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Adelaide Branch June 2021 Newsletter

AusIMM Adelaide Branch
· 3074 words, 15 minute read

• Chair’s Report
• May Technical Talk with James Marsh: Andromeda’s Halloysite-Kaolin - Commercialisation of a World Class South Australian Industrial Mineral Resource
• June Technical Talk with Professor Nigel Cook: Characterization of rocks, ores, concentrates and minerals: why, how, and the thrill of new discoveries at ever smaller scales
• AusIMM Adelaide Student Chapter: Student Meets Industry Night
• Getting to know your Committee
• Keith Yates AM
• 2020/2021 Photo Competition Winner
• Upcoming Events
• Social Media, Sponsorship & Advertising, Contributions


Stuart Emery.png

Welcome, and thanks for reading the Adelaide Branch Newsletter.  As always, there is plenty of Branch activity to report on, both recent and coming up.

I thought I’d start by introducing myself a little better.  I know many of our local members, but for those who I haven’t met:  I am a metallurgist with about 17 years’ experience in the industry.  I’m married to Kirsty and have three young children.  I work for Solvay, a global chemical company, as the Asia-Pacific Regional Sales Director for Mineral Processing and Metal Extraction reagents, and I manage a team of sales and technical support metallurgists around the region.  I’ve been involved with the AusIMM since joining the Gartrell student chapter at UniSA.  Work took me away from Adelaide for several years, but on returning in 2012 I re-joined the Adelaide Branch committee.  Over the years I’ve had the role of Technical and Social subcommittee chair, Treasurer, and now Chair. In all my other spare time (!) I’m on the Metallurgical Society Committee and the Mill Operators Conference Organising Committee.  Come and say hello at an upcoming event.

We’ve just had a really interesting technical talk from Professor Nigel Cook on complex mineralogy and how trace elements can be distributed throughout other minerals.  If you missed it, look out for the digital recording on the AusIMM website soon.  Speaking of digital, we took a further step in our digital strategy at the June technical lunch by trialling “live-streaming” to an online audience.  We are aiming for a future where all our technical talks are live-streamed for access by remote members who can’t attend in person, but the challenge is to do this in a quality, affordable and sustainable way.  We did some live-streaming in 2020 using a professional streaming provider, but this time we used our own equipment at low cost.  Watch for further updates in this space.

Up next is the Annual Dinner on Friday 16th July.  Registrations are open and tickets are selling fast!  Our guest speaker will be well known space archaeologist Associate Professor Alice Gorman from Flinders University.  Alice is a great science communicator and you can often hear her speaking on ABC radio about space.  It promises to be a great evening with a three-course meal, drinks, friends and a celebration of great achievements.

Speaking of awards, our own Keith Yates was recognised in the recent Queens Birthday Honours list for his contribution to the minerals industry and the community.  Congratulations Keith!

Another date to put in your diary is August 19th when we will host the Metallurgical Society’s Delprat Distinguished Lecture, presented by Fran Burgess.  Fran will be talking about her 40+ years in operations management, and promises to be a great talk, not just for Metallurgists. Fran was the first female metallurgist cadet in Broken Hill, first female superintendent and onwards to be the first female underground mine manager.

And in other advance news, we’ve secured OZ Minerals CEO Andrew Cole as this years’ Essington Lewis Memorial Lecturer.  More info soon.

See you soon,

Stuart Emery MAusIMM (Adelaide Branch Chair)


May Technical Talk with James Marsh: Andromeda’s Halloysite-Kaolin - Commercialisation of a World Class South Australian Industrial Mineral Resource

The May Technical Lunch was held at the Pavilion on 20th May as a joint event with the GSA and the AIG.  The event started with the usual awarding of the door prize.  Congratulations to Scott Ferguson!  Following this was a presentation from EEF scholarship winner John Zhovnyak.  John is a trailblazer as the first mechanical engineering student to win an EEF scholarship, and also the first winner from UniSA.  John spoke about his research into low-torque drilling tools and the design of new drill bits for mineral exploration.

The main presentation was from James Marsh, the Managing Director of Andromeda Metals.  Andromeda Metals’ flagship project is the Great White Halloysite-Kaolin deposit, near Streaky Bay on the Eyre Peninsula.

Kaolin is a white clay mineral with a wide variety of uses, including in ceramics, plastic paint and coatings, and medical applications.  Halloysite is a specific type of kaolin, where the crystal plates have rolled into a tubular form.  This gives the product unique properties and allows it to act as a form of natural nano-tube.  The Great White resource contains a mix of both the plate-like kaolin and the tube-like halloysite.

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James took us through the project outline, including the geology, proposed mining methods and proposed processing route.  He also spoke about community relations, government permitting, and the next steps in bringing the project to fruition.

On behalf of the AusIMM, GSA and AIG, we thank James for his presentation.

Stuart Emery (MAusIMM)


June Technical Talk with Professor Nigel Cook: Characterization of rocks, ores, concentrates and minerals: why, how, and the thrill of new discoveries at ever smaller scales

Our June 2021 technical lunch was held at the Pavilion, attended by more than 60 members. The technical program included two presentations from AusIMM EEF scholarship recipients Coco Jian and Amelia Johnson and the main talk from Prof. Nigel Cook of University of Adelaide.

Coco was the first speaker and she presented her honours project entitled “Furnace Debottlenecking Study (Minerals)”. The aim of the project is to systematically assess the furnace availability and capacity to meet production targets. The work will involve analysing historical operating data to identify any circuit bottlenecks and then making recommendations for the subsequent site trial designed to test an increased target capacity.

Amelia then presented her honours project entitled “Sustainable Steel Production from Hematite”. This is a group project with Angus Dally, Chris Frech, Lewis Jones and Feina Wang as the other four members in the group. The aim of the project is to design a sustainable steel plant with low level carbon emissions by using hydrogen fuel and renewable energy for Whyalla Steelworks, South Australia. The preliminary study showed that the project feasibility is questionable based on technical and economic considerations but that more research is currently ongoing.

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The main talk entitled “Characterization of rocks, ores, concentrates and minerals: why, how, and the thrill of new discoveries at ever smaller scales” was given by Nigel, who took us to the fascinating world of mineralogy. Based on over 30 years of research dedication in this area, Nigel discussed the ever-increasing detection and quantification capability that can now go down to nanoscale or even atom scale to reveal patterns within individual mineral grains not observable by conventional microscopy. He then presented the contemporary micro-analytical techniques that can give unparalleled insights into the scale and nature of minor and trace elements and their variations in minerals. The rich source of small-scale information can be used to characterise and interpret minerals and their assemblages to help understand ore genesis and ore deposit models, optimise geometallurgical processes and material handling/environmental waste monitoring.

Nigel then used the Olympic Dam deposit as an example to demonstrate that a comprehensive understanding of mineralogy and mineral chemistry is essential for optimised processing. This understanding should cover all minerals (both major and trace components) present, plus their composition and their variations. An example from Olympic Dam showed that while minerals may seem homogeneous at the macroscopic scale, at the micron-nano scale the variation leads to extensive nonstoichiometric and less predictable behaviour.

Finally, Nigel finished with a simple message: for accurate interpretation, you must know what is being analysed.

To conclude the session, on behalf of the Adelaide Branch, Prof. John Ralston thanked Nigel for his comprehensive and fascinating talk.

And congratulations to Sharon Hards for winning the Door Prize!

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Chaoshui Xu (MAusIMM)


AusIMM Adelaide Student Chapter: Student Meets Industry Night

The student meets industry night held on June 2nd was a huge success with approximately 85 in attendance. There was a great mix of disciplines between students and industry representatives. The event kicked off at 6pm with drinks and nibbles in abundance. With a large turnout in attendance, our industry representatives were inundated with eager students wanting to know more about their companies and their experiences. Our industry representatives were from a variety of companies including: Epiroc, Oz Minerals, BHP, Magotteaux, Bureau Veritas, Maptek, Resolve Mining, Byrnecut, Mining Plus. Members from the AusIMM Adelaide Branch were also in attendance. We were so thankful that they took the time and effort to attend this event.

Throughout the evening there were presentations made by various industry representatives. All presentations gave useful information on the resource sector as a whole and the presenters own experiences. A big thank you to Mark from AusIMM, Peter from OZ Minerals, Steve from Maptek, Bart from Resolve Mining, Cristian from Bureau Veritas and Chris from Magotteaux. We appreciate you all taking the time to present to the students.

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It was a very successful night for networking and for AusIMM sign ups. A big thank you to Chris and Mark for representing the Adelaide Branch and managing to get 25 sign ups on the evening. Overall, this event was a huge success and we were grateful to be able to host.

Thank you to the University of Adelaide Club Events team for their exceptional bar service and catering and thank you to the Student Chapter Committee for their work in organising this event.

I’d also like to mention and extend our gratitude to the sponsors of the Adelaide Student Chapter. Our 2021 sponsors are Iluka as gold sponsors, BHP as silver sponsors, Magotteaux as silver sponsors and Bureau Veritas as bronze sponsors. Without their continued support we wouldn’t be able to run these types of events.

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Elyse Bosch (AusIMM Adelaide Student Chapter President)


Getting to know your Committee

Geoff Deans – MAusIMM 

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What Position do you hold on the Committee?

Committee Member, Adelaide Branch

Can you tell us a bit about your educational background?

  • Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) – University of South Australia
  • Graduate Australian Institute of Company Directors – (GAICD)
  • Masters Community Relations for Resources Sector – Sustainable Minerals Institute, University of Queensland
  • Graduate Certificate Social Impact Assessment, Macquarie University
  • Native Title Anthropology: Law, Society and Practice – Adelaide University
  • Bachelor of Education - Flinders University, South Australia

Can you tell us a bit more about your background of your career?

Prior to moving to a group role, I spent the first 10 years of my working life in the bush, predominantly throughout Central Australia.  During this time, I was fortunate to work in a diversity of contexts and on different project. I have really enjoyed the opportunity to work across exploration, production mining and construction projects to develop local level agreements and facilitate land access.

What do you enjoy most about your profession?

Social Performance is an emerging field in the resources sector. Working in social performance, I enjoy the ability to inform how our business operates and grows. Just as geological resources are unique and complex, so is each social context. I get to influence how major resource projects are managed throughout their lifecycle (exploration, development, operations, closure) in their unique social setting.

Applied social performance provides a complexity and diversity of work. Just like safety, effective social performance at assets and within companies is everybody’s responsibility.  Social Performance practitioners get to work with key decision makers and a diverse range of subject matter experts including project managers, finance, procurement, human resources and exploration to integrate stakeholder values and social risk into business governance, decision making and business planning. 

When did you join the AusIMM?


What do you enjoy most about being on the Committee?

Working with the range of people from South Australia to support the AusIMM and the resources sector

What are you hoping the Committee can achieve this year?

Support the AusIMM working with universities and graduates to see the real opportunities that the resources sector has to offer.

Keith Yates AM

Keith Yates.jpg

This year’s Queen’s Birthday Awards saw the recognition of Keith Yates for his significant service to the minerals and mining sector, and to the community.

Keith is a long-term passionate member of the Adelaide Branch, a former Chair of the Adelaide Branch of the AusIMM, past recipient of an AusIMM Minerals Sector Service Award. He is a current Board Member of the Playford Trust with whom the Adelaide Branch has proudly partnered for 12 years to jointly support scholarships for university students. Keith has been instrumental on the selection panel for student scholarships.

On behalf of the Adelaide Branch, we wish to congratulate Keith on his recent award.


2020/2021 Photo Competition Winner

We are pleased to announce the winning entry of the 2020/2021 photo competition submitted by Dr Richard Lilly, NExUS Program Leader and Minerals Industry Embedded Research Fellow.

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The image was taken in December 2020 of the NExUS cohort at the historic Hughes Engine House in Moonta. The National Exploration Undercover School (NExUS) is an educational initiative funded by the Minerals Council of Australia and aims to provide practical education for Australia's most promising geoscientists. After the disruption of 2020, we were very pleased to be able to run a modified field component to the 2020 program, which included a field trip to the Yorke Peninsula, visiting some of South Australia's mining heritage, as well as several days of field geophysics and geochemistry at Rex Minerals Hillside deposit. 

The Hughes Engine House, built between 1863 and 1865 for dewatering of the adjacent Hughes Shaft, allowed access to the mine's largest ore bodies, the Elders and Elders West Lodes. At the peak of production, between 1860 and 1870 the 'Copper Triangle' of Moonta, Kadina and Wallaroo was home to the largest copper mining operations in the Southern Hemisphere. The pump house is significant as it operated continuously (except for maintenance) for over 58 years before closure of the mine in 1923.


Upcoming Events

AusIMM Adelaide Branch Annual Dinner

The AusIMM Adelaide Branch is pleased to announce it will be holding its prestigious Annual Dinner event on Friday 16th July at the Adelaide Pavilion with guest speaker Associate Professor Alice Gorman from Flinders University. This is one to definitely lock into your calendar!

Date: 16 July 2021
Time: 6:00pm
Venue: Adelaide Pavilion, Veale Gardens

For more information and to register click here.


Reminder! AusIMM Adelaide Branch 2021 Mentoring Program Networking Night

The AusIMM Adelaide Branch is pleased to invite the 2020 & 2021 Mentoring Program mentees and mentors for the first Networking Night since program inception. It will be an opportunity for mentors and mentees to meet and network along with our Adelaide Branch Committee members. You don’t want to miss this!

Date: 28 July 2021
Time: Start 5:30pm (ACST)
Venue: The Belgian Beer Cafe, 27-29 Ebenezer Pl, Adelaide

The registration link has been shared by the Adelaide Branch Mentoring Program Coordinators with the 2020 & 2021 mentors and mentees so if you haven’t registered yet, the RSVP date is until July 14th. See you there!

If you are interested in becoming a mentor for our 2022 AusIMM Adelaide Branch Mentoring Program, please contact one of our friendly Committee Members or send us an email at


AusIMM Adelaide Branch August Technical Event / AusIMM Metallurgical Society G.D. Delprat Distinguished Lecture 2021

The GD Delprat Distinguished Lecture is the annual distinguished lecture of the AusIMM’s Metallurgical Society.  This year’s distinguished lecturer is Fran Burgess. 

The 2021 Delprat Lecture is entitled “Achieve excellence in metallurgical operations - The Challenges and Opportunities”. Fran will reflect on her years in metallurgical operations and share some real insights into how to be effective, efficient and deliver some critical outcomes.

“To do this the overwhelming thing is a belief in people. The people are what make you or break you in any situation. The orebody, the equipment is important, however it is the people that make the difference.”

Join the Adelaide Branch for their August Technical Lunch at the Pavilion Function Centre, Veale Gardens with Fran Burgess,

Date: Thursday 19 August 2021
Time: 12.00pm – 2.00pm (UTC+09:30)

Watch this space, registration details to come.


Technical & Social Calendar 

***Please note due to the current COVID-19 restrictions events could be subject to change.

Adelaide Branch Technical & Social Calendar 2021 (as of 25/06/21)






19 Aug

Adelaide Pavilion

Technical Lunch 

“Achieve excellence in metallurgical operations - The Challenges and Opportunities”

Fran Burgess

23 Sep

Adelaide Pavilion

Technical Lunch 


John Culton

21 Oct

Adelaide Pavilion

Technical Lunch 



4 Nov

National Wine Centre

Essington Lewis Memorial Lecture


Andrew Cole

26 Nov

Adelaide Convention Centre




2 Dec

Adelaide Bowling Club

2021 AGM

Bowls on the lawn

No speaker


AusIMM Conference and Functions 2021

*** Please see links to to the AusIMM website for official details relating to conferences




1 – 2 Jul 2021 


Mine Waste & Tailings 2021 

26 – 27 Jul 2021 


Open Pit Operators Conference 2021 

3-4, 10-11 Aug 2021


International Uranium Digital Conference 2021

8 – 10 Nov 2021


Iron Ore Conference 2021

Social Media

Remember to follow the Adelaide Branch on Facebook for all the latest local events.

Connect with The AusIMM across our various social media pages:

Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn / Youtube


Sponsorship & Advertising

The Adelaide Branch is looking to partner with the industry in 2021 to sponsor our Technical & Social events. We have a range of various sponsorship packages available to suit your needs, including our Monthly Technical Lunches, AGM and sponsoring the Adelaide Student Chapter.

For a sponsorship pack with further details please contact us at



Contribute to the Adelaide Branch Online Newsletter!

If you have any feedback, would like to make a suggestion or contribute with an article or comment piece, please email the Branch via:

Please submit articles as unformatted text files, and photographs as separate images. If photographs are of individuals, please supply names for figure captions.

Contributions for our next newsletter are required by 23rd July.


DISCLAIMER: The AusIMM is not responsible for statements made or opinions advanced by authors in this publication and accepts no liability (including liability in negligence) for and gives no undertaking concerning the accuracy, completeness or fitness for purpose of the information provided.



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