Outstanding Contribution to Mining

MINING DAILY profiles each of the finalists in the 12 categories of the 6th annual Australian Mining Prospect Awards.

MINING DAILY profiles each of the finalists in the 12 categories of the 6th annual Australian Mining Prospect Awards.

The 6th annual Australian Mining Prospect Awards aim to encourage, recognise and reward excellence in the Australian mining industry.

This year saw record amounts of entries in several categories, including Minerals Processing Plant of the Year, Innovative Mining Solutions and Excellence in Mine OH&S.

The winners will be announced at a gala awards ceremony and dinner at Doltone House, Sydney on Wednesday 11 November 2009.

For tickets and further information please contact Heather Lawson on 02 9422 2791, or email heather.lawson@reedbusiness.com.au.

Sandra Collins

Sandra Collins is a finalist in the 6th annual Australian Mining Prospect Awards, recognising a trailblazing career that has led the way for women in the industry.

Over a 30 year career, Collins has continually broken new ground and demonstrated that women can be effective and valuable employees in non-traditional roles.

She was the first woman to study mining engineering in Queensland and only the second in Australia.

Over the course of her career, Collins has been the first woman in Australia and New Zealand to hold most of her different roles.

In her mid-20s she was driving 170 tonne haul trucks and instructing others in their use.

Later, as a blasting engineer, she introduced the use of bulk emulsions to the Australian iron ore industry.

In 1985, she gained an exemption from NSW legislation that prevented women from working underground, so she could then work as an underground supervisor, surveyor and engineer.

David Flanagan

David Flanagan is the managing director of Atlas Iron, Australia’s newest emerging iron ore player.

Atlas is an aggressive explorer focused on the discovery and development of iron ore projects.

In the past four years, Flanagan has directed the company’s transition from junior explorer to fully-fledged iron ore producer.

He has overseen the beginning of production at Atlas’ first operational iron ore mine, Pardoo, which commenced in October 2008.

Among Flanagan’s top achievements are completing what he calls ‘two of the best native title agreements” in the history of the Pilbara and appointing a mining contractor with a 50% indigenous work force.

Frank de Hoog

Frank de Hoog joins the finalists in the 6th annual Australian Mining Prospect Awards for his substantial contributions to the mineral extraction and processing industries.

De Hoog, a CSIRO mathematician, contributed key mathematical work to the design of the Kelsey Jig, a machine used in the centrifugal processing of minerals.

In 2002, the Jig was being used to process 25% of the world’s total production of tin.

By 2006 it was recovering more than $500 million worth of ore worldwide each year.

This figure doubled by 2008.

The Kelsey Jig, conceived by Chris Kelsey, is a gravity separation device recognised in the mining industry as having the highest separation efficiency of any gravity device worldwide

During the development process, de Hoog developed a realistic and tractable mathematical model that addressed all the important operations of the Jig.

Around 90% of this product is Australian made and for every large unit bought overseas, around $500,000 is received in Australia.

Dr Geoffrey O’Brien

Dr Geoffrey O’Brien recently developed a new geological concept that could revolutionise the way explorers look for gas in Victoria’s Otway Basin.

The study evaluated the critical success factors that determine the hydrocarbon prospects of the Basin, located in south-eastern Australia.

The work was undertaken at GeoScience Victoria as part of an applied Victorian State Government research programme to encourage investment in oil, gas and mineral exploration in the State.

This basin has proven to be a difficult exploration environment in the past, due to a range of issues including poor fault seal integrity and a lack of hydrocarbon charge.

The concept has already earned O’Brien an award for best technical paper at the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) conference held at Darwin in June this year.

Rod Morrison

Rod Morrison, the Director of Mine and Forest Safety Performance at the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, is a finalist in the 6th annual Australian Mining Prospect Awards.

During his 44 years in the NSW public service, Morrison is most noted for his work to improve workplace safety in the mining industry.

In the last decade, he has managed a wide and changing reform agenda, which has made a remarkable improvement to safety performance.

In his current role, Morrison has completely changed the way the State Government manages mine safety legislation.

He has developed a legislative model, which manages mining risks in a systematic way and is compatible with the general duty of care approach.

Earlier this year, Morrison received a prestigious Public Service Medal in the Australia Day celebrations.

Michael Holmes

Michael Holmes, the general manager of the New Starter Training Program at Xstrata Copper’s Mount Isa Operations, is a finalist in the 6th annual Australian Mining Prospect Awards.

Ensuring employees are ready for work in the mining environment is important to ensuring ongoing safety and operational efficiency.

The New Starter Training Program was developed to ensure all new starters are prepared for surface and underground procedures, regardless of prior industry experience.

Since the first intake in December 2008 around 300 employees and contractors at the mine have successfully completed the program.

Under Holmes’ direction, the program has come to fruition as a first class training facility that includes two classrooms, one workshop and a specially designed height safety and confined spaces training area.

Investing in training and skills development is a good way to meet and exceed current and future labour market challenges.

As such, there has been great deal of enthusiasm surrounding this program.

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