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AusIMM’s Thought Leadership Series to showcase expert discussions on the future of the sector

· 800 words, 4 min read

Our Thought Leadership Series brings together industry experts and influential thinkers across the sector to drive the conversation on critical developments and create new pathways to provoke and impel change.

Our next webinar, Technology and Innovation, explores how the resources industry continues to drive innovation and develop advanced technologies to improve the sector and benefit the wider community. We connected with our four expert panellists to uncover their take on the main challenges for the sector.

Adrian Beer FAusIMM, CEO, METS Ignited


Adrian Beer brings extensive experience in the application of technology to build a safe, sustainable and responsible future for the sector. Adrian is delighted to be a part of the Thought Leadership Series, as it “extends the conversation beyond the significant role Australia’s resources sector has played in our national economy, to recognise that the sector itself is built upon a foundation of practical skills and expertise.”

As the sector continues to rapidly change, organisations like METS Ignited are embracing the technological capability and skills base to make the most of emerging opportunities. Adrian says an increase in demand in critical minerals and energy metals will “require new mining methods, innovative approaches to extraction and processing, and create the potential for greater downstream value adding opportunities.”

When reflecting on the Series theme, Adrian says “Next generation mining can only happen when our sector showcases how willing and capable we are in adopting new technology and innovation. We need to encourage the next wave of technology innovators to come and participate in our sector, alongside many of the world’s leading innovators.”

Mark Davies FAusIMM, Group Executive, Safety, Technical and Projects, Rio Tinto


With a strong commitment to safety, health, environment and community, Mark Davies is excited to discuss how technology and innovation can develop solutions for the most critical challenges facing the sector. “In my mind there is no doubt the most pressing challenge facing the industry is to contribute to a more sustainable planet, in particular, how to de-carbonise in the sense of our own emissions and the emissions our products create. But this also in a sense poses an opportunity to produce materials that will be pivotal in the de-carbonisation journey.”

There are many challenges ahead, “the technologies we will need to develop and operate to meet societal expectations with respect to ESG, but also to remain viable as businesses, do not exist at present. Having people with technical capabilities in R&D, green energy, automation and metallurgy to name just a few, is going to be critical to developing, deploying, and operating our future technologies.

“Successfully developing these technologies is going to rely on the ability of industry professionals across mining companies, suppliers and universities to collaborate and partner.”

Dr Sharna Glover, CEO, Imvelo Pty Ltd


With a twenty-year track record of successfully leading step change technology programs, Dr Sharna Glover is set to explore how innovation and technology is key in the transformational challenge facing the resources sector. “This is the perfect timing to gather together and discuss how we can collectively contribute to the ongoing repositioning of the Australian resources sector.”

The industry is currently being reshaped by decarbonisation, sustainability frameworks, circular economy, shortening of supply chains and sovereign capability, making innovation and technology key in finding solutions. “Industry 4.0 is about new ways of working, rethinking our flowsheets, and digitally connecting our value chains.”

Sharna is keen to explore how critical it is for industry professionals to transition and upskill to different capabilities in their roles. “The work in the field is going to need skills pathways that ensure that new technology in operations is well supported – without this we will not see the increase in productivity that Industry 4.0 offers.”

John Vagenas FAusIMM, Managing Director, Metallurgical Systems Pty Ltd


Passionate about increasing transparency and improving compliance in the global mining sector, John Vagenas will focus on his top three solutions in modernising the industry for a sustainable and innovative future.

John feels the main challenge facing the industry is how digital transformation is suffering from outdated, legacy systems delaying progress. John believes big data, high ESG standards and encouraging a diverse generation of workers are the key elements in transforming the sector for a brighter future.

John also calls for the industry to embrace already proven pathways to kick-start a transformation journey. “Adoption of the latest digital tools and technology will enable organisations to focus on their core business and to bypass internal digital transformation projects that historically are prone to failure and cultural resistance.

“To truly modernise our industry and to make it more sustainable and innovative, mining organisations have a great opportunity to tap into new and established technologies that put invaluable data and insights into the hands of decision-makers.”

Register for our Thought Leadership Series here.

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