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Mineral Resource Estimation Conference 2023

The Parker Challenge

Mineral Resource Estimation Conference 2023

The Parker Challenge

How much variability would there be if multiple geologists or geostatisticians all estimated and classified a mineral resource from the same data? The Parker Challenge aims to find out!

The Parker Challenge is now open!

In order to showcase the variability in contemporary mineral resource estimation and leverage the disparate skills, perspectives and knowledge of our industry’s professionals, The Parker Challenge is calling on all mineral resource estimators to create a classified model from the same base dataset.

Forming part of AusIMM’s Mineral Resource Estimation Conference 2023, The Parker Challenge sponsored by Rio Tinto, aims to quantify the ‘between person variance’ or ‘pattern noise’ in resource estimation. Participants will have until 24 March 2023 to complete the challenge.

Join the Parker Challenge

Thanks to The Parker Challenge sponsor, Rio Tinto, the winner will be rewarded with $55,000!

Why participate?

Presenting a unique opportunity to address the lack of transparency in MRE output and resource classification, The Parker Challenge will allow you to contribute to building a knowledgebase that will benefit the entire industry for years to come.

The dataset: Rio Tinto's Hugo Dummett South

All participants of The Parker Challenge will receive the dataset for Rio Tinto’s Hugo Dummett South, a polymetallic porphyry deposit, as well as basic background information, specifications for the final model, challenge instructions and entry requirements.

Identifying estimation variability

Your estimate will be amalgamated with estimates from every other participant and the results will be compared. The range of outcomes, differences in approaches and classification decisions will be presented during the conference, highlighting just how different the estimates can be given the same data.

Reward and recognition

Thanks to The Parker Challenge Sponsor, Rio Tinto, the winner will be rewarded with $55,000! The Challenge winner will be announced at the Mineral Resource Estimation Conference being held at Optus Stadium in Perth from 24-25 May 2023.


Dr Harry Parker

Dr Harry Parker was widely known and respected as an authority and expert in the field of resource modelling and geostatistics.  He emphasised the preparation of resource models that reflect both local geological controls on grade and orebody geometry as well as the degree of selectivity implicit in the mining method.  These insights were gained from combining an impressive breadth of experience with deep technical knowledge. Lifting The Parker Challenge trophy is a prestigious nod to a man for whom such an exercise would have been fascinating!

The Parker Challenge Competition

  1. Entry is only open during the Competition Period (defined below).
  2. Employees of the Conference Organiser (AusIMM) and members of the Conference Organising Committee are ineligible to enter.
  3. There is no entry fee for this Parker Challenge Competition (“Competition”).
  4. Entries into the Competition open on 12:00pm (AEST), Thursday, 15 December 2022 and close at 11:59pm (AEST), Friday, 24 March 2023 (“Competition Period”).
  5. Competition entrants may be required to sign the Sponsor’s non-disclosure agreement (NDA) prior to receiving the competition data set.
  6. To enter, Eligible Individuals must, before the closing of the Competition Period:
    • using the data set provided by the Conference Organiser, complete and digitally transfer in the Correct Format, the Deliverables (Competition Materials);
    • provide all required information on entrant’s experience, technical background, affiliation, as specified by the AusIMM.
  1. The number of entries permitted for this Competition is limited to one (1) valid entry per person or per team.
  2. Entries can be made by an individual or a team.
  3. By entering this Competition, the entrant agrees that they have read, understood and will abide by the terms and conditions of this Competition.
  4. This Competition requires a minimum of 15 entrants to proceed.
  5. The Conference Organiser reserves the right (subject to any applicable law) to cancel, terminate, reschedule, or suspend the Competition, at its sole discretion.
  6. The Conference Organiser and the Conference Organising Committee reserve the right, at any time, to verify the validity of entries and entrants and reserve the right, in their discretion, to disqualify any individual who the Conference Organiser or the Conference Organising Committee have reason to believe has breached any of these Terms and Conditions, tampered with the entry process or engaged in any unlawful or other improper misconduct calculated to jeopardise fair and proper conduct of the Competition. Errors or omissions may be accepted at the Conference Organiser’s discretion. Failure by the Conference Organiser to enforce any of its rights at any stage does not constitute a waiver of those rights. The Conference Organiser’s legal rights to recover damages or other compensation from such an offender are reserved.
  7. Incomplete or indecipherable entries will be deemed invalid.
  8. Competition entries will be reviewed and assessed by the Conference Organising Committee, during the period of 24 March 2023 to 5 May 2023. At the end of the review period the Conference Organising Committee will determine a winner, and this decision is final. Minor prizes may be awarded at the judge’s discretion.
  9. The winner will be announced on at the Mineral Resource Estimation Conference on Wednesday 24 May 2023, as part of the conference program. Notification will be sent via email, within seven (7) days of the announcement. The winners details will also be published on the conference website ( as well as via social media channels.
  10. The Conference Organiser will facilitate the payment of the prize money to the winner, within thirty (30) days of the winner announcement. Payment of the prize money will be processed in a single transaction, to the winner’s nominated business account.
  11. The prize cannot be transferred or exchanged.
  12. Should a winner not be identified and awarded, then the prize money will be returned to the competition Sponsor.
  13. The prize money will be paid in accordance with the Australian Tax Office regulations. The Conference Organiser will not be liable for any tax implications resulting from the prize winnings and the winner(s) must obtain independent tax advice to ascertain how this may affect their situation.
  14. Entrants consent to the Conference Organiser
    a) using the competition data submitted as part of the Competition, their name, likeness, image and/or voice in (including photograph, film and/or recording of the same) in any media for an unlimited period without remuneration for the purpose of promoting this competition (including any outcome); and
    b) providing the Sponsor with all the Competition data submitted as part of the competition entry.
  15. Any costs associated with preparing and submitting a competition entry is the entrant’s responsibility.
  16. The Conference Organiser is the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM), ABN 59 836 002 494, 204 Lygon Street, Carlton VIC 3053, 03 9658 6100.
Competition Data
  1. A data set will be provided to each competition entrant and this data must be the single source of data used for the entrant’s submission.
  2. The data set will be provided by the Conference Organiser, on behalf of the Sponsor.
  3. Entrants acknowledge and understand that the data set provided is confidential and is to be used for the sole purpose of the Competition only and cannot be used in any other way. The usage period of the data is the period of the Competition only, being date to date.
Limitation of Liability and Variation of Terms
  1. If any act, omission, event or circumstances occurs which is beyond the reasonable control of the Conference Organiser and which prevents the Conference Organiser from complying with these Terms and Conditions, the Conference Organiser will not be liable for any failure to perform or delay in performing its obligations.
  2. The Conference Organiser and its respective officers, employees, contractors and agents will not be liable for any losses, damages, expenses, costs or personal injuries arising out of this Competition, or use of any prize, including but not limited to any breach of these Terms and Conditions, contract or tort (including negligence) and any other common law, equitable or statutory remedy (Damages) whatsoever, including but not limited to direct, indirect and consequential Damages, including Damages that cannot reasonably be considered to arise naturally and in the ordinary course of things even if those Damages were in the contemplation of the Competition entrant and Conference Organiser.
Statutory Rights and Consumer Guarantees
  1. Nothing in these Terms is intended to exclude, restrict or modify any rights that an entrant may have under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (CCA) or any other legislation which may not be excluded, restricted or modified by agreement. If the CCA or any other legislation implies a condition, warranty or term into this Agreement or provides statutory guarantees in connection with these Terms, in respect of goods and services supplied, the Conference Organiser’s liability for breach of such condition, warranty, other term or guarantee is limited (at the Conference Organiser’s election):
    a) in the case of supply of goods, the Conference Organiser doing any one or more of the following: (i) replacing the goods or supplying equivalent goods; (ii) paying the cost of replacing the goods or of acquiring equivalent goods; and/or (iii) paying the cost of having the goods repaired; or
    b) in the case of supply of services, the Conference Organiser doing either or both of the following: (i) supplying the services again; and/or (ii) paying the cost of having the services supplied again.
  1. Entrants agree to fully indemnify and hold the Sponsor and the Conference Organiser; its employees, agents, contractors and sub-contractors harmless from any claim, cost, demand, liability or damage (including legal costs, professional costs and other expenses on a full indemnity basis) incurred by the Conference Organiser and/or its employees, agents, contractors and sub-contractors arising out of or in connection with the competition, including, but not limited to (i) an entrant’s breach of these terms and conditions; or (ii) infringement of an entrant’s intellectual property or other right of any third party.
  1. An entrant's competition entry, and any handling of their personal information, is at all times subject to the relevant privacy collection statement and the Conference Organiser's Privacy Policy, as amended from time to time and accessible via the webpage:
  2. By entering the Competition, the entrant acknowledges and agrees that their personal information (including name, title, company and email) may be provided to the Conference Organising Committee, displayed at the Conference and included in conference marketing activities (printed, online and via social channels). The Conference Organiser is not responsible for the subsequent use, disclosure or handling of an entrant’s personal information by the Conference Organising Committee.
Submission of Competition Materials
  1. The entrant must prepare and submit the competition entry in accordance with competition guidelines.
  2. The entrant agrees that the Competition entry content/data becomes the property of the Conference Organiser and authorises the Conference Organiser to use the information submitted for the purposes of the Competition and for any purpose connected with the business of the Conference Organiser.
  3. The entrant agrees that the Competition entry content/data will be provided to the Competition Sponsor by the Conference Organiser and authorises the Competition Sponsor to use the information submitted for the purposes of the Competition and for any purpose connected with the business of the Sponsor.
Intellectual Property
  1. The entrant assigns to the Conference Organiser all rights, title and interest (including all intellectual property rights) in the Competition submission data. This assignment operates as an assignment of future intellectual property rights to the extent that the data is not in existence at the date the entrant accepts these Terms.
  1. Competition data - means the data provided to the entrant by the Conference Organiser, on behalf of the Sponsor and further defined in 23, 24, and 25.

  2. Submission data / deliverables / Competition materials - means the digital products submitted by the entrant.


Yes. We will be compiling all the models so we need a common (SMU) block size. Feel free to estimate at any block size but you must reblock to match the common format. The final grade tonnage curves and resource tabulation must use the specified SMU block size.

There is no limit on the estimation approach. As long as each block has an estimated value for all the required variables!

We recognise the impracticality of assessing the reasonable prospects for an anonymous deposit. Our focus is on understanding your approach to classifying the uncertainty of your estimate using a recognised resource reporting scheme. Therefore, assume the entire volume covered by the estimate meets the RPEEE threshold.

Participants should assume the quality of the sampling, analysis and logging is at a level sufficient for resource estimation. The data include a combination of drill hole types and holes from both underground and surface collar locations. While every effort has been made to ensure a ‘clean’ database, participants are advised to check for themselves.

Only the name of the winner will be shared publicly. It will be announced at the Mineral Resource Estimation Conference in May 2023. All entries will be combined to for anonymous comparison. The judges may award special recognition for non-winning entries that deserve mention.

The Parker Challenge excludes all current Rio Tinto employees and any sub-contractors (or persons) with previous or current exposure to or knowledge of the Hugo South site. Applications for consideration can be made and will be managed on a case-by-case basis with Rio Tinto.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact The Parker Challenge subcommittee at The subcommittee will be monitoring the inbox over the Christmas holidays. Please note the AusIMM office be closed from the 23rd December 2022 to 8th Janaury 2023.

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