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Note from the Consultants Society Chair

Welcome to the first AusIMM Consultants Society (ConSoc) newsletter. The newsletter is a new initiative of ConSoc to engage with AusIMM members who have chosen to engage with our Community of Interest.

The newsletter is an initiative of a subcommittee of the ConSoc Committee including Tom Bradbury, John Hearne and Peter Fairfield and they are to be thanked for making this launch happen. Thanks are also due to John Theodoulou, Manager Accreditation Schemes in the AusIMM Management Team.

Update of Mineral Consultant’s Handbook

ConSoc has been engaged in a number of initiatives over the past few years. Foremost among those achievements has been the reunification of ConSoc with the Mineral Industry Consultants Association (MICA) in 2017. Following the reunification, the first undertaking of ConSoc was to update and publish a second edition of the Mineral Consultant’s Handbook, originally published under the auspices of MICA in 2015. Then as now, AusIMM Director and ConSoc Committee Member John Dunlop was the driving force behind its publication, and together with former Committee Member and Chair, Mark Noppe, it was a privilege to be a part of the subcommittee that brought it about.

As stated in the preface, this book joins a number of other AusIMM handbook Monographs that provide a useful reference to AusIMM members. It is not the final word on consultancy within our industry – COVID-19 has already seen to that. Nonetheless, the book is a substantial resource for mineral industry consultants who seek to ply their knowledge across the globe. A series of webinars to introduce the Handbook to consultant members of the AusIMM and to AusIMM members generally will commence on 28 August 2020. Find out more and register here.

Establishing a Social and Corporate Governance/Social Responsibility Committee

Two years ago and following a lot of work and a number of articles about social licence to operate, ConSoc embarked upon an initiative with the Social and Environment Society (S&E) to pursue an AusIMM initiative in the area of Social Licence. Social Licence is a phenomenon that has the potential to turn our industry on its head; perhaps rightly so. The fact that modern society relies for its continued progression on the products that our industry provides is not, (should not, and is increasingly being called out by society in general), seen as a licence to have deleterious impact on the environment, heritage, society generally, and those peoples who live at the interface of our operations.

This initiative, driven initially by ConSoc Committee Member Stephen Hancock and ultimately chaired by S&E Committee Member Bruce Harvey and comprising members of both Committees, led to the inaugural Social Licence to Operate (SLTO) forum preceding AusIMM Congress in Melbourne in May 2019. The success of this forum has led to an ongoing initiative to develop AusIMM policy in the area of Social Licence (which we have subsequently determined to refer to as Social Performance or Social Responsibility) at the direction of the AusIMM Board.

That Committee has evolved since May 2019 to include a number of specialists in the area of Social Performance and others with a passion in this area and is now an AusIMM Committee in its own right. The Environmental Social and Corporate Governance / Social Responsibility (ESG/SR) Committee is Chaired by Bruce Harvey and meets every fortnight. The ESG/SR Committee has established a Social Responsibility Framework and public Social Responsibility Statement in the area of Social Performance and is on the cusp of establishing a Chartered Professional discipline in Social Performance working alongside the Chartered Professional Program Committee (CPPC). The AusIMM is the first learned Society worldwide to have achieved this initiative. You can find out more in this article by Stephen Hancock.

Looking ahead

The ConSoc Committee has an ongoing interest in the area of mining discipline education, driven in large part by Michael Clarke. It is also interested in enhancing the value proposition of the Consultants Register with the creation of a subcommittee of Carlos Sorrentino, Irena Ivanova and Paul Harper to consider future options.

The purpose of this newsletter is to engage with ConSoc members and seek feedback and input for future initiatives. The newsletter will continue to be produced as long as members are keen to engage with it, and to that end, your responses to the initiative are welcome.


Peter Hills FAusIMM (CP)

ConSoc Chair

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