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International Mining Geology Conference 2024

#IMG2024 Industry Challenge

International Mining Geology Conference 2024

#IMG2024 Industry Challenge


Visualising the Future of Mining Geology: 6 May 2024

How will mining geology change in the next 5 years?  

Our role is constantly evolving as new technologies become available. But what if a "step change" in how we work forces us to alter our daily routines? That’s the focus of the #IMG2024 Industry Challenge and it is a perfect introduction to the central theme of the International Mining Geology Conference 2024.

We invite you to attend the challenge and prepare your vision based on a detailed scenario provided on the day – no homework is needed and your task will be completed by the day's end. We will start with presentations on applied technology and operational redesign from mining and other industries (see below for more information on speakers). After this, attendees will separate into their teams and the challenge will commence. Register as an individual or a group and help create the future of mining geology.  

What you need*

What you don't need

Anaytical skills Mining software skills
Problem solving skills Estimation skills
Teamwork skills Variography skills
Time management skills Data manipulation skills
Communication skills Coding skills
An open mind Technology expertise
A good attitude  

*Mining geologists can also bring a set of coloured pencils for additional comfort and support during the day

Prizes (See below for more information)

  • 1st prize: $5,000 + present your vision pitch at a NASA workshop + visit the Fugro SpAARC mission control centre in Perth
  • 2nd and 3rd prize: Fugro SpAARC Tour

The scope of the challenge

Run over a single day, the challenge is a collaborative competition between diverse teams of geoscientists and others, with experienced facilitation and external support.

The goal is to envisage a future workplace where current processes and activities have been turned on their head, yet the fundamentals of our profession remain essential to operational success. These include the identification and separation of ore from waste, assessment of performance, and planning for a safe and efficient future based on sound data collection, analysis and prediction.

All teams will be given the same specific scenario on the day and tasked to produce their own vision for the future in a 3-minute presentation to be delivered by the day’s end.

Industry Challenge: The details

The Industry Challenge will be held on the day before the conference: Monday 6 May. See below for information on timings, speakers, voting, prizes and more.

In the first session, speakers from mining and other industries will provide attendees with examples of technology being developed or applied currently, including: sensor-based mapping, passive and active geophysics, AI/ML in modelling, equipment manufacturer trends and remote operations. Teams will need to discuss and assess what potential combination of existing (or yet to be developed) technology may achieve the desired outcome.


Asmita Mahanta
Global Practice Lead Geophysics, Resource Centre of Excellence (BHP)

Asmita has +25 years of experience in Exploration and Mining. She started as a Graduate Geophysicist in BHP Minerals Exploration in India in 1997 and worked in various roles across continents in BHP including Minerals Exploration, Innovation, Western Australian Iron Ore and currently with Resource Centre of Excellence . In her role as Global Practice Lead Geophysics, Asmita main focus is enabling better front-load understanding of the subsurface to inform exploration and resource development decisions, using Geophysics and innovations.  

She is very passionate about inclusion & diversity and building Geoscience capability to enable future options and delivering deposit knowledge to realise our full potential. She has entrenched the use of geophysics in the iron ore value chain from resource definition to grade control to material handling. She has led through several innovations in geoscience, both in greenfield exploration and grade control space from concept to implementation.

Asmita is a member of Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists (ASEG). She is also a member of CET Technical working group, Curtin University Geology Advisory Committee and Board Member of University of Western Australia, Center for Business Data Analytics Board.

Alan Bye
Managing Director (

Alan is the co-founder and Managing Director of He has extensive experience in senior operational, corporate and academic roles in the resources industry and has worked in 15 countries covering 9 commodities. Board roles include Chair of Orexplore, NED of Ideon, AIM Intelligent Machines and a member of the Federal Government’s Critical Minerals advisory board.

Alan was previously the Vice President Technology at BHP, in his global role he was accountable for the execution of major technology and innovation programs across 5 commodity value chains. Designing and de-risking BHP’s future mining operations, building capability, establishing strategic partnerships and implementing digital and extractive technologies.

Academic roles have included the Professor of Digital Value Chains at Curtin University and Professor of Mining and Geology at the University of Queensland.

Alan founded the Cooperative Research Centre for Optimising Resource Extraction (CRC ORE) as Chief Executive. CRC ORE was a $150m venture involving 34 partners with the purpose of ‘Transforming Mining to an Advanced Manufacturing Industry’. He has a PhD in mining engineering, a BSc in geology and is a fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology Science and Engineering.

Michelle Keegan
Director Resources & Space (AROSE)

Michelle has over 25 years of mining industry experience.  She has worked in technical engineering, commercial management, strategy and innovation, capital projects, new markets and optimisation roles for companies including Rio Tinto, Incitec Pivot Limited, Dyno Nobel and South 32. 

Michelle’s role encompasses program management across the AROSE portfolio including taking the role of Resources Director where she has built out the resources portfolio. She has established a Resources Advisory Board to support the delivery of the AROSE vision and sits as the Deputy Chair.  Prior to joining AROSE, Michelle was Program Director Technology Development, and leader of the Next Generation Mine Innovation Program, at South 32 in Perth, WA.  Michelle was responsible for leading the identification, design and delivery of new technology and innovation for all greenfield projects as well as translation into brownfield operations.  

With a non-traditional technology background, Michelle brought her strong strategic and mining experience to deliver programs, and help drive the future competitiveness of the company.  Her team monitored new developments in the industry and worked closely with technology partners and external institutes to develop, pilot and implement emerging technologies that could materially improve the outcomes of new projects and operations. 

The winner will be decided by a two-stage voting process involving both International Mining Geology Conference 2024 delegates and the Industry Challenge organising committee. The winning team will be announced on day 2 of the conference (8 May 2024).

  • 1st prize: $5,000 + NASA workshop + Fugro SpAARC Tour
  • 2nd prize: Fugro SpAARC Tour
  • 3rd prize: Fugro SpAARC Tour
NASA workshop

The winning team will be invited to complete a 3-minute pitch virtually to an audience at NASA Ames in May 2024, as part of their workshop in collaboration with USGS titled: Planetary subsurface exploration for science and resources.

Bringing together a diverse group of experts from national and international communities, leveraging terrestrial mineral resource technologies and partnerships, this workshop has an objective to drive reduced risk and lowering of barriers in exploration.

This workshop is about hearing from the space and resources communities to contribute to a multi-agency effort to explore and ultimately develop sensors, enabling technologies and platforms that will accelerate our ability to image the subsurface of planetary bodies, in pursuit of critical resource maps and new scientific understanding. These advancements, collectively supported by industry and international partners, will help build new capability for off world and terrestrial resources and so establish a collaboration platform that can assist us in the acceleration of critical mineral discovery.

Fugro SpAARC tour

The top 3 finalists will secure a visit to Fugro’s SpAARC facility – a mission control centre in Perth supporting missions from deep sea to space.

We expect that winners of this industry challenge will be able to visualise and so set up to take forward their new workflows into a future remote operating environment.

Read more about how the Fugro SpAARC facility is already supporting lunar landings today, the first step ahead of providing full operational capability to Australia’s first lunar rover operation on the moon.

SpAARC is a world-class facility in Australia that trains, tests and controls remote and autonomous operations in space and other harsh environments, and a world-recognised commercial facility for innovation, security and collaboration.

The challenge needs to be a collaborative exercise with teams of 3 - 6 people.

Teams can have diversity of experience, perspective, attributes, and skills and should not be limited to geoscientists alone. Teams can either be nominated before the event or individual participants can be allocated to a team.

You can also attend the challenge as an observer rather than actively contributing to a team.

Registration prior to the event as either a participant or observer is essential. Teams will be finalised on the day. Registration will be $110 (inc. GST) per person (includes catering and access to presentations on the day).

The program includes 4 sessions through the day




9.00am – 10.30am

1. Introduction, challenge outline and technology briefings


11.00am – 12.30pm

2. Team planning / discussions


1.30pm – 3.00pm

3. Challenge update / solution options discussions

Plenary / Breakouts

3.30pm – 5.00pm

4. Team discussions / outcomes / presentation preparation / summary close-out

Breakouts / Plenary


All challenge participants are subject to the Challenge Terms and Conditions, which can be viewed here: IMG 2024 Industry Challenge Terms and Conditions

If you have any queries regarding the challenge, please contact AusIMM on +61 3 9658 6100 or email

Want to enter the Industry Challenge?

Register to enter the challenge as an individual or a group and help create the future of mining geology!

Hear from sub-committee member Mark Berry


Thank you to our Industry Challenge sponsors

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