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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.

Updated Privacy Policy

AIG’s Privacy Policy has been updated.  The updated policy was developed by AIG’s lawyers to ensure that the approach and practices followed by your Institute conformed with the requirements of current Australian and EU regulations, and to protect the interests of members.  AIG members can be assured that the Institute will, under no circumstances, provide member information to third parties for any reason, other than verification of AIG membership.  AIG’s online systems have recently been audited to help ensure the security of the Institute’s membership database and other identifying information.  The updated Privacy Policy follows.

Australian Institute of Geoscientists 
Privacy Policy

Prepared 12 September, 2018
Approved by Council 3 October 2018

The Australian Institute of Geoscientists (AIG) ABN 22 002 266 659 recognises the importance of privacy protection and takes all practicable measures to ensure the privacy of any Personal Information provided to it for the conduct of AIG activities.

AIG treats personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Privacy Act).  This Privacy Policy explains how we handle Personal Information relating to individuals, to meet the requirements of the Privacy Act.

1.  Definitions

In this Privacy Policy the expression “we“, “us” and “our” are a reference to AIG.  The expressions “you” and “your” refer to each individual whose Personal Information we may handle from time to time where we are required to comply with the Privacy Act in respect of such Personal Information.

Personal Information means information or an opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable:

  • whether the information or opinion is true or not; and
  • whether the information or opinion is recorded in a material form or not.

Privacy Policy means this document as amended from time to time.

Sensitive Information means information or an opinion about an individual’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, membership of a political association, religious beliefs or affiliations, philosophical beliefs, membership of a professional or trade association, membership of a trade union, sexual orientation or practices or criminal record that is also personal information, health information, genetic information, biometric information or biometric templates.

Spam Act means the Spam Act 2003 (Cth). 

2.  What Information Do We Collect?

We only collect Personal Information to the extent that it is reasonably necessary for one or more of our functions or activities, which are generally described in this Privacy Policy.

The personal information we collect from you includes:

  • your name and contact details, such as your address, telephone number(s), email address(es);
  • country and state of residence;
  • AIG membership status;
  • information required to process your membership application or other orders;
  • where provided to us, your academic qualifications or employment details; and 
  • where provided to us, information required to facilitate payment of membership subscriptions, donations, conference and seminar registrations and purchases of AIG publications.

All payments made using online facilities provided by AIG are processed using a secure, external website provided by AIG’s bank.  AIG itself does not handle, collect, or store any of the financial or credit card details of anyone making payments through the website and takes no responsibility for the security of that information.

3.  How Do We Collect Your Personal Information?

Our preference is to collect your Personal Information directly from you, unless it is unreasonable or impractical to do so. 

Information will generally be collected from the following sources:

  • the membership application you fill in to join AIG;
  • any subsequent information you provide to keep your information current after joining AIG;
  • contributions to AIG surveys;
  • subscription to AIG online and email newsletters, including our “AIGeoscope” online newspaper; and
  • any information you provide to us at AIG related events, locations and functions.

4.  Why Do We Need Your Personal Information?

AIG may use and disclose your Personal Information for the primary purpose for which we collected it, such as:

  • to provide you with our products, services or business activities;
  • to assess your eligibility for membership; 
  • to verify your identity and membership status; 
  • to maintain contact with you on matters relevant to your membership of AIG; 
  • to provide you with information regarding AIG activities and business, events, products or services we offer; and
  • to facilitate online payment of membership dues, event registrations, publications and other products or services.

    We may also use and disclose your Personal Information for other purposes permitted or required by law, including reasonably related (or directly related, for Sensitive Information) secondary purposes that are within your reasonable expectations.

    If you do not provide us with the Personal Information, or you withdraw your consent for AIG to collect, use and disclose your personal information, we may be unable to provide our services to you.

    5.  Communication From Us

    We do not use Sensitive Information for marketing purposes. 

    We may use and disclose your Personal Information (other than Sensitive Information) to provide you with information on:

    • special offers, products and services offered by AIG; and
    • upcoming events and functions by AIG,

    where you have consented to us doing so.  All electronic messages will identify AIG.

    If at any time you no longer wish to receive direct marketing from us or do not want your information disclosed for direct marketing, you may unsubscribe using the link in each email message, using the newsletter subscription link on the AIG website home page, or by contacting us using the details below.

    Please note that even if you have requested not to receive further direct marketing communications, we may nevertheless continue to provide you with information about changes to our terms and conditions for the supply of our services or activities, and other factual information as permitted under the Privacy Act and Spam Act.

    6.  Will We Give Your Personal Information to Anyone Else?

    We will not sell, trade or transfer any of the Personal Information we collect to third parties, unless permitted or required to under the Privacy Act. 

    We may disclose Personal Information to third parties in the following circumstances:

    • where we need to provide your Personal Information for a specific legal purpose to our representatives, such as accountants, auditors or lawyers; or
    • where that third party is a contractor engaged to provide goods or services to us.  We strive to limit the information we give contractors to what they need to perform their services for us or provide products or services to you.

    Please note that AIG member’s names, membership grade, membership number and state of residence may be made publicly available through the AIG website for the sole purpose of confirming AIG membership.

    7.  How Do We Protect Personal Information?

    The security of your personal details on the AIG website will depend on both your actions and ours.  When you use the website, we require you to take specific measures to protect against unauthorised access, such as:

    • establishing a password for your personal profile;
    •  ensuring access codes given to you are secure;
    • trying to memorise your access codes; 
    • not telling anyone of your access codes; 
    • not keeping your computer and undisguised access codes together;
    • immediately telling us if you suspect the security of your access code(s) have been breached; and
    • immediately changing your access codes if any breach is suspected.

    8.  Where is Your Information Stored?

    We (and our subcontractors) may hold electronic records of your Personal Information using cloud technology or other electronic means, or in paper form.  These means of holding Personal Information may include offshore storage. 

    It is not practicable for us to specify in advance the location of every service provider with whom we deal and their locations.  However, typically AIG’s website and membership database is stored in Australia.  Email contact information used for the distribution of newsletters and information collected by AIG surveys is stored in the United States of America.  Information collected for our “AIGeoscope” web newspaper is stored in Switzerland.

    9.  Access, Correction and Further Information

    We will provide you with access to your Personal Information held by us unless we are permitted under the Privacy Act to refuse to provide you with such access.  Please contact us via the details below if you:

    • wish to have access to the Personal Information which we hold about you;
    • consider that the Personal Information which we hold about you is not accurate, complete or up to date; or
    • have a complaint or inquiry, or otherwise require further information on our Personal Information handling practices. 

    There is no charge for requesting access to your Personal Information but we may require you to meet our reasonable costs in actually providing you with access.

    We will use reasonable efforts to deal promptly with complaints and inquiries and, in any event, acknowledge your request within 30 days. 

    If you are not satisfied with how we manage your complaint, you may contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner at www.oaic.gov.au.

    10.  Changes to This Privacy Policy

    AIG reserves the right to change or update this Privacy Policy at any time, without prior notice. When we do, the revised Privacy Policy will be posted on the AIG website, www.aig.org.au. The effective date of the revised policy will be recorded in the updated Privacy Policy.

    You may obtain a copy of our current Privacy Policy from our website or by contacting us via the details provided in paragraph 11 (below).

    11. Further Information

    If you would like more information about this Privacy Policy or any other privacy related issue please contact AIG’s Executive Officer, who can be contacted using the following details:

    Ms Lynn Vigar
    AIG Executive Officer
    PO Box 576
    CROWS NEST NSW 1585
    Australia

    T: +61 2 9431 8662
    E: exec@aig.org.au 

    Ethics Update: Document management

    Recent personal experience has highlighted the importance of every day document management for geoscientists working in industry or government.

    The AIG Code of Ethics requires compliance with professional standards for balanced, material and transparent public reporting of exploration results, mineral resources and ore reserves (the JORC Code) and valuation of mineral securities (the VALMIN Code).  These codes of practice invariably require production of reports.  But they are not the only activity that requires geoscientists to document interpretations and actions of geological data, or exercise judgement in the course of our work.  Commercial disputes or perceived non-compliance with corporations, privacy and other laws can result in work performed by geoscientists becoming legally discoverable in the course of preparing for court action.  It’s not just the Complaints o Ethics and Standards Committee to which we may need to demonstrate sound professional practice.

    There are several measures that have proved to be useful in my experience.

    1. Include a date and version number in every report or substantive document documenting geoscientific judgement or compliance with statutory procedures.  Document versions need to be numbered sequentially and the date of the document should be updated in a manner consistent with document versions.  I condor it good practice to record both the date the document was originally produced, which remains fixed, and a date that the document was last updated, which demonstrates the time period over which the current version of the document evolved.  Something as simple as correcting typing warrants recording a document update with the document version number and date.
    2. Record work related to a project in a notebook.  It pays to use a seperate notebook for major projects that involve public reporting or other substantive work.  I prefer a bound notebook with numbered pages, from which pages can’t be removed without it being noticed.  Notebooks can be discoverable in legal cases, which means that you’ll lose it for the duration of the preparations and hearing of the case.  I stick to paper, but it may be that electronic notebooks nowadays, using software that retains note versions and dates them like Microsoft OneNote or Evernote is a good option.  The potential advantage of these is that discovery may not lead to loss of access to the data, and the notes can be accessed from multiple devices without compromising their integrity.  Keep your paper notebooks private.
    3. File your emails.  Keep everything in an organised, logical manner, even if you think the email is not consequential or significant.  Most email programs offer good, logical filing capabilities and create threads linking messages that are part of particular conversations.
    4. Keep your electronic and paper files, again, in a logical manner and make sure that they are secure.  Access controls and good backups are a must for all electronic data.  Backups must cover you in the event of theft or destruction of both a computer and the premises where it is used.  Cloud services are a good option.  Service providers look after the backup issue and data is stored off-site, but make sure that the terms of use offered by the provider do not compromise your ownership of your data, or permit the service provider to make use of it in any way, especially disclosure of data to third parties.

    What is your experience?  Do you have additional experience and ideas that can contribute to good practice by others?  Leave a post on this page to continue the conversation.

    Andrew Waltho
    18 July 2018

    Complaints Update

    Code of Ethics and Complaints Process Review

    A review of AIG’s Code of Ethics, Complaints and Ethics and Standards processes is nearing completion.

    The review of AIG’s Code of Ethics and complaints process was initiated in April 2018.  Several, valuable submissions were received from members and considered during review.

    Interim results were presented to the AIG Council at it’s recent, annual face to face meeting in Sydney, where several additional questions were raised.  Legal advice on these issues is currently being sought.  The review will result in changes to the Code of Ethics that will be presented to members for consideration and review by members at an extraordinary general meeting of the Institute by the end of 2018.  The changes will be designed to ensure that the Code of Ethics remains a viable set of principles, to support AIG’s role of maintaining demonstrably high standards of professional practice by members.

    The revised Complaints and Ethics and Standards processes include a timeline for notification and review of complaints relating to practices of members.

    Complaints Lodgement

    Complaints relating to the professional conduct of AIG members may be lodged by any member of the public.  Complaints must be lodged in writing, by email to aig@aig.org.au or using the on-line form provided on the AIG website.  A description of the complaints process is also available on the website.

    Complaints and Ethics and Standards Committees

    Procedural fairness for members subject to a complaint is ensured by a two tiered complaints handling process, involving receipt and initial review of each complaint by the Complaints Committee that refers complaints considered to warrant detailed consideration and action by the Ethics and Standards Committee.  Disciplinary action against members is recommended by the Ethics and Standards Committee to the Institute Council.  Members have the ability of appealing Ethics and Standards decisions to the Council.

    The Chairpersons of the Complaints and Ethics and Standards Committees are currently Andrew Waltho FAIG RPGeo and Michael Edwards MAIG RPGeo respectively.  The current chairpersons of all Council committees and subcommittees are published in each issue of AIG News.

    Advice to Members

    Two complaints have been received since the AIG AGM in May.

    One complaint is currently being considered by the Ethics and Standards Committee.  The second resulted in the member being confidentially advised of an adverse finding in relation to compliance with the JORC Code (2012).

    The announcement in which the member was nominated as the Competent Person included the following shortcomings:

    1. failure to observe the JORC Code’s underlying principles of materiality and transparency by not meeting minimum standards of disclosure for public reporting of mineral resource estimates provided by Table 1 in JORC (2012), including disclosure of information on an “if not, why not” basis.
    2. Use of JORC as a brand by using “JORC compliant” to describe the mineral resource statement, which is a breach of Clause 6 of the code and highlighted in Clause 6 as being potentially misleading.  The words “JORC compliant” must be used to refer to the manner of reporting, not to the estimate.
    3. Use of inappropriate rounding of the Mineral Resources, in breach of JORC (2012) Clause 25.  Reporting of grade and tonnage estimates must not imply unsupported confidence in the estimates that is inconsistent with uncertainty inherent in the estimates, geological interpretation and data on which they are based.
    4. Use of a competent person statement should follow the form of a statement presented in Appendix 3 of JORC (2012).  Neither AIG or AusIMM register Competent Persons (JORC 2012 Clause 9).  Competent Persons are Members or Fellows of AIG or AusIMM, or a recognised overseas professional organisation with a minimum of five year’s experience in the activity, commodity and style of information covered by the announcement.
    5. Use of the term “ore” in describing Mineral Resources, which is a breach of JORC (2012) Clause 28.
    6. Metal equivalents must not be included in a Resource statement without addressing JORC (2012) Clause 50 which, for polymetallic deposits, requires disclosure of material factors contributing to the net value presented by the metal equivalent.

    The issues addressed in the complaint decision refer to JORC (2012) clauses 6, 9, 25, 28 and 50, Appendix 3 and Table 1.  

    The member was advised to carefully review the announcement in relation to the relevant sections of the JORC Code (2012) to prevent recurrence of the identified shortcomings in future work as a Competent Person and given 14 days to submit an appeal relating to the Ethics and Standards Committee decision.

    Review of the nominated sections of the JORC Code by all members acting as Competent Persons is recommended.

    Andrew Waltho
    Chair, Complaints Committee