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Keynote speaker

Keynote speaker

john-vagenas-01.jpg

John Vagenas 

Founder and Managing Director, Metallurgical Systems 

Highly regarded in metallurgy circles worldwide, John is an experienced metallurgist, engineer and consultant, as well as founder and managing director of Metallurgical Systems. He is focused on increasing minerals processing plant efficiency and sustainability, and is an advocate for increasing transparency and improving governance in the global mining sector. He also speaks regularly at industry events. 

John is a member of the Export Council of Australia and a fellow of AusIMM, and in 2019, was appointed the Alternate Director of Austmine. John was also recently invited to give the keynote presentation at AusIMM’s 2019 MetPlant conference, where he encouraged increased adoption of digitalisation in the industry to drive greater accountability, governance, sustainability and profitability. 

Career background 

After completing a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons.) at the University of New South Wales, John secured a position as a graduate process engineer for consultancy engineering company, Connell Wagner. He then went on to broaden his education by training and working as a pilot with the Royal Australian Airforce, before deciding to move back into consulting engineering. 

John has a strong interest in computers and technology, and while working as a metallurgist, expanded his knowledge of process simulation software and steady state and dynamic simulation. In 2006, he founded Elemental Engineering – a consulting firm which delivers sophisticated process simulation and process development services to the minerals processing industry. Through Elemental Engineering, John steadily built an impressive international portfolio of clients, and worked on a range of projects, specialising in nickel, cobalt, zinc, copper, lead, uranium, gold, lithium, rare earths, potash and platinum group metals. 

Metallurgical Systems and Metallurgical Intelligence 

Through his extensive consulting experience, John identified several problems in the minerals processing sector. Typically, he saw plants operating without any detailed insight into their day-to-day performance. Data capture and analysis was often done manually, using error-prone, time-consuming spreadsheets. Most analysis was also limited in its scope, and overall accounting was susceptible to human error and manipulation. 

John sought to improve this situation by bringing greater transparency, accuracy, automation and data-led insight into the minerals processing sector, and founded Metallurgical Systems in 2010. After several years and over 300,000 development hours, Metallurgical Intelligence® was born. 

Recognition and growth 

Metallurgical Intelligence® was the first software of its kind in the metallurgical sector, and remains unrivalled in its scope and sophistication. It has been successfully implemented all over the world, in 15 sites across seven countries and now includes a full suite of products: MI Core, MI Process Optimiser, MI UP and MI Scenario. It is also available in three languages: English, Russian and Spanish. 

Under John’s ownership and management, Metallurgical Systems has grown to be a strong team of specialists, including software developers, data scientists, engineers and metallurgists. The business has a dedicated research and development team to ensure Metallurgical Intelligence® is continually evolving and exceeding industry needs. 

John has also led the business in attaining considerable industry recognition. In 2017, Metallurgical Systems was a finalist for Innovation for METS at the Austmine awards, and a finalist for the Craig Senger Excellence in Export Awards. In 2019, the business was a finalist in the Minerals Energy and Related Services category for the Premier’s Export Awards, and winner of Austmine’s Craig Senger Excellence in Export Award. 

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