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Latest geoscientist employment survey open

The latest Australian geoscientist employment survey is open for contributions until 24th October 2020.

The second quarter 2020 employment survey, conducted in June, provided a first look at how Australian geoscience, particularly mineral exploration and mining, was being impacted by the coronavirus pandemic in Australia. 

Geoscientist unemployment in Australia
Geoscientist unemployment and under-employment in Australia 2009-2020

The slight improvement in employment conditions evident from the results of the first quarter survey for 2020 was unexpected.  This was interpreted as a sign that companies were seeking to retain staff and continuity of exploration programs and mining operations.  Since then, Victoria has experienced a second, more serious wave of infections resulting in renewed, strict limits on business activity and mobility of staff between states.  International travel remains out of the question for many Australians.  How was geoscience employment affected? 

We have added a question to this survey relating to where you work relative to where you completed your highest degree.  A debate is emerging around whether Australia needs to be more self-sufficient in meeting geoscience skills needs in all areas of work, which new data is needed to address.

The survey typically takes only two or three minutes to complete.  You do not need to be an AIG member to contribute.  No data that could personally identify respondents is collected.  Contributions to the survey are sought from both employed and unemployed geoscientists to ensure the relevance of results.  Your completing the survey really helps to make a difference to the standing and knowledge of our profession.

The survey will be open for contributions until 24 October 2020.  Every contribution adds to the reliability of the survey results. Sincere thanks in advance for your continued support of the survey series.

Click here to complete the survey.

Exploration expenditure data reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics paints a grim picture of mineral exploration for Queensland, relative to the rest of Australia.

Data were reviewed by Brisbane-based member Doug Brewster.

Queensland attracted only 7% of all exploration investment in Australia in 2019, continuing a long decline in exploration expenditure in the state. Queensland attracted 23% of national minerals exploration investment 30 years ago. The figures examined have been adjusted for CPI.

A steep decrease that ended in 1998 is interpreted to be associated with a moratorium on granting of new exploration licences associated with the Wik native title decision, from which minerals exploration expenditure has struggled to recover. The mining and exploration boom between 2005 and 2012 was all about coal in Queensland.

New South Wales is outperforming Queensland. The state attracted about 11% of national minerals exploration expenditure in 2019, up from only 6% 30 years ago.

Minerals exploration in New South Wales appears to be benefitting from relatively recent discoveries in the Cobar Basin (e.g. Mallee Bull) and the Lachlan Fold Belt (Boda). Access to land regulations in New South Wales appear to have had little impact on mineral exploration expenditure.

Mineral exploration in South Australia, after a purple patch during the 2005-2012 boom, perhaps on the back off discoveries including Sovereign Hill and Carrapateena, appears to have gone back to sleep.

Western Australia is the favoured destination for mineral exploration investment in Australia, reflected in the state’s consistently high rankings in the annual Fraser Institute survey of exploration investment intentions in recent years. Western Australia is no less affected by native title than any other state. It does, however, have a dedicated Tenure and Native Title Branch, with liaison officers to assist explorers with access and land use agreements.

Discoveries seem to be the greatest driver of future exploration investment. Equitable native title and land access processes also appear to be important considerations for explorers in determining where to invest both exploration capital and energy.

16th Biennial Meeting of the Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits (SGA) 2021: Final call for session submissions

Technical Session Proposal Deadline 7 September 2020
SGA 2021 is calling for session proposals for consideration. Selected proposals will be included in the conference programme and are intended to provide an opportunity to share your knowledge and experience.

Don’t miss out! Submit your proposal today!

Click for submission information

Preliminary Session Themes Include:
Ore-forming processes
Specific mineral systems
New research and exploration developments
Sustainable mining and environmental issues
Social licence

Field Trip & Short Course Proposals – There is still time to submit!
Submission Deadline: 2 November 2020

The SGA2021 committee are considering single and muli-day field trips, pre- and post- conference.

View the preliminary field trip options for SGA 2021 around New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, and New Caledonia on the Field Trip page for the SGA 2021 website.

AIG is proud to be supporting the Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits in delivering SGA 2021.

AIG is proud to be a co-sponsor of SGA 2021: the Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits 16th biennial meeting to be held in Rotorua New Zealand, 15-18 November 2021.

The conference theme is

The Critical Role of Minerals in the Carbon Neutral Future.

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 Technical Programme will consist of four days of oral and poster presentations with themes including:

• Specific mineral systems

  • Ore forming processes
  • Specific mineral systems
  • New research and exploration developments
  • Geometallurgy
  • Sustainable mining and environmental issues
  • Social license

Visit the conference website for full information on what to expect and how to submit an abstract.

IUGS has awarded a ‘Special Project’ to IFG called, ‘Forensic Geological Analysis of Crimes in International Mining, Minerals and Metals‘ This is expected to run from 2020 to 2022. This project seeks to evaluate the current global scale of crimes that take place in the mining, minerals and metals industry, and assess geological methodologies and strategies, which may aid in the detection, prevention, management and mitigation of these crimes.

In February 2020, two members of the IUGS-IFG Committee will visit Poland to assist with a new course including forensic geology at the University of Warsaw. This visit will also focus on the provision of geological advice on search, for the location of war graves associated with the Second World War.

IUGS-IFG have agreed to support a two-year project aimed at searching for the suspected graves of missing persons in Colombia. This will include the adoption of the Geoforensic Search Strategy, developed in the United Kingdom using a blend of geological and law enforcement search techniques and strategies. IUGS-IFG members will meet in Bogota in early March to arrange a timetable and programme.

The Geological Society of London has commenced the publication process of the book, ‘A Guide to Forensic Geology‘, which has been written by the IUGS Initiative on Forensic Geology. This has taken at least a decade to complete and the search chapter has evolved over the past 25 years. The publication is expected to be available later in 2020.