Australian geoscientists recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours

A number of prominent Australian geoscientists and minerals sector figures were recognised in the Queen’s Birthday honours announced this week.

Mr Philip Ernest BOCK 
Medal (OAM) in the General Division 
For service to geology, marine biology, and to the community.  Dr Bock has been an Honorary Researcher, Museums Victoria, since 1982,  a Member, International Bryozoology Association (IBA), Editor and Contributor, World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS), and a Member, International Society for Reef Studies.  His career has included recognition of a previously undiscovered barnacle of Genus: Tetraclitella, in a sandstone block at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Courts, 2006.

Mr Paul Robertson ESPIE FAusIMM
Officer (AO) in the General Division
For distinguished service to the mining and infrastructure sectors through financial advisory roles, to public policy development and reform, and to not-for-profit organisations.  Mr Espie is a Director of Aurelia Metals Ltd, and was Chairman, Oxiana Limited, 2000-2003 and Chairman, Cobar Mines Pty Ltd, 1993.

Member (AM) in the General Division
For significant service to the mining industry, particularly through the promotion of greater gender diversity in the sector.  Ms Frater was Chair of the Women In Mining Network, 2008-2010 and a Member 2002-2015, involved with the establishment of Women in Mining and Resources Queensland, a former member of the Mining Mentoring Program, and is a co-founder and current member of Women in Mining NSW.  Ms Frater was also Chair of the Minerals COuncil of Australia Gender Diversity Reference Group, 2012-2015.  Her career also included geologist roles with BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) and Rio Tinto.

Mr Gary Michael JOHNSTON
Public Service Medal 
For outstanding public service through improving national and international scientific program delivery in satellite positioning and geodesy.  Mr Johnston’s leadership in his role as Branch Head, Geodesy and Seismic Monitoring at Geoscience Australia has enabled the improved adoption of satellite Positioning, Navigation and Timing technology across Australian industry, research and government sectors.  Since 2015 he has chaired the International Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Service (IGS). GNSS supports many applications, including precise navigation, machine automation, and surveying and mapping. His key contribution has been to refocus IGS efforts onto societal applications of precise observations of the Earth using GNSS technologies.

Professor Geoffrey Neil PHILLIPS FAIG FAusIMM
Medal (OAM) in the General Division
For service to rogaining, to minerals exploration, and to education.  Professor Phillips is a Director of  Phillipsgold and an Honorary Professorial Fellow, School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne, since 2000.  He was Chief, Division of Exploration and Mining, CSIRO, 2001-2004, General Manager Geology, Great Central Mines Ltd, 1995-1999,  and Chair, Victorian Institute of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 2001-2005 and Member, 1995- 2005.

Ms Erica Lee SMYTH
Companion (AC) in the General Division
For eminent service to the community through corporate governance roles with charitable, medical research, higher education, nuclear scientific and technology organisations, to the minerals exploration sector, and to women in business.  She was Chair of Toro Energy, 2009-2015 and a board member from 2004-2015.  She was also Non-Executive Director, National Energy Resources Australia, since 2015; Non- Executive Director, Deep Exploration Technologies CRC, 2013-2017 and Chair, Advisory Board, National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management
Authority, since 2017.  She is also a former Deputy Chair and Director of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation.  Dr Smyth’s career has included Principal Geologist, BHP Minerals Limited, for seven years, Manager, Beenup mineral sands project, BHP-Utah Minerals, for four years, Manager, Gas Market Development WA, BHP Petroleum for two years and General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Woodside Petroleum Limited, 1999-2004.

Congratulations to all award recipients.

AGCC 2018 – Third Circular released and reminder to submit your abstract


The AGCC 2018 Third Circular has been released with all the information you were waiting for to assist you in planning your participation in the Convention.

  • Updated program with additional sessions
  • New initiatives for young geoscientists
  • The announcement of confirmed Plenary and Keynote speakers
  • More details on the Big Issues and Ideas in Geoscience Day
  • An expanded list of field trips and professional workshops, with information on costs and deadlines.


Don’t miss the opportunity to have your work presented (oral or poster) at the Australian Geoscience Council Convention 2018. Deadline for abstract submission is midnight on Saturday 16 June.

Formal notification of acceptance of abstracts will be by Saturday 28 July; presenters of accepted abstracts must pay for their full delegate registration by Saturday 18 August.

Click here for further information on abstracts submission and presentations.



If you are an Early Career Geoscientist, you may be able to take up AGCC 2018 special offer and pay $765 for a full delegate registration, saving up to $235 on the current full member rate. Be quick, the offer closes on Thursday 30 August!

To see if you fit the criteria for Early Career Geoscientist, please read page 6 of AGCC 2018 Third Circular here.



We want to make AGCC 2018 as accessible as possible to all Geoscientists, including those with young children and who may need assistance with their care. The Steering Committee is investigating the possibility of having a child-minding facility set up at the Adelaide Convention Centre for the duration of AGCC 2018. The facility would be operated and managed by a licensed contractor and all arrangements would be made by parents with the contractor directly. It is intended to provide this facility on a cost-recovery basis.

If you are interested in this service, please complete the Expression of Interest form here on or before Tuesday 14 August. The decision on whether or not to provide this facility will be made based on the demand received via the Expression of Interest form by this date.



Geostats in Practice

8 CPD HoursMonday 18th June 2018

Burswood on Swan, Camfield Drive, Burswood  WA

AIG Western Australia  branch will be holding a one day seminar of the practical application of geostatistics in Earth Sciences. Topics will range through the Mineral Resource value chain, showcasing the means by which the use of geostatistics helps solve common and critical problems within the development and exploitation of Mineral Resources with speakers including:

OSCAR RONDON, CSIRO Geostatistical assessment of recoverable resources – how to do more with less drilling data
UTE MUELLER, Edith Cowan University  Prediction of the major crustal blocks in Australia using the National Geochemical Survey of Australia Data
HASSAN TALEBI, Edith Cowan University A hybrid model for joint simulation of high-dimensional continuous and categorical variables
ERIN RETZ, Fortesque Metals Group
DANIEL GUIBAL SRK Consulting Drillhole spacing analysis in an iron ore deposit
BOSTA PRATAMA, CUBE Consulting Estimation search neighbourhoods – latest trends
MATTHEW COBB, CSA Global Application of categorical simulation at the feasibility study stage
MIKE LOWRY, BHP Improving the geoscience to mining cycle through uncertainty quantification
ANDREW WEEKS, Golder Associates Geostats saves the day – a selection of case studies from feasibiity to production
BILL SHAW, Ore Control Application of geostatistics to mining geology

Members: $275: Non-members $385, Students/Unemployed AIG members $110.  All include GST, lunch and morning/afternoon teas.

Register on-line via the AIG web site.  The seminar flyer is available here.

This seminar is generously sponsored by:

Volcanic Processes, Deposits, Geology and Resources short course

2nd to 8th December, 2018

This year’s course is led by Ray Cas, Pat Hayman, Rebecca Carey


Merimbula, on the south coast of NSW.
The course will be taught residentially at the Black Dolphin Motel, Merimbula, on the scenic south coast of New South Wales. The motel has modern conference room facilities and is ideally situated for easy access to the Late Devonian Boyd Volcanic Complex during the 2 field days.

Course Overview

  • 3 days of cutting edge lectures on the major topics relevant to understanding modern volcanic processes and the origins and settings of ancient volcanic successions, including mineralised ones.
  • The course focus is on developing understanding of volcanic rock and their origins, through the lectures, field days and an extensive display of specimens from Archean through to modern volcanics.
  • 2 days of fieldwork on excellent coastal exposures of subaerial and subaqueous volcanic successions of the Late Devonian Boyd Volcanics, and practical work on polished display specimens (slabs, drill core) and thin sections of typical macro- and micro-textures and features of a spectrum of volcanic rock types, from subaerial to subaqueous, from komatiites, basalts, andesites, dacites, rhyolites to kimberlites and lamproites, from lavas to pyroclastic to volcanic sediments and from a spectrum of ore deposit host rock successions.
  • Comprehensive display of books and research papers on all topics
  • DVDs of major volcanic phenomena and eruption styles.


Registration is now open – Please refer to the registration form in the brochure.

Early Bird registration deadline of 24th August.
Accommodation and meals are included in the course fee.

More information

The course brochure includes images of some of the fieldtrip outcrops and course display rock specimens, as well as information about the course, the location, and registration – click here to download.

Focus on mining safety

ICMM releases latest mining safety data of its members

The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) recently released its annual safety data report on its member companies.

ICMM is committed to strengthening the health and safety performance of its members and reducing operational fatalities to zero. As part of this commitment we produce an annual safety data report of our membership. The full report is available at

The report, which collates the safety data of around 950,000 workers and contractors, recorded 51 fatalities in 2017. This was a decrease from 63 fatalities in 2016.

Eight of the 23 ICMM members reported no fatalities in 2017, these were Antofagasta, Goldcorp, JX Nippon, Mitsubishi Materials, Newmont, Polyus, South32 and Teck.

The number of hours worked across ICMM’s members dropped by four per cent, but taking this into account, fatalities reduced by 15 percent. There were 2 incidents which resulted in more than one fatality, a decrease from 5 incidents in 2016.

The data also shows an 11% decrease in the number of total recordable injuries from 8,445 in 2016 to 7,515 in 2017.

Tom Butler, ICMM’s CEO said: “While eight of our members had no fatalities and there were twelve fewer deaths in 2017, tragically 51 miners lost their lives. We shouldn’t underestimate the hard work that has been done to reduce fatalities, however this is still too many and we are determined to achieve our goal of eliminating fatalities in our members’ operations.”

The report findings include:

  • Twelve fewer fatalities recorded in 2017 compared to 2016
  • Eight member companies recorded no fatalities in 2017, an increase from six in 2016
  • 17 fatalities (33 per cent) were caused by fall of ground in underground mines – the number of fatalities fell from 31 in 2016
  • 11 fatalities (22 per cent) were due to transportation/mobile equipment, a reduction from the 15 recorded in 2016
  • In 2017, there were 931 fewer recordable injuries than in 2016 and 2,979 fewer than in 2015

In the six years of safety data published by ICMM, fatalities have dropped from 90 in 2012 to 51 in 2017 and in this time, the fatality frequency rate has dropped by 18 per cent
Since 2012, total recordable injuries have dropped from 13,895 to 7,515 and the total recordable injury frequency rate has dropped by 22 per cent.

The report also examines incidents by country and finds that 25 fatalities occurred in South Africa, four in Peru and three in Chile and the USA. The fatality frequency rate in Africa is 0.040 per million hours worked, 0.031 in Europe, 0.019 in the Americas and 0.013 in Oceania.