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Adelaide Branch June 2020 Newsletter

Check out the June 2020 edition of the AusIMM Adelaide Branch online newsletter


  • Chairs Report
  • Technical Lunch goes Digital
  • Professor Graham Heinson shines a light on the AusLAMP Project
  • Getting to know your Committee
  • Watch the Adelaide Branch – February Tech Talk
  • Auxiliary
  • Upcoming Events
  • Social Media, Sponsorship & Advertising, Contributions

Howdy, and welcome to the third Chair’s Report for 2020. 

And winter is coming! (Nope its already here! And we are halfway through the year too!) 

Like so many peopleI have been binge TV watching during these days of social isolation (and finally been able to watch GOT to the end!)while looking forward to further easing of restrictions, and the resumption of our face-to-face AusIMM events (more on that later!). 

Like many Branches and Societies within AusIMM, we have moved our local technical events online and, during this current period, these events are free to membersSo to find out what else is happening around the traps, check out the online calendar. 

Since my last report, Adelaide Branch has held two technical events, both online as webinars using the GoToWebinar platformBoth events were a great success with combined registrations of over 200 guests, from interstate and overseas. What a great opportunity to showcase South Australian projectsspeakers and Students to the rest of the Branches and to the world. 

The Adelaide Branch continues to monitor the restrictions and take advice from the State health authorities and from the venues we use. The health and wellbeing of all our speakers, members, sponsors and guests at our events remains our highest priority.  

It is therefore pleasing to announce that following recent discussions with the Pavilion, we will resume our Technical Lunches face-to-face. Our next event will be with Dr Carl Spandler, from the University of Adelaide, on the 16th July titled “Geology and Tectonics of Australian Rare Earth Element deposits”Seating will be strictly limited to 55, and we are also pleased to announce that ticket prices will be reduced to $20 for members, $10 for students and $40 for non-members. So get in quick to secure your seat, the registration portal and more information will be available shortly.  

I would also like to draw to your attention to the prestigious AusIMM Awardsnominations close on the 30th September. Awards are presented to industry leaders, outstanding new professionals, technical experts and exceptional office bearers. If you know anyone worthy, please nominate them via the website. 

And continuing with the nominations theme, Directors for the AusIMM Board for the period 2021-2023 are now open. There are three vacancies and nominations close on Friday 31 July 2020 at 5pm (AEST). More information is available including a FAQ on the website. 

Adelaide’s very own International Uranium Digital Conference 2020 has, as the name suggests, gone digital this year (actually it’s the AusIMM’s first fully digital conference!), and we are only days away from startingOver four major “live” sessions (30th June, 1st, 7th & 9th July) delegates will hear and be able to interact on the latest from the world of uranium, from exploration to rehabilitation, from power generation to medical uses, the program is packed and includes keynote speakers from around the globe. This will be one event not to be missed and registrations are open. There is also a range of on demand presentations, including from locals such as Kathy Ehrig and Bryn Jones. 

Adelaide’s very own AusIMM/Playford Trust Minerals Industry Scholarships open shortly, and we are pleased to announce the expansion of the eligibility of the scholarships to include Environmental Engineering for 2021. This is a great addition to the suite of scholarships, an acknowledgement of the diverse skill sets required in resources and the need to attract people to the resource industry as we move forward to the middle part of the 21st Century and beyond. 

It is also about this time of the year that we would be holding our Annual Dinner. Rest assured we have not forgotten and have been busy assessing potential future dates for our premier social event as restrictions are further eased. We are therefore pleased to announce that we have selected the 18th September at the Adelaide Pavilionwith guest speaker Dr Russell Penney presenting “A life in Zinc; Some Quizzical Thoughts on Exploration Risk”. As we continue to prepare, we will keep our members updated as the date get closer. 

So, finishing off this Chair’s report, I again encourage you all to practice good physical distancing and stay connected online. And I look forward to seeing you (in person) at our next event! 

Til next time! 


Technical Lunch goes Digital

May 2020 saw for the first time ever saw the Adelaide branch taking its events live to provide technical talks via a ‘Webinar’ format.

Over 120 people registered for the event – an incredible turnout – demonstrating a strong appetite for continuing professional development.

Those who registered for the event can also re-watch the recorded event at their convenience.

There were two talks:

– Michael Phillips, a final year University of Adelaide student, presented ‘In-Situ Density Measurements of Liquid Emulsion Explosives’

– Bryn Jones on ‘Integration of SX and IX in future honeymoon operations’.

Michael’s presentation provided insight into his final year honours project on liquid emulsions which are important to the mining industry as they are a safer blasting alternative to dynamite and TNT. The measurement of liquid emulsion density is a critical parameter for ensuring a steady state and predictable detonation. Too high a density and the reaction becomes sluggish, so predicting density can lead to better and more efficient detonations. The study aims to indirectly calculate density by measuring the hydrostatic pressure in a laboratory and changes in height (P=rgH). Some variability in results were observed but the trial work demonstrated a correlation between density and pressure as expected by the fundamental relationships. There were a number of error sources including inconsistent packing and gasing, non-homogenous mixtures, and measurement inaccuracies from presence of air gaps and varying emulsion levels. A number of proposed solutions were provided to improve the design and improve on future studies.

Bryn’s presentation covered the technical innovation of Honeymoon since the BOSS acquisition in 2015.

Key areas of focus included:

–          Lowering the cost of resource expansion. Exploration activities focussed on low-cost and non-invasive geophysical techniques allowing for more focussed drill ready programs.

–          Improving uranium leach rate and lixiviant stability. New lixiviant chemistry was adopted and tested at bench and field-leach-trial scale.

–          Development of an ion Exchange (IX) process and integration of the IX Process with the existing SX process.

The requirement for IX development was due to high salinity presenting SX operational challenges in ISR, IX providing advantages in accessing remote resources, and high chloride in groundwater presenting issues for traditional weak base anion resins.

The pilot plant ran over 10 weeks with uranium tenor, pH, chloride concentrations varied. Resin extraction performed well but elution grade limited to 2g/L and NF was required.  The elution problem was solved with ANSTO leading the development of a novel elution process resulting in a batch eluant grade of 9.7g/L and the isotherm indicating that >25g/L may be achievable in a continuous elution process. These results allow the existing precipitation circuit to be utilised without significant modification up to 2Mlb/a. Further optimisation work is underway at ANSTO, as well as work to examine the conversion of the existing SX pulsed columns to NIMCIX columns.

Lastly, we didn’t let the restrictions stop us with our door prize. Congratulations to our ‘virtual’ door prize winner Glenn Sheldon. Glenn will receive a $50 voucher redeemable online at the AusIMM bookshop, or at an upcoming AusIMM conference.

Jake Gallina – Committee Member

Professor Graham Heinson shines a light on the AusLAMP Project

On Thursday 18th June, the Adelaide Branch held their second Webinar of 2020 as a joint meeting with the Geological Society of South Australia, Adelaide Division. Marc Twining chaired the meeting for the AusIMM and Morgan Lee Blades chaired for the GSA. Over 54 people joined this Webinar.

The first speaker was Tristram Fyfe, who is completing his 5th year at the University of Adelaide and currently undergoing an internship with OZ Minerals. He is an EEF and Playford scholarship recipient. His talk covered his research on using ore sorting to improve the optimal value of mining and developing a Life of Mine Plan. He concluded that ore sorting has no effect on lowering mine cut-offs or increasing mining rates. Instead, as with most mines, the effectiveness of ore-sorting is heavily influenced by Geology, especially heterogeneity of the deposit.

The second speaker Teagan Romyn spoke on her honours project researching Felsic gneiss metastability in the Western Gneiss of coastal Norway. She showed photos and a geological map of the felsic gneiss, located immediately adjacent to eclogites. Eclogites are rocks that are formed due to deep burial, to > 120km. Teagan used a geochemical program called Thermocalc to study the minerals in the gneiss and she concluded that the lack of alteration was due to anhydrous metastability, rather than retrograde metamorphism.

The main speaker, Professor Graham Heinson of the University of Adelaide provided some exciting insights into the Australian Lithospheric Architecture Magnetotelluric (MT) Project (AusLAMP). MT basically measures the Earth’s magnetic field being affected by natural phenomena such as lightning hitting the Earth’s crust.

Graham presented the 55m2 spacing, coverage of stations across Australia with nearly 2/3rds of Australia now covered after seven years. The whole project will cost about $22m in total and will take a further five years to complete the coverage of Australia. He remarked that the US is completing a similar project and he dreams of one day carrying out MT on Mars!

From the MT data, 3D models can be created to plot features of the magnetic field. It takes around 6 days using a super-computer to complete these models. Conductive and resistive crust can be defined and is shown here on the map of South Australia with copper occurrences and mines located within more conductive parts of the crust.

A huge thank you to all the speakers and the GSA for making this joint technical event a great success and we would hope to invite Graham back to present in five years when the whole project is complete.

And of course, congratulations to our virtual door prize winner Xiaochang Xu from BHP. Xiaochang will receive a $50 voucher redeemable online at the AusIMM bookshop, or at an upcoming AusIMM conference.

Mark McGeough – Committee Member

Getting to know your Committee

Find out a little bit more about our newest committee member!

Patrick Enright – AusIMM

What Position do you hold on the Committee?
General committee member – I have recently joined in May 2020.

Can you tell us a bit about your educational background?
I completed an undergraduate degree in Engineering (Mining) from the University of New South Wales in 2014. Additionally, I am currently studying a Masters of Professional Accounting & International Finance via distance with Deakin University.

Can you tell us a bit more about your background of your career?
During university I was fortunate enough to work for three resource companies across three sites ranging from far north-western WA to the west coast of Tasmania and up to central Queensland. This resulted in position with the Anglo American Graduate program working at Grasstree Longwall.

I then made a transition to Mount Isa to work at George Fisher Mine where I completed a vast array of technical roles from design work to scheduling. Currently, I work at Olympic Dam for BHP in the Development team.

What do you enjoy most about your profession?
The incredibly dynamic nature of every day that I go to work. There is always a challenge that is able to be solved, often using many different paths; there is never only one way to do something in underground mining

When did you join the AusIMM?
I originally joined the AusIMM in 2011 during my undergraduate studies and I have been a member since.

What do you enjoy most about being on the Committee?
Whilst I am relatively new to the Adelaide branch, I have really enjoyed the energy and enthusiasm that an AusIMM committee brings. I have been on AusIMM committees throughout my studies and professional career, thoroughly enjoying not only the people that come together but the impact of getting professional’s together, whether it be a social or technical setting.

What are you hoping the Committee can achieve this year?
I am hoping the committee can continue it’s long standing tradition of connecting professional’s and students together in both professional and social settings. I look forward to the committee continuing to develop its current array of events and scholarships whilst also building further to impact positively the lives of many more.

Watch the Adelaide Branch – February Tech Talk: Why Understanding Radionuclides in Olympic Dam Concentrates is Important

Popular guest speaker Kathy Ehrig, Principal Geometallurgist – BHP,  presented her talk to the Adelaide Branch in February.

Kathy is well known as a leader of technical excellence, making significant contributions in the fields of mineralogy, geochemistry, core logging, orebody modelling, automated mineralogy and geometallurgy over many decades. Her February Tech Talk is now available for your viewing pleasure.


Diamond Reflections – Celebrating Adelaide Women’s Auxiliary of the AusIMM 60th Anniversary 1958-2018

2018 was a special year for the Adelaide Women’s Auxiliary of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy as it celebrated its 60th Anniversary with a meeting and luncheon in September at the Edinburgh Hotel in Mitcham. During the same year the AusIMM celebrated its 125th Anniversary in the April.

To commemorate this momentous anniversary, a book, “Diamond Reflections” 1958-2018, was compiled and each Auxiliary member received a printed copy presented to them by AusIMM member Mr. Ric Horn at the Christmas luncheon last November 2019 at the Kensington Hotel.

President Kathy Horn receiving ‘Diamond Reflections’ from AusIMM Branch member, Ric Horn

“Diamond Reflections” is a compilation of personal stories by twenty-four members who have lived in various parts of Australia and overseas. Their stories describe their wonderful experiences and how they coped in moving from place to place, being supportive to their families, and the friends they made during their journeys.

The second part of the book records the many committees, special events/activities, guest speakers and our participation at some of the Adelaide Branch meetings, such as the Student barbeque, the annual dinner and presentation of the student prizes, quiz nights and the Essington Lewis lectures.

Beautiful coloured photographs are interspersed giving some insight to the happy occasions during the last decade continuing the theme of the previous 50th anniversary book “Pure Gold” printed in 2008. It is an engaging, insightful and at times humorous record of the Adelaide Women’s Auxiliary. A good read.

60th Anniversary celebration with many of the authors of Diamond Reflections – 2018

It is with appreciation that we thank past President Christina Lake and Vice President Aggie Bampton for collecting and collating all the materials, Jo and David Lyne for their support and advice in compiling the book, to President of the AusIMM Janine Herzig and past Chair of the Adelaide Branch Johann van Wijk for their forewords, Christina Lake for her preface, writers and photographers and the Adelaide Branch committee of the AusIMM for their outstanding support.

It was noted that a copy of the book is now in the library of the AusIMM headquarters in Melbourne, Victoria. A copy will be presented to the Mortlock library, Adelaide for posterity. Digital copies can be purchased from the AusIMM online bookstore (cost $22), with proceeds to go to the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Barbara Thomas – Auxiliary Member – 1986-2020

Upcoming Events

AusIMM Adelaide Branch July Technical Event

The AusIMM Adelaide Branch will running it’s July Technical Lunch as a face-to-face event with Dr Carl Spandler on his talk titled “Geology and Tectonics of Australian Rare Earth Element deposits”.

Date: 16 July 2020
Time: 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Venue: Adelaide Pavilion, Veale Gardens

Watch this space, more details to come.

International Uranium Conference 2020

“International Uranium Conference goes on-line”
This year the AusIMM will host its first online conference with the International Uranium conference in late June. Five exciting sessions with Q&A and networking will all be made digitally available.

Date: 30 June – 1 July; 7 July – 9 July 2020
Time: 9:00am – 12:00pm
Venue: Online

For more information click here.

Save the Date! AusIMM Adelaide Branch Annual Dinner

The AusIMM Adelaide Branch is pleased to announce it will be holding it’s prestigious Annual Dinner event on Friday 18th September 2020 at the Pavilion. This is one to definitely lock into your calendar!

Date: 18 Sept 2020
Time: 6:00pm
Venue: Adelaide Pavilion, Veale Gardens

For more information click here.

Technical & Social Calendar

***Please note due to the current COVID-19 restrictions many events are subject to change.

Adelaide Branch Technical & Social Calendar 2020 (as of 22/6/20)

TBA Webinar Joint H&S Society DL 10 Pathways to Death and Disaster Michael Quinlan
16 July Adelaide Pavilion Technical Lunch Geology and Tectonics of Australian Rare Earth Element deposits  Carl Spandler
TBA Webinar MinSoc Ivy Chen
20 Aug Adelaide Pavilion Technical Lunch Carrapateena  Jack Dermody 
21 Aug Adelaide Uni SC MG Fundraiser Quiz Night 
18 Sept Adelaide Pavilion Annual Dinner A life in zinc; some quizzical thoughts on exploration risk  Dr Russell Penney 
9-10 Oct Sydney Congress 2020 Awards Dinner
22 Oct Adelaide Pavilion Technical Lunch Iluka Mineral Sands  TBA
5 Nov National Wine Centre  46th EL Lecture  TBA  Christopher Pyne 
19 Nov Adelaide Bowling Club  2020 AGM  Bowls on the lawn  TBA
27 Nov National Wine Centre  AusIMM Presidents Dinner  TBA TBA
4 Dec Convention Centre  SAEMC  Various Various
TBA Belgian Beer Cafe  Possible Joint WIMNet  TBA TBA
2021 PWC Office AusIMM TLC TBA TBA

Adelaide Student Chapter Events 2020

6 Aug (TBC) Soft Skills Night
21 Aug Quiz Night (Mining Games Fundraiser)
28 Sept (TBC) New Leaders Conference and Mining Games
TBA Honours Presentation Night
TBA Informal Networking Event

Adelaide Auxiliary Events 2020

23 Sept  AGM 
25 Nov  Christmas Lunch at Kensington Hotel
* All events on hold

AusIMM Conferences and Functions 2020

*** Please see links to to the AusIMM website for official details relating to conferences

25 Jun – 30 Jul Digital  New Leaders Conference
30 Jun – 1 Jul, 7 – 9 Jul 2020 Digital International Uranium Conference
18 – 19, 25 – 26 Aug 2020 Digital  Lithium Conference
22 – 23 Sept 2020 Digital Mine Safe
1 – 2 Oct 2020 Brisbane Mining Games (TBC)
9 – 10 Oct 2020 Sydney AusIMM Congress
27 – 29 Oct 2020 Melbourne IMARC
10 – 11, 17 – 18 Nov  Digital Preconcentration Conference 
5 – 12 Mar 2021  Adelaide  IWD 2021 
15 – 17 Mar 2021 Perth Underground Operators Conference
28 – 30 April 2021 Brisbane Life of Mine
25 – 27 May 2021 Sydney Aus Rock
23 – 25 June 2021 Brisbane Mill Operators Conference
1 – 2 July 2021  Brisbane  Mine Waste & Tailings 2021 
26 – 27 July 2021  Perth  Open Pit Operators Conference 2021 

Social Media

Remember to follow the Adelaide Branch on Facebook for all the latest local events:

Connect with The AusIMM across our various social media pages:


Sponsorship & Advertising

The Adelaide Branch is looking to partner with the industry in 2020 to sponsor our Technical & Social events. We have a range of various sponsorship packages available to suit your needs, including our Monthly Technical Lunches, AGM and sponsoring the Adelaide Student Chapter.

For a sponsorship pack with further details please contact us at


Contribute to the Adelaide Branch Online Newsletter!

If you have any feedback, would like to make a suggestion or contribute with an article or comment piece, please email the Branch via:

Please submit articles as unformatted text files, and photographs as separate images. If photographs are of individuals, please supply names for figure captions.

Contributions for our next newsletter are required by 24th July.

– DISCLAIMER: The AusIMM is not responsible for statements made or opinions advanced by authors in this publication and accepts no liability (including liability in negligence) for and gives no undertaking concerning the accuracy, completeness or fitness for purpose of the information provided.


Media Partner 2020

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