What’s in a celebration?

The Australian Mining Prospect Awards enters its 17th year doing what it does best: giving credit where credit is due.

Some things do get better with age.

For the Australian Mining Prospect Awards, mining professionals and companies have taken the event to another level thanks to the rapid industry ascension and growth they’ve fuelled.

Entering a 17th year, the national awards program doesn’t miss the abundance of facets that Australia’s mining industry features.

Each winner and nominee of the broad range of Prospect Awards categories highlights just how far the Australian mining sector has progressed in a multitude of disciplines.

Despite last decade’s commodity downturn, uncertainty around foreign government strategies and unique challenges faced by companies, Australia’s mining sector continues to overcome its challenges with safer, more advanced mining operations and equipment.

The Australian Mining Prospect Awards has recognised Kirkland Lake Gold’s Fosterville mine as the 2018 Hard Rock Mine of the Year and the Myuna Herringbone System as the 2017 Innovative Mining Solution for helping rescue Centennial Coal’s New South Wales colliery from the brink of closure, to name a couple.

Every year the award finalists and winners go on to inspire the rest of the industry with their achievements.

“Mining services companies see the value of and support the Australian Mining Prospect Awards being involved in the event year after year,” event manager Lauren Winterbottom says.

“It has grown into a much-celebrated awards program since it was launched in 2004, hitting a record attendance of over 300 in Brisbane last year.”

Schenck Process managing director Max Wijasuriya believes that any opportunity for the mining industry to celebrate what individuals have achieved is a good thing.

“Our industry needs more knowledge out there,” Wijasuriya tells Australian Mining.

“People need to know the good things that we do. There are a lot of smart people out there that accomplish a lot of good things and work very hard.”

His confidence for initiatives such as the Australian Mining Prospect Awards has led Schenck Process to be a sponsor for the Excellence in Mine Safety OH&S category this year.

“The awareness around safety in mining is continually improving but it’s something you can never lose vigilance on. Everyone is going through a safety journey. It’s about letting people go home safe,” Wijasuriya says.

“At the Australian Mining Prospect Awards, I find so many people get recognised for what they’ve achieved. It’s a great way to celebrate what we do well and recognise those who work behind the scenes to make our industry what it is today.”

At Schenck Process, excellence in safety is “part and parcel” for the company, according to Wijasuriya.

Safety underpins the company culture and is a critical part of the company’s journey forward.

Schenck Process’ ProLift Train Load Out Chute changeout system is testament of this: it takes workers out of harm’s way while improving efficiency for mining operators.

“At the core of many innovation and development of mining technology is the goal to improve safety: to improve what we do and how we do things to take people out of harm’s way as much as possible,” Wijasuriya says.

The ProLift system is also part of the Schenck Process journey towards automation across the business.

Wijasuriya believes this will bring improvement to mining companies in terms of productivity and efficiency.

“Mining is critical and important to the Australian economy,” Wijasuriya, who has followed the Australian Mining Prospect Awards for at least a decade, says.

“We’re sponsoring the Prospect Awards to recognise the people and companies that work in the mining industry to make this sector a better place.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to showcase the credentials of the Australian industry.”

The 2020 Australian Mining Prospect Awards are:

  1. Ifm Excellence in IIoT Application
  2. Epiroc Contract Miner of the Year
  3. Epiroc Hard Rock Mine of the Year
  4. SEW-Eurodrive Coal Mine of the Year
  5. Metso Excellence in Environmental Management
  6. Schenck Process Excellence in Mine Safety, OH&S
  7. CDE Minerals Processing of the Year
  8. Austmine Innovative Mining Solution
  9. Indigenous Engagement
  10. CRC Mine Manager of the Year
  11. Flexco Safety Advocate Award
  12. Liebherr Lifetime Achievement Award
  13. National Group Mine of the Year

This article will appear in the March edition of Australian Mining.

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