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Two new events from Geoscientists Symposia

Geophysics for the Mineral Exploration Geoscientist

Date: 11-13 December 2017

Venue: Tawarri Reception Centre, Dalkeith WA

Presenter : Mike Dentith

This innovative training course uses applied learning techniques and real-world mineral exploration scenarios to train participants in the key principles of interpreting geophysical data sets, without the need for complex mathematics and physics.
This course teaches participants to integrate geological and geophysical methods to optimise mineral exploration.
With more than 25 years experience in teaching, research and consulting in mineral exploration geophysics, Prof Mike Dentith is co-author of the award winning textbook, Geophysics for the Mineral Exploration Geoscientist, on which this course is based. He has run professional courses for industry, government and professional societies in Australia, South America, Asia and Africa.
Click here for a copy of the workshop brochure or to register on-line via the geoscientistsmposia.com.au web site.

Gold2018@Perth

Date: 2 to 3 August 2018 (just before Diggers and Dealers)

Venue to be advised.

Featuring four exciting sessions, this two day meeting encompasses:

  • Conglomerate Gold
  • Regolith Gold
  • From Target to Mine
  • Gold Research

Call for Papers

Please send us an expression of your interest by sending an email to training@geosymposia.com.au.

Geoscientist Employment Recovery Slows

Reported significant improvement earlier this year in employment prospects for professionals in Australia’s exploration and mining industry has slowed, according to the latest Australian geoscientist employment survey results collected by the Australian Institute of Geoscientists for the quarter up to the end of June 2017.

During the second quarter of 2017, geoscientist employment across Australia improved marginally ­­­compared to the previous quarter.  AIG’s latest survey indicates that the unemployment rate amongst Australia’s geoscientists, at 30 June 2017, was 11.3%.  The corresponding underemployment rate was 19.0%.  This represents a very welcome but small decrease in unemployment, down from 12.1% at the end of March 2017, offset by an increase in the underemployment rate, from 18.3% to 19.0%, during the quarter.

Geoscientist unemployment and under-employment in Australia June 2009 – June 2017

Decreases in the unemployment rate are now evident in four of the past five surveys.

Australia’s self-employed geoscientists, independent contractors and consultants, continue to face difficult times with only half able to secure one quarter of their desired workload.

The employment situation varies markedly between industry sectors.  The unemployment in mineral and energy resource exploration in this survey was 14.2%, compared to 6.9% in mineral and energy resource mining and production.  The unemployment rate amongst geoscientists working in other fields, such as environmental geoscience, groundwater resource management, engineering geology, education and agriculture, was 4.0%.

Unemployment and underemployment rates varied significantly between states.  Unemployment was highest in Western Australia at 12.3%, the only State in which unemployment was observed to increase.  South Australia recorded the lowest unemployment rate at 4.2% and the greatest improvement in the unemployment rate during the quarter.  Underemployment was lowest in Western Australia, highest in South Australia and worsened in every State except Western Australia and Queensland.

 

Geoscientist unemployment and underemployment by State

 

Changes in state unemployment and underemployment during Q2 2016

Long term unemployment decreased but remains a serious concern, with more than 60% of unemployed and underemployed not confident of returning to work within the next 12 months.  More than 13% of unemployed geoscientists regained employment during the quarter, but this was more than offset by geoscientists losing employment.   Sentiment amongst geoscientists in employment, however, improved, with more than half indicating that they were confident of remaining in employment for the next 12 months or more.

Almost 20% of unemployed and underemployed geoscientists indicated that they were seeking to leave their profession, up 4% from the previous quarter, continuing an increasing trend. 

Some 61% of respondents indicated that they were working, or seeking work in mineral exploration.  14% were working or seeking work in metalliferous mining, and almost 8% of respondents were working or seeking work in energy resource exploration, mining and production.

AIG spokesperson, Mr Andrew Waltho, expressed concerns regarding the slow recovery in employment opportunities for geoscientists in Australia, particularly in mineral exploration.  “While our latest survey clearly shows that employment prospects for geoscientists are slowly improving generally, with four of the past five surveys recording a decrease in the unemployment rate, exploration activity remains low.  “This has serious implications for the sustainability of Australia’s mining industry by threatening the strength of our mineral resource project pipeline.  “Both greenfield and brownfield exploration is essential if discoveries are to be made to replace, let alone expand, the resource base on which miners produce essential minerals on which our society and economy relies” he said.

“There are some very positive signs in the latest survey results,” Mr Waltho said.  “Unemployment is down, albeit slightly, and employment appears to be strong in the non-mining and resources fields, which represent a small but growing sector in Australian geoscience.  “Employment opportunities in mining appear to be improving and while long term unemployment amongst Australian geoscientists remains high, the rate is falling.  “It is also encouraging to see that higher rates of unemployment amongst geoscientists with more than 25 years of experience evident in past surveys have come back to levels closer to those for other experience bands.

“The lack of employment opportunities in exploration, however, highlights a serious and growing problem of insufficient exploration being undertaken to sustain our resource industries,” Mr Waltho said­.  “Geologists and geophysicists are, without doubt, continuously improving exploration technologies and becoming more productive, but this alone won’t make up for a lack of activity – the boots on ground search for new resources.

“Improving access to land, particularly for zero and very low impact exploration activities and addressing areas of sovereign risk that are increasingly being seen by investors as raising the risk profile of exploration, urgently need to be addressed,” Mr Waltho said.  “Addressing these two issues throughout Australia has the potential to make an enormous difference in both employment and the future of Australia’s mining industry”.

SEG Distinguished Instructor Short Course (DISC) in Australia

The Society of Exploration Geophysicists is bringing its 2017 Distinguished Short Course (DISC) programme to Australia.

Traveling worldwide, the SEG Distinguished Instructor Short Course (DISC) is an eight hour, one-day short course on a topic of current and wide-spread interest.

The 2017 DISC course covers Fundamentals and Applications of Electromagnetic Geophysics. Local case histories pertaining to problems in resource exploration, including oil and gas, minerals, water, environmental, and geotechnical areas will be used as motivation for investigating fundamentals of electromagnetics. The aim of this course is to equip participants with sufficient fundamental understanding and resources about EM geophysics so that they can decide if an EM technique can help solve their problem, select which type of survey to employ, and set realistic expectations for what information can be gleaned.

Perth: 28 July
Adelaide: August 3
Brisbane: August 8

A webinar session will also be presented.

All past DISC courses can also be listed to on-line.  Click here for more information.

AIG commends SEG on this great initiative.

 

Vale Dr Phillip Playford AO

AIG regrets to inform members of the passing of Dr Phillip Playford AO.

Dr Playford passed away 12.07.2017, aged 85.  He will be remembered as an enthusiastic geologist, historian and explorer.  He was born and grew up in Western Australia and held a B.Sc.(Hons) in geology and an Honorary D.Sc. from the University of Western Australia, and a Ph.D. from Stanford University.  He attended Stanford as a Fulbright Scholar.

Dr Playford had a career with both government and the oil exploration industry, wass a former Director of the Geological Survey of WA, and was well known through his many publications and lectures on the geology and history of the State. He was particularly renowned for his work on the Devonian reef complexes of the Canning Basin and geology of the Shark Bay area, and as a primary discoverer of the Zuytdorp wreck, the first Dutch wreck to be found and identified in Western Australia. His book “Carpet of Silver; The wreck of the Zuytdorp” received a Premier’s prize for literature, and another, “Voyage of discovery to Terra Australis by Willem de Vlamingh in 1696-97”, was short listed for a Premier’s award.  In 2003 he set up the Cape Inscription Committee, to restore the Lighthouse Keepers’ Quarters at Cape Inscription and hold a major international event there in 2016 to mark the 400th anniversary of Dirk Hartog’s landing.

Phil was recognised as an Honorary Associate of the Geological Survey and the WA Museum, a Fellow of the Geological Society of Australia, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. Among the honours he has received are the Lewis G Weeks Gold Medal of The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, a Special Commendation Award of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, the Gibb Maitland Medal of the Geological Society of Australia, and the Medal of the Royal Society of WA.

In 1998 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his contributions to knowledge of the geology and history of Australia.

AIG respectfully extends condolences to Dr Playford’s family and many friends.

Migrating sand dunes pose potential risks to roads, homes and infrastructure

Dune having covered coastal access road just north of Green Head, Western Australia

A Western Australia Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) report has identified that migrating sand dunes, up to 4 km wide and 20 m high, pose potential threats to roads, homes and infrastructure in the State’s Mid West.

While the report – Migration of Limesand Dunes in Western Australia and Their Impacts – has just been released, the information has already been presented to a number of State and Local Government agencies.

DMP Project Manager Mike Freeman, a key contributor to the report, has stressed that mobile dunes move very slowly over many years, but could cause serious problems if not monitored and kept in check.

DMP has presented the information and engaged with Local Government authorities in the Mid West, including the Shires of Gingin, Dandaragan, Coorow, Carnamah and Irwin, and the City of Greater Geraldton.

Find out more from the WA DMP web site.