Yilgarn Retrospective

What we learned from the highly successful period of exploration 1950 to 1999, with implications for the challenges of the future.

The Australian Institute of Geoscientists (AIG) and sponsors are pleased to announce the Yilgarn Retrospective, a two-day symposium to be held in Perth on March 30-31, 2015.

Yilgarn Claim Post

The Yilgarn Craton (Western Australia) in the second half of the 20th century witnessed a transformative period in the resources industry which included the discovery and successful exploitation of a new deposit type (komatiite-hosted nickel sulphide), a massive boom in exploration and mining of Archaean lode gold, and developments in a number of other commodities. The Yilgarn has a world-class endowment in nickel, gold, bauxite and tantalum, and significant iron ore, uranium and copper-lead-zinc– silver deposits. By 1999, twenty million tonnes of nickel were identified, and the gold inventory rose in 20 years from 4 million ounces to 100 million ounces, despite the mining of about 100 million ounces over the same period. Nickel production reached 170,000 tonnes per annum and gold production was ~6.5 million ounces per annum. Western Australia was converted from a small economy based on agriculture to the world’s mining powerhouse. These commercial successes spawned research yielding new deposit models, a new appreciation of the regolith that blankets the Yilgarn and the tools to work beneath that regolith. This two- day symposium will look at the who, why and how of this momentous era 1950 to 1999. The meeting will review the importance of what we have learned from this highly successful period, with implications to the challenges of the future, and be an acknowledgement of the achievements of teams and individuals, some of whom are no longer with us.

The Yilgarn Craton is the large southern part of Western Australia including the gold mines from Norseman, Kalgoorlie to Wiluna, Meekatharra and Boddington, nickel from Ravensthorpe to Kambalda and Leinster, bauxite (aluminum) ores in the Darling Range, copper-zinc at Golden Grove, tantalum at Greenbushes, iron ore at Koolyanobbing, and uranium at Yeelirrie.

WA Exports

This meeting brings together a remarkable group of players from industry, academia and government who contributed to the success of this era. Speakers with an industry focus include Roy Woodall, Jeff Gresham, Ron Manners, Neil Phillips, Dennis Gee, Colin Agnew, John Chappell and Jim Ross, those with a government focus Tim Griffin, Phil Playford, John Bunting, Ray Smith, Megan Clark and Stephen Wyche, prospector Clive Daw, consultants Tom Bateman, Jack Hallberg and David Isles, and from academia Mike Lesher, Simon Wilde, Neal McNaughton, Ray Binns and David Groves. Speakers will look at what mattered most to shape the discovery record, and address the question of how to apply these concepts to ensure future exploration success.

Attending the conference?  You can download a copy of the abstracts volume here.  The volume is password protected – delegates will be sent the password with their registration confirmation.

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