Innovative Parker Challenge showcases professional expertise at AusIMM Mineral Resource and Estimation Conference
The results of the first ever Parker Challenge were presented at AusIMM’s Mineral Resource and Estimation Conference in Perth yesterday, with Kirsty Sheerin, Chris McKie, Madeline Wallace and Katie Collins of Hot Chili Limited being awarded first place for their outstanding application and demonstration of professional best practice.
The Challenge marks a radically different approach to resource estimation, with AusIMM facilitating the release of data to a skilled group of passionate professionals to provide their expert input on Rio Tinto’s Hugo South deposit in Mongolia.
The Challenge was sponsored by Rio Tinto, who provided the base dataset and $55,000 prize. It aimed to quantify the ‘between-person variance’ in resource estimation, with participants given the deposit dataset and asked to estimate the resource and classify it.
The Challenge highlighted the many skills, perspectives and knowledge of resource industry professionals, academics and students, shining a light on estimation and providing insights into how practitioners undertake their work. Extended findings from the Challenge are planned to be published in a more detailed paper in future.
Sheerin and her team were awarded the top prize, with their model and documentation standing out from other entries in its robustness of process and execution. The winning entry demonstrated appropriate consideration and use of geology; well considered, geologically and statistically appropriate domaining; full model coverage; appropriate classification and more.
Speaking on behalf of the judges, Danny Kentwell FAusIMM thanked the large number of entrants to the Challenge. ‘It was a very interesting exercise for us all, really making us think about what makes a fit for purpose estimate. In the end, the winner was very clear. The winning team’s entry demonstrated good quality work and attention to detail.’
AusIMM CEO Stephen Durkin said ‘This Challenge showcased the progressive way AusIMM is partnering with global industry companies, such as Rio Tinto, to lead and shape new approaches to professional practice.
‘This competition, the first of its kind, highlights what AusIMM does best: bringing together the brightest minds in our sector to solve big challenges. I am very proud of the way in which AusIMM has mobilised our global community of professionals to provide their expert insights and advance the sector.’
Rio Tinto’s Managing Director of Copper Growth and Development, Munkhsukh Sukhbaatar, said: ‘Rio Tinto is delighted to be supporting the Parker Challenge. Dr Harry Parker was a huge part of the Oyu Tolgoi story from deposit studies all the way through to the mine’s development. The Parker Challenge represents everything good about our industry by identifying better ways to collaborate and gain a deeper understanding of both the orebodies and the human beings central to mining. We will undoubtedly leverage the insights gained from the Challenge to better understand estimate variability and impacts on classification.