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16th SGA Biennial Meeting 2021 , Rotorua New Zealand

The 16th Biennial Meeting of the Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits (SGA) will take place 15-18 November 2021 in Rotorua, New Zealand. 

The meeting will feature presentations on topics related to mineral deposit research, exploration, sustainable development and environmental and social aspects related to mineral deposits. The oral and poster presentation sessions, and pre- and post-conference short courses and field trips will provide a comprehensive programme.

The conference is organised by SGA with support from professionals in universities, research organisations, government, minerals industry, and service providers.

AIG is a supporter of the conference. AIG members may register for the SGA 2021 conference at the SGA member rate, a significant reduction in the conference registration fee.

Important Dates

  •  2 November 2020 – Call for Abstracts
  • 12 April 2021 – Online registration open
  • 3 May 2021 – Deadline for abstract submission
  • 1 September 2021 – Deadline for early bird registration
  • 15 November 2021 – 16th SGA Biennial Meeting

Visit the conference website for full details of the conference, to sign up for conference updates, explore sponsorship and exhibition opportunities and download a copy of the first circular.

   

   

Epithermal Au-Ag and Porphyry Cu-Au exploration

Greg Corbett and Stuart Hayward’s popular short course is being held again in Sydney next February.

Dates and venues: 11-13 February 2020, Chatswood Club, 11 Help St, Chatswood (Sydney) – 5 minutes walk from Chatswood station and the W.B. Clarke Geoscience Centre, Londonderry.

11-12 February: Two days of PowerPoint lectures focus upon mineral exploration for epithermal and porphyry ore deposits derived from Dr Corbett’s 40 years field experience, including short courses provided with the late Terry Leach from the early 1990’s. Exploration and mining examples from over 40 countries are used to delineate the characteristics of different epithermal and porphyry ore types, and controls to mineralisation, using tools such as alteration, structure and breccias. A final section considers geological features recognised in exploration marginal to ore bodies. Participants will be provided with exercises to test yourselves and a current draft of the new short course notes. Early drafts of the first few chapters are available at: http://corbettgeology.com/Publications/.


13 February: A practical exercise held at the W B Clarke Geoscience Centre, Londonderry, uses diamond drill core and geological specimens referred to in the lectures (above), to provide hands on training in ore and alteration mineralogy and the use of geological models. Greg is helped by and Stuart Hayward, who has over 30 years experience in epithermal-porphyry ore deposit exploration and mining. Return bus from Chatswood and lunch provided.

Registration fees include handouts, lunch, morning and afternoon teas and transport to and from Londonderry.

Minimum of 20 participants required and limited to a maximum of 40.

24 CPD Hours

Employed geologists from $1500 + GST 
Unemployed geologists from $400 + GST
Students $150 + GST but if you need assistance contact greg@corbettgeology.com

Registration  www.corbettgeology.com/services/

Exploration Radio Episode 29 is out

In episode 29, Steve McIntosh, Group Executive for Growth and Innovation at Rio Tinto, shares his thoughts on how big companies should run exploration.

Steve McIntosh, Group Executive for Growth and Innovation, Rio Tinto

Almost everyone in our industry has an opinion on how big companies should run exploration. We criticise them for being too risk averse, not moving quickly enough and “why can’t they do it like it was done in the past”. Some of these criticisms might be justified. But comparing these modern groups to the past is a fallacy. These groups have to do things differently. Maybe it’s time we have an honest conversation on what it takes to run exploration groups in major mining companies.

Steve McIntosh, Group Executive for Growth and Innovation at Rio Tinto, and who has been involved in managing exploration activities within the company for the past few decades.

AIG is proud to be a sponsor of the Exploration Radio podcast.

This episode can be found here.

Exploration Geochemistry: Getting it right to extract maximum value for minimal cost

The next instalment in the popular Queensland Branch Friday seminar series will be held 12 April at UQ Business School, Lvl 6, 293 Queen St, Brisbane.

Click on the image to download the seminar brochure. Register now!


Overall improvement trend in geoscientist unemployment continues, but self-employed geoscientists still doing it tough

Australian Geoscientist employment survey results for Q4 2018 released.

  • Call also made for greater political action to ensure more equitable and timely access to land for exploration
  • More women also forging geoscience careers

The latest quarterly Australian geoscientist unemployment survey for the final quarter of 2018, conducted during January 2019, revealed a slight increasein geoscientist unemployment, from 8.3% at the end of September, to 9.1% at the end of December 2018. Underemployment amongst self-employed geoscientists, however, rose significantly from 12.9% to 18.5% for the same period.

However, despite the dip for the past quarter, the new results pointed to evidence of an overall improving job trend since June 2016.

“This latest quarterly result is disappointing”, Australian Institute of Geoscientists spokesperson, Mr Andrew Waltho said today, “coming at a time when there was genuine optimism regarding an improvement in exploration activity, several, significant new mineral discoveries, and speculation regarding potential skills shortages facing the exploration and mining sectors”.  

Geoscientist employment in Australia June 2009 – December 2018

“Both the Federal Government and Opposition have announced initiatives to support mineral exploration research if elected in the May Federal election, but no-one is talking about improving processes facilitating equitable and timely access to land for exploration,” Mr Waltho said. 

“In fairness, this is a state issue, but we are still seeing bureaucratic and lengthy processes in operation that disadvantage the junior exploration sector in particular, with little sign of change,” Mr Waltho said.

The unemployment and underemployment situation varied widely between states.  Unemployment was lowest in South Australia (5.3%), NSW and ACT (5.6%) and Victoria (5.9%), followed by Western Australia (8.3%).  The results for Victoria and South Australia represent marked improvements on the previous, September quarter survey.  Unemployment in Western Australia was 8.3%, up from 6.5%. Unemployment in Queensland jumped from 11.5% in the September quarter to 15.1% in this survey.

Employment state by state. Too few survey responses were received from South Australia and the Northern Territory for inclusion.

All states except South Australia saw little change or an increase in unemployment in the 12 months between December 2017 and December 2018, but an overall improving trend since June 2016 remains evident.

The underemployment rate in South Australia took some gloss off the positive unemployment figure, coming in at 36.8% for the quarter, followed by Queensland (24.2%), NSW/ACT (16.9%), Western Australia (14.9%) and Victoria (11.8%).  

The survey attracted 391 individual responses.  Too few responses were received from Tasmania and the Northern Territory for the reporting of state results.

Junior exploration and mining companies employ 29% of Australia’s geoscientists according to this survey, almost as many as major and mid-tier companies combined.  

Cultural shift needed

“This amply demonstrates the importance of measures to help small employers avoid burning precious capital waiting for approvals before conducting productive exploration activities” Mr Waltho said.  

“Small companies have a limited capital base on which is difficult to raise further funds and must be used productively if they are to survive,” Mr Waltho said.

“Early career geoscientists tend to be employed in greater numbers by major mining and exploration companies but this soon changes as geoscientists gain professional experience, suggesting that major companies need to look more closely at retaining talent by providing a more dynamic and professionally rewarding professional environment for their staff,” Mr Waltho said.

Sources of employment for Australian geoscientists
Geoscientist employment in mineral exploration, by company tier

Women are represented almost equally in the geoscience staff of major, mid-tier and junior exploration companies.  The overall proportion of women in the workforce remains low, but large, mid-sized and junior companies don’t appear to either discriminate or be preferred sources of employment.

“Gender diversity in exploration and mining, long-considered to be a male dominated profession in Australia is changing rapidly” Mr Waltho said. “Almost half of the early career geoscientists (0-5 years’ experience) who responded to this latest survey were women,” Mr Waltho said.  “The sector is clearly creating career opportunities for women that are being taken up and we need to ensure that this trend continues through measures to promote and preserve gender diversity,” he said.

 “A drop in the proportion of women in the 5 – 10 year experience range is evident, but the proportion of women in the profession increases again in the 10 – 15 year range, suggesting, perhaps, that we are seeing the benefit of measures such as flexible employment and favourable parental leave provisions that enable geoscientists to mix raising a family with pursuit of a career. “This again, is something we need to build,” Mr Waltho said.  

Gender diversity amongst survey respondents. Women comprised 45% of early career geoscientists responding to the survey – signs of a very welcome trend towards more women taking up geoscience as their career

“The fact that we are seeing evidence pointing to this is a real positive for both the exploration and mining industry and our profession,” Mr Waltho said.

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