Speaker spotlight: Aidan Davy
In the lead up to our fifth Life of Mine 2021 Conference on 28-30 April, we interviewed keynote speaker Aidan Davy, Chief Operating Officer and Director, Environment Programme, ICMM, to offer insights into his presentation and key issues relating to the industry.
Q. What message would you like to highlight to the delegates at this upcoming Conference? What do you hope will be the main take away from your keynote presentation?
Mining is inherently complex, and the management of the associated issues and risks is becoming more complex. One approach to help navigate this complexity is to look at these issues and risks through the lens of forces that are shaping the future of the mining industry.
Q. Throughout your extensive career, what challenges stood out to you with regards to achieving better environmental performance and do these challenges still occur today?
A key challenge is to ensure that commitments to high standards of environmental performance at the corporate level are effectively operationalised. This requires a focus on people, systems, culture and resources – including effective oversight and accountability.
Q. From your experience, what are the key processes and procedures to utilise innovative ways to enhance sustainable outcomes?
This is primarily about having a strategic commitment to embrace innovation and explore new technologies (as well as ways of working) to address environmental challenges that help to achieve sustainable outcomes.
Q. It is an exciting time to be in the resource sector as innovation is moving rapidly, what advice do you have to our young professionals looking to attend the conference?
Listen and learn. One silver lining of COVID-19 is that it has enabled many of us to participate in events at the global level without leaving our home offices that we might otherwise not have been able to attend. The flip side is that it makes it easier to try and multi-task, and not give conference events our full attention. So try to unplug from other commitments and treat this as if you were physically at the sessions.
Q. What new technologies can we expect to see in the coming years?
Does automation play a huge part in the future of sustainable mine outcomes? I think that we will see a lot of focus on automation, especially in underground settings. In the area of tailings management, we are excited by the prospects for three technologies we have identified as having a high potential to reduce tailings - continuous sorting, batch sensing and continuous mining machines.
Q. Why do you think it is important for life of mine professionals to continue their professional development?
My presentation emphasizes the complexity of the forces shaping the future of the mining industry. So all of us have so much to learn to continue to offer value to this critically important industry