The Underground Operators’ Conference series is of
particular importance as it promotes the sharing of core knowledge for mine
operators. Importantly, this knowledge is documented and can assist in defining
the contribution that mining operations are making to the improvement of
The theme ‘Safe, Innovative and Sustainable’ is explored in this proceedings.
The first two themes in this title – safe and innovative – are not new and have
featured in past conferences. The sustainability component reflects the
evolution of strategic goals for businesses including mining practices in the
early part of this century. What does sustainability mean for current and future
underground mining practices and will it become part of the DNA of Australian
mining in the same way as safety and innovation? By considering what
sustainability means for mining, there is scope to understand how curiously,
openness to change and a willingness to ‘have a go’ have enabled some of our
mining operations to rank amongst the best in the world in terms of commonly
applied metrics for mining operations.