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Voodoo Geophysics

SEG webinar presented by Greg Hodges, Sander Geophysics

SEG’s European Region Advisory Committee (ERAC) presented a webinar on “Voodoo Geophysics” examining questionable practices instrumentation systems promoted by individuals and companies in January 2019.

The exploration industry has been plagued since the dawn of technology with near?magical oil, gold and waterfinders. They do untold damage to the reputation and business of honest geophysical applications and research. A geophysicist with sound scientific knowledge can usually recognize when geophysics is “from the dark side”, but it can be difficult to convince non?scientists.

Some common characteristics of voodoo geophysical methods are: dubious theoretical bases, fantastic levels of instrument sensitivity, phenomenally accurate interpretations, extraordinary levels of secrecy, and combative or evasive response to challenges.

Fraudulent methods evade scrutiny. Vendors shy away from technical testing and publication. Refusal of the purveyor of a new system to comply with evaluation and publication of results must be viewed with suspicion.

Greg Hodges has established a “voodoo geophysics” database with more than 80 entries so far. He has previously published on this topic.

The SEG webinar is available via You Tube. The video comprises a presentation, followed by the webinar Q&A session.

Inclusion and diversity central to AIG’s strategy

The AIG Council meets once a year, face to face, to consider issues that are central to AIG’s strategy. The 2019 meeting was held in late June in Adelaide.

It was great to meet members of the revitalised South Australia Branch committee. AIG has had an active branch in South Australia for some years, but a new committee has recently taken on the task of revitalising a program of regular branch meetings and seminars in the state. The Central West Exploration Discussion Group (CWEDG) has also recently merged with AIG’s New South Wales Branch to foster opportunities for geoscientists in the Orange region to meet and interact. State Branches play an essential role in the delivery of many of AIG’s benefits of membership and these developments will, without doubt, enhance our Institute’s ability to represent members in those areas.

The first face to face meeting of state branch committee representatives is to be held in Perth in early September, with the aim of improving managing AIG business, the work of our secretariat and, most importantly, improve communications between Council, AIG’s board, branches.

Several priorities emerged from the meeting:

  • AIG will remain a member-run, agile and responsive professional institute with low fees. AIG’s not for profit model is seen to be central to the Institute’s success.
  • Professionalism: we will continue to build a strong commitment to professionalism and ethics.
  • Building a community: we will strive to increase opportunities for members to meet and interact, face to face and on-line. Council is facilitating either audio or video recording of technical talks and other events for the benefit of members across Australia.
  • Retention and growth: we need to look closely at how to retain students as graduate members, and graduates as full members.
  • Education: AIG will remain committed to both secondary and tertiary geoscience education through support of ESWA and TESEP, and AIG’s own, very successful, undergraduate and postgraduate student bursary program.
  • Advocacy: we will look closely at how AIG manages this role, in its own right and in collaboration with kindred societies.
  • Inclusion and diversity: support for members with parental responsibilities and looking at AIG documents, to ensure they use gender-neutral language.

Many of these are issues that won’t be solved overnight, but on which substantial progress can be made in the next twelve months.

Aspects of the inclusion and diversity issue received immediate attention. We want to ensure that all members taking parental leave can retain contact with their peers and involvement in AIG activities. Members are able to request a membership subscription concession for up to three years while they undertake parental duties and are eligible for concessional registration for all AIG events. AIG’s Code of Ethics has also been reviewed to ensure that gender-neutral language is used throughout. The revised Code of Ethics will be put forward for member approval at the annual general meeting next year. This review is continuing. Council has also committed to reviewing recognition of overseas academic qualifications, to ensure that our assessment process is both equitable and robust.

AIG publications and establishment of specialist groups, where members can engage with others on topics of particular interest, are also on the agenda. Watch for further details and take the opportunity to share thoughts and ideas with your local branch or any Councillor – see AIG News for contact details.

Andrew Waltho
President

AIG Executive, Permanent and Working Committee Chairs for 2019-2020

The new Council met last Monday (20 May) to appoint Councillors to Executive Committee roles and standing committees.

The Executive positions for the coming year are:

President: Andrew Waltho
Vice President: Patrick Maher
Secretary: Rod Carlson
Treasurer: Tim Pippett

Permanent Committee Chairs:

Finance: Tim Pippett
Legal: Andrew Waltho
Qualifications and Membership: Patrick Maher
Registration Board: Sam Lees

The Complaints, Ethics and Standards and Risk and Audit Committee Chairs will be appointed at the Face to Face Council Meeting in June.

Working Committee Chairs:

Education: Kaylene Camuti
Geotourism: Ian Neuss
National Graduate Committee: Genna McDonaugh, Liaison: Katarina David
National Mentoring Program: Doug Young
National Rock Garden: Ken McQueen
Professional Issues: Wayne Spilsbury
Publications: Andrew Waltho
Reciprocal Recognition: Matthew Cobb
Service Award: Tim Pippett

The Nominations Committee Chair will be appointed at the Face to Face Council Meeting in June.

Lynn Vigar is continuing as AIG’s Executive Officer. AIG’s secretariat services will continue to be provided by The Association Specialists, Sydney, with a review of the secretariat contract planned for the coming year.

JORC Training

AIG is working with leading Australian geological and mining consulting practice, DeRisk Geomining Consultants, to develop an affordable, comprehensive, five module training course for resource and reserves professionals and those who make use of resource and reserve statements.

The course is designed so that all file modules may be completed, or individual models taken to meet specific gaps in personal expertise and professional experience.

The five modules will cover:

  1. Introduction to the JORC Code – how the JORC code sets out minimum standards for public reporting of exploration results, mineral resources and ore reserves and sets out sound practices for data collection, quality control and assurance, analysis and transparent, material reporting of results.
  2. A JORC Code Refresher – designed to help geoscientists responsible for public reports understand their personal responsibilities, refresh their understanding of the key requirements of the Code, how compliance is monitored and other issues central to Competent Person responsibility.
  3. Reporting Exploration Targets and Exploration Results for mineral commodities covered by the JORC Code, including the development of sound practices for collecting and assuring the quality of required information.
  4. Reporting Mineral Resources, including how the use of the Checklist of Assessment and Reporting Criteria (Table 1) included in the Code can be used as a guide to best practice data collection, analysis and material reporting of estimates.
  5. Integrating the JORC Code with ASX Rules – Compliance with the listing rules established for ASX listed companies adds requirements for public reporting that may extend what is required by the JORC Code in specific areas.

Case studies will feature extensively in the presentation of each module.

Development of the course has commenced. The first two modules are being presented in Townsville next week (29 April). The first delivery of the complete course will be in Perth, expected in the third quarter of 2019. This will be followed by regular courses in other locations throughout Australia. Delivery of the course using interactive, real-time, desktop video delivery, providing interaction between the presenter and students during each model is also being planned cater for the needs of students in rural Australia and overseas.

Feedback received from students will be used to continuously improve the quality and relevance of course content.

AIG is one of three parent bodies of the Joint Ore Reserves Committee (JORC).

The course will form a key continued professional development resource, delivered in a flexible manner, consistent with AIG’s not for profit model to ensure it is within reach of all Institute members.

Further details will be published as course development proceeds.

Queensland’s new Draft Minerals and Coal Reporting Guideline

Queensland’s new Draft Minerals and Coal Reporting Guideline is now available for consultation and feedback by industry.

The new Draft Guideline has been developed in consultation with industry.  It simplifies and streamlines industry reporting requirements, reduces reporting duplication and red-tape, and improves data quality through the use of standardised, reporting templates and units of measure.

The new Draft Guideline has been developed in consultation with industry.  It simplifies and streamlines industry reporting requirements, reduces reporting duplication and red-tape, and improves data quality through the use of standardised, reporting templates and units of measure.

Download a copy of the DRAFT Minerals and Coal Reporting Guideline here.

The new Draft Guideline lists reporting requirements that are already mandatory under existing Regulation, as well as additional information tha can be supplied and is considered good practice to report.

Throughout April and May 2019, officers from the Geological Survey of Queensland will work closely with industry to collect feedback on the draft guideline and accompanying submission templates, and make adjustments as required.

Send your feedback about the DRAFT guideline and submission templates to: geological_info@dnrme.qld.gov.au 

The Draft Guideline is an important step in enabling a future of data driven exploration, where decision making across all aspects of the mineral and coal sectors is aided by accurate, relevant, high quality data and information. Thank you for your ongoing support of the department’s work to modernise the collection of geoscience information and the reporting of activities in Queensland’s mineral and coal sectors.

Tony Knight

Chief Government Geologist 
Geological Survey of Queensland
Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy

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