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Social & Environment Society newsletter - July 2021

Ingrid Meek Chair - Social & Environment Society
· 2790 words, 14 minute read

Welcome to the first AusIMM Social & Environment (S&E) Society newsletter. 

This is a new initiative of your S&E Society Committee to engage with the 1,830 plus AusIMM members practising or with an interest in environmental and social performance in the minerals sector who have chosen to be part of our Community of Interest.  

As elected representatives of the Society, the S&E Society Committee is made up of fourteen passionate and experienced S&E advocates with a diversity of backgrounds and interests (further information is provided toward the end of the newsletter). 

As a Committee we aim to support the Society mission to:  

  • Connect AusIMM members with an interest in S&E matters in the minerals sector and help them remain abreast of current issues and emerging trends 
  • Promote good S&E performance and practice in the minerals sector by fostering relevant education activities and interdisciplinary collaboration
  • Support S&E professional development for all AusIMM members, particularly through support of the Chartered Professional (CP) Environment and CP Social Performance program 
  • Develop AusIMM S&E policy, codes of conduct and Areas of Practice consistent with relevant regulatory and financial institution S&E performance standards 
  • Promote the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) expectations and credentials of the AusIMM and its members 

This newsletter is intended to be a key communication tool to engage with Society members and provide information and opportunities to get in touch, get involved, get active in your Society. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us via the Society email to provide feedback, ideas, seek help or get involved at:      

Ingrid Meek

Chair S&E Society Committee


2021 AusIMM / BHP / EIANZ Student Award winner announced 

The AusIMM and the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand (EIANZ) have come together to offer an annual Social and Environment Student Award, co-sponsored by BHP. The award provides financial support to students interested in pursuing a career in the environment, social and/or community disciplines within the resources industry. 

In June, we were delighted to announce that Amelia Corzo Remigio (pictured) is the 2021 AusIMM, BHP and EIANZ Social and Environment Student Award recipient for her PhD research on ‘Arsenic phytoextraction from tailings and sediments of Australia using hyperaccumulator plants.’


On receiving the award, Amelia commented that “I am very thankful for this opportunity to the AusIMM, BHP, and EIANZ. With this funding, I will be able to add practical information to my PhD thesis that is going to be beneficial for both academia and industry since I am investigating the use of novel phytotechnologies to reclaim abandoned mine wastes. With this award, I will be able to conduct research and specialised analysis in external laboratories, such as the speciation of arsenic in plants and tailings.” 

This annual Award is open to new applications each year from 1 December to 31st March for the following Academic year. The award is valued at up to $3,000 and is intended to offset financial expenses directly related to completion of an Honours, Masters or PhD research project or equivalent. In addition to the financial support, award winners are assisted by the AusIMM S&E Society Committee to access relevant AusIMM opportunities to communicate the outcomes of their study such as webinars or conference presentations. 

If you or anyone you know would benefit from, and be eligible for, this Award more information can be found here.


S&E Society webinars 

Recently completed webinars: 

  • 11th June: ESG and Social Responsibility in the Resource Sector.  

This successful webinar saw 88 attendees join in to hear Bruce Harvey introduce the AusIMM’s newest Professional Certificate short course 'ESG and Social Responsibility in the Resource Sector’, commencing in early August.  

Completed webinars can be accessed by members via the Digital Library.

Keep your eye out for these upcoming S&E webinars:  

  • 12th August: Why Independence Matters  

Presented by E/Prof David Brereton and Dr Kathryn Sturman, this webinar will look at the development and implications of various ESG certification schemes. The first part of the webinar will provide a brief overview of these developments and explore the implications at asset, company and industry levels. The second part will examine steps that industry and external parties need to take to ensure that purportedly ‘independent’ assessment review and certification processes have credibility.   

Find out more information and register here.

  • Financing Mining Projects under the Equator Principles - large changes ahead (date TBD) 

Do you have a burning topic that Society members and the world at large needs to know more about!?

Then please let us know via email at:


The AusIMM Social Responsibility Framework & Statement – what does it mean for you? 

In 2020, the Environmental Social and Corporate Governance / Social Responsibility (ESG/SR) Committee (Chaired by Bruce Harvey) established the AusIMM Social Responsibility Framework and public Social Responsibility Statementin the area of Social Performance and this year has launched a Chartered Professional discipline in Social Performance working alongside the Chartered Professional Program Committee (CPPC). The AusIMM is the first learned Society worldwide to have achieved this initiative.

Expectation of AusIMM Membership  

The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) is committed to fostering the social responsibility of its membership. 

AusIMM expects all its members, on a basis of mutual understanding, respect, and commitment, to consciously regard the wellbeing of communities and societies affected by their work. … members must be aware of and consider Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors in their professional work. ESG factors include specific non-negotiable mandatory legal requirements and those contained in well-established global sustainability principles, standards and guidance applicable to minerals sector enterprise activity. 

Look out for the next edition of the newsletter where we will be looking into the Chartered Professional Program for Environmental and Social Performance practitioners. 


Upcoming course: AusIMM Professional Certificate on ESG and Social Responsibility in the resources sector 

Learn how to minimise ESG-related harm and maximise value to resource enterprises, affected stakeholders and broader society. 

AusIMM’s newest Professional Certificate course will examine environment, social and governance performance and social responsibility (ESG/SR) through critical thinking and authentic resource sector experience. Prominence will be given to evaluating ESG/SR risk, threats and opportunities, and to developing workplace responses, execution, assurance and performance reporting. 

The course and case studies will be global in scope and will equip course participants with an understanding of existing and emerging ESG/SR societal and lender expectations in resource sector exploration, development, operating and closure contexts. Participants will gain enough knowledge and skills to know how to apply ESG/SR requirements in their own workplace. The eight-week course consists of six modules over six weeks, with a final two weeks to complete written assessments.  

Facilitated by our very own Bruce Harvey (FAusIMM(CP)), the inaugural sixweek course commences 2 August 2021 and enrolments are now open.

Find out more and register here.


Update No. 6 to AusIMM Members: ISO Mine closure and reclamation management standard  

Long standing AusIMM S&E Society member Corinne Unger (MAusIMM CP(Env) and soon to be PhD!) represents AusIMM on the Australian Committee for development of the ISO TC 82/SC 7 Mine closure and reclamation management. 

Corinne recently published her 6th Update to AusIMM on the progress of this work and this can be found here.


Policy and advocacy update 

Completed Submissions: 

  • WA Streamlining (Mining Amendment) Bill 2021.  

Since May, S&E Society Committee members Stephen White (Deputy Chair) and Georgia Manning (immediate past Chair), with valuable input from S&E Society member Corinne Unger, assisted the AusIMM policy team to prepare a submission to the WA Government on proposed legislative reforms to streamline mining approvals and regulation in the state. 

On June 30th, AusIMM announced our submission was released and it is available here.

A brief summary was published in the AusIMM news and an extract is provided below:     

The Bill proposes amendments to the Mining Act 1978 (WA) (Mining Act) to streamline mine approvals processes and regulations, with three key changes flagged: 

  • Low impact notifications: The Bill proposes an alternative authorisation pathway for low impact activities, according to which automatic authorisation is available for certain mechanised ground disturbances 
  • Mining development and closure proposals: The Bill introduces a single Mine Development and Closure Proposal to replace the currently separate Mining Proposal and Mine Closure Plan. 
  • Approvals statements: A new Approvals Statement will identify conditions, closure outcomes, review dates and related information, maintained on an ongoing basis. 

In our submission, AusIMM express in-principle support for the reforms, noting that a streamlined and efficient approvals framework is important to support the continuing contributions made by the Western Australian sector to the national economy and community. 

We emphasise that a well-calibrated regulatory framework must balance efficiency with due oversight, rigour and risk-responsiveness. This balance is vital to ensure consistency; balance social, economic and environmental considerations; and strengthen community confidence and support.  

Matters currently under consideration by the S&E Committee 

  • Environmental Protection Act 1986 (WA) Amendments. (Amendments to EPA’s EIA Procedures Suite) 
  • NSW Registered Environmental Assessment Practitioner (REAP) Scheme  

Members are invited to get in touch to provide input to these matters and/or bring additional policy and advocacy matters to our attention.


Launch of the National Geotourism Strategy 

The Australian Geoscience Council (AGC), of which AusIMM is a major member, has embarked on implementing a National Geotourism Strategy, designed to support the orderly development of major geotourism projects and domestic regional development imperatives. 

The development of mechanisms for collaboration between providers of cultural elements and landscapes inclusive of mining and resource industry heritage (e.g. mining companies, geological and mining museums, historical and professional societies, and geological surveys) has also been identified as an opportunity to further the socio-economic benefits of geotourism.   

The National Geotourism Strategy embraces seven strategic goals. 

  1. Development of new digital technologies to deliver and interpret for the traveller or visitor, quality natural and cultural heritage content, highlighting particularly geology and landscape. 
  2. To define an approval pathway for major geotourism projects. 
  3. To establish a framework for creating high quality, sustainable geotrails. 
  4. To establish a national framework for geo-heritage listings suitable for geotourism. 
  5. To develop geotourism in regional mining communities with potential geo-heritage and cultural heritage sites. 
  6. To strengthen Australia’s international geoscience standing through geotourism excellence. 
  7. To develop and enhance the geoscience interpretation and communication skills of everyone actively involved in the presentation of geosites, enabling the provision of accurate and thematic information in an accessible manner. 

S&E Society Member Jon Crosbie (FAusIMM CP(Env) RPEQ) has been nominated to represent AusIMM on the working group focussed on goal 5 listed above. Jon will keep us updated in future newsletters.


S&E Society attendance at AusIMM conferences 

In March, Committee member Renee Young represented the Society at the AusIMM Underground Operators Conference in Perth. Some really good feedback to her brief presentation was received along the lines of “really interesting to be reminded of the relevance of social and environmental aspects at an otherwise non-ESG mining conference!”. So well done and thank you Renee.  



As co-sponsors of the April AusIMM Life-of-Mine conference in Brisbane, a number of your S&E Society Committee members made the effort to have a heightened presence at the event to liaise with members (and potential members) and discuss and promote the good work of the Society. In particular, the S&E Society was well represented by Kathleen Turner who presented a brief introduction to the Society to the 200+ attendees, Bruce Harvey briefly presented the ESG Framework and upcoming short course, Karin Fogarty presented a paper on her research, Tara Halliday and Ingrid Meek each chaired one of the sessions, and Alan Irving supported the AusIMM / S&E Society station in the exhibition area. Ingrid Meek and Brad Radloff (2018-2020 S&E Society Committee member) also supported the conference as members of the LOM Conference organising committee. 


Above: left to right, S&E Society Committee members Kathleen Turner, Tara Halliday, Ingrid Meek, Alan Irving and Karin Fogarty. 


Kathleen Turner 1.png  image4cfol.png

                Tara Halliday                                              Karin Fogarty                                Kathleen Turner

Watch out for us at the upcoming AusIMM Lithium Battery and Energy Metals Conference in Perth in 1-2 September – seek us out and have a chat. 


S&E Society networking event 

On 27th April, the AusIMM S&E Society took the opportunity to organise an in-person networking event, the evening prior to the commencement of the Life of Mine (LOM) Conference in Brisbane. The informal event was sponsored by CRC TiME and co-hosted with the Closure Planning Practitioners Association (CPPA). More than 60 people attended, from a diversity of backgrounds and experience – we had students, recent graduates and mid-tier professionals all the way through to some pretty recognisable names including Prof. David Williams, LOM Chair Glen Corder, CRC TiME rep. Anna Littleboy, AusIMM President Dave Clark and AusIMM CEO Stephen Durkin.  

Overall it was a resounding success and feedback included:    

  • Thanks for hosting a great event 
  • Great initiative of S&E, good attendance, happy & engaged attendees 
  • Great food (and sooooo much!!) 
  • When is the next one? 
  • After so much isolation due to Covid, it is so wonderful to be talking to people face to face



Recent feedback from S&E Society members 

In response to the question: Why are you an AusIMM Member? 

“History as mine site enviro, approvals consultant, environmental compliance auditor. Have a vested interest in staying in touch with the industry.” 

 “I find value in the networking, training, the workshops, the news and I like the variety.” 

 “Professional development, networking and benchmarking” 

 “Was a requirement of first role; been handy so kept it up as part of employment conditions.” 


Member shout out! 

We would like to hear from you regarding any interesting activities of our members. So, send through a brief bio and image of yourself or another Society member and we will include you in our ‘Member shout out!’ section of each newsletter.


Nominations for AusIMM 2022 Awards 

For more than 80 years, AusIMM has proudly celebrated members who have made valuable contributions and shown outstanding leadership within the resources sector. The AusIMM Awards recognise the achievements, professional excellence and leadership of many of our talented members working in the mining industry. The annual awards program is an important platform to recognise excellence across a range of categories. 

AusIMM is committed to increasing diversity in the industry and welcomes nominations from all professionals regardless of discipline or background. Nominations are now open and close on 30th September. 

Please consider anyone you know who could be nominated from our Social and Environment Society and put them forward (confidentially)! If we want more recognition in the industry, then this is one opportunity!


Introducing your S&E Society Committee 

Get in touch with your Committee via our email:       



AusIMM status 

Formal committee role 

Committee Term 

Ingrid Meek 



Chair (2021-) 


Stephen White  



Deputy Chair 


Cathy Galli 





Georgia Manning 



Immediate past chair 

 2016-2018, 2018-2021  

Bruce Harvey 




 2018-2020, 2021-2023  

Diane Dowdell 





Karin Fogarty 





Kathryn East 





Alan Irving 





Philippa Sjoquist 





Geoff Deans 





Kathleen Turner 





Renee Young 





Tara Halliday 





Think you’ve got what it takes? Elections for new members for the COI Committees are held in November each year. Available places vary year to year. Keep your eye out for the callout for nominations in Sept/Oct to be a 2022-2024 S&E Society Committee member!  


Looking ahead 

Here are some of the actions and ideas (in addition to those outlined above) that your hardworking Committee members are currently working on.  

  • Support Branches, Student Chapters and other CoIs to access S&E professionals and expertise as required 
  • Support to the AusIMM Working Group on Resources Industry Future Workforce 
  • Review and update the AusIMM Recognised Course List for Environmental professionals in the minerals sector 
  • Support delivery of the ‘ESG and Social Responsibility in the Resources sector’ short course starting August 2nd 
  • Develop a ‘Climate Change in the Resource Industry’ workshop 
  • Consider ESG modifying factors in the JORC update underway 
  • Review and improve the ‘value proposition’ for both members and Chartered Professionals in our Environmental and Social Performance disciplines 
  • Reviewing conference papers for various AusIMM conferences 
  • Preparing to revamp the online S&E-related publications and technical material. The AusIMM Digital Library is available for AusIMM members with access to expert webinars, articles and over 16,500 articles.

If you feel you have skills and time available that could support the work of the Committee, or have ideas for the newsletter, please reach out via email at:


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