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#UgOps2025 photography competition

#UgOps2025 photography competition

Images from the underground

A challenge for underground mining in Australasia is the struggle to communicate a sense of what working underground really looks like.

How can we shape the community view of what this work entails, the sizes and shapes defining the environment and the variety of people you meet underground?

Beyond this, how does the underground mining community continue to attract and inspire the next generation of workers to take their place? This is necessary to continue the evolution of underground mining in the region and secure Australasia's place as a leader in international mining. 

We believe these people are out there, and you can play your part in attracting them with honest and inspiring images from the underground. See below for details of the #UgOps2025 photography competition, including entry conditions, image specs, prizes and more. 

“You cannot be what you cannot see”

Images from the underground lend support to sentiments expressed by Guster Laufmann (Telfer Mine). In his acceptance of the 2023 Sir Frank Espie / Rio Tinto Leadership Award, he spoke of falling in love with the mining industry, coming to understand that mining is the most important industry in the world and being excited to be a part of it.

If we share Guster’s view, then we must facilitate the availability meaningful images of work in underground mines.

Frequently asked questions

  • Entry is open to any person, over 18 years, working within the resources industry, excluding board directors, management, employees (and their immediate families) of the Promoter.
  • The competition is only open to those attending the Underground Operators Conference 2025.
  • The competition is only open to amateur photographers; professional photographers are not permitted to enter.
  • Entrants do not need to be a member of AusIMM.
  • Each entrant may submit up to two photographs.
  • No image can be entered more than once.
  • Entrants are required to retain a copy of any photographs submitted in the highest resolution possible.
  • The entrant should ensure that all photos are uploaded so that when they are opened there is no need to rotate the photo.
  • Portrait and landscape photos are acceptable.
  • Image minimum specifications:
    • Sensor Resolution (megapixels) - 12.1 
    • Typical Image Resolution (pixels) - 4000 x 3000 
    • Maximum Print Size - 20 x 15 inch 
    • Print Resolution - 200 dpi 
    • Maximum Output Size - A3+ sized prints 

  • Photographer name
  • Date and location 
  • Equipment used, e.g., camera, phone, etc.
  • Title, with an accompany 250-word limit description of what it shows, in plain English.
  • Entries which include a close-up photo of a person, or persons, must include signed permission from the person/s in the photo.
  • Entrants must seek permission from their employer and/or operator of the site on which the photograph was taken. Entrants should be aware that a breach of this consent requirement will result in the entrant being disqualified.
  • All submitted images will be displayed as part of the Underground Operators Conference 2025. Ten finalists will be chosen to have their entries printed and mounted for exhibition during the Conference.
  • The two (2) prize winners will be presented with their award and a framed image of their winning entries during the closing ceremony of the Underground Operators Conference 2025.
  • As a condition of entering this competition, all entrants grant to the Promoter the right to use their image on websites and in promotional materials, this usage is royalty free. This usage includes but is not limited to any media including banners, calendars, signage, posters, magazines, television, internet, or other digital or print formats.


Two winners will be selected:

  1. One selected by a conference subcommittee, the “UgOps photography prize”.
  2. One selected by the conference delegates, the “people’s choice” prize.

Each winner will be awarded: 

  • A framed copy of their winnning photograph
  • A certificate of achievement 
  • Exposure for their photograph in the Underground Operators Conference 2027 50th anniversary advertising campaign
  • A complimentary full delegate registration to Underground Operators Conference 2027

Competition terms and conditions

The Promoter reserves the right, at any time, to verify the validity of entries and personal details concerning entrants and to disqualify any entrant who submits an entry that is not in accordance with these Terms and Conditions or who tampers with the entry process.

Click here for full terms and conditions.


Register for #UgOps2025 today

AusIMM's premier underground mining conference is coming to Adelaide

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