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SEC Acts to Modernize Resource Disclosure Standards for Mining

The Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME) and the National Mining Association (NMA) today issued a joint statement on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) announcement that it has voted to adopt amendments to modernize the property disclosure requirements for mining registrants, and related guidance, under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

David Kanagy, SME Executive Director, said, “I am pleased with the joint work of SME and NMA on this important SEC disclosure requirement. The issuance of this new SEC rule is a long time coming. It was made possible through the efforts of many organizations and individuals dedicated to making a positive change. Much of the CRIRSCO reporting requirements adopted in the new SEC rule give the U.S. mining industry much better competitive positioning with other international reporting requirements.”

Hal Quinn, NMA president and CEO: “The SEC’s action is an important step forward in modernizing the government’s treatment of the U.S. mining industry. The changes outlined in the new rule level the playing field, modernizing regulations first conceived in the 1930s and aligning the U.S. approach with international standards, allowing disclosure of mineral resources in addition to reserves and the utilization of forward-looking market forecasts and prices. Domestic mining is already disadvantaged when compared with global competition. When it comes to permitting, other countries achieve in two to three years what takes 10 years in the U.S., providing investors little certainty. This action is a step in the right direction to return U.S. mining to global competitiveness.”

SME media release, 1 Nov 2018

Professional Reciprocity recognised for geoscientists between Australia and the Philippines

The Professional Regulatory Board of Geology which operates under the Professional Regulation Commission of the Phillippines has recognised that reciprocity exists between geoscience bodies in Australia and the Philippines. 

Accordingly, Australian geoscientists are now able to take the Philippines geologist licensure examination.

The recognition of reciprocity between the two countries follows efforts by Scott Robson, an Australian geologist resident in the Philippines to be allowed to take the licensure examination.  Mr Robson has a BSc from Monash University and his professional standing in Australia was supported by letters provided by both AIG and AusIMM.  The Professional Regulatory Board of Geology recognised that Mr Robson’s degree was equivalent to a bachelor’s degree from a Philippines university and that reciprocity on the practice of geology exists between the two countries.

The ruling is seen as establishing the opportunity for other Australian geologists to undertake the Philippines geologist licensure examination in the future.

AIG Council Meeting Summary – 3 October 2018

Council met 3rd October 2018.  The following note is a summary of the key points discussed at the meeting for the information of members, intended to promote transparent management of Institute affairs and member engagement.  These notes have been approved by Council but are not a substitute for the meeting minutes.

A number of members remain unfinancial for the 2018-2019 financial year.  This isn’t unusual for this time of year.  Reminder notices have been sent by email.  Unfinancial members have been ineligible to exercise benefits of AIG membership, including acting as a Competent Person in compliance with the JORC Code since 30 September 2018.  Members who remain unfinancial at 31 December 2018 may be required to reapply for membership. You can check whether you are currently financial using the member search facility on the AIG web site.

Council approved a revised Registered Professional Geoscientist application review process proposed by the AIG Registration Board.

AIG Student Bursary recipients for 2018 have been selected and were approved by Council.  All bursary applicants will be advised of the status of their applications (successful or unsuccessful) prior to the list of recipients for 2018 being announced.

Work has commenced on a series of short, focussed JORC Code training modules for both geoscientists and other “end-users” of public exploration results, mineral resources and ore reserves reports.  Pilot courses will be run in Townsville early in 2019.  A course explaining the role of the JORC Code and Competent Persons for early career geoscientists is also in development.  Council discussed a micro-accreditation module under which multiple, short, linked training courses can be completed towards satisfying a training objective, rather than requiring course participants to enrol in a single, long training course.  The longer-term objective is to have courses available for delivery, face to face, across Australia or on-line.  The subjects of these courses will also be expanded to cover practical skills required by early career geoscientists with time.  Member involvement in this process will be welcome.

A proposal for establishment of a Nominations Committee, to help ensure Council has the requisite skills to manage and further develop the Institute, was considered.

Council accepted Michael Edward’s resignation as Chair of AIG’s Ethics and Standards Committee, with an expression of sincere thanks to Michael for his work in this important role over a number of years.  Jacqui Coombes has agreed to replace Michael in this role.  An announcement of Jacqui’s appointment will be made shortly.

James Llorca tendered his resignation from Council.  A process to fill the casual vacancy created by James’s resignation was initiated. Council sincerely thanked James for his work in the management and development of the Institute.

Stuart Masters resigned as an AIG representative on the JORC Committee.  A process to select a new representative was initiated.

Proposed changes to AIG’s Constitution and Code of Ethics, intended to improve the fairness of AIG’s Complaints and Ethics and Standards processes were received from Ashurst, a leading, Australian, national law firm.  The proposed changes are currently being prepared for consideration and endorsement by members at an Extraordinary General Meeting, probably in early 2019.

A revised Privacy Policy, developed for AIG by Ashurst, was approved by Council and published on the AIG web site.

Council discussed the potential benefits of engaging a Chief Executive Officer to increase public representation of AIG members’ interests on professional and community issues.

Council approved AIG joining the Digital Object Identifier consortium to enable DOIs to be added to AIG publications, making them easier to search for, locate and reference, and potentially making AIG publications a more attractive platform for authors.

Andrew Waltho met with Edumine during October.  The meeting discussed how AIG members could become involved in developing training materials for delivery, globally, using Edumine’s platform and receive remuneration for their work.  The dialogue with Edumine is ongoing.

AGCC2018 will be held in Adelaide during Earth Science Week (14-19 October).  After AGCC2018, the focus will shift to AEGC2019 to be held in Perth during 2-5 September 2019.  AEGC2019, being convened jointly by ASEG, PESA and AIG, will build on the success of AEGC2018 in Sydney last February.

Any of the topics discussed in this summary may be discussed with any Council member.  Contact details appear at the back of each issue of AIG News.The next Council meeting will be held 14 November, 2018.  Papers for the meeting, including branch and committee reports, should be submitted by 24 October.

Andrew Waltho

AEGC2019 Data to Discovery

Perth will host the 2nd Australasian Exploration Geoscience Conference (AEGC) from Monday 2 to Thursday 5 September 2019 at Crown Perth.

The AEGC is the largest petroleum and mineral geoscience conference in Australasia, and incorporates the West Australian Basin Symposium (WABS) and the ASEG-PESA International Geophysical Conference and Exhibition.

The event will be jointly hosted by the Australian Institute of Geoscientists (AIG)Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists (ASEG), and Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia (PESA).

The theme for the 2019 conference is “Data to Discovery”. The AEGC technical program committee has a focus on Geology, Geophysics, and Geochemistry and how these are applied in exploration for both Petroleum and Mineral systems in Australasia and the wider Asia-Pacific region. The conference has major sub-themes encompassing but not limited to:

  • New technologies
  • New information from old data
  • Local understanding from regional context
  • Workflows and methods that reduce cost/turnaround on projects
  • Cross disciplinary co-ordination
  • Case studies
  • Interacting and communicating science to the wider community.

A vital component of the 2019 conference will be the inclusion of dedicated streams for Australian basins, discovery techniques, mineral mapping, and remote sensing applications.

On behalf of the AEGC 2019 Organising Committee, we look forward to welcoming you to Perth.  Visit the conference web site for the latest information regarding the conference, accommodation, sponsorship and exhibition opportunities.

John Gorter and Tim Dean
Co-Chairs

Key Dates:

Call for Abstracts Expression of Interest Closes: 31 January 2019 – submit your expression of interest now via the AEGC2019 website.
Early Bird Registration Opens: 1 March 2019
Call for Extended Abstracts Closes: 22 March 2019 
Author Notification: 3 May 2019 or before
Registration Deadline: 31 May 2019

Get Ready for GDA2020

The Geocentric Datum of Australia 2020 (GDA2020) is a geocentric (earth-centred) coordinate reference system that is Australia’s new official national datum. GDA2020 will eventually supersede the GDA94 datum and older coordinate systems, such as Australian Geodetic Datum 1966 and 1984 (AGD66 and AGD84).

It is a ‘plate-fixed’ datum that is aligned with the 2014 realisation of the International Terrestrial Reference Frame (or ITRF2014). The “earth-fixed” ITRF is typically not regarded as a “datum” — rather it is the international standard reference framework to which national geocentric datums are aligned.

GDA2020 coordinates differ from GDA94 coordinates by approximately 1.5 to 1.8 metres and are more closely aligned with the reference frameworks used by modern GNSS – such as GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and BeiDou.

Shifts between GDA 94 and GDA 2020

Approximate shift from GDA94 to GDA2020 locations across Australia

The standard map projection associated with GDA2020 is the Map Grid of Australia 2020 (MGA2020), a transverse Mercator projection that conforms to the internationally standardised Universal Transverse Mercator Grid system.

The changes are needed because national and global location information systems operate differently, and they are diverging. Australia’s national grid of latitude and longitude coordinates moves with the drift of the continent, like a giant net tied to known reference points on the landscape. Together, these reference points and latitude and longitude coordinates are known as a geodetic datum. Every country has its own datum, and the official Australian geodetic datum since 2000 has been  the Geocentric Datum of Australia 1994, or GDA94. The coordinates of features on our maps, such as roads, buildings and property boundaries, are all based on GDA94, and they do not change over time.


Australia’s national grid of latitude and longitude coordinates moves with the continent – where Australia goes GDA94 goes

There have been significant technology developments recently that provide ready access to accurate positioning systems. It is anticipated that the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) will be capable of providing positioning services with centimetre accuracy in real-time to the mass market on mobile devices. Given that data from GNSS is referenced to a global reference frame, specifically the International Terrestrial Reference Frame 2014 (ITRF2014), it is appropriate that the Australian datum is closely aligned to the same global reference frame.

There are a number of useful references available on-line from Geoscience Australia and the Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping.  A search for GDA2020 will reveal a list of useful resources, including a series of informative fact sheets.

If you are in Brisbane, 30 October, the ASEG Queensland Branch meeting will feature a talk by  Matt Higgins, Manager of Geodesy and Positioning in the Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy on the new datum.

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