Closing date for 2022 applications is Saturday 6th August.
The Australian Institute of Geoscientists’ Student Bursary Program was initiated to promote and support geoscience education in Australia. The Bursary Program began in 2001 to mark the 20th Anniversary of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists (AIG) and, since then, the AIG has awarded over 230 bursaries to geoscience students in Australian universities. In 2022, the AIG is again offering bursaries to Honours, Postgraduate and Third Year geoscience students.
The 2022 Bursary awards, which have values between A$1000 and A$4000, are supported by the AIG nationally, and also by the generous support of individuals and organisations, including the AIG state branches and individual AIG Members.
Eligibility criteria and guidelines for bursary applications are given on pages 1, 2 and 3. A bursary application form is included as page 4.
The AIG Student Bursary Program is open to students who, at the closing date for applications, are:
The AIG Bursary awards are generally announced and awarded in early- to mid-October each year. Applicants seeking funding for specific activities should ensure that the timing of these activities is appropriate to this schedule.
The application guidelines and form can be downloaded here.
Applicants should fill in the application form, complete with the requested signatures, and upload it in a zip file along with the documents requested in the guidelines. Applicants are also requested to fill in the fields below, so that we can confirm contact details and check we have received the relevant uploaded application documents.
AIG initiated a project in May 2021 to randomly assess announcements of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves released by ASX listed companies. The initial objective of the project, undertaken by AIG’s Complaints Committee, was to assess the level of JORC Code compliance by Competent Persons, and identify areas of concern that could be specifically targeted in professional development resources provided to Members. The project has continued in parallel with work by the JORC Committee and Parent Bodies (AIG, AusIMM and the Minerals Council of Australia – MCA) to update the JORC Code that has included a project to assess accreditation requirements for Competent Persons.
Study progress has been reported to the AIG Board regularly during the course of the study, leading the Board to recommend the release of results to Members.
The results of the study, to date, show cause for concern.
Almost one in five of the announcements reviewed was determined not to adequately comply with the JORC Code (2012).
The Complaints Committee has initiated 37 complaints processes during the review, involving complaints to ASX relating to the actions of companies, or both AIG and AusIMM members where the complaint related to reporting of information by Competent Persons.
All of the complaints relating to work performed by Competent Persons dealt with procedural issues, resolved with AIG members by contacting them and suggesting ways in which the announcement could have been improved, to better meet the requirements of the Code.
No cases resulted in disciplinary action by AIG’s Ethics and Standards Committee.
An expected, but positive aspect of the review was that the majority of members contacted in relation to issues with announcements for which they acted as Competent Persons expressed appreciation for the feedback provided, with some going on to request review and feedback of further announcements prior to their release.
Where AusIMM members were involved, a complaint was submitted for consideration by the AusIMM Professional Standards Committee.
Complaints relating to the practice of companies were referred to ASX for action, and resulted in announcements being revised and reissued by the companies involved in several cases.
The announcements reviewed covered projects in 33 countries and activities covering the full-spectrum of work covered by the JORC Code.
The map and accompanying pie-chart highlight the extent to which Australian-listed companies are engaged in projects both within Australia and internationally. An interesting feature of the mao and chart is the presence of Australian companies in the Americas and Africa, and the relatively low level of activity in Asia and Oceania.
Within Australia, Western Australia accounted for almost two thirds of the public reports reviewed, followed by New South Wales (11%), Queensland (10%) and the Northern Territory (6%).
Exploration announcements (exploration plans, drilling updates etc.) account for 84% of the announcements reviewed. Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve estimates accounted for around 6%, studies (scoping, pre-feasibility and feasibility studies) 3% and metallurgical testwork results 2%.
Gold was the dominant subject, accounting for just less than half of the public reports reviewed. Gold was followed by copper (15%), nickel (13%), lithium (6%) and zinc (3%).
Issues of concern identified in announcements included:
These issues potentially highlight a need for continuing education of Competent Persons and are able to be incorporated into AIG’s JORC education workshops which are continuously improved using feedback received from participants, or covered by AIG’s mentoring program which has been extended to cater for experienced in addition to early career members in recent years. Importantly, the trial revealed valuable information and is considered to highlight the value of continuing this work. Monitoring a relatively small proportion of announcements successfully identified a number of recurring issues that, when addressed, have potential to improve the standard of public reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves, investor and public confidence in our profession.
More ground will soon be available for Minerals Exploration Licence applications in an area with copper, other base metals and minerals sands potential in western Victoria.
Access to land for exploration in the Stavely Minerals Exploration Initiative area was suspended by the Victorian government in 2015.
Through the 2018 Stavely Ground Release, 11 large blocks of land with a temporary hold on minerals activity were offered to the market and six blocks were awarded.
The remaining area, which totals over 11,000 square kilometres, covering parts of the Wimmera as well as areas north and east of Hamilton and around Mortlake, became available for minerals exploration licence applications from 2 May 2022.
Exploration will not be permitted in national parks, wilderness parks, or state parks. Explorers must obtain consent of landholders before accessing private property.
Between May and June 2022, the Geological Survey of Victoria will continue to hold information sessions about land access landholders’ rights and opportunities should an explorer seek access to their properties.
Through the Stavely Minerals Exploration Initiative, the department has taken an integrated approach between 2015 and 2022 to ensure:
Key steps included:
The government announced that the Stavely Minerals Exploration Initiative is now effectively complete.
4 May 2022
The Australian Academy of Science is calling for applications for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Scientist Award.
The Academy has recently broadened the award’s remit to also include research
support of up to $20,000.
The award recognises research in the physical and biological sciences conducted by outstanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander PhD students and early- and mid-career scientists. It allows interdisciplinary and sociocultural research that could straddle the social sciences and humanities.
The aim is to support the recipients’ research and/or the expansion and growth of their research networks and international knowledge exchange through visits to relevant international centres of research.
Awards are for up to $20,000, with additional support provided to attend the Academy’s annual Science at the Shine Dome event.
The deadline for the 2023 round of applications is 11:59 PM (AEST) on Wednesday 1 June 2022.
For enquiries, please email the Awards team.
Welcome to the first employment survey for 2022.
Follow this link to complete the survey.
The opening of the survey for contributions has been delayed from earlier in April due to the Easter and ANZAC Day holidays throughout Australia.
Geoscientist unemployment in Australia increased during the final quarter of 2021, from a historic low of 1.8% for the September quarter, to 6.3% at year’s end. Underemployment amongst self-employed geoscientists, however, continued to fall from 6.0% to 3.5% for the same period.
The increase in the unemployment rate appears inconsistent with anecdotal impressions of buoyant conditions in exploration and mining across most commodities.
The first quarter of each year has historically been a survey in which both unemployment and underemployment have increased due to the impacts of a seasonal slowdown in exploration activity during the January holiday period and land access problems created by the northern Australian wet season.
The December 2021 survey was the first to collect remuneration data. Analysis of these results is being completed and results will be announced soon. Watch AIG News and the Institute website for details. We will be asking these questions and presenting results annually.
The survey does not collect any personally identifiable information and only takes about two minutes to complete. Please take time to complete the survey and encourage colleagues and friends to also contribute. You do not need to be an AIG member to contribute, just a geoscientist working or seeking work in Australia.
The survey will be open for contributions until Sunday, 22 May. Please contribute today – every response makes a difference. Follow this link to complete the survey.
Adrian Mark Brewer (MAIG) passed away on the 24th January, 2022 aged 66 years young. He died at home after a long battle with cancer surrounded by family.
Adrian was well known in the geological circles of Australia and such was his courage that he was still doing field work on the Eyre Peninsula in November 2021. Many people did not realise the fight he was having.
Adrian graduated from the University of Adelaide in 1978 after completing an Honours Project on the Parabarana Copper Deposit in the Northern Flinders Ranges. This led to a love affair with this region that will culminate with his ashes being scattered on Parabarana Hill.
Adrian worked with many companies in the Flinders and would often seek out work that was going in the area. He worked throughout Australia and was part of teams that discovered the Mt. Leyshon Gold Mine, the Lucky Draw Gold Mine, the Weda Bay Nickel deposit and the Oakdale Graphite deposit. His work on Halmahera, Indonesia, on the Weda Bay deposit was remarkable. He had to go out to Halmahera on his first trip in a dugout canoe and then organise a place to sleep in the small village. He initially started walking and sampling whilst getting the project underway. A massive undertaking. He became the village “helper” explaining the various medicines delivered by WHO and what they were for. His introduction of a generator resulted in the purchase of a satellite TV by the locals with children rapidly learning English from the numerous shows delivered.
In Australia Adrian liked nothing better than organising and managing drilling programmes. He was in his element and loved being in the bush, the wilder the better.
We will all miss Adrian Mark Brewer.
The following tribute was read at Adrian’s funeral.
Well mate, it is hard to put 46 years into five minutes. Most things were said in the hours we talked at Calvary. Our goodbyes completed.
There are not too many places in Australia that we haven’t worked together and I guess it started in the northern Flinders Ranges and finished in the northern Flinders Ranges. In between is now a blur. We can throw in Indonesia, New Zealand and China and I`ve probably missed some. I remember saying to you, “boy, have I got a great job for you” , and you saying “yeah where?”. My reply was “China, and it will be like a big holiday”. I won`t put into print your reply, but off you headed.
We were lucky that we spent years together working in God’s own country as you would say. You loved to be in the bush and liked it even better if you could be sitting on a drill rig. I have to tell you, most drillers were not your best mates as you drove them berserk with your high standards.
You got used to telling me what plant was what and your knowledge of what we walked through used to amaze me. Good times with very few arguments and only very few amiable disagreements. We spent a lot of time sitting and talking about your three children and my four. I wonder if they knew that? From their ups and their downs and their heartbreaks to their greatest achievements.
Will and Jim, I know, treasure the time spent working with you. Peter and Rowan I`m sure have their own stories and I know you would have plenty to discuss with all of us. We won`t be going to Charters Towers, Coober Pedy, Broken Hill, Weda Bay or the untold number of other localities we spent time together anymore. Working and talking.
So long mate, it has been my pleasure to know you.
53 – Amalgamated Aardvarks Being Funded by Hope and Narrative with Rick Rule
In this episode, our guest is Arthur Richards “Rick” Rule IV, better known as Rick Rule. He needs no introduction. If you don’t know who Rick is, Google him. There’s a good chance Google was invented purely for searching for Rick Rule and his many achievements.
Furthermore, if you want to know what Amalgamated Aardvarks are, you won’t find that through Google. You will just have to listen to the episode.
James Cook University (JCU) is the leading Australian University in tropical North Queensland, with strong geology, geochemistry and environmental programs supported by world-class analytical facilities. JCU is looking for strong students to undertake their PhD within the College of Science and Engineering on the
Applications for fully-funded PhD opportunities (tuition + stipend) for the start of 2023 are being offered through a competitive scholarship scheme open to both international and domestic students. For more information, follow this link.
Scholarship application deadline for this program is due by 31 July 2022, but we encourage you to contact us well in advance.
In addition, we have a small number of PhD scholarships that we are looking to fund immediately through the W.R. Lacey Scholarship Fund with the possibility of a mid-2022 start is possible.
More details on Faculty and Staff in Earth Sciences
If you are interested, please contact EGRU (email@example.com) with your CV and a Cover Letter indicating your project(s) of interest and background.
I am crestfallen to announce my deeply respected friend and industry colleague, the indefatigable mining title master Robert Harrison has died overnight – he was 73 years old. He is survived by his wife Wendy, first wife Suzie, and daughters Jasmine and Brie. He will be acutely missed by many.
Physically strong, he was a skier and a fine sportsman in youth, winning North Sydney Boys High School Blues for Rugby and Water Polo. A Baliphile, he was a peculiar mix of contemporary pursuits and traditional mores.
Bob was unique, with over 50 years in NSW and national mining title consulting he was the most experienced, knowledgeable and competent practitioner of his ilk in Australia. In short, a legend.
His long service to the mining industry, as an unsalaried independent consultant for hire, is immeasurable. Bob worked to the end and the shockwaves of his death to the NSW mining industry, especially the mineral exploration community, will be long-felt. A tireless and authoritative practitioner gone.
His forthright pro-bono advocacy for practical mining title administration reform and clear, fair mineral exploration land access regulations is vast. Ultimately, the mere listing of his countless independent professional contributions to our industry is a feeble measure of a mighty character.
To know Bob was to get a real world flavour of the fearless, world-weary, frank and stoically honourable hardboiled fictional characters of the interwar pulp magazines. The closest thing to the fantasy portraits of the likes of Philip Marlow I can imagine meeting.
Bob was a lionhearted expert in exemplar. Fierce, blunt, direct, endlessly hardworking, unswervingly committed and intolerant of fools or the ambivalent. He demanded the utmost standards of logic, knowledge and competence from both government bureaucrats and clients alike. His high standards didn’t discriminate and he was very fond of telling his clients I am the insulant, not a consultant. He projected an overwhelming force of get it right, don’t waste my time or get lost. Irascible for the reluctant but an invigorating and rewarding challenge for the willing.
Distinctly an old Sydney salt; he was reminiscent of the rustic, direct, practical and staunch men I knew as a small child. Indeed, when thinking about Bob now, I am reminded of a famous quote regarding the Sydney business icon Kerry Packer – “He was not just frightening but was frighteningly smart”.
Despite his outwardly fearsome and terse demeanour, if you were committed, then you would find no firmer, passionate, generous and sure supporter. He would do anything for you; there was nobody better to have in your corner during the struggles of both business and life. Although I am saddened by his death he would have been the first to say get over it and press ahead. So he’s still in my, and all our corners.
I am profoundly honoured and privileged to have known Bob. An example of fierce expertise and assuredness most can only wish to achieve. The mining industry has lost a giant in his field and I do not think we will see his like again. His unprecedented contribution as an independent specialist and a good, honest man is to be wholeheartedly celebrated. Some future recognition by an institutional memorial reward would be fitting. Our industry should rise to acknowledge its loyal foot-soldiers.
His steadfast example can be aspired to but unlikely matched. I was lucky to be its witness. We now live in different and less forthright times.
Vale Bob Harrison.
CONTRIBUTOR: Doug Brewster
AIG sincerely congratulates all scientists honoured for their achievements by the Australian Academy of Science.
Geoscientists feature prominently amongst the 20 award recipients receiving prestigious honorific awards for their contributions to the advancement of science at the early, mid and career levels
The awarded research includes understanding how our wetlands respond to a changing climate and revealing serious complications in carbon capture
President of the Australian Academy of Science, Professor John Shine, said this year’s awardees are blazing a trail for science both locally and globally.
“The award recipients have made a significant contribution to the research enterprise and the impact of their research will continue for years to come.
“They have distinguished themselves and the whole of Australian science, and the Academy is proud to support their outstanding contributions.”
Dr Kathy Ehrig is renowned for her insights into the complex geological events involved in the formation of the supergiant copper-uranium-gold-silver Olympic Dam ore deposit. Her leadership in this research has attracted global attention because her advances may contribute to further discoveries elsewhere. She has created highly innovative solutions in characterising in situ ore properties and predicting metal extraction in advance of mining, primarily in the context of the Olympic Dam mine. These solutions are based on her profound knowledge and understanding of mineral assemblages and have proven to be highly robust and transferable to other mines, thereby having a crucially positive impact on productivity. The foundation of her achievements has been her ability to integrate diverse datasets through harnessing cutting-edge research methods and novel approaches. Dr Ehrig’s diligence, enthusiasm and dedication to the pursuit of science combine to make her an exceptional research leader.
For over 50 years, Professor Richard Henley has been a leader in the development of understanding of how economic deposits of metals, especially copper and gold, were formed within large-scale hydrothermal systems in volcanoes and mountain belts. The fundamentals that he derived have provided the basis of exploration for epithermal through to orogenic gold deposits, the practical chemistry of fluids in active geothermal systems and many follow-up research programs around the world. He has been acknowledged for his direct contribution to a number of major discoveries including the giant Ladolam Au (Lihir Island, Papua New Guinea) and the Onto Cu-Au (Hu’u, Sumbawa Island, Indonesia) deposits. In the last few years, he has led the recognition of high temperature magmatic gas reactions with rock forming minerals as the principal control on the generation of porphyry copper deposits. He is currently focused on application of X-ray micro CT scanning to derive new and detailed understanding of water-rock interaction chemistry and the properties of rock materials.
Further information about the Haddon Forrester King Medal is available here.
Professor Andrew Roberts has made fundamentally important contributions to understanding the magnetisation of sediments, which provides the basis for use of paleomagnetism to reconstruct global plate tectonic movements and to understand variations in Earth’s magnetic field through its history. His work influences all aspects of understanding sedimentary magnetisation acquisition, and has particularly contributed to recognising that the previously poorly-known magnetic mineral greigite, and magnetic minerals produced by magnetotactic bacteria, make important contributions to the magnetisation of globally distributed sedimentary rocks. He is an international leader in the field of environmental magnetic analyses of climate change, and has developed new methods in rock magnetism that are used widely in solid state physics, materials science, the magnetic recording industry, and Earth science. His work in environmental magnetism has made significant contributions to understanding African monsoon dynamics, sea level variations, and Arctic and Antarctic glacial history.
More information about this medal is available here.
Australia’s per capita carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are among the world’s highest and the recent drought and bush?re crises clearly illustrate our vulnerability to increases in greenhouse gas emissions. Although carbon dioxide geo-storage in deep coal seams can play a vital role in emission reduction, conversion of CO2 into a highly chemically reactive “supercritical CO2 (scCO2)” at such deep depths causes unpredictable CO2 ?ow behaviours in coal seams while modifying its’ flow and mechanical properties. Dr Samintha Perera discovered the unique interaction between the coal mass and scCO2 and the resulting impacts on underground applications. According to her ?ndings, all these unique scCO2 behaviours in coal seams are caused by the signi?cant coal matrix swelling resulted from the coal-scCO2 interaction. Regardless of that, she found the effectiveness of scCO2 as a fracking ?uid for coal reservoirs, which gave a great value to this problematic scCO2 as a reservoir stimulation agent.
More information about this medal is available here.
Professor Kerrylee Rogers has made an internationally significant contribution to one of the most pressing environmental issues of our time: the impact of climate change on the world’s most threatened and ecologically important habitat, wetlands. Her work has demonstrated that coastal wetlands (mangrove and saltmarsh) respond dynamically to sea-level rise. By trapping sediment and building root systems, wetlands adapt to climate change but also help mitigate climate change by sequestering atmospheric carbon dioxide. Professor Rogers has used these insights to show that the restoration of coastal wetlands is an effective climate change adaptation strategy that can yield financial benefits to landholders. Carbon captured through wetland restoration can be reported by governments as saved emissions and traded by landholders in emissions trading programs. These insights have been effectively communicated through management and policy-focused papers, presentations and expert advice.
More information about this medal is available here.
Associate Professor Annan Zhou has made seminal contributions to the understanding and modelling of the fundamental hydromechanical behaviour of unsaturated soils. Any soil can be unsaturated with water due to either evaporation or engineering processes like excavation. Unsaturated soils have been widely blamed for many geotechnical problems like slope failures, dam collapses, pavement cracking and foundation failures since they may produce large deformation and even suddenly lose their strength in wetting events. Associate Professor Zhou has established a new modelling framework to tackle the most fundamental issues in unsaturated soil mechanics. Within this framework, many unanswered questions and seemingly con?icting behaviours related to strength, deformation, soil-water interaction of unsaturated soils can be reasonably explained and effectively modelled. Based on the novel constitutive modelling framework and robust numerical techniques, he has developed advanced numerical tools for better design and assessment of infrastructure involving unsaturated soils in Australia and worldwide.
For more information about this medal, click here.
Follow this link to read more about each of the Academy’s 2022 honorific awardees.
Congratulations again to all medal recipients.
Know an amazing Australian scientist? Nominate them for an award! Nominations are now open for the Academy’s 2022 honorific awards, research conferences, research awards and travelling fellowships.