worth 5% of the total value of any newly implemented idea”. It takes work and a definite mind shift to get full value. We stressed the urgency of the need to embrace the lesson of the Thomas Lawson, to stop adding more masts and to start thinking “different” about today’s realities and problems. We need to admit that hanging out at the bottom of the bottom quartile in applied innovation across all industry sectors and segments is no longer an option. Yes, there are bright spots but they are too few. Applying Neuroscience to mining provides the long overdue prospect of leapfrogging many industry sectors and hopping into, at the very least, the bottom of the top quartile of effective technology adopters and inventors relatively quickly. To that effect, we proposed the development of a neuroscientifically enabled 3D Mining Business Emulation Multiplayer Rehearsal Environment designed to make much better use of the skills that teams of workers already have and to rapidly redeploy them into new and more powerful decision frameworks. By targeting dysfunctional cognitive frameworks around “business as usual”, the game interrupts workers and leaders from doing “what they know” and focuses them instead on doing “what needs to be done”. In our second article in the series we discussed the failure of ‘Change Management’ to deliver on its promise. The reasons for this failure is that most Change Management interventions are focused on the wrong portion of the brain. It is the difference between reading about riding a bicycle and actually riding that bicycle. Riding a bicycle is a skill. Reading about riding a bicycle is not.

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AMIRA FEATURE - Bringing Mining into the Third Millennium...

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A bit about the Science (Please feel free to skip to the next section if this is a bit too much for you to focus on at this time.) Look at the picture of the brain and find Wernicke’s area. This is where you store language and words and where you keep your recollections of the training and information you’ve received about Change Management. Notice that no amount of training or information affect our beliefs about how we must get work done because those beliefs, upon which we make important decisions every day, are stored in the frontal lobe. Makes sense?

Neuroscientists specializing in solving business problems have discovered ways to reprogram these neural circuits and to coax the brain into giving up its old way of thinking and doing, thanks to the neuroplasticity of the brain. NEUROPLASTICITY is the ability of our brain to reorganize itself by disconnecting old neural connections and forming new ones throughout life. Neuroplasticity can be harnessed by building a suitably emulated replica of the organization’s business and allowing the employees and their brains to experience the cause and effect nature of their decisions by speeding time up and repeatedly feeding the results back to the employees in real time. This rapid feedback allows the brain to perceive how its efforts are resulting in failure. Because this recognition is painful to the brain, it interrupts its automatic patterns and ‘changes its own mind’ very rapidly. Like touching a very hot stove – once. The brain literally reprograms itself to achieve the new business goals.

Our Vision for the Future of Mining Much of our efforts at the Centre for Applied Neuroscience in Business are focussed on solving the Change Management Problem through the development of just such a neuroplastically enabled Multiplayer 3D Virtual Mining Rehearsal Environment. Our vision is to take all of the best neuroscience on the planet today and bake it into a ‘physics realistic’, multiplayer 3D video game emulation of real equipment and technologies. The goal: finding the “twice the throughput at half the cost” opportunities across operations. Cont Page 19


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AMIRA FEATURE - Bringing Mining into the Third Millennium...

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This is a game changer, a disruptor in the strongest sense of the word. It heralds the ‘Über-ification’ of the ‘cradle to grave’ Mining Industry. It is exciting, timely and vitally important. As it matures in technical complexity, our 3D Mining Rehearsal Environment will be able to emulate any important Mining Industry situation, from cradle to grave, from extremely remote greenfield exploration projects through to the decommissioning and land repurposing of a mine. Any important Mining situation. In the longer term we expect to be able to anticipate and predict the design and future use of new equipment and tool suites before they become real physical products. Where do we start? We decided to let the market tell us, so we held a Hackathon.

A Hackathon?!? Indeed. If you are new to Hackathons, they are disruptive innovation events that create products fast, often over a weekend. Hackathons can create solutions to very complicated problems in just a couple of days. They are brain pressure cookers. You mix together software developers and experts from the industry, add in researchers and policy wonks, and you challenge the whole lot to do the impossible, to solve a given problem within software code.

We first enlisted the help of the newly appointed Director of the Sustainable Minerals Institute at the University of Queensland Neville Plint. As many of you may know, Neville has known for a long time that human behaviour is ‘the bottleneck’ that the Mining Industry must confront and he has repeatedly and successfully proven this to be true through his amazing work at Anglo American’s Centre for Experiential Learning in Johannesburg. In turn, Neville reached out to SMI students and faculty and entreated their invaluable multidisciplinary skills to help us inform the work Cont Page 20


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We reached out to the Unity 3D software development community and invited them to help us solve some major problems in Mining in a gaming environment. We reached out to our Mining Industry contacts and asked them to send us their thought leaders and innovators with some pretty major challenges to solve. And we reached out to industry enabling groups AMIRA International, METS Ignited and CSIRO and told them we needed their perspectives too. Then on 20th January, 67 intrepid souls, drawn from every walk of life in the Mining Industry, filled the 4th floor conference room at SMI and were tasked with brainstorming and concocting as many ‘vignettes’ or valuable scenarios that could be programmed into a Multiplayer 3D Virtual Mining Rehearsal Environment game to teach important mining lessons that would normally take decades for someone to learn ‘back in the wild’. The group generated nearly twenty different vignettes, ranging from extreme greenfield exploration at depth, to ways to improve open cut mining operations, to managing community relations in a fragile aquatic environment and more. You can hear many of the ideas here

Given this tremendous diversity, how do you choose? Where do you start? To help answer these questions, two weeks later, back at SMI, 30ish newbie brain reprogramming neuroscientists embarked upon the Hackathon proper. On Friday 3rd February, we got down to work and started the first day of our Hackathon with a very cool and highly useful multiplayer Manufacturing Emulation ‘game’ that Neville had developed and which rapidly primed our brains to become part of highly creative winning teams. On Saturday and Sunday, our hard core problem solvers and hackers nutted out 3 multiplayer games and started to code their games into Unity 3D, a very popular user friendly video game development platform You can see the final prototypes here

The first team created the ‘Hell’s Mine’, a four player game which dealt with the dynamic balancing act between the needs of the GM, Mine Managers, Maintenance and Operations. The game highlights the difficulties that must and do emerge in mining operations if silos are optimised independently from one another. The second team worked on ‘Greedy Gnomes’, a seven player game dealing with the intertwined issues of greenfield exploration, mineral production and community relations. The third team built “Stepping on your tails”, a three player game, set in the near future, that explores the dynamics of a zero tailings and zero waste mining operation. Cont Page 21


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AMIRA FEATURE - Bringing Mining into the Third Millennium...

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What did we learn? We were all startled to discover that each of the three teams independently focused on the same problem - the simultaneous choreography of many actors ‘just doing their jobs’ within a given silo. The multiplayer skill of ‘job coordination’ is THE HEART of Mining; it is where value is either created or wasted. “Getting better at this skill alone is worth billions” as the folks from Newcrest point out during the feedback session at the end of the Hackathon Over time, this Multiplayer 3D Virtual Mining Rehearsal Environment will provide the opportunity for any complicated mineral industry problem to be explored, rehearsed and reconceptualised in a safe and actually fun environment.

Do these ideas intrigue you? If so, allow me to leave you with a story of what’s possible. You have most likely heard of Moore’s Law, the idea that the price performance of electronic integrated circuits doubles roughly every 18 months. Computers are always getting more powerful at a given price point. For a long time, in the late last millennium (around the late 1980s), it was easy for telecom manufacturers to design and build their own integrated circuit chips for their own products. That is, until the base technology got so expensive and the engineering was so difficult, no one company could afford the new ‘chip foundries’. The technical risk and cost just got too damn high. Then a funny thing happened. The six biggest telecom competitors worldwide got together and hammered out a deal that they would all share the risk and the cost of the next generation of ‘Sub Micron Chip Foundries’! I was a lowly design engineer at the time and I was absolutely gob smacked. “But they’re our enemies!” I wailed. “They’ll steal our secrets!” “We are doomed.” “Our leaders are mad.” That’s when my boss took me aside and explained the concept of ‘precompetitive technologies’. “We have no choice but to share the risk and cost of the next generation of base technology”, he gently explained. “We can no longer ‘go it alone’, we must cooperate at the precompetitive base technology level and then compete like hell at the product, functionality, sales and service levels.” If my company had not joined this consortium, they would have gone broke on the back of the technical risk and cost alone. It was a classic ‘Burning Platform’. I think the secret to the success of the venture, and it was very successful for many years, was the realization, amongst the industry’s senior leaders, that they HAD to change their minds about ‘competition’ and instead gain competitive advantage by running faster than the others, on top of the new common base platform. Frankly, I don’t know how they ‘hammered out the deal’. That was probably the toughest part but without the awareness that they needed a new model, the Telecom Industry would have stagnated.

Is there a lesson for us all here in Mining? Could we use readily available tools like 3D virtual worlds, an international wiki style Open Source, Copyleft and Precompetitive strategy, say, to devise a rough and ready Multiplayer 3D Virtual Mining Rehearsal Environment to explore, rehearse and reconceptualise any complicated mineral industry problem in a safe and actually fun environment? You can probably see by now why AMIRA has invited us to write these feature articles. In its capacity as an independent global member-based organisation of mining and supplier companies, AMIRA International’s mission is to create, develop, broker, facilitate and manage collaborative research projects, very much like the Multiplayer 3D Virtual Mining Rehearsal Environment. For more information on this promising business science breakthrough, please or go to our website at



If you have enjoyed our essay, watch this space for our next instalment on Bringing Mining into the Third Millennium. 21


Ballarat Gold Symposium – May 30 – June 1, 2017 AMIRA International in association with Curtin University would like to invite you in attending the Ballarat Gold Symposium between May 30 – 1 June 2017 at the Mercure Hotel and Conference Centre in Ballarat, Victoria. The Ballarat Gold Symposium is an opportunity for gold producers, engineers, technologists and researchers to come together to discuss established and emerging technologies that will influence current and future ore processing. Symposium presentations are grouped around three themes: Novel gold plants, Emerging technologies and Process optimisation. There will also be the opportunity to visit two operations: Castlemaine Gold’s Ballarat Operation (intensive gravity/leach/resin), and the Kirkland Lake Gold’s Fosterville Mine (Biox and preg-robbing ore processing). Ballarat is the historic heart of the gold industry in Australia, and is located approximately 100 kilometres west of Melbourne. There are excellent road, rail and bus connections from Melbourne. Download the Ballarat Gold Symposium Brochure and Registration form here. For further information






AMIRA International at the SME Conference Dr. Mike Moats (Missouri University of Science and Technology) presented an update on the development of the website, “Dr Electrowinning”, a significant deliverable of the AMIRA P705C Project at the Annual SME Conference. By Implementing P705C sponsors can deliver cost savings by: 

Improving and providing on the job training of tankhouse operators

Putting the knowledge in the hands of the people who observe cells 24/7 and can react faster and rectify nonconformances prior to escalation

Removing the engineer from reactive problem solving to focus on business improvement developments

Summary of the P705C outcomes presented relative to Dr. Electrowinning were:    

Dr. Mike Moats at the SME Conference

AMIRA P705C project has developed an on-line troubleshooting guide for base metal electrowinning offers practical and expert information to diagnosis problems and find potential solutions Modules are well developed for copper Zinc and nickel will be developed during AMIRA P705D (to start Aug 2017)

For more details about P705D please contact: Mike Moats – Terry Braden –


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PARTNERS Energy Risk, Innovation and Collaboration – key themes 2017 With 3 months almost behind us in 2017, CEEC and many of our sponsors, advocates, followers and fellow professionals have been actively engaged in industry events. CEEC has had representatives at global events such as SME, PDAC, Indaba, METS Ignited’s Thought Leadership series in Australia, and late last year, IMARC and Deloitte’s three-part series on “Innovation in Mining” in Canada, South Africa and Australia. What are we seeing? There is renewed sense of quiet optimism. Many companies are moving from survival phase to a period of focus on lean, smart, innovation. Companies are actively seeking ideas from outside of our sector, and beginning to embrace disruptive technology and hackathon-style forums to target step-change. They are focusing on smart, targeted improvement and innovation initiatives to enhance productivity now and into the future.             PDAC 2017 Attendees: CEEC Director Ivan Mullany pictured with Hatch colleague George Darling

IMARC 2016 Attendees: CEEC CEO Alison Keogh (centre) pictured with The AusIMM’s Matt Hadley and Susan Greenbank.

CEEC Director Prof. Tim Napier-Munn

Cont Page 24


PARTNERS From Page 23

Energy, Water and Technical Challenges: We know in our industry that we have challenges, now and in the future. After the sector’s recent downturn, commodity price risk is clear. And other technical challenges such as declining ore grades, complex metallurgy, and deeper orebodies continue to challenge us to think differently about how can adapt our methods and approach. But added to this, there is an emerging awareness of the critical issue of pricing and access to energy and water. Recent events in Australia have highlighted strong energy security and supply considerations, and raised awareness of accelerating energy pricing rises. BHP Billiton announced a loss of US$100M in its recent half year results due to intermittency of power. Mary Stewart, CEEC Director and General Manager and Executive Director at Energetics, stated “2016 ended with a near 50% increase in the total cost of electricity in Australia’s eastern states” (Energetics, source here). However, companies are proactively tackling challenges such as energy and water. Anglo has run a series of Open Forums inviting outside thinking in, to tackle 10 key challenges, including Energy and Water. GoldCorp has just announced a “Towards Zero Water Strategy”. And many other companies are actively tackling similar shift-the-dial innovation and targeted improvement strategies, encompassing not only cost, but energy and water pricing and risk. CEEC Participation – Be informed Companies including CEEC’s sponsors and staff at many levels in CEEC’s network are now focusing on targeted change are looking to bring in ideas from outside conventional mining sector thinking. CEEC notes an increased appetite for participation and restart of change programmes. One aspect CEEC is noticing is increasing interest in participation:    

CEEC Global Energy Curves programme uptake Drive to participate in CEEC global workshops Sponsor-to-sponsor collaboration Increased discussion of game-changer shift-the-dial changes, in energy, water, efficiency and productivity.

So CEEC is busy planning a series of workshops in 2017 and 2018, and will be making announcements soon. Interested? Join our news mailing list with just four clicks and you’ll be amongst the first to hear workshop dates and announcements. 1. 2. 3. 4.


Visit Scroll down to “Sign Up” on the right side of the webpage Enter your email address Click the “Sign Up” button

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PARTNERS AMIRA International and METS Ignited Sign MOU METS Ignited CEO Ric Gros and AMIRA International Managing Director Joe Cucuzza recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding aligning the strategies and roadmaps of the METS and mining companies to ensure innovation is characterised by industry collaboration. METS Ignited is an industry-led, government funded Growth Centre funded by the Australian Government to assist the mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector improve commercialisation of innovation and expand global market share. AMIRA International is an independent global member-based organisation of mining and supplier companies, created to develop, broker, facilitate and manage collaborative research projects that are designed to improve productivity and performance across the sector. The agreement will potentially benefit METS companies through collaborative workshops and challenges designed to address industry needs, as well as internships, career experience programs and conferences. At the signing in Melbourne, METS Ignited CEO Mr Gros said the MOU would advance initiatives in the METS Sector Competitiveness Plan that will build and strengthen sector relationships. “The Sector Competitiveness Plan (SCP) is a vision for an industry renowned for its smart relationships and collaborative leadership,” Mr Gros said. “We are proud to be partnering with AMIRA International to identify opportunities for Australian METS and researchers to collaborate and deliver on industry needs,” he said. “The agreement targets activities that span the five programs of work in the SCP that will unite and galvanise the METS industry to be competitive globally.” AMIRA International MD Joe Cucuzza said collaboration with METS Ignited will facilitate greater engagement with AMIRA International and strengthen the linkages between METS suppliers and mining companies. “We are looking forward to working with METS Ignited to deliver tangible outcomes that will benefit both organisations” Mr Cucuzza said.

Top Row:, Sarah Boucaut, Elizabeth Lewis-Gray, Patrick O’Connor Bottom Row:, Joe Cucuzza - AMIRA International MD and Rick Gros METS Ignited CEO, at the Memorandum of Understanding signing between AMIRA International and METS Ignited

“METS suppliers from Australia and abroad have been an important constituency for AMIRA both as members and indeed as solution providers,” he said. “As members, METS suppliers have sponsored many of our collaborative projects. They provide an important route to market for project outputs that can be commercialised. Participation offers potential business opportunities for suppliers, and in some cases it provides an avenue by which their technologies can be benchmarked against others. By sponsoring AMIRA International projects, METS suppliers are exposed to the latest research while rubbing shoulders with end-users.” “METS suppliers have also been an important source of innovation. “For example, currently we are working with a company in Australia that has an exciting new technology that has the potential to set lower capital, operating and maintenance cost benchmarks, together with the prospect of revolutionising flowsheet development in the mineral processing industry. The demonstration project will permit mining companies to trial the new technology on their specific ores and thus be in a position to understand and quantify the potential benefits that they could flow from implementation of this comminution innovation through the learnings from the collective trials of the various sponsors.”


PARTNERS AMIRA International and the Minerals Council of Australia Sign MOU AMIRA International Managing Director Joe Cucuzza and the Minerals Council of Australia CEO Brendan Pearson signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) designed allow closer cooperation between the two organisations for the benefit of their members. The Minerals Council of Australia represents Australia’s exploration, mining and minerals processing industry, nationally and internationally, in its contribution to sustainable development and society. MCA member companies account for more than 85 per cent of Australia’s annual mineral production and 90 per cent of mineral export earnings. AMIRA International is an independent global member-based organisation of mining and supplier companies, created to develop, broker, facilitate and manage collaborative research projects that are designed to improve productivity and performance across the sector. The MOU will enable closer cooperation in areas of innovation and sustainable development. At the signing in Melbourne, MCA CEO Mr Brendan Pearson said the MOU would advance initiatives designed to improve the productivity and sustainability of the industry. “The mining industry’s continued contribution to Australia’s economic prosperity has been highlighted by the fact that we are tracking toward record resources exports in the year to June 2017.” “The industry is committed to contributing to the sustained growth and prosperity of current and future generations through the integration of economic progress, responsible social development and effective environmental management, all these are going to rely on collaboration and innovation.” “AMIRA International plays an important role in developing solution to the complex and difficult challenges that industry faces. Facilitating collaboration is crucial in developing the solutions that will guarantee a sustainable minerals industry in Australia “, Mr Pearson said. AMIRA International MD Joe Cucuzza said collaboration with MCA will facilitate greater engagement with industry and the political class. Mr Joe Cucuzza, AMIRA International MD, and Mr. Brendan Pearson, MCA CEO, sign the MOU between AMIRA International and Minerals Council of Australia

“MCA plays a critical advocacy role, in highlighting the contribution the minerals industry makes to Australia economy, and jobs”, he said.

“Also important is to ensure that society understand that the minerals industry is not yesterday’s industry, that it is an innovative, highly technical industry that will continue to contribute to the prosperity of Australia well into the future. “We are pleased to be partnering with MCA to enable both or our organisations to achieve our objectives”, Mr Cucuzza said.


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Personnel Promotion of Adele Seymon to lead Global Business Development We would like to announce that Adele Seymon is now to lead Global Business Development at AMIRA International. This new role is in addition to her role as Program Director. In her new capacity Adele will lead AMIRA’s global business development activities and be working hard to increase engagement and relevance to our member companies as well as with our broader sector stakeholders. Adele is open to any suggestions for better engagement or improvements between AMIRA and our members as well as general stakeholder interaction overall. She welcomes contact from anyone wishing to learn more about AMIRA or who wish to contribute to our evolving relevance to the sector.

Ms. Adele Seymon

To contact Adele please do so at or +61 3 8636 9978.

Farewell to Chris Ward AMIRA International would like to bid farewell to Dr. Chris Ward who has left AMIRA earlier this month. Chris joined AMIRA International as a Program Manager in August 2011 and progressed to the position of Program Director Mine to Metal. Chris worked primarily on extractive metallurgy projects, as well as projects centered on flotation, erosion and efficiency. Some key projects that Chris developed and managed included: P260 - Fine and Coarse Mineral Flotation P705 - Improving Base Metal Electrowinning P933 - Site demonstration of acid and metalliferous drainage mitigation through source control AMIRA International would like to thank Chris for his important contribution and wish him all the best in his future endeavours. John Visser, based in AMIRA’s Perth office, will take on some of Chris’ projects going forward. Dr. Chris Ward

Vale David Stribley AMIRA International staff past and present are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our former colleague, David Stribley. David served with AMIRA International as a Program Manager between 1991 to 2006 and earned widespread respect from both the research and mining sectors. David was involved in developing and managing a range of projects in the processing and engineering area. He was directly involved in establishing the AMIRA alumina research program, and expanding AMIRA’s presence in South Africa and Perth. He was well known to many with his leadership of AMIRA’s longest running collaborative project, P9. During his time coordinating P9 he was involved with dramatically changing the management, administration and reporting protocols for the project and in expanding the program internationally Mr. David Stribley

Prior to AMIRA, David held several positions over a period of 15 years with other mining companies including CSR, Aberfoyle, QAL and Rio Tinto. Our sincere condolences go out to David’s family during this time.


Contacts Australia Head Office, Melbourne Level 2 / 271 William Street Melbourne, Victoria, 3000 Australia Phone: +61 3 8636 9999 Fax: +61 3 8636 9900 enquiries@

Joe Cucuzza Managing Director +61 3 8636 9987 joe.cucuzza@ Olga Verezub Program Manager, Innovation & Strategic Business Development Coordinator Phone: +61 3 8636 9973 olga.verezub@

Latin America

Perth - Australia


7 Conlon St, Bentley WA 6102 Phone: +61 8 9358 0777

Regus Constantia Kloof Ground Floor, Building 4 Quadram Office Park 50 Constantia Boulevard Johannesburg, 1709 South Africa Phone: +27 11 534 8623

Av. Isidora Goyenechea 3.000 23 floor Las Condes, Santiago Chile Phone: +56 2 2364 4233

John Visser Program Manager Phone: +61 409 766 781 john.visser@

Jeremy Mann Consultant Program Manager Phone: +27 11 534 8623 jeremy.mann@

Enrique Carretero Program Manager & Latin America Regional Manager Phone: +56 9 9435 1243 enrique.carretero@

North America PO Box 461028 Aurora Colorado, 80015 USA Phone: +1 303 400 3982

Terry Braden Program Manager & North America Regional Manager Phone: +1 303 859 6754 terry.braden@

Adele Seymon Program Director Exploration to Mine & Sustainability BU Phone: +61 3 8636 9978 adele.seymon@

*all email addresses (denoted by @) end with 28

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AMIRA International Quarterly - Issue 45 - April 2017  

AMIRA International's quarterly newsletter with the latest news about technology, R&D and collaboration initiatives in the Mining Industry.

AMIRA International Quarterly - Issue 45 - April 2017  

AMIRA International's quarterly newsletter with the latest news about technology, R&D and collaboration initiatives in the Mining Industry.