AIG NEWS - Australian Institute of Geoscientists


AIG NEWS - Australian Institute of Geoscientists
Quarterly Newsletter • No 118 • November 2014
The Ethics Column:
“I want to make a complaint"
Andrew Waltho, Chair, Complaints Committee
Few would not have seen the comedy sketch below, where a customer seeks to
complain to a shopkeeper regarding a dead, but in the shopkeeper’s eyes, still “beautiful”
parrot. The sketch highlights conduct that doesn’t reflect well on the shopkeeper and
would influence the parrot owner’s future decisions about whether to shop there again.
I want to complain - lead article
Presidents Report
Grade Expectations
Swarming - New Satellite
Geomagnetic Data 11
Trust Me - I’m Competent 13
AIG National Graduate Group 20
Letter to Editor 25
Take Home Messages Gold’[email protected] Symposium 27
Suzy Urbaniak wins
WIMWA 2014 Award 30
Education Report 31
Branch News:
After almost 45 years this remains one of the world’s most famous complaints. Monty Python's Flying Circus
Season 1 - Episode 8, Recorded 25-Nov-1969
This may seem unrelated to the issue of professional ethics but this is arguably not the case.
Ethical conduct is essential if there is to be confidence and trust in information provided by
professionals and their actions in delivering services to employers, clients and the broader
NSW 32
RPGEO Approvals and Applications
New Members 39
Standards of professional conduct expected of AIG members are set out in the Institute’s
Articles of Association and Code of Ethics. Instances of non-compliance with these standards
are managed through a complaints process overseen by AIG’s Complaints and Ethics and
Standards Committees.
AIG’s Code of Ethics and Complaints Process
AIG is able to perform its role as a professional institute by having a strong and enforceable
Code of Ethics, which you, as an AIG member, agree to comply with as a condition of being
admitted to membership the Institute. Members’ commitment to upholding the Institute’s
Code of Ethics is confirmed through renewal of your membership annually. Compliance with
AIG’s Code of Ethics is a requirement of all members irrespective of membership grade. This
requirement extends to Graduates in the same manner as it does to Members and Fellows.
The Code of Ethics has changed little since it was written at the time the Institute was formed
more than 30 years ago.
Cont. Overleaf
AIG Secretariat
Contact: Ron Adams
Ph: (08) 9427 0820
Fax: (08) 9427 0821
Email: [email protected]
c/- Centre for Association Management
36 Brisbane Street, Perth WA 6000
PO Box 8463, Perth Business Centre,
Perth WA 6849
lead article
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
The Ethics Column: “I want to make a complaint”
What has changed is the manner in which it is enforced. Complaints
for many years were managed by the Ethics and Standards Committee
• Received complaints regarding the conduct of members;
• Decided whether the complaint warranted investigation, which, if
necessary, it then carried out;
• Imposed penalties on members who were found by the committee
to have acted contrary to the Code of Ethics.
The Ethics and Standards Committee effectively acted as both the
prosecutor and adjudicator – a process that became to be considered
inherently unfair, despite members who were subject to adverse
findings by the Ethics and Standards Committee having the right to
appeal against any ruling to the Institute’s Council.
A two stage process was introduced in 2007 to address this
shortcoming by the formation of a Complaints Committee which was
assigned the role of investigating complaints referred to it by the
Ethics and Standards Committee if there were grounds for doing so.
The Complaints Committee has the option of deciding that a
complaint is for a matter of a minor nature, which would result in the
member being sent a letter detailing the Institute’s concerns, or
deciding that a complaint was frivolous and dismissing it. More
serious complaints are investigated and the findings are submitted to
the Ethics and Standards Committee for adjudication. The Complaints
and Ethics and Standards Committees are independent, with no
Cont. from Page 1
cross-membership. This change removed any responsibility for
prosecution of complaints from the Ethics and Standards Committee,
putting it in a position to impartially consider complaints and
evidence in defence of members alleged to have breached the Code
of Ethics.
The concern underlying this change was one of ensuring procedural
fairness which includes:
• an absence of bias;
• an inquiry into matters in dispute;
• the opportunity to be heard; and
• presentation of evidence to support a decision
The complaints process is illustrated in the following diagram
(Figure 1, page 4) which is also available on the AIG website.
Why Have a Complaints Process?
The complaints process is central to ensuring that AIG’s Code of
Ethics is enforceable in a way that is both effective and fair to
members. Having a strong and enforceable Code of Ethics enables
AIG to discharge its responsibilities in relation to the JORC Code,
and is a requirement of overseas financial equities markets to which
AIG members are able to submit reports where reciprocal
arrangements exist. The ability of AIG members to act as Qualified
Persons in compliance with Canada’s National Instrument NI
Cont. on Page 4
From your president
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
From Your President — Wayne Spilsbury
If you are a book collector, take note – this will be the last hard
copy edition of AIG News. This marks the culmination of a move
to have all AIG publications and communications in electronic
form, led by our Communications Committee Chair, Andrew
Waltho. This edition is also Louis Hissink’s last as our Editor after
seven years of service. I personally wish to thank Louis for his
unceasing efforts to source external material as well as collating
and sometimes cajoling submissions from members
Anglican Church’s Public Affairs
Commission, also urged its 23
dioceses across Australia to review
their investment portfolios, and
said it can make good economic
sense to divest fossil fuel shares.
So if you are employed by an oil,
gas or coal company or a mining
company, religious and educational
institutions are questioning your company’s social licence to
operate. These are not fringe eco-activists. Is this the beginning of
a cultural shift to ethical-based investing that will affect your
employers’ ability to raise capital?
I attended the [email protected] Symposium on 8-10 October,
sponsored by AIG. I thought the event was a great success, thanks,
mainly to the Organizing Committee Chairman, Julian Vearncombe
of Geoscientists Symposia. In all there were 45 presentations and
posters. The abstracts are posted on our website
Speaking of raising capital, legislation has been drafted to implement
The Symposium was attended by 177 delegates, as well as
the Government’s Exploration Development Incentive. The EDI is
speakers, exhibitors and poster presenters (financially assisted by
designed to level the playing field for junior explores, who have no
AIG). I was particularly encouraged to see high-vis shirted young
cash-flow, to pass on un-used exploration tax credits to their
geoscientists in the audience from Kalgoorlie’s numerous mining
shareholders. The EDI tax credit is only available for greenfields
operations. The first speaker, Ed Eshuys, using examples of great
expenditures which should encourage a higher risk and higher
discoveries at Sons of Gwalia, Bass Strait and his involvement in
reward approach to exploration by junior explorers
the Plutonic, Bronzewing and Jundee mines showed
to the ultimate benefit of all Australians. Unfortunately
how lateral thinking was responsible for generating
the Government has decided to start small with no
new wealth for the country. Neil Phillips gave the
“If you are a
guarantee of it continuing beyond the 2016/17 tax
final talk in which he highlighted Australia’s
unmatched success rate, discovering 16,500 tonnes
book collector, year. The $100 million maximum tax credit over the
next three years only represents approximately $350
of gold at a cost of $40 per ounce since 1979.
take note – this million in eligible exploration expenditure. A recent
Geoscience Australia has calculated that our
Economic Demonstrated Resource (EDR,
will be the last study (MinEx Consulting 2014) has shown that the
global average exploration spend to discover a single
Geoscience Australia, 2012) for gold at the end of
hard copy edition economic gold or base metal deposits is US$150M
2012, was about 9,909 t, sufficient for the next 30
years of mining at the current production rate (about
of AIG News." and US$180M respectively. Research by the Centre
for Exploration Targeting at UWA (Guj, 2012) also
250 t Au). Another presentation by Simon Jowitt
shows it takes on average 7 years for an economic
gave the preliminary results of a world-wide
discovery to be developed into a mine in Australia.
compilation of dominantly CIRISCO (i.e. JORC,
Under these scenarios in 3 years’ time the junior explorers who have
NI43-101, SAMREC) compliant gold resources and concluded
participated in the EDI might make 2 economic discoveries but still
that at a minimum these resources could support 63.5 years
be years off seeing them turned into mines. So, a good start but our
production! But before you put your rock hammer in storage and
politicians don’t seem to appreciate the high risk nature of mineral
start applying for a job with Uber, Simon did point out that these
exploration and the long time frame.
figures are for all categories of resources, the majority of which
will likely never be mined due to low-grade, as well as social and
I recently agreed to join the Board of Earth Science Western
environmental issues. We are a long way from “Peak Gold” and
Australia (ESWA), a primarily industry funded NFP organisation
there will always be room for new high quality gold discoveries.
that supports the teaching of earth science in schools in WA by
developing teaching and learning resources, providing professional
“Social Licence” is not just an HR phrase but a reality that will
development for teachers, presenting at schools and assisting with
increasingly affect some of our member’s employment prospects.
field experiences for students. Volunteering is what makes AIG
Two recent initiatives by Australian National University (ANU)
tick. Our Administrative Assistant, Lynn Vigar is our only
and the Anglican Church illustrate my point. ANU, following the
contracted, part-time, employee. Servicing the needs of over 3200
lead of Stanford University became the first university in Australia
AIG members falls to a small group of dedicated volunteers on
to announce divestment from investments in fossil fuel producing
Council and State Branches. Currently we are seeking a member to
companies citing their perceived contribution to global warming.
fill a vacancy on Council, preferably located in Victoria. As well
In the ensuing uproar, as a compromise step, the university council
all our State Branch are always looking for “new blood”. If you
contracted an independent research company to assess the
have an interest in volunteering for AIG, please contact Lynn Vigar
environmental, social, ethical and governance performance of 45
at [email protected]
Australian companies in which it invested. Based on its advice, the
university decided to divest itself of the seven lowest-ranked
stocks: which included an ASX 50 gold producer and an oil and
gas company, several medium-sized mineral producers and an
aspiring junior explorer. Separately, the chairwoman of the
By the time this edition hits your mailbox, the stores will be
festooned with Christmas decorations, so I will join the choir with
a wish that you have a relaxing holiday season and a hope for an
upturn in the metal cycle in 2015.
lead article
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
The Ethics Column: “I want to make a complaint”
Cont. from Page 2
43-101, for example, is conditional
on both AIG being able to
discipline members for breaches
of the Institute’s Code of Ethics,
which require compliance with the
JORC Code and comparable
public reporting standards, and a
commitment by AIG that members
who are found to have breached
NI 43-101 requirements will be
dealt with according to an
appropriate complaints procedure
irrespective of where an alleged
breach occurred.
In short, an AIG member who
breaches Canada NI 43-101
requirements for work undertaken
in Canada or any other country
will be dealt with in the same
manner, and by the same process,
that would apply for a breach of
compliance with the JORC Code
in Australia.
AIG’s ability to enforce its Code
of Ethics also ensures that the
Institute may act, as required,
against members who breach the
code, and by doing so, potentially undermine public confidence in
geoscience professions and practitioners. The Code of Ethics also
sets standards of conduct for geoscientists with peers and other
professionals that, again, help to maintain professional standards and
relationships with other professionals.
More than JORC
The Code of Ethics sets out a number of requirements of members
• avoiding and discouraging unwarranted statements;
• ensuring professional opinions are provided in an impartial
• distinguishing between facts and opinions in any public comment,
in either verbal or written form;
Figure 1. AIG's Complaint Process
• not doing anything, either intentionally or negligently, to injure
the reputation, business or prospects of another member;
• not accepting fees for referring a client or employer to a third
• ensuring that subordinates are afforded opportunities for advancing
their knowledge and experience;
• giving credit to others where they have contributed to work; and,
• preserving the confidentiality of information to which a member
has access.
This list is not complete, but serves to highlight the breadth of the Code
of Ethics with respect to the professional conduct of AIG members.
AIG members are prevented from describing themselves, or
permitting them to be described, as consultants unless they occupy a
Ross Logan and Associates
Geological Consultants
ABN 87 082254457
• Hands-on project management and evaluation from
grass roots to feasibility
• Target generation, brown and greenfields exploration
• Extensive exposure to Carpentarian Sedex lead-zinc
• Copper and gold experience throughout Australia
• 30 years in the resource sector, Australia and Argentina
P.O. Box 1277
Coorparoo DC Qld 4151
Phone +61 7 3891 7075
Email: [email protected]
lead article
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
position of independence and are able to act as an unbiased and
independent adviser.
The Ethics and Standards Committee may also initiate complaints
against members.
Acceptance of favours by members from a person or organisation
who might deal with their employer or client is not permitted under
the Code of Ethics. Corporate law in many countries may consider
actions of this nature as bribery, exposing members to legal
All complaints are dealt with in strict confidence although adverse
findings against a member may be made public if this is considered
to be appropriate by the Ethics and Standards Committee. This
would not occur before the member concerned has had an opportunity
to appeal an adverse finding by the committee.
Obligation to Report Unethical Conduct by
All AIG members are required to report perceived unethical conduct
by other members. Not doing so constitutes a breach of the Code or
Making a Complaint
Complaints must be lodged with the Complaints Committee. Only
written complaints are accepted which may be submitted by mail to
the AIG Secretariat office or by email ([email protected]). Any
member or member of the public may submit a complaint.
Seeking Advice in Relation to Complaints
Members are able to seek advice from the Complaints Committee as
to whether matters they are aware of could represent unethical
conduct. Enquiries may be made in writing, by email or verbally.
AIG’s complaints process is an important means by which the
Institute seeks to maintain both professional standards and public
perception of the geoscience professions in Australia. This constitutes
“core business” for any professional body. The maintenance of
appropriate professional standards is an area where all members
contribute every day in the course of their work.
The Premier Exploration Geophysical
Conference in the Southern Hemisphere
You are invited to attend the 24th International Geophysical Conference and Exhibition in Perth, Western
Australia, to be held from 15 to 18 February 2015. We are promoting a programme with a strong focus on case
histories, best practice, and the new methods and technologies that underpin the exploration effort.
We will celebrate the diversity and commonalities between minerals, petroleum, geothermal, geotechnical, and
environmental geophysics.
Abstract submission NOW OPEN, deadline 31 August
All details available at
Early Bird registration now open until 21 September 2014
As part of the upcoming ASEG-PESA conference, a workshop is to be held February 19th, 2015 in Perth entitled:
PER-000280_ADVERT_ASEG_FirstBreak_2015Conference_0814.indd 1
"Geophysical signatures of mineral systems; more than bumps"
8/6/2014 12:57:37 PM
Registration is required to be done on-line but the workshop can be attended without being registered for the rest of the conference.
The workshop cost is: Standard $180, Student* $80. Registration includes morning and afternoon tea as well as lunch.
Please visit for additional details and a link to the on-line registration site.
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
Grade Expectations
Australian Gold Mines defy the ‘Grade is King’ Cost Hypothesis
Matthew D. Kanakis - CET
Publicly released cost information from 53 operating gold mines in
Australia (50 mines) and New Zealand (3 mines) reveals a number
of insights into 2013 production costs – pointing in particular to
geological factors, rather than the commonly expected grade effect
as of greater relevance to costs.
The anticipated inverse relationship of costs to grade of
mineralisation (lower costs with higher grade) is notably absent in
the data examined – indeed, higher grade is actually weakly
associated with higher cost of production in the available figures.
Style of mineralisation, however, emerges as relevant to mine costs
– with deposits classified as 'disseminated vein style' having lower
overall costs than those defined as ‘vein/reef type’. The rock type
hosting a gold deposit also appears to have a significant relationship
to costs. For deposits extracted from igneous lithologies, intrusivehosted bodies display lower costs on average than volcanic-hosted.
Although preliminary, these results argue that the 'grade is king'
mantra often prevalent amongst industry participants and resource
sector investors appears over-rated. Similarly, the prevailing view that
mineralisation style and predominant host rock have no material
impact on cost is challenged when assessed against factual cost data,
as partitioning of the mine-cost dataset based on these factors
reveals statistically significant differences. Such observations
demonstrate a capacity to better inform the market on mineral
deposit 'quality' in gold through challenging such widely held industry
assumptions. Certainly, the simple view that quality and deposit
grade are close to synonymous appears just that – overly simplistic.
Introduction: Grade is king.
These three simple syllables – backed by seemingly
compelling logic (how could better gold grades not
mean higher profitability?) – represent a mantra
pervading the gold sector and beyond, rolling with
metronomic regularity off the tongue of miners and
analysts alike.
Put simply, high-grade gold mines are expected to
have lower production costs than lower grade mines,
with the dollar value per tonne of ore (i.e. grade)
consequently taken as the principal differentiator
between deposits. Under this assumption, other
quality factors – including geological attributes – are
implicitly considered less relevant. However, recent
empirical study by Joao De Assuncao (2013) has
questioned this Gordon Gecko-esque “grade is good”
mantra in the context of Australian gold mines.
The implications of this challenge are potentially
profound - If the high grade to low cost relationship
is not as straightforward as has been assumed, are
there other recognizable characteristics that may be
associated with a low cost gold deposit? Surprisingly,
there has been no formal empirical research published
about this seemingly fundamental problem.
This searching question is tackled here through
consideration of cost, geological, and production
data from 53 gold operations throughout Australia
and New Zealand. Of these, 34 reported cash costs
and All in Sustaining Costs (AISC), 11 reported only
cash costs, and 8 operations reported no costs for
gold production. Comparative analysis was
undertaken through analysis of gold cost curve
composition broken down by geological attribute,
with the formal significance of observations
examined by statistical methods. Preliminary results
are presented here exploring cost relationships to
grade (Fig. 1), mineralisation style (Fig. 2) and host
rock type (Fig. 3). Further work is ongoing to expand
consideration to total deposit size and geometry.
Figure 1. (A) The conventional view of the relationship between grade and operating costs, where
a negative trend is anticipated between costs and operating grade (i.e. lower costs correlate with
higher grade). (B) Relationship between grade and cost found in this study for 2013 fourth quarter
All In Sustaining Costs (AISC), which generally show a weakly positive relationship between costs
and operating grade (higher costs correlate with higher grade).
The relationship was similar for other datasets (cash costs).
Cont. Overleaf
professional development
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
27 Nov 2014
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profit margins.... and make you look good!
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This masterclass will provide you with the
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This 1-day course uses simple, clear practical
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analysis/variography and an understanding of
estimation techniques.
Develop your own Reconciliation Code of
Identify sources of inconsistencies and
inefficiencies across the mining value chain
An overview of where geostatistics fits into
Identify and give you an understanding of
the various stakeholders in the reconciliation
process and their requirements
Knowledge about the importance of
assumptions, data integrity and geology
Tools for statistical data analysis
Unlock value from your reconciliation results
– identifying what is a problem and what’s
An understanding of variography
Statistical inputs to estimation
This course has been specifically developed for
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For more information or to register on
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This course will give you:
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AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
Grade Expectations: Australian Gold Mines defy the ‘Grade is King’ Cost Hypothesis
Cont. from Page 6
Figure 2. Cost curve comparing disseminated (red) and vein/reef style (green)
mineralisation. The conventional view would predict a randomly distributed
cost curve where mineralisation style has no systematic relationship to costs.
However, the 2013 mine cost dataset examined here shows disseminated
mineralisation plotting predominantly in the lower half of the cost curve.
Figure 3. Cost curve comparing intrusive hosted (red) and volcanic hosted
(green) deposits. The white blocks are deposits that are hosted in either
sedimentary or metasedimentary lithologies. The conventional view would
predict a randomly distributed cost curve where host rock has no clear
relationship to costs. However, the data shows examined here show a strong
apparent sorting effect, with intrusive hosted deposits plotting predominantly
in the lower half of the cost curve.
Beyond Grade: Classification
of Mineralisation Styles
Because most deposits are classified as
having two or more types of
mineralisation hosting gold, the
dominant mineralisation style of each
deposit needs to be defined as the basis
for further analysis. This was determined
here primarily through analyses
presented in peer-reviewed journal
articles, or from the operating company’s
website when scientific literature was
unavailable. 10 different mineralisation
styles were outlined, grouped as either
disseminated or vein/reef style. Vein/reef
mineralisation styles include quartz
lodes, quartz reefs, laminated veins,
ladder veins, quartz lenses and undefined
veins. Disseminated mineralisation
styles include stockwork veins, brecciahosted gold, disseminated sulphides,
sulphide rich lenses and oxidation/
alteration zone mineralisation. This
classification scheme is summarised
visually in Figure 4.
The Heir to the Throne?
After the mineralisation style of each
deposit was determined, cost curves
were created for fourth quarter (OctoberDecember) 2013 and financial half-year
(July to December) 2013 cash costs and
AISC. The significance of nominal
differences in mean costs between
curves was assessed through statistical
Figure 4. Stylised classification of different mineralisation styles of deposits included in this study. It is assumed
that the mineralising fluid is homogenous and there is no nugget effect. The mineralisation types to the left of
the red line are classified as vein/reef style and mineralisation types to the right are classified as disseminated.
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
Time Period and
cost measured
T test result 1*
T test result 2§
F test result
Q4 cash costs
T stat within 5%
T stat within 5%
F stat not
Operations with disseminated mineralisation have costs statistically
lower than operations with vein/reef style mineralisation at the 95%
confidence level.
YTD cash costs
T stat within 5%
T stat within 5%
F stat not
Operations with disseminated mineralisation have costs statistically
lower than operations with vein/reef style mineralisation at the 95%
confidence level.
T stat within
20% significance
T stat not
F stat within 0.6%
Operations with disseminated mineralisation have costs that are not
statistically lower than operations with vein/reef style mineralisation
at a significant confidence level.
T stat within 5%
T stat within
F stat within 0.2%
20% significance significance
Operations with disseminated mineralisation have costs statistically
lower than operations with vein/reef style mineralisation at the 80%
confidence level.
Interpretation of results
NOTES: * Assuming equal variance, § With unequal variance
Table 1: Summary of the statistical tests undertaken for comparison between disseminated and vein/reef mineralisation. T-statistic tests determine whether two
populations have a different mean, assuming that the populations are normally distributed and are independent of each other. F-statistic tests determine whether
two populations have a different variance, with the same underlying assumptions as the T-statistic test. This was used to determine which T-statistic to use, as they
differ depending whether the variances are equal or not. If the T-stat (F-stat) is within the 5% significance region, 95% confidence can be attributed to the conclusion
that the means (variances) of the populations differ. Relevant information is shaded in green.
T-tests, with F-statistic tests used to determine differences in variance
of costs in order to decide which T-statistic to use (Table 1).
These tests demonstrate a significant difference between mean
production cost of deposits with vein/reef style mineralisation and
those with disseminated mineralisation, with the former mineralisation
style substantially more expensive. This result is seen in both the Q4
and half-year cash cost datasets.
The difference in mean cost was less evident when looking at the
AISC datasets, with the differences in fourth quarter mean not found
to be significant. However, half-year AISC results showed a repeat of
the cash cost findings, with production costs again significantly
higher for vein/reef style mineralisation.
These results may be skewed by higher than average costs for this
period for the Carosue Dam operation (gold mineralisation occurring
in disseminated sulphides) due to completion of pre-strip open pit
development. AISC costs for this deposit were 88% higher than Cash
Costs for the 4th Quarter, compared to the average premium of 25%
for other operations with both cash costs and AISC reported.
Disseminated Mineralisation
Gives the ability to bulk mine.
Similar bias may be introduced into the figures by the relatively highcost Henty operation. The gold endowment is here predominately
hosted in breccias, and classified for the purposes of this analysis as
disseminated mineralisation. Henty reports cash costs $500/oz. higher
than the next most expensive operations working with ‘disseminated’
mineralisation in Q4, and $200/oz. higher than others for the half-year.
Absent these outliers, differentiation of costs between these deposit
type groups would have been even more significant.
Understanding the Mineralisation Style Effect
The apparent relationship between mineralisation style and costs is
interpreted to reflect the combined influence of purely geological
factors (vein style) and engineering attributes (scale) upon production
costs. The lower costs of disseminated mineralisation in this context
arise from three areas of comparative advantage (Table 2).
Perhaps dominant among these is the ability to bulk mine and operate
at correspondingly larger scales of production. As demonstrated by
De Assuncao (2013), clear economies of scale exist in gold mining
– so other factors being equal, a larger scale mine should
be expected to display a lower cost per ounce of gold
Vein/Reef Style Mineralisation
Doesn’t give the ability to bulk mine.
Higher cost methods must be employed.
More widespread mineralisation reduces Less widespread mineralisation leaves
the Bond Work Index.
Bond Work Index relatively high.
Lower stripping ratio if bulk mining is
Stripping Ratio is higher unless the vein/
reef is on a scale comparable to the
opening of the mine shaft/pit.
Table 2. Summary of the comparative advantages and disadvantages of vein/reef and
disseminated style gold mineralisation. Mineralisation style with favourable cost advantages
highlighted in yellow in each case.
Disseminated mineralisation is more efficient to bulk
mine than vein/reef style, as there is less waste rock and
mining block size can be increased accordingly. Vein/
reef style deposits are commonly extracted using smaller
scale selective mining methods that, on average, are
more costly. Further multivariate statistical analysis may
allow us to better tease apart the combined influences of
scale and style.
At a subsidiary level, wider-spread hydrothermal
mineralisation, rather than narrowly focused veins, could
also produce a lower Bond Work Index. The Bond Work
Index is a measure of how much power is needed to
crush a tonne of material, and will also indirectly relate
Cont. Overleaf
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
Grade Expectations: Australian Gold Mines defy the ‘Grade is King’ Cost Hypothesis
Cont. from Page 9
to blasting characteristics. If the Bond Work Index of ore material is
relatively low, it will require less power to crush (and less blasting to
liberate), and the operation will consequently record lower mining
and processing costs, all other factors being equal.
Quartz and carbonates, the dominant minerals in hydrothermal
mineralisation (which is commonly disseminated), have significantly
lower Bond Work Indices than dolerite and basalt (the two dominant
mafic host rocks). This factor would have less relevance for more
felsic host rocks, as granite has a lower Bond Work Index than
Lastly, more disseminated mineralisation decreases the stripping
ratio where bulk mining is employed – giving a higher ore-to-waste
ratio in comparison to vein/reef style endowment. This results in a
corresponding cost advantage for operations with more disseminated
As mining costs generally account for the majority of costs associated
with gold production (Rudenno, 2010), it follows that any influence
of such mineralisation style and characteristics on this cost will have
a substantial effect on the cash cost and AISC.
While analysis remains to be completed, it is clear that mine grade is
not the undisputed ‘monarch’ in regards to gold production costs. It
is true that if all else is equal, lower costs should arise directly and
explicitly from higher grades. ‘All else’ in gold mining, however, is
far from trivial, with other factors – notably deposit style and
attendant variations in rock properties and mine development
intensity – dominating the cash cost equation, and relegating grade to
a subsidiary role.
I would like to thank my supervisors Allan Trench and Steffen
Hagemann for their support and guidance, particularly Allan for
leading me into an area in which I was very inexperienced. I would
also like to express my gratitude to fellow CET research student John
Sykes for the help and guidance he has provided for me this year,
especially with my research proposal and seminar – and finally but
not least to Geoff Batt, CET Newsletter editor, for his considered
oversight and editorial contributions to this article.
Further Information
For further information on this research, or a list of cited references,
contact Matt via [email protected], or phone +61 6488 2636.
For the latest in Geoscientist news, views, codes, events,
employment and education visit the AIG website:
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
Swarming – New Geomagnetic Field Satellite
Observations and Maps
Europe's Swarm space mission has started to map the
earth's magnetic filed by the use of three independent satellites
equipped with a variety of instruments including very sensitive
magnetometers. The satellites were launched last November and
are oriented to allow a 3D measurement of the geomagnetic field.
Initial data just released shows how the geomagnetic field is
generated in the planet's liquid outer core and which varies in
strength over a few month's. Early interpretation of the data is that the
geomagnetic field is weakening and many experts believe this
weakening is heralding a flip in the geomagnetic poles, though it
might take thousands of years to complete.
Figure 2 represents a snapshot of the geomagnetic field in June,
where reds are strong and blues weak, with most of the field caused
by the core contribution.
Changes in the field during the period January to June are shown in
Figure 3, with reds representing strengthening and blues weakening
of the field.
The belief is that the weakening of the geomagnetic field will cause
the poles to flip, and a recent paper published in Geophysical Journal
International, “Extremely rapid directional change during MatuyamaBrunhes geomagnetic polarity reversal” by Sagnotti et al, suggests
that the flip might occur during the time interval of an average human
life, paper summary following:
We report a palaeomagnetic investigation of the last full geomagnetic
field reversal, the Matuyama-Brunhes (M-B) transition, as preserved
in a continuous sequence of exposed lacustrine sediments in the
Apennines of Central Italy. The palaeomagnetic record provides the
most direct evidence for the tempo of transitional field behaviour yet
obtained for the M-B transition. 40Ar/39Ar dating of tephra layers
bracketing the M-B transition provides high-accuracy age constraints
and indicates a mean sediment accumulation rate of about 0.2 mm
yr–1 during the transition. Two relative palaeointensity (RPI)
minima are present in the M-B transition. During the terminus of the
upper RPI minimum, a directional change of about 180 ° occurred at
an extremely fast rate, estimated to be less than 2 ° per year, with no
intermediate virtual geomagnetic poles (VGPs) documented during
the transit from the southern to northern hemisphere. Thus, the entry
into the Brunhes Normal Chron as represented by the palaeomagnetic
directions and VGPs developed in a time interval comparable to the
duration of an average human life, which is an order of magnitude
more rapid than suggested by current models. The reported
Figure 1.
investigation therefore provides high-resolution integrated
palaeomagnetic and radioisotopic data that document the fine
details of the anatomy and tempo of the M-B transition in Central
Italy that in turn are crucial for a better understanding of Earth's
magnetic field, and for the development of more sophisticated models
that are able to describe its global structure and behaviour.
The general fear is that if and when the geomagnetic reversal occurs,
that the magnetic shield of the earth will weaken to such an extent
that it might allow a signficant increase in cosmic and solar radiation,
and hence affect life.
Figure 2.
Figure 3.
professional development
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
AMC Specialist Technical Workshops January – December 2015
AMC Consultants Pty Ltd (AMC) is a leading independent mining consultancy, providing services exclusively to the minerals sector. We are pleased to announce dates for our specialist technical career development workshops. Participants on all workshops will receive a bound, full‐colour workshop manual. AMC can also run these workshops in‐house and tailor them for your specific needs. Discounts are available for participants who attend several workshops in the same week (March, June, August, November). JORC 2012—Complying with the Code in the Reporting Environment Delivering High‐quality Grade Estimates Brisbane: 3 March, 23 June, 25 August, 17 November Presenter: Alex Virisheff Brisbane: 4 March, 24 June, 26 August, 18 November Presenters: Peter Stoker and Mark Berry This one‐day workshop will present fundamental considerations and understandings in carrying out grade estimation in completing a mineral resource estimate. It is designed to provide guidance on setting grade estimation parameters, selecting grade estimation methods, and completing validation of grade estimates. This half‐day workshop will present the fundamental
requirements of the JORC Code, including new and changed
provisions adopted in 2012. Examples of compliant and non‐
compliant reports will be reviewed, including case studies. This
workshop is designed for existing and intending Competent
Persons and management staff at all levels. Assessment of Geological Uncertainty in Mining and Management of Risk Lessons Learnt from Auditing Mineral Resource Estimates Brisbane: 6 March, 26 June, 28 August, 20 November Presenter: Mark Berry Brisbane: 5 March, 25 June, 27 August, 19 November Hong Kong: 21 March (in conjunction with PACRIM 2015) Presenters: Peter Stoker and Mark Berry This one‐day workshop will identify and assess the sources of geological uncertainty that feed into mineral resource and ore reserve estimates, with implications from pit to port. Case studies and a range of risk management strategies will be presented. This workshop is designed for geologists, engineers, metallurgists, and management staff at all levels. This one‐day workshop will present key learnings from AMC’s
extensive international audits of mineral resource estimates. It
is designed to provide new and senior geological staff with
insights into best practice and common problems. Topics
covered will include drill programme design and drilling,
surveying, sample preparation and analytical techniques,
logging and related processes, geological interpretation and
domaining, geostatistics, estimation, classification, reporting,
QA/QC processes, and data management. Excellence in Mineral Resources Estimation Brisbane: 4–8 May, 12–16 October Presenters: Peter Stoker, Mark Berry, Alex Virisheff, Brian Hall, and other industry specialists Preparing Appropriate Inputs for Robust Grade Estimation This five‐day workshop provides geologists with a comprehensive review of all inputs into resource estimation, from data collection to reporting. Case studies are used extensively to illustrate and reinforce concepts. The workshop is presented by AMC principal consultants, supplemented by guest presentations covering topics such as sample preparation and analysis issues. Brisbane: 2 March, 22 June, 24 August, 16 November Presenter: Alex Virisheff This one‐day workshop will present fundamental considerations
and understandings in preparing information as inputs for
completing a mineral resource estimate. It is designed to provide
guidance on addressing issues associated with data inputs to
grade estimates and grade estimation tasks. Register online at For more information, contact: Alana Philips: (T) +61 7 3230 9000 (E) [email protected] AMC ‐ the business of mining professional ethics
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
“Trust me – I’m a Competent Person”
A transparent approach to demonstrate competency for JORC Reporting
Justin Legg, Principal Geologist IMC Mining
The 2012 Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results,
Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (the ‘JORC Code’ or ‘the
Code’), and corresponding changes to chapter five of the Australian
Securities Exchange (ASX) has an increased emphasis on Materiality
and Transparency and ‘If not, why not’ reporting than compared to
previous versions of the JORC Code.
Subsequently, mining professionals acting as a Competent Person (in
accordance with the JORC Code) may need to review their reporting
practices of Exploration Results, Mineral or Coal Resources, and
Ore or Coal Reserves.
To demonstrate a commitment to the founding principles of the JORC
Code, it is proposed that Competent Persons wishing to report
Exploration Results, Mineral or Coal Resources, and Ore or Coal
Reserves in accordance with the JORC Code include a relevant
experience matrix in the public announcement.
Securities Exchange (ASX) listing rules were implemented in late
2012 and became mandatory on the 1st December 2013. The new
JORC Code has an increased emphasis on Materiality and
Transparency and ‘If not, why not’ reporting compared to previous
versions of the JORC Code (JORC, 2012, Hunt 2012).
Consequently, mining professionals acting as a Competent Person (as
defined in Clause 11 of the 2012 JORC Code) may need to review
their reporting practices of Exploration Results, Mineral or Coal
Resources, and Ore or Coal Reserves (JORC, 2012; ASX, 2014). Entities wishing to report Exploration Results, Mineral or Coal
Resources and Ore or Coal Reserves for the first time, or where
aforementioned results have materially changed since previous
reporting; will be obliged to do so under the new Code (JORC, 2012;
ASX, 2014).
In addition to these changes, there has been a significant downturn in
the Australian mining industry with the unemployment rate amongst
Australia’s geoscientists estimated at 15.5% in July 2014 (AIG,
This paper uses the author’s experience as a geologist as an example
of the proposed relevant experience matrix.
The consequences of the implementation of the new Code in
conjunction with the recent downturn mean that:
• Mining professionals that may have acted as the Competent
Person for a particular entity in the past, may now be unavailable,
having changed positions or been made redundant. Equally,
underutilised or unemployed mining professionals seeking
potential employment (on both a short and longer term basis) may
be entering the services sphere as independent consultants, and
thus may be unknown to a particular entity.
The 2012 Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results,
Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (the ‘JORC Code’ or ‘the
Code’), and corresponding changes to chapter five of the Australian
• Entities wishing to report information in accordance with the
JORC Code, may be faced with a potential dilemma of choosing
an appropriately qualified and cost effective professional to act as
a Competent Person
This paper proposes that mining professionals wishing to act as
Competent Person within the JORC guidelines should prepare a
relevant experience matrix for public reporting purposes. This
information could be included as an appendix to any public reporting
statement and would provide the reader with a clear and transparent
description of the Competent Person’s level of relevant experience
and background.
Brief overview of the JORC Code
Most readers will be familiar with the JORC Code, so a detailed
description of what the Code is, (and its limitations) is not warranted
here. Suffice to say, the 2012 JORC Code sets out the minimum
standards for public reporting in Australia and New Zealand of
Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves estimates. It supersedes the previous 1989, 1992, 1996, 1999, and 2004 editions
(JORC, 2012).
Greg Reudavey or Katherine McKenna
4 Hehir Street, Belmont WA 6104
T +61 8 9477 5111 F +61 8 9477 5211
[email protected]
Middle East | Europe
The JORC Code provides a mandatory classification system for
grade (quality and tonnage reporting according to geological
confidence and technical /economic considerations, as well as
defining the minimum requirements of a Competent Person.
Additionally, the JORC Code outlines the issues that should be
considered and addressed when reporting Exploration Results,
Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves estimates.
Cont. Overleaf
professional ethics
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
Trust Me, I'm a Competent Person
A detailed description of the JORC Code is available on the JORC
web page (
JORC Principles and the Competent Person
The JORC Code is founded on the principles of Transparency,
Materiality and Competence. Essentially, a reader of a public report
should be provided with sufficient clear and unambiguous information
to understand the report and not be misled by this information or by
omission of information (transparency). It also states that all the
relevant information that investors would reasonably require, and
reasonably expect to find in the report, for the purpose of making a
reasoned and balanced judgement (materiality). Finally, the Code
states that the preparation of the public report is the responsibility of
suitably qualified and experienced persons who are subject to an
enforceable professional code of ethics (competence) (JORC, 2012).
Cont. from Page 13
In addition to the principles of Transparency, Materiality and
Competence, the JORC Code states that all aspects of the “checklist
of assessment and reporting criteria” in the JORC Code be addressed
on an “if not, why not” basis.
Notably, the concept of the Competent Person has been a core
concept since JORC's first publication in 1972 (JORC, 2014). The JORC definition of a Competent Person is:
“A ‘Competent Person’ is a minerals industry professional who is a
Member or Fellow of The Australasian Institute of Mining and
Metallurgy, or of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists, or of a
‘Recognised Professional Organisation’ (RPO), as included in a list
available on the JORC and ASX websites. These organisations have
enforceable disciplinary processes including the powers to suspend
or expel a member.
Description of typical tasks, work programs etc
Traditional owners and cultural heritage issues;
Land access negotiations and requirements;
Tenement management;
Agreements, partnerships, royalties, joint ventures, etc;
Environmental settings and considerations.
Relevant Section (S) and criteria in the
“checklist of assessment and reporting criteria”
(2012 JORC Code)
S2: Mineral tenement and land tenure status
Cultural & Environment
Geological Activities
• Mapping (field, pit, underground);
S3 Site visits
• Field program management;
• Managing or conducting field surveys (geophysics, soil /stream
sediment sampling) site inspections / visits.
S2 Relationship between mineralisation widths and
intercept lengths
Drilling activities including:
• Managing field work relating to drilling;
• Design and execution of drilling programs;
• Logging (geological, geotechnical, etc);
• Sampling and sub sampling (including field QAQC sampling).
S2 Verification of sampling and assaying
Activities to implement, reconcile and /or manage quality
assurance and quality control issues such as:
• Laboratory audits;
• Development or review of sampling procedures;
• Sample size analysis (including Gy’s theory reviews);
• Assay methodology and techniques.
S2 Data aggregation methods
Data Management
Data analysis and management involving:
• Descriptive statistics;
• Weighting averaging techniques;
• Data manipulation;
• Database management.
As well as activities to check, correct and validate data such as:
• Ground truthing observations;
• Re-logging & assaying of drilling;
• Field sample QAQC sample data analysis;
• Descriptive statistics of data;
• Development /review of data validation procedures.
Activities to compile integrate and reconcile data and geological
observations in both 2D and 3D. Includes:
Geological Interpretation • Drafting geological maps and sections
• Wire framing / structure modelling
• Geophysical modelling
Statistical analysis of data with a spatial component. Includes:
• Reconciling assay data to geological domains
• Variography
• Drill spacing analysis
S4 Social
S3 Environmental factors or assumptions
S2 Sub-sampling techniques and sample preparation
S1 Sample security
S2 Quality of assay data and laboratory tests
S2 Sub-sampling techniques and sample preparation
S3 Database integrity
S2 Relationship between mineralisation widths and
intercept lengths
S2 Geology
S2 Estimation and modelling techniques
S2 Dimensions
S3 Cut-off parameters
professional ethics
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
A Competent Person must have a minimum of five years relevant
experience in the style of mineralisation or type of deposit under
consideration and in the activity which that person is undertaking.
If the Competent Person is preparing documentation on Exploration
Results, the relevant experience must be in exploration. If the
Competent Person is estimating, or supervising the estimation of
Mineral Resources, the relevant experience must be in the estimation,
assessment and evaluation of Mineral Resources. If the Competent
Person is estimating, or supervising the estimation of Ore Reserves,
the relevant experience must be in the estimation, assessment,
evaluation and economic extraction of Ore Reserves.”
The JORC Code then goes on to provide explanatory notes that
indicate that it would be impractical to be completely prescriptive
with respect to experience and that “relevant” is the keyword - and
that a degree of common sense should be applied.
The inclusion of a Competent Person’s relevant work history or
curriculum vitae as an appendix to a public report provides the reader
with a description of the experience level and expertise of the
Competent Person. However, this information is generally not
presented, and where it is, it is not in a standardised format, so the
reader has to interpret and /or deduce from the Competent Person’s
relevant work history what was relevant to the public report.
Based on this rationale, this author suggests that the inclusion of
Competent Person’s relevant work history as an experience matrix
(presented as a single table) addressing the areas relevant to the
JORC Code would provide the reader of a public report with
sufficient, clear and unambiguous information regarding the
Competent Person’s level and type of professional experience, as
well as any peripheral information that may be material to report in
Cont. Overleaf
terms of the Competent Person’s experience.
Description of typical tasks, work programs etc
Resource Estimation
Conducting estimation routines and activities such as:
• Evaluating statistics for resource estimation
• Data manipulation (declustering, kriging neighbourhood
analysis, etc)
• Use of estimation routines or generation of quality grids
• Validation (descriptive statistics, swath plots, etc)
• Grade / tonnage reporting
• Classification of resources
Mine Planning
Mine planning and design activities including:
• Pit optimisation and designs
• Underground designs
• Mine scheduling
• Haulage simulations
• Dump and tailings design
• Infrastructure appraisal or design
• Reconciliation of mining results to the primary data and
subsequent resource estimate
Activities relating to metallurgy and recoveries including:
• Mineralogical investigations
• Reconciliation of mine to mill
• Bulk testing
• Communition and grinding studies
• Recovery analysis
• Bi-product analysis and management
Financial Modelling
• Cost modelling (including royalties, exchange rates, etc)
• Analysis of commodity price
• Transportation costs
• Treatment and refining charges including penalties for
deleterious elements
• Revenue Factors
• Price and volume forecasts
• Net present value (NPV) analysis
Table 1
Experience with due diligence studies, audits and /or reviews
Literature reviews
Preparation of statutory reporting
Preparation of public reports including stock market release
Relevant Section (S) and criteria in the
“checklist of assessment and reporting criteria”
(2012 JORC Code)
S3 Estimation and modelling techniques
S3 Cut-off parameters
S3 Discussion of relative accuracy /confidence
S4 Mining factors or assumptions
S4 Cut-off parameters
S3 Discussion of relative accuracy /confidence
S3 Metallurgical factors or assumptions
S4 Metallurgical factors or assumptions
S3 Environmental factors or assumptions
S4 Costs
S4 Revenue Factors
S4 Market Assessment
S4 Economic
S3 Audits or reviews
S3 Discussion of relative accuracy/ confidence
S2 Further work
Reconciliation of relevant work experience, to the “checklist of assessment and reporting criteria” outlined in the 2012 JORC Code.
professional ethics
Trust Me, I'm a Competent Person
The author notes that there is no formal requirement in the JORC
Code for a Competent Person’s relevant work history to be included
as part of a public report, and any inclusion (e.g. as an appendix)
would be done on a completely voluntary basis by the entity on
behalf of the Competent Person.
Relevant Experience Matrix
The use of experience or skill matrices in the human resources sector
is an effective way of standardising the variability encountered
between prospective candidates’ curriculum vitaes. For public
reporting purposes, this matrix is modified such that the columns
represent areas of relevance to reporting in accordance with the
JORC Code. These fields are based on criteria outlined in the “Table
1 checklist of assessment and reporting criteria” of the JORC Code,
with some degree of overlap being assumed.
Table 1 shows an example of a generic work experience matrix that
has been created to illustrate relevant work experience for public
Table 2. Summary of the author's total professional work experience
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
Cont. from Page 15
reporting of Mineral or Coal Resources, cross referenced to relevant
sections of the JORC Code checklist.
When preparing a work experience matrix for a specific engagement,
the rows of the matrix specify the professional experience relevant to
these considerations by nominating the company worked for, the
commodity in question, the style of deposit and the duration of the
engagement. An example based on the author’s experience is
presented in Table 2.
The matrix is populated by time spent in each activity with the sum
totalling the duration of the employment or project. This approach is
intended to be indicative and a common sense guestimate is
acceptable, as calculating any professional activities to the nth degree
would be impossible. Where the person has acted as a consultant, the
time spent on different projects could be used rather than the overall
time of the employment.
Table 2 shows the author’s total work experience and for many staff
professional ethics
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
taking Competent Person responsibility, their experience will be
diverse and not all of it will be relevant to a specific public reporting
engagement. The author does not propose that Competent Person’s
provide a total work experience matrix such as that shown in Table 2
as part of a public announcement, because such a table will not
transparently provide readers with a description of the Competent
Person’s relevant experience.
Making sense of the wood from the trees
As noted in Clause 11 of the JORC Code, a Competent Person must
“have a minimum of five years relevant experience in the style of
mineralisation or type of deposit under consideration and in the
activity which that person is undertaking.” The Code’s explanatory
notes specify that the experience must be relevant to the information
being reported.
Using the general overall experience matrix shown in Table 2,
consider the author’s experience to act as a Competent Person for
estimating Mineral Resources for a structurally controlled base
metals deposit (such as a Broken Hill style) or a volcanogenic
massive sulphide deposit. Table 3 presents a subset of the author’s
total work experience showing the author’s relevant work experience
and justification to be considered a Competent Person for public
reporting of Mineral Resource estimates for these deposits. Table 3 indicates that whilst the author has less than five years direct
Broken Hill style experience, and no metallurgical experience with
such deposits, the relevant experience matrix in Table 2 does indicate
that the author has:
• almost 1.5 years’ direct experience in the metallurgical space;
• over 0.5 years’ experience interpreting and analysing structural
data (from acoustic televiewer logs) that was used for geological
interpretation and mine planning purposes;
• 1.4 years direct experience utilising geo-statistics in different
commodities; and,
• over 4 years’ experience in different base metal deposits (sediment
hosted copper as well as Cu-Au porphyry).
As mentioned previously, the explanatory notes in the JORC Code
“Determination of what constitutes relevant experience can be a
difficult area and common sense has to be exercised.”
Hence the inclusion of experience in the relevant experience matrix
(as shown in Table 3) may require additional information to justify
its inclusion or relevance. The author suggests that where experience
is to be included, a direct and transparent link back to the “checklist
of assessment and reporting criteria” in the JORC Code with respect
to the activity being publicly reported is included. This could be
done via:
• additional comments in the relevant experience matrix;
• part of a relevant work history curriculum vitae; or,
• made available if required by the reader. For example, the author’s inclusion of interpreting and analysing
structural data (from acoustic televiewer logs) are considered
justified as:
• The orientation of data in relation to geological structures is one
of the criteria to be addressed in Section 2 of the “checklist of
assessment and reporting criteria” in the JORC Code;
Cont. Overleaf
Glenn Coianiz
M: 0412 409 760
[email protected]
For all exploration data and 2D/3D mapping
3D sections plans
2D presentation
professional ethics
Trust Me, I'm a Competent Person
• the interpretations were used to refine the structural
interpretation and subsequent geological interpretation of the
deposit, that assisted with mine planning and reconciliation in
an active mine;
• the numerous QA/QC checks of the down hole survey data to
ensure that sample locations were confirmed – especially
important in a lode gold deposit;
• multiple data sets were integrated as part of the interpretation
(geological logs, down hole geophysics, assay results,
geotechnical logs, etc), thus improving the confidence of the
geological interpretation that was later used for resource
estimate updates, as well as acting a QA/QC cross check of the
various data sets.
When this direct and peripheral information is taken into consideration,
the reader is able to better assess the author’s experience as well as
consider their competence with respect to reporting in accordance
with the JORC Code.
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
Cont. from Page 17
Chartered Professional – More than just a rubber
In addition to the inclusion of a relevant experience matrix, the
author also advocates that a professional acting as a Competent
Person for public reporting purposes in accordance with the JORC
Code be a Registered Professional Geologist (R.P.Geo) or Chartered
Professional (CP) as per the rules of the Australian Institute of
Geoscientists or Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
(AusIMM) respectively.
Whilst there is no requirement for the Competent Person to be a
R.P.Geo or CP for the reporting of public results as per the JORC
Code, this voluntary undertaking to become one ensures that a
professional acting as a Competent Person has had their general
experience peer reviewed.
Membership as an R.P.Geo or CP also requires an undertaking to
remain current (in a technical sense) by completing a minimum of 50
hours of professional development per annum.
Table 3. Experience relevant to reporting Mineral Resources for Broken Hill style or volcanogenic massive sulphides in accordance with the JORC Code.
professional ethics
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
The 2012 JORC Code is founded on the principles of Transparency,
Materiality and Competence with an emphasis on “if not, why not”
in public reporting documentation. The responsibility incumbent
upon a Competent Person is therefore not insignificant and hence
the choice of one should be taken with considerable care.
The author would like to thank IMC Mining for their support and
review of this paper.
The opportunity to employ different strategies to illustrate a
mining professional’s skill and background (and thereby
competence) such as those presented here would complement the
JORC Code’s tenets of Transparency, Materiality and Competence,
as well as addresses the sentiment of the “if not, why not”
contained within the Code.
In other words, it would remove the potential for “Trust me, I’m a
Competent Person” (Hunt, 2012).
The Author wishes to acknowledge and thank Francois Bazin and
Nick Ryan (IMC Mining), Peter Stoker (AMC Consultants), Rod
Dawney (Ausmec Geoscience), Fergus O’Brien (Department
Natural Resources and Mines), Jason Hosken (CSA Glencore) and
Kerrie Owen (NSW Dept. of Education) for their input and review
of this paper.
Particular thanks are expressed to former Qld Branch AIG Chairman
Mark Berry (AMC Consultants) for his unfailing support, constructive
criticism and editorial review of this paper.
AIG. (2014). “Latest Australian Geoscientist Employment Survey Reveals Little
Good News. Retrieved from
ASX. 2014. ASX listing Rules – Chapter 5. Additional reporting on mining and oil
and gas production and exploration activities. (2014). Retrieved from
Hunt, S. 2012. 2012 The JORC Code 2012 Exposure Draft - Sydney 23rd October
2012. Retrieved from
JORC. 2012. Australasian Code for reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral
Resources and Ore Reserves : (the JORC Code 2012 edition). Prepared by the
Joint Committee of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy,
Australian Institute of Geoscientists and Minerals Council of Australia
JORC. 2014. Development of the JORC Code, 2012 Edition. Retrieved from
Silver Sponsor of the
AIG Education Endowment
professional development
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
AIG’s newly formed National Graduate Group – Redefining the value
of professional membership to geoscience graduates
By Heather Carey
The National Graduate Group (NGG) is a new
initiative by the Australian Institute of Geoscientists (AIG) and
was founded at the 2014 'Face 2 Face' meeting of the AIG
Federal Council. The idea arose from the need for the AIG to
better communicate with its graduate and student members.
Graduate members of AIG were nominated by each state, who now
sit on the National Graduate Committee and are responsible for
generating and implementing NGG initiatives to improve
communication and engagement with and between members of this
professional society.
The NGG aims to support developing geoscientists by:
• Increasing student and graduate membership and assist in the
transition to professional membership;
• Promoting interaction between all members;
• Providing progressive communication to student and graduate
members; and
• Encouraging continued education and training.
The NGG’s motto is Supporting our Next Generation of
Geoscientists! And the key issues we are investigating are
Communication, Membership, Engagement of Members,
Continued Education and Training, and Mentor Opportunities.
In 2014/2015 the National Graduate Committee aims to:
• Create a strong online presence through our NGG website portal
and new facebook page for student and graduate members, as well
as non-members;
• Increase online content via AIG’s YouTube channel– general
geoscience, interviews, documentaries, etc.;
• Create a “register your interest” link on website and autogenerated email reply with “welcome pack’ containing forms,
brochures, and general info on AIG;
• Gain clarification on bursary/grant opportunities at both the
federal and state levels;
• Compile a baseline of current participation / engagement by
student and graduate members at both AIG and other industry
events, in order to target future state and federal events through
the NGG where required;
• Publish articles for AIG NEWS; and
• Test run a Mentor Program in SA
Peter Komyshan
Co n s u lta n t G e o lo G i s t
▲ Corporate Advice
▲ Project and Target Generation
▲ Project Management
Omap Pty Ltd (ACN 154 607 977)
Perth Western Australia
Mobile (+61) 414 918 515 ▲ Telephone (+61) 8 9447 1142
Email: [email protected]
The National Graduate Group (NGG) will be rolled out to
members in November 2014 at events in each state.
We would also like to take this opportunity to introduce the National
Graduate Committee representatives to all AIG members:
Joshua Leigh (QLD, NGC Chairman)
Ivana David (NSW, NGC Treasurer)
Mike Curtis (WA, NGC Media Coordinator)
Rob Blytheman (SA, NGC Social and Event Coordinator)
Jentien Krijnen (VIC, NGC Membership Coordinator)
James Ferguson (QLD)
Yvonne Ormesher (VIC)
Fraser Perry (NSW)
Joshua Trestrail (SA)
Heather Carey (WA, NGC Federal Council liaison)
Doug Young (QLD, NGC liaison)
Joshua Leigh (QLD, NGC Chairman)
Josh graduated from the University of New
England in 2011 with a Bachelor of Geoscience,
major in Mineral Deposits and researched aspects
of Barambah low sulphidation epithermal Project
in southeast Queensland to complete his Honours
in 2013. Josh began his professional career as a
junior geologist in 2010 in greenfield exploration for copper, gold
and tungsten in the New England region of New South Wales,
followed by coal throughout the Bowen Basin, Queensland and is
now in greenfield exploration for copper, gold and silver as a project
exploration geologist in the Esk Basin/Trough, southeast QLD.
professional development
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
Josh was the President and cofounder of the Geoscience Society of
UNE in 2010 and is still an active member. He has recently joined
the AIG Queensland Branch Committee, and is both a Queensland
representative and the Federal Chairman on the National Graduate
Ivana David (NSW, NGC Treasurer)
Ivana David graduated from the University of
Sydney in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in
Geology and Environmental Science followed
with Honours in Geology with a thesis on the
Alteration of the Great Cobar deposit, central
west NSW. During her undergraduate study she
completed vacation work with BHP Billiton in Newman, WA and
with Peak Gold Mines in Cobar, NSW. She worked closely with
Peak Gold Mines for her Honours project in 2013.
Ivana will begin her professional career as a graduate development
geologist with Shell early next year. She is excited for this wonderful
opportunity and eagerly awaits challenges ahead.
She joined the NSW branch of the AIG as a Student Member in 2011
and has been involved as a liaison with the AIG and students through
the University of Sydney Geoscience Society during her study there.
Ivana was elected to the National Graduate Committee in early 2014
and is the NSW representative and the NGC Treasurer.
Mike Curtis
(WA, NGC Media Coordinator)
After completing his Master’s degree in Geology
at the University of Bristol, UK in 2010, Michael
Curtis immediately made his way to Western
Australia. He very quickly found himself working
as a junior geologist, contracted though Terra
Search, at Ravensthorpe Nickel Operation. After spending several
months learning the ropes in the cold and wet, he was offered a
graduate position with Encounter Resources. Mike spent the
exploration season working at their ‘Yaneena’ sediment-hosted
copper project, in the Little Sandy Desert, southwest of Telfer gold
mine. Following a trip home to the UK for Christmas, he moved to
Potash West & Tungsten Mining as an Exploration Geologist. He
assisted Potash West with work on their greensands project in WA’s
Wheatbelt, and was a key player in the early development of the
‘Kilba’ tungsten skarn deposit.
Mike joined the AIG WA Branch Committee in September 2013, and
was nominated WA representative on the NGC in early 2014. In this,
his main goals are a focus on education, promotion of the Earth
Sciences, and the improvement in financial accessibility of AIG
events & conferences to recent graduates and unemployed
geoscientists. Mike is also the Media Coordinator on the National
Cont. Overleaf
Terra Search Pty. Ltd.
Mineral Exploration and Data Management Specialists
Current Major Collaborative Projects in 2014
In addition to our standard array of exploration services, Terra Search has a strong history of collaboration with Government
agencies to provide pre-competitive exploration data sets.
As part of the World Bank sponsored 2nd Mining Sector Institutional
Terra Search and Klondike Exploration Services are undertaking a comprehensive
Strengthening Technical Assistance Project (MSISTAP) in PNG, Terra Search has
study of the geology and metallogeny of gold-bearing magmatic hydrothermal
commenced a 12 month contract designed to add sigificant further historical
systems incorporating:
Geological and Geochemical Data to the over 450,000 data points already
captured by Terra Search during the 1st MSISTAP in 2002-2005.
With over 15 years of experience providing database services to government and
industry, Terra Search is well placed to deliver the best possible outcome for the
All data compiled and validated during this project will be made available
globally to exploration companies through the MRA.
Terra Search Pty. Ltd.
Specialists in Mineral Exploration,
Geology, and Computing
for over 25 years
• A new metallogenic database of the Charters Towers Region, GIS data package
and map
• Metallogenic model documenting genetic types & spatial controls in Charters
Towers region
• Revision and update of the geology of the Charters Towers District
• Templates of geophysical & geochemical signatures of deposit styles
This study is a part of a North QLD research initiative in collaboration with local
Industry, EGRU (James Cook University) and the Geological Survey of QLD, funded
through the Queensland Government Future Resources Program.
Simon Beams, Travers Davies
T: (07) 4728 6851
E: [email protected]
Dave Jenkins
T: (08) 9472 8546
E: [email protected]
Richard Lesh
T: (02) 6337 3133
E: [email protected]
professional development
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
AIG’s newly formed National Graduate Group – Redefining the value
of professional membership to geoscience graduates
Graduate Committee and has been successful in encouraging each
state to record AIG technical talks for inclusion on the AIG YouTube
channel and website.
Rob Blytheman
(SA, NGC Social and Event Coordinator)
Rob Blythman Graduated from the University of
Adelaide in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science,
Majoring in Geology and Spatial Information.
After gaining industry experience as a field
assistant in his final year of study, he went on to
work as a graduate exploration geologist with Marathon Resources
in the Northern Flinders Ranges, Western Musgrave Ranges and
Gawler Craton. After returning from a year in India, Rob began
work as a geologist with Crocodile Gold in 2010 working on
various resource definition projects, including the now producing
Cosmo Deeps gold deposit. Rob has also been involved in
Crocodile Gold’s exploration work across the Pine Creek Orogen
primarily exploring for gold as well as assessing the potential for
other commodities. He is currently assisting Crocodile Gold’s
Stawell Geology team.
Rob is currently undertaking his Master in Project Management part
time and is excited to be a part of the Australian Institute of
Geoscientists National Graduate Committee (NGC) as the Social and
Event Coordinator and SA representative.
Cont. from Page 21
Jentien Krijnen
(VIC, NGC Membership Coordinator)
Jentien Krijnen completed a Bachelor of Science
at Monash University majoring in microbiology
and molecular biology. Following this she
completed a Master of Science (by coursework)
in Geology at James Cook University, graduating
in early 2014.
Jentien has worked as a vacation student in western Tasmania
gaining experience in both mine and exploration geology. Since the
completion of her degree she has worked in central Victoria on a
volunteer basis with intermittent paid work and has also worked in
northeast Victoria in regional exploration. Jentien is currently
working as Project Geologist for Nagambie Mining, in central
Victoria. She is the Membership Coordinator on the AIG National
Graduate Committee and is one of the VIC/TAS representatives.
Fraser Perry (NSW)
Fraser Perry currently studies a combined Mining
Engineering and Geology degree at the University
of New South Wales, where he has developed a
strong interest in mine geology. Fraser works part
time with Sydney based consultancy Centric
Minerals Management. In December 2015, Fraser
will join Independence Group as a vacation geologist at their Jaguar
The South Australian branches of AIG, ASEG, AusIMM, GSA and SACOME and principal supporter Department of State Development
and major supporters SACOME and Paydirt invite you to the
11 SA
Exploration and Mining Conference
St Barbara’s Day – Friday 5 December 2014
Exploration projects
Feasibility studies/development projects
Near mine exploration
Mining operations
Sessions in Halls B and C; Catering breaks and displays in Halls A, D and E
Registration 8.00 am to 8.30 am; Conference 8.30 am to 5.00 pm with drinks to follow
Students – $15 (GST incl.)
Includes coffee breaks, lunch and closing drinks
Hon Tom Koutsantonis
Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy
Principal supporter
Organised by
Steve Hill Department of State Development
Kathy Ehrig BHP Billiton
Major supporters
Registration available via website:
Questions and panel discussion
chaired by Dominic Piper Editor, Paydirt
professional development
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
Cu-Zn-Ag mine in Western Australia.
Fraser Perry joined the AIG New South Wales branch and the
National Graduate Committee in 2014 and has actively promoted the
institute amongst students through his role as Vice-President of the
UNSW Geoscience Society. Fraser is also involved with AusIMM
acting as Secretary of the Sydney Branch.
Joshua Trestrail (SA)
Joshua Trestrail graduated from the University of
Adelaide in 2010 with a BSc (Hons), Majoring in
Geology, Geophysics and Environmental
Geoscience. In early 2011 Joshua began his
career working for IMX Resources at Cairn hill
mine (IOCG), with a focus on the drilling and
QAQC of the Phase 2 mineralization. Over the next 3 years Joshua,
working as part of a small exploration team, contributed to the
targeting and drilling of multiple targets, including magnetite and
haematite in South Australia, Cu-Au porphyry in New South Wales,
and base metals in North West Tasmania. As of 2014 Joshua has
been working for a civil construction company as a Project Manager,
with a focus on assessing and updating safety and environmental
procedures to meet or exceed both legislative and client requirements.
An active member of the AIG since 2013, Joshua has recently joined
the National Graduate Committee in September 2014 as a SA
representative and is looking forward to contributing to its success.
Heather Carey
(WA, NGC Federal Council liaison)
Heather Carey is an Exploration Geologist in the
resource and energy industry. Heather graduated
from the University of Victoria, Canada in 2006
with a Bachelor of Science in Geology. She
began her career as an Exploration Geologist
working on gold, diamond, and base metal exploration projects in
the Canadian Arctic and Cordillera. In 2008, Heather relocated to
Australia and has worked in a wide variety of tectonic environments
across Africa and Australia interpreting geophysical data to produce
lithostratigraphic and basin architecture maps for petroleum,
mineral, and environmental clients. She is currently focused on
broadband seismic project generation and data library sales for
CGG Multi Client and New Ventures in APAC.
Heather has been a member of the AIG WA Branch Committee
since 2011 and was elected to Federal Council in May 2013 where
she contributes to the National Graduate Committee and the
Publicity / Promotions Committee. Heather is very passionate
about education outreach and encouraging high school students to
consider a career in geoscience. Heather is also an Active Member
and the WA Treasurer of the Australian Society of Exploration
Geophysicists (ASEG).
Cont. Overleaf
Project Management
Field- and Minesite-Ready
Resource and Data Geology
• Compliance, planning, reporting and
complete management solutions
• Independently audited safety
• Greenfield and brownfield mapping
• Senior First Aid
• Drill programmes
• 4WD certified and experienced
• Linking resource grade patterns and
• Lithology and structure logging
• 3D visualisation of geology
• Geochemical sampling
• Drug and alcohol screen
• Wireframing
• Prioritised target generation
[email protected]
• Project evaluation
• ArcGIS, Micromine, Leapfrog and SpaDIS
+61 8 9364 7098
professional development
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
AIG’s newly formed National Graduate Group – Redefining the value
of professional membership to geoscience graduates
Doug Young (QLD, NGC liaison)
Doug Young has 40 years’ experience in
exploration for gold, base metals, coal and some
industrial minerals. He graduated from Adelaide
University with BSc (Hons) in 1973 and
completed an MSc at James Cook University in
1992. Since graduation Doug’s career has focused
on mineral exploration, information geoscience, coal exploration and
industrial minerals. From graduation to 1986 Doug held senior staff
roles with North Broken Hill and Haoma North West as exploration
geologist and in senior/supervising geologist roles. From 1986 to
2006 Doug operated as a Brisbane based consulting geologist with a
variety of clients from major mining companies to small exploration
companies. This work covered all aspects of base and precious metal
exploration, coal exploration, industrial mineral identification
including building the first computer model of the underground
workings in the Bendigo goldfield. During this time he was
instrumental in the identification and acquisition of Nolans Gold
Deposit (North Queensland) and developed concepts and
interpretation which led to discovery of Isaac Plains, Isaac Plains
South and Belvedere coal developments.
In 2006 Doug was the driving force behind the formation and ASX
listing of ActivEX Limited, a gold and copper focused junior
Cont. from Page 23
explorer and he was Managing Director of the company from
inception to 2014. During that period, the company, an active
explorer principally in the Cloncurry district and in south-east
Queensland, has identified three new gold and copper-gold resources.
Doug has been a Councillor of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists
from 2000 to 2014, and is a current committee member of the
Queensland Branch of the AIG since 1993 and a former state branch
chairman. He is a member of the Education and National Graduate
sub-committees. Doug is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of
Geoscientists and a Registered Professional Geoscientist (RPGeo).
As a final note, we actively encourage all current and potential AIG
members to participate in this initiative via comments and discussions
in either of our media outlets. Come visit our new webpages for
information regarding social events, mentoring opportunities,
technical talks, and other interesting and relevant material. The AIG
Council looks forward to see how things develop and encourage the
National Graduate Committee on their initiatives going forward.
If any members or non-members are interested in participating or
providing ideas or feedback to the NGG please contact either myself
or Joshua Leigh at [email protected]
CSA Global
Resource Industry Consultants
For expertise and services from project
generation through to mine production,
CSA Global cover all stages of the
exploration and mining cycle.
Our broad experience and integrated approach results in high quality
solutions for our clients in areas such as:
Perth • Brisbane • Darwin • Adelaide • Horsham • Jakarta • Johannesburg • Vancouver • Moscow
Head Office
Level 2, 3 Ord Street, West Perth
Western Australia 6005
T +61 8 9355 1677
E [email protected]
letter to the editor
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
More Water Dowsing!
Dear Editor
The admission by a geoscientist of his ‘ability’
to divine for water (AIG News November 2013,
p.2) prompts a reminder that divining was first
documented in connection with finding
minerals, not water, and who amongst the AIG
membership would admit to using a forked
stick to find ore deposits? The earliest mention
of the dodgy practice seems to have been by
Martin Luther in 1518 who listed dowsing for
metals as an act that broke the first commandment
(Wikipedia). Georgius Agricola describes the
practice of using a forked stick to prospect for
ore in Germany in his 1556 treatise on mining
(De Re Metallica) and dismisses it, saying the twig is used only by
unsophisticated common miners (see page 38-41 of the Hoover
English translation - available online). Agricola mentions that the
material for the twig was selected for different minerals, for instance
ash being used for copper. What is not certain is whether the practice
arose to conceal and mystify the skill of the prospectors, or was used
by charlatans to deliberately deceive investors.
The first mention of divining applied to water was apparently in
1568 to locate a well for a convent in Spain (from a Life of St
Theresa, in Barrett, W.F, Psychical Research, p.71, 1911), and in the
following century the practice seems to have taken off with the boom
in mineral water, and establishment of spas as
health resorts. As groundwater is ubiquitous in
northern Europe, it is not surprising a high
success rate was obtained, yet the practice is
unknown in drier regions where finding
groundwater is more critical.
Arthur J Ellis of the USGS comprehensively
reviewed the subject (Water Supply Paper 416,
1916), and needless to say, USGS has not
employed divining as a prospecting technique.
There have been many studies trying to prove
the efficacy of divining, but all obtain
statistically random results, and Dick Smith’s
$10 000 prize is still going begging.
The concept of underground water flowing in streams, which
diviners seem to rely on, is rarely valid. While belief in divining still
persists in some rural areas, most people would be well aware that a
bore can be successfully sited anywhere over extensive sand aquifers;
and divining in hard rock areas meets with little success. The
occurrence of groundwater in a geological context is now taught in
schools through various programs, and should hopefully lead to a
more scientifically educated populace.
Philip Commander FAIG RPGeo (Hydrogeology)
23-24 June 2015
Crown Perth, Western Australia
Exploring the future of mining
The AMEC Convention is organised by the Association of Mining and Exploration
Companies (AMEC), Australia’s peak industry body for the mining and exploration industry.
In 2014 there were over 640 registered delegates and 55 exhibition booths.
Attendees included:
mining and exploration companies
service providers
Exhibition booths
now available!
Top five reasons to exhibit at the AMEC Convention:
1. Increase brand and product awareness
3. Launch new products, projects or services
4. Generate sales leads
5. Meet existing and potential customers, suppliers and networks
Email: [email protected] | Phone: 1300 738 184
2. Generate investment opportunities in your projects
Professional Development
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
The Australian Institute of Geoscientists
with Geoscientists Symposia present
Our Real Earth, Geology and Environment
(Free Event for Teachers, Parents and Students)
Date: Saturday, 15th November 2014
Location: ARRC CSIRO, 26 Dick Perry Ave, Kensington, WA
Presenters: Phil Playford, Simon Johnson, Ian Plimer and
Rick Rogerson
This event aims to present earth processes to school-teachers, explaining
what these processes mean for the economy, sustainability and environment.
Teachers will be provided with materials and resources to assist future
teaching activity.
Big Data, Inspiring Information and
Strategic Knowledge
Date: Monday, 23rd March 2015
Location: Tawarri, Esplanade, Dalkeith WA 6009
Presenters: Twelve Invited Speakers
This event aims to overview data management and data conversion to
knowledge delivering growth in the exploration and mining sector.
Yilgarn Retrospective
Date: Monday & Tuesday, 30th to 31st March 2015
Location: Tawarri, Esplanade, Dalkeith WA 6009
Presenters: Twenty One Invited Speakers
This two-day colloquium will look at what we have learned from the past, with
implications to the challenges of the future.
For further information, contact: [email protected]
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
Gold'[email protected]
Gold’[email protected] International Symposium Take Home Messages
The following messages are impressions of some of the presenters
and participants of the recently successful gold symposium held at
Kalgoorlie from the 8th to 10th October, 2014.
Bob Foster, Stratex International PLC, London
Despite the subdued nature of the gold mining industry, the Gold14
meeting delivered the right prescription – a timely reminder that the
fundamental demand for gold remains strong and is likely to
strengthen as the uncertainties around the US economy and the
possible “triple dip” being touted for Europe are resolved and the
burgeoning Asian economies resurrect their desire for the precious
metal. The apparent decreasing success rates in finding major new
“Tier 1” gold deposits in recent years, coupled with the rocketing
costs of exploration and dollars-per-discovered ounce, is already
seeing mergers and acquisitions increasing in an effort to rationalise
efficiencies and costs - but this alone will not deliver the substantial
replenishment of new resources that require science- and visiondriven grassroots exploration. The majors are likely to prioritise
lower-risk brownfields exploration within sight of headframes for the
foreseeable future but will also seek to JV-fund the more successful
junior companies that have the capabilities and track record to put
boots firmly on the right prospective ground and have the hunger to
The Kalgoorlie meeting addressed all these issues and more.
Excellent examples of successful brownfields exploration were
highlighted, where Australian geologists had disregarded the concept
of “mature gold camps” as being devoid of further potential and got
back into the field, reconsidered structural data in particular, often
underpinned by re-evaluation of historical geochemical and drill
data, and delivered significant new discoveries. The application of
leading-edge science to gold exploration at all scales from cratonwide to regolith to sub-microscopic was addressed by researchers
from a number of key research centres in Australia and was a
testament to the importance that the national research agencies place
on funding research that underpins the future of the exploration and
mining industry – it is essential that this is maintained during the
industry down-times to ensure the sector is positioned to bounce back
strongly in tune with a recovering gold price!
David I Groves, Orebusters Pty Ltd, WA
On a global scale, most analysts indicate that gold discovery rate is
falling and that the cost per discovery is rising in the western world.
Australia, the second largest global gold producer, is doing better than
most. However, this is largely due to brownfields exploration near to
existing gold mines and mills. In the long run, Australia will need
greenfield discoveries in order to replenish resources and maintain
gold production. This will only happen when mid-size and junior
exploration companies can raise sufficient funds to carry out this
higher-risk exploration which, in the past, has seen discoveries such
as Olympic Dam, arguably the world’s most economic metal deposit.
Greenfields exploration requires better understanding of the regionalscale potential of the ground considered for exploration. Too many
companies are exploring in terranes that have low potential from a
tectonic viewpoint. There is a strong need to rank potential
exploration ground at the regional scale prior to exploring at the
district to camp scale. A poor decision at the large scale will bring
poor results even if the exploration methodology is high-class at the
smaller scale. In other words, we need to see the gold-rich woods
before drilling the gold-bearing trees. This requires consideration of
large-scale structures, such as craton margins, other lithospheric
boundaries, or sutures in initial ground selection. As Dick Sillitoe
indicated, “big cracks in the Earth attract big gold deposits”. The
recent world-class discoveries at Tropicana (gold) and Nova (nickel)
in Western Australia on the southern margin of the Yilgarn Craton
bear testimony to this fact. Judging from the Gold’14 conference, we
are fortunate in this regard in Western Australia in that the Geological
Survey of WA are providing large-scale geophysical and geochemical
datasets that can really improve the area selection process. We now
need a re-emphasis on science-driven greenfields exploration to take
advantage of these data sets and maintain Australia’s leadership in
exploration and mining into the future.
Nick Franey, NJF Consulting, Perth, WA
Clearly, there is still much exploration potential in the Eastern
Goldfields of the Yilgarn, as proven by the relatively recent
discoveries by Northern Star (Pegasus) and Goldfields (Invincible).
In contrast to the generally accepted opinion of old, lightening does
indeed strike twice (and more) in the same place – indeed, it appears
to be a prerequisite for the largest high grade orogenic gold deposits,
which all appear to be characterised by multiple (and prolonged?)
episodes of mineralisation. But structure continues to rule with
regard to exploration criteria.
Richard Sillitoe, Consultant, London
‘The conference provided me with an excellent update of current
thinking and exploration strategies for gold in the Eastern Goldfields
of WA as well as elsewhere in the world. The work being conducted
on gold mobility in the regolith in WA and its exploration significance
were particularly valuable. The results will be a prerequisite for
future gold exploration under cover, which will doubtless make
important contributions to future discovery. Nonetheless, I still
maintain that the prospectivity of wholly or partially exposed
terrains, both in WA and elsewhere, is greater than generally accepted
and that exploration strategies need to dovetail the search for
outcropping and concealed mineralization. A general acceptance that
any exposed mineralization has already been found appears to be the
main impediment to organising the necessary fieldwork, although
health and safety restrictions and a creeping office mentality also
play their part’.
Gold'[email protected]
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
Gold’[email protected] International Symposium Take Home Messages
Ross Large, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS
The new geological interpretations and recent discoveries on the WA
Goldfields talked about at the Conference suggest to me that there are
still plenty of deposits to be found. We need more refreshing ideas in
order to generate new exploration models. It’s no good following the
old models as that will lead to the same blank result. New technology,
new ideas and the courage to try something different will lead to new
James Potter, La Mancha Resources Australia, Pty
Ltd, Western Australia
Thank you to Julien and his team for the organisation of the recent
[email protected] Kalgoorlie international symposium. La Mancha Resources
Australia is a relatively small local operator so having a high quality,
technically focused symposium on our doorstep is a bonus and one
we will continue to encourage and support.
The symposium was a real mixed bag of gold focused presentations
ranging from deposit scale case studies, state of the industry, country
reviews, deposit models, geological frameworks and exploration
tools both emerging technologies and tried and true old techniques.
While there were several healthy discussions which often continued
outside of the lecture theatre the underlying apparent failure of recent
exploration was a common conclusion. Recent discoveries like the
Cont. from Page 27
Invincible Deposit in the St Ives group south of Kambalda are highly
encouraging but they are few and far between.
Subtle changes beginning to occur within the research space with
increasing research collaboration, however, in order to maximise the
benefit this needs to work better. The historical approach to research
has been disjointed due to conflicting interests between academics
and industry. While neither approach is fundamentally flawed better
collaboration will benefit all. Without a doubt this is already
happening with collaborative groups and it appears to gaining more
traction but the next big hurdle to face the industry is organisational
collaboration. Geology doesn’t stop at a lease boundary and
combining knowledge will lead to further discoveries and keep the
bean counters happy with reduced costs through efficiency
improvements and data sharing.
Julian R Vearncombe, SJS Resource Management
Pty Ltd, Western Australia
The exploration industry is delivering a mixed and confused
message: to some there is a failure of recent exploration as shown by
the paucity new green-fields discoveries, but others note Australian
exploration since 1979 discovered 16,500 tonnes Au in 34 years. It
did this at less than $40 per ounce (2013 AUD). The pace of addition
has actually increased over the last nine years and the discovery cost
per ounce decreased. The extra hundreds of millions of ounces added
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
Gold'[email protected]
by brown-field exploration do not register as a “new” discovery, yet
are crucial when judging success of the local gold industry. With
nearly 10,000 tonnes Au EDR (Economic Demonstrated Resources),
Australia’s urgency is not for a green-field discovery to sustain its
industry. What it does need from exploration are better quality gold
ounces, higher grade, easier to extract or better located, or all three.
Also, we need lower mining costs (CAPEX and OPEX), and
improved mine geology can help here.
Access to capital is the biggest challenge for the gold industry: we
need to end the mixed messages by promoting our successes and
ability to find gold at low cost and in brown- and green-fields. The
largest exploration budget mentioned at [email protected] was
$24 million, and most geologists and companies will be jealous,
but at an industry average discovery cost of $40 per ounce this
budget may be expected to yield 600,000 ounces EDR. With
extremely tight budgets there is no prospect to triumph finding the
big one.
Perhaps the scariest comment came one coffee break: a young
exploration geologist commented to me that less than 20% of time
was spent on geology, so prescriptive were company meetings,
management procedures and rules. Providing young exploration
geologists with the opportunity to find a new deposit is a significant
management challenge.
Suzy Urbaniak, Chair, AIG – WA Branch; Secondary
School Educator, Kent Street High School,
Kensington, WA
Adding value back into Western Australian’s gold industry can only
be achieved if investment in greenfields exploration becomes a
focal point. Currently, blue chip and mid-tier companies are
increasing their production ounces through acquisition and
successful brown fields exploration. However, to remain competitive
the industry needs to support the juniors in their endeavor to find
the large, new deposits and provinces. Recent brown fields
discoveries demonstrate that there are still a lot of ounces to be
found in mature prospects such as the Eastern Goldfields. Contrary
to what some in the industry wants us to believe, this demonstrates
that we have not reached ‘Peak Gold ’. Our juniors are busy
working at delineating prospective areas. They are run by passionate,
maverick geologists who enlist exploration protocols, aligning their
field data with contemporary, evolving models. Our industry is at
an ‘Inflection Point’ and ‘people change business’ are two strong
messages that Ed Eshuys and Jonathon Law, respectively advocated
in the opening session of [email protected] The junior companies
need the financial backing and incentive from the government and/
or majors to ensure that new discoveries can support our nation’s
future competitiveness and prosperity. This inflection point and
corresponding ‘down turn’ is viewed by many of the speakers as a
perfect opportunity to collect, consolidate and analyse data, reflect
and identify new greenfields prospects.. In short, Australia can no
longer afford to sit on its laurels, exploration is the best way to
create value and we need to focus on new techniques and strategies
to delineate those ounces sitting undercover.
The AIG wishes to thank the following
individuals and organisations for
their support of the
Geoscience Student
Bursary Program
Diamond Sponsors
Chris Bonwick
sponsoring the
Bonwick–AIG Geoscience Student Bursaries
Geoff Davis
sponsoring the
Davis–AIG Geoscience Student Bursaries
sponsoring the
Macquarie Arc Conference-AIG Geoscience
Student Bursaries
Platinum Plus Sponsors
sponsoring the
SMEDG-AIG Geoscience Student Bursaries
Platinum Sponsors
sponsoring the
Alexander Research-AIG Geoscience
Student Bursary
sponsoring the
DSD-AIG Geoscience Student Bursary
sponsoring the
Terra Search-AIG Geoscience Student Bursary
Gold Sponsors
Silver Sponsors
Bronze Sponsors
women in mining
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
2014 WIMWA Award for Outstanding Initiative in Promoting and
Supporting Women in Mining.
Awarded on Friday 12th of September, during the
WIMWA Annual Seminar at the Hyatt Hotel Perth to Suzy
Urbaniak of Kent Street Senior High School, and chair of WA
Branch, AIG.
Formerly a geologist, Suzy is a science teacher at Kent St SHS since
2004, specialising in the earth sciences. She has an outstanding
reputation for fostering a shared understanding of STEM principles
and works passionately to develop every student’s capacity,
embedding these principles into her curriculum delivery.
Suzy’s enthusiasm and passion for the earth sciences has clearly
rubbed off on many of her students. Kent St SHS has a long history
of students going on to study earth sciences at university and working
in the resources industry.
One of the many initiatives that Suzy has been launched, with
industry support, is the bi-annual Kent St Women in Mining Day.
This involves girls at the school networking with women working in
the industry and engaging in hands on activities to provide them with
an insight to the range of occupations available in the mining sector.
Suzy hosts a Curtin University Mining Challenge at Kent St SHS
designed to introduce primary school students to the range of careers
available in the mining industry. In 2014, six participating schools
attended the challenge day with trained year 9 Kent Street students
mentoring them.
Arranges bi-annual overseas excursions for students to sites of
geological interest including Hawaii, New Zealand and the next
adventure is to Iceland and Norway in 2015.
People close to Suzy regularly refer to the fact that she goes beyond
the call of duty in all that she does. Among other achievements, Suzy:
– served on the Curriculum Advisory Council of the School
Curriculum Standards Authority to create the new Earth and
Environmental Sciences senior schooling curriculum;
– runs the Powering Careers in Energy program – a Chevron initiative
endorsed by the Schools Curriculum Standards Authority;
– has a long history of success with students representing Kent
Street in the WA Petroleum Club state grand finals and the
Australian Science and Engineering Challenge;
– arranged for her students to participate in an international Aqua
Republic Challenge this year. Kent St SHS students did
exceptionally well, ranking 1st, 2nd and 3rd nationally, and all
seven participating team ranked in the top ten internationally;
Top: Suzy Urbaniak receiving her award. Above: Suzy with students on stage.
– works hard to develop a collegiate network to link Kent St SHS
alumni with current students. This year, 3 former Kent St students
who are currently studying earth sciences at a tertiary level will
accompany Suzy and her students on the field trip to Iceland;
– gives of her own time to foster the passion and skillset in
colleagues to ensure the integrity of the earth science curriculum
delivery by running hands on workshops for teachers and lab
technicians based in schools;
– is the driving force behind the ongoing effort to achieve approved
specialist program status in geo-science, mining and energy. This
requires the school to source all their own funding for this
program, and Suzy has been working closely with industry
contacts to achieve this.
Vector Research Pty Ltd
ABN 80 086 727 273
Stephen T. Mudge
BSc (Hons), Dip Comp Sc, FAusIMM, FAIG
Consulting Geophysicist
TargetMap targetslinears,patternsandtextures
TargetTEM targetsconductorsinairborneTEMdata
Email:[email protected]
Kim Frankcombe
Senior Consulting Geophysicist
+61 (0) 8 6201 7719
[email protected]
Riaan Mouton
Consulting Geophysicist
+61 (0) 8 6201 0715
[email protected]
Ian James
Consulting Geophysicist
+61 (0) 8 6201 2810
[email protected]
PO Box 1191 Wangara WA 6947 Australia
Unit 6, 10 O’Connor Way, Wangara WA 6065 Australia
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
Education Report
Kaylene Camuti (Chair, AIG Education Committee)
AIG Bursary Awards
The response to the 2014 AIG bursary program was very positive, with
38 bursary applications received from students in 14 Australian
universities. This year the Education Committee again had the pleasure
of reviewing applications from students who have a wide range of
geoscience interests and are working in a diversity of geoscience
research areas. After considerable discussion the AIG awarded 15
bursaries this year and we congratulate the following students:
Melanie Lee, who is completing a Masters Degree at UQ on
"Exhumation of Thomson Orogen rocks in Central Queensland".
Craig Ballington from QUT, who is completing a Masters Degree
on “The effect of brittle faulting on microstructure, mechanical and
transport properties of clastic sedimentary rocks”.
Scott Moller from UWA, who was awarded an AIG Honours
Bursary for his project “Assessing controls on Permian Reservoir
quality in the Merlinleigh sub-basin, Southern Carnarvon Basin,
for conventional and unconventional gas.”
Michael Fuss from JCU, who was awarded a Terra Search – AIG
Honours Bursary for his Honours project on “Strontium and stable
carbon and oxygen isotopic composition of carbonates in the
Ernest Henry deposit, Queensland: implications for genesis and
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Martin Mackinlay, Honours student at QUT, who was awarded an
AIG Honours Bursary for his project “The effect of host rock
properties on the geometrical distribution of fault structures”.
Shane Frischkorn from QUT, who was awarded an AIG Honours
Bursary for his project “A study of the physical controls on the
formation of deformation bands and their effect on fluid flow
through granular rocks near Castlepoint, New Zealand.”
Sarah McGill from QUT, who was awarded an AIG Honours
Bursary for her project “Stratigraphic and sedimentological
investigation of the Early Miocene Whakataki Formation, North
Island, New Zealand”.
Vera Korasidis, Honours student at Melbourne University, who was
awarded an AIG Honours Bursary for her project “Improving the
Early Cretaceous Spore-Pollen Biostratigraphy for Victoria: the
Elusive Youngest beds of the Otway Coast”.
Natalie Debenham from Adelaide University, who was awarded an
AIG Honours Bursary for her project “Organic carbon preservation
and the role of diagenesis in the cold-climate source rocks of the
Arckaringa Basin.”
Adam Carmichael, Honours student at ANU, who was awarded a
Macquarie Arc Conference GSNSW - AIG Honours Bursary for
his project “Characterization of the Murrumbidgee Shear Zone,
Lachlan Fold Belt”.
Chad Burton from Monash University, who was awarded an AIG
Third Year Bursary.
Emily Dinnen Inglis from Adelaide University, who was awarded
an AIG Third Year Bursary.
Jordan Mill from Curtin University, who was awarded an Alexander
Research – AIG Third Year Bursary.
Bryce Teo from UWA, who was awarded a Bonwick – AIG Third
Year Bursary.
Philemon Poon from UNSW, who was awarded a SMEDG – AIG
Third Year Bursary.
The Education Committee sincerely thanks all bursary applicants for
their contribution to the Bursary Program. A sincere thank you, also,
to members of the AIG Education Committee for their continuing
commitment to the Bursary Program, and for the time and effort they
give to reviewing the bursary applications:
Martin Robinson (AIG Councillor, SA)
Graham Teale (AIG Councillor, SA)
Chris Torrey (AIG NSW)
Doug Young (AIG Councillor, Qld)
Thank you to our bursary sponsors. Their generous support has
ensured the AIG Bursary Program continues to provide financial
assistance to Australian geoscience students, and continues to
promote student involvement in AIG events.
If you’re interested in sponsoring the Bursary Program, or donating
to the AIG tax deductable Education Foundation, we’d be very happy
to hear from you. Please contact the AIG secretariat in Perth (contact
details on the back page of this issue), or send me an email at
[email protected]
To all those AIG members who have donated to the AIG Education
Foundation when renewing their membership – thank you. Your
generosity not only provides financial support for students, but also
gives encouragement to all involved in the AIG’s education activities.
Wishing you a very happy holiday season.
branch news - nsw
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
The NSW Branch of the AIG is active in organising events
during the year. These include one day seminars, student
information nights and the fabulous bi-annual Mines and Wines
Conference, as well as joint events with other societies.
The NSW AIG Branch Seminar entitled “Practical Applications of
GIS to Exploration and Mining” on August 8th was very successful,
with 40 people registered, including 11 speakers and 9 students.
AIG NSW has a close association with SMEDG. SMEDG meetings
are held every month, generally on the last Thursday of the month at
the Rugby Club. SMEDG is an acronym for Sydney Minerals
Exploration Discussion Group and discussion is exactly what
happens at the meetings. Any geo or minerals person passing through
Sydney is volunteered to give a talk. Gatherings are very informal
with a free bar at the beginning. For more details go to the SMEDG
web site and scroll down to “Join the SMEDG
mailing list” to register for your free membership. You will then
receive an email once a month reminding you of the meeting and the
topic. SMEDG also hosts their legendary harbour cruises in July and
December each year, offering a unique Sydney experience and an
opportunity to catch up with friends and colleagues. The 2014
Christmas Cruise is coming up on the 12th December.
The NSW branch committee meets every two months in Sydney –
visitors, guests, members and potential committee members are
always welcome.
The branch organises ‘careers nights’ at each of the universities in
Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong every year where students can
hear about the careers of some of our geoscientists, generally from
a diverse range of fields such as hydrogeology, environmental
geoscience, mineral exploration, geotech and engineering and
more. The short presentations are followed by a robust question
time where the students really test the AIG representatives on all
kinds of topics. AIG then provides drinks and snacks during
informal discussion. The NSW AIG committee hosted four
successful careers nights this year, with many new student members
signing up. Three committee members spoke at a careers night at
UNSW, on the 19th August, with lots of attendees and a very active
question time. On the 1st of September, by request of Macquarie
University, AIG hosted a ‘Women in Geoscience’ Careers night
with female speakers from a variety of different fields; Minerals
exploration, Hydrogeology, Academia and Environmental
Geoscience. Sydney University held their careers night on the 4th
September attended by two committee members, and Greg Corbett
who gave a wonderful talk. Finally a careers night was held at
Wollongong University on the 16th September. Doug Menzies and
Garry Baglin were kind enough to lend their time to give
entertaining talks about the minerals industry. A native rat even
decided to pop in through the window and listen to them! Or maybe
it was for the pizza…
because mining
g M&A
& iss the
t e riskiest
s est and
a d
most expensive activity most of us will ever
Valuation (what you get)
Pricing (what you pay)
Transaction data & analysis
Technical reviews
Competitor analysis
Devil’s advocate
Country and sector reviews
Endowment profiling
White papers
Peer review
EMAIL [email protected]
i f @ l
p Sursum
branch news – NSW
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
We take a leading role in organising Mines and Wines
every two years along with SMEDG and NSW
Geological Survey. Advanced preparation for Mines
and Wines 2015 ‘Uncorking the Tasmanides’ is
underway, with venues booked and a great speakers list
taking shape. It will be held in Queanbeyan from 2nd till
4th September. For more information, go to www.
NSW AIG provides funding support for young and for
unemployed geoscientists. Limited funding is available
to provide NSW-based AIG members with opportunities
to participate in professionally organised geological
field trips, conferences and courses (see the AIG web
site under the Education tab, NSW AIG Support Fund).
The branch committee continues to assist in the assessment of
applicants from NSW seeking Registered Professional Geoscientist
status with the AIG.
Top: NSW AIG branch seminar on the practical
applications of GIS to exploration and mining
Right: Attendees mingling at the GIS
NSW AIG branch seminar
Branch news – WA
WA Branch held two seminars, the Mineral Systems
Seminar (perfectly organised and delivered by Michele, Matthew
and Jocelyn) and the Gold14 - 3 day International Symposium in
Kalgoorlie, the highlights of the last quarter. These two successful
meetings had the same message: ‘To sustain our industry and
investment, financial, geological and technical resources need to
be re-directed towards greenfield exploration.
Recent brownfield discoveries such as Northern Star’s Pegasus
de-posit and Goldfield’s Invincible deposit show that with a
‘maverick’ approach using a rethink of the geological models and
their terrains, application of fundamental geological strategies and
most importantly a review of available data, can lead to new
discoveries. Paradoxically this downturn, or ‘point of inflection’ as
Ed Eshuys coined it, is the time to consolidate and to get geological
teams working on reviewing the geology of their tenements, mapping
and having the confidence to drill new ideas. A detailed compilation
of delegates ‘take home message from Gold14’ will be published in
the next issue, (some preliminary views are published in this AIG
News - ed). In the interim, some of what happened at the symposium
can be viewed on #Gold14Kalgoorlie website, (Both the Mineral
Systems and Gold 14 abstract volumes are on the website).
Our committee has been hoping to showcase the collaborative
MEGWA sessions with GSA WA and it finally happened in October
with the guest speaker Nickolai Gorayachev delivering a talk on NE
Russian Tectonics and Metallogeny. What a gold province, the surface
has only been scratched and as well what a power packed talk!
Nickolai presented 81 slides in 1 hour keeping us all engaged with the
geology and extent of Au mineralisation in this under explored and
under developed province. In fact, all our MEGWA’s have been
successful and varied and we are finishing 2014 with a talk sponsored
by SGC based on new geophysical techniques. The younger members
of our committee, Curtin University geology students Jordan and Sam
have been working hard at recording the
MEGWA talks and after 2 unsuccessful
attempts they conquered the technological
problems and Robbie Rowe’s Uncover talk is
now available on the AIG YouTube channel.
Right: Suzy Urbaniak, Wayne Spilsbury,
Steve Sugden and Heidi Pass
Below: WA Committee having dinner with Nickolai,
Sandy Moyle, AIG member from Iluka, Heidi Pass,
Nickolai & Mike Curtis
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
In November, in conjunction with Geosymposia, WA Branch will be
hosting the original “Real Earth” seminar. This concept, an outreach
to the community and, more specifically, teachers and secondary
school students, is aimed at quashing the array of geological
misconceptions which are prevalent in the education system. This
inaugural event is based on a goal to develop better social license
through Resources & Geoscience Literacy and is an approach which
is aligned to and geared at supporting the sustainability of our
industry. It is envisaged, that the anticipated success will become a
recurring annual event.
Moving towards 2015, the first quarter will showcase two seminars
which our committee members have been working on in collaboration
with Geosymposia and at which two unique concepts will be
presented March, the innovative “Big Data” seminar closely
followed by the two day 'Yilgarn Retrospective'. The Yilgarn
Retrospective seminar has secured Roy Woodall who will deliver the
Key-note Address “What really mattered: 1950 to 2000 and What
really matters Now!” and will set the platform by summarising the
collaborative skills and strategies learned from the past and their
possible application and adaption to those that may be useful in
leading exploration into the future.
We have had a successful year and are looking forward to the
challenges of 2015. On the grape-vine, rigs are moving again in
Kalgoorlie albeit slowly - very slowly, while some of our young
unemployed members have secured contract work and some
geological contracting businesses are now busy. Collectively, a good
sign, maybe! One day seminar ideas for the second half of 2015 have
been floated and we are looking at original and different titles, so stay
tuned and our MEGWA calendar up to May 2015 is already filled, so
it looks 2015 will start with an optimistic note.
On a social note, we are all looking forward to our annual Christmas
Cruise on December 5th and hope many of you can make it.
In closing, a very special thank you to all our
committee members who have dedicated
their time to the success of our branch and all
the very best for the festive season and a
prosperous 2015!
Below: Wayne Spilsbury, Suzy Urbaniak & Julian
Vearnecombe in front of AIG Stall at Gold 2014.
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
branch news - vic
AIG Victorian Branch Visit to the Australian Synchrotron
Geoff Hodgson
AIG Victoria Branch
We were a happy team of geos that ventured beyond the
MCG on the Monday after the AFL Grand Final in September
to visit the Australian Synchrotron, which is about the size of
the MCG!
Earlier this year Kaylene Camuti met the Synchrotron’s Dr Tamsyn
Ross, who suggested that a group from the AIG should visit the
facility. Consequently, a party of 17 from the Victorian branch
made the trip to the Melbourne suburb of Clayton, near Monash
University. We were greeted by Tamsyn and her colleagues, Dr
Helen Brand, Dr Kathryn Spiers and Dr David Cookson, each of
whom gave us a talk, and then guided our group around this most
impressive facility.
It was a terrific visit. The Synchrotron is potentially a very powerful
tool. We left the facility rather like a character in the Arthur C Clarke/
Stanley Kubrick book/movie, 2001- A Space Odyssey – we’ve got
ourselves this tool, but we’re not too sure where it’s going to lead us!
But we are exploration geos so we’ve got to give it a go. David
Cookson, who is Head of Beamline Science and Operations, was
particularly keen to encourage smaller enterprises to use the
Synchrotron, and emphasised that they would try to accommodate
any testing that geologists might wish to do—at a modest rate. Note
that for geos in New South Wales there is already a state-funded
support scheme in place (see section on NSW Industry Synchrotron
Figure 1.
Access Scheme, below). It is also possible for geologists working in
academia to apply for access through the merit system.
A synchrotron is a machine that produces intense light, which can
be used to investigate the details of matter from the atomic- to the
nano-scale. It can be used for many different applications
including, for example, determining mineral phases, characterising
pore structures, or mapping mineral traces in sectioned rocks. The
AS is currently used by scientists from a diverse range of disciplines
including agriculture, pharmaceuticals, forensics, advanced
materials – geologists and metallurgists already use it to study
rocks and minerals, and there are many possibilities for professionals
working in these fields.
Certified Reference Materials
for Mining and Exploration
Raising Standards Since 1988
www ore com au
In basic terms the Synchrotron comprises a centrally-located electron
gun, an accelerator, an inner booster ring, and an outer storage ring.
Electrons are generated by the electron gun and accelerated to near the
speed of light before being transferred to the storage ring where they
are manipulated to give off light. The electrons circulating the storage
ring are kept at a constant energy, apparently completing 1.4 million
laps of the storage ring every second for about three days, all the while
being used to produce beams of intense synchrotron light. Radiating
tangentially from the storage ring are nine ‘beamlines’ – where the
light generated in the storage ring is conditioned (filtered and
focussed) as it propagates.
The Australian Synchrotron
1. Electron Gun: Electrons are generated inside an electron gun by
heating a barium compound cathode to ~ 1000°C. Bunches of
electrons are accelerated away from the cathode surface and out of
the gun using 90,000 volts.
2. Linear Accelerator (Linac): In the Linac, the electrons are
accelerated to 99.9987% of the speed of light. They exit the linear
accelerator with 100MeV of energy. The energy used to accelerate
Cont. Overleaf
branch news - vic
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
AIG Victorian Branch Visit to the Australian Synchrotron
Cont. from Page 31
the electrons comes from a radio frequency (RF) current of
3GHz. Radio frequencies are part of the electromagnetic
spectrum, just like infrared light, but they have lower energy
levels and therefore longer wavelengths. The spacing of the
electron bunches matches the wavelength of the RF current, thus
ensuring that the electrons receive a ‘push’ through the regions
where the RF current is applied.
3. Booster Ring (synchrotron): The electrons are transferred from
the Linac to the Booster Ring, where their energy is boosted to
3GeV using more RF energy. In the Booster Ring, dipole
electromagnets force the electrons to adopt an almost circular
path. The electrons complete approximately 1 million laps in half
a second, before passing into the Storage Ring.
4. Storage Ring: In the Storage Ring, electrons circulate at a
constant energy for many hours, and continuously generate
intense synchrotron light. To ensure the number of electrons
circulating remains nearly constant, they can be topped up by
injecting more into the ring approximately every few minutes.
An electron will complete around 1.4 million laps of the Storage
Ring every second.
5. Beamlines: The synchrotron light – created by bending the path of
the electrons through magnetic fields – is then channelled from the
Storage Ring down long pipelines, called beamlines, so that
scientists can utilise it for research. Each beam line includes
Figure 2. A rendered example of one of the Synchrotron’s beamlines being used
for crystallography. Image courtesy of the Australian Synchrotron
different types of filters, mirrors and other optical components that
prepare the light for use in a range of different scientific
6. End Station: At the end of each beamline is an End Station – a
laboratory where the synchrotron light interacts with a sample.
Detectors positioned around the sample measure how the light is
transmitted, emitted, scattered or diffracted (depending on the
experiment) by the sample. Researchers use this information to
determine the composition or atomic structure of the sample, or to
create a map-like image of the sample.
branch news - vic
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
For scientists visiting the Synchrotron the fun begins at the end of
each beamline where the end-station and user cabin are located.
Scientists mount samples in the end-station and control the experiment
while sitting in the cabin. It is in the end-station that a geologist could
present a sample to be zapped by the very narrow, very intense beam
of light (at X-ray or infrared frequencies). Depending on the
technique, a variety of detectors will measure how the light is
transmitted, emitted, scattered or diffracted by the sample. On the
XFM beamline a geologist could, for example, create an elemental
map of the surface of a rock or mineral sample – but each of the nine
beamlines has a unique function with a wealth of possibilities.
The primary capabilities and basic applications of each of the
Synchrotron’s beamlines is given in the table below. Uses of any given
beamline may extend beyond what is given here, and interested parties
are encouraged to enquire at the Synchrotron about any ideas they
might have. Tamsyn Ross and her colleagues are preparing a technical
article for AIG NEWS (Ross, T., et al, (in prep): working title is
‘Geological and metallurgical uses for the Australian Synchrotron’).
Australian Synchrotron Beamlines
IMBL (Imaging and Medical Beamline)
A beamline utilising higher energy X-rays that can be used for
3D X-ray imaging with micron resolution – can be used to
visualise the internal structure of samples non-destructively
IR Microscope (Infrared Microscope)
An FTIR (Fourier transform infrared) system which mixes midinfrared spectroscopy with fine resolution to give spatial mapping
of organic compounds
Far-IR/THz (Far-Infrared/Terahertz Beamline)
An FTIR system which uses far-infrared spectroscopy to study
molecular structure – often in gas phases
(Macromolecular Crystallography)
A powerful facility for determining the arrangement of atoms and
molecules in single crystals, providing detailed information on of
molecules ten to tens of thousands of atoms in size
PD (Powder Diffraction)
A facility for investigating the bulk properties of crystalline samples
at high resolution – particularly useful for identifying and
quantifying crystalline phases, as well as monitoring the behaviour
of crystalline materials in non-ambient and dynamic environments
Figure 3. Synchrotron image showing distribution of titanium (blue), niobium
(green) and thorium (red) in ilmenite. Ilmenite sample courtesy of Peter Kappen,
La Trope University; image from XFM beamline and CSIRO collaborators Chris
Ryan, Robin Kirkham and Gareth Moorehead (no scale provided).
SAXS/WAXS (Small Angle X-ray Scattering/Wide Angle X-ray
A flexible beamline used for investigating features ranging in
size from 1 to 100 nanometres in bulk solid or liquid samples –
useful for determining particle and pore sizes in natural and manmade materials
Soft X-ray
A beamline most suited to non-destructively characterising surfaces
and near-surface interfacial layers
XAS (X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy)
A beamline used particularly for investigating the oxidation state
and coordination environment of atoms in solid and liquid samples
XFM (X-ray Fluorescence Microscopy)
A powerful beamline regularly used for high-resolution elemental
mapping of solid samples containing heavy elements
The Australian Synchrotron website also has a little information on
each of the beamlines as PDF fact sheets which are available from the
synchrotron website.
As mentioned above, for researchers working in industry in New
South Wales there is a state-funded support scheme is already in place:
NSW Industry Synchrotron Access Scheme
The NSW Industry Synchrotron Access Scheme is a program that is
currently being run by the NSW government which allows bodies
conducting commercially-relevant research within NSW to apply for
fully-funded beamtime on any of the beamlines at the Australian
Synchrotron. The advantages of applying for beamtime through the
Cont. Overleaf
branch news - vic
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
AIG Victorian Branch Visit to the
Cont. from Page 33
Australian Synchrotron
Registered Professional Geoscientist
Approvals and Applications
NSW Industry Synchrotron Access Scheme are that there is no need
to publish the work (as would be necessary through the standard merit
access program), little is required in the way of preparing a proposal
for the work (with assistance from the applicant, the Synchrotron
handles most of the paperwork) and access to the Synchrotron through
this scheme is typically more rapid than through the merit access
program (access to some beamlines may still be possible in late 2014).
A further important point is that the applicant retains their IP on work.
The Beamline Industry Group is a group of scientists dedicated to
supporting commercial research taking place at the Synchrotron, in
particular that of applicants to the NSW Industry Synchrotron Access
Scheme. They offer obligation-free exploratory talks about potential
projects, assistance with experimental design and expert support
during beamtime – other services available include data analysis and
Beamline Industry Group Homepage:
NSW Industry Access Page:
For the latest in Geoscientist news, views, codes, events,
employment and education visit the AIG website:
Dr Andrew Scogings of East Perth, WA, in Industrial Minerals
Mr Dean Harris of West Chatswood, NSW, in Geotechnical &
Mr Daniel Jones of Fairlight, NSW, in Geotechnical & Engineering
Snowden offer 10% discount off professional
development courses for Australian Institute of
Geoscientists members
To encourage new membership and in recognition of the services
offered by the associations and societies that uphold the
professionalism within our global mining industry – Snowden
will be offering the individual members of these associations a
10% discount off our public training course registration fees
during 2014.
Membership news
AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
Membership Update
We welcome all new members to the AIG.
New Members and Upgrades at the September Council Meeting 2014
Campbell MichaelDavid
Twomey Glenn
WithnallIan William
Gilbert Sieboore
Tanya Bartie Stephanie Joanna
Troy Mathew
de Little John
Dutch Rian
David Hulme
Karen Angela
Hurst Darren Michael
Jackson-Hicks Caroline Rose
Daniel Pieter
Kanthasamy Nagaraj
Alexander Leeming Prudence Mary
Marshall SimonAlan
Merton RayNeil
Metzger GuyRichard
Joanna Mary
Karen Jennifer
Power Daniel Michael
Pratama Bosta Stewart MarkLindsay
Sweetapple Marcus Todd
Thomas TrevorHughes
Voulgaris Peter
Wade Alan
Weedon PaulGregory
Hesford Lowczak
Christopher Jessica Natalia
Markus students
Adam Jake
Adam Edward
Jackman AdrianCharles
Ashby McWhirterBrenton
Chad Alan
Cheng Tong
Dinnen Inglis Emily Catriona
Tidboald Jonathan Paul
Giddings Mark
Michal Davitt
Nicholas Wollens
Kovach Stephanie Korasidis
Vera retired
Harris Marcus Field
Janrich CarrPatrick
de Bree
Selene De Carli
Eden Daniel Robin
Charles Graham Monty George
Joshua Greene
Nicole Diana
Registered Professional Geoscientist Approvals and Applications
Mr Tim Chalke of Chapel Hill, WA, is seeking registration in Mineral
Exploration, Mining and Geophysics.
Mr Shu Zhan of Waterford, Queensland, is seeking registration in
Mineral Exploration.
Mr Justin Legg (RPGeo in Mineral Exploration) of Brisbane, WA, is
seeking further registration in Mining.
Mr Scott McManus (RPGeo in Information Geoscience) of Port
Macquarie, Victoria, is seeking further registration in Mining.
Mr Michael Sawyer of Narrawong, Victoria, is seeking registration in
Mineral Exploration.
Dr Michael Hartley of Narre Warren North, Queensland, is seeking
registration in Mineral Exploration and Other Specialist Geoscience
(Geochronology & Tectonics).
Mr Darryl West of Bardon, Victoria, is seeking registration in
Hydrogeology, Environmental Geoscience and Information Geoscience.
Mr Lynton Bourne of Bentleigh East, Victoria, is seeking registration in
Environmental Geoscience.
Mr Cameron Cairns of Brunswick East, WA, is seeking registration in
Mineral Exploration and Regional Geology.
Mr Martin Haylett of Subiaco, WA, is seeking registration in Mining.
Mr Daniel Card of Mt Lawley, WA, is seeking registration in Mineral
Exploration and Geophysics.
Mr Huw Smith of Old Toongabbie, NSW, is seeking registration in
Geotechnical & Engineering.
Prof Huang Shaofeng of Beijing, China, is seeking registration in
Mineral Exploration.
Mining &
Roderick McKenzie
Consultant Geologist
ABN 55 003 562 365
• Due Diligence Studies
• Geological Modelling & Orebody Evaluation
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AIG NEWS No 118, November 2014
President: Wayne Spilsbury Vice President: Kaylene Camuti Treasurer:Steve Sugden Secretary:
Ron Adams
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