Elizabeth Lewis-Gray


Elizabeth Lewis-Gray is co-founder, Chair and Managing Director of Gekko Systems, based in Ballarat, Victoria. Gekko is a world leader in gold and silver processing technology, and energy (processing) efficient modular plants, designing, construction and operation. The company was established in 1996 and in addition to its head office in Ballarat, has offices in Perth, Vancouver, and Johannesburg.

Elizabeth is Chair of the Federal Government’s Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) Industry Growth Centre and former Chair of Austmine, the peak industry body in Australia for the mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector, a $90 billion industry. Previously, she was a member of the Australian Federal Government’s National Precincts Board and the Innovation Australia Board.

The Patron of CEEC (Coalition for Eco-Efficient Comminution), Elizabeth was visionary in the formation of this not-for-profit organisation which aims to accelerate knowledge and change transfer in the field of eco-efficient comminution. CEEC has the capacity to have a meaningful global impact on energy consumption in mining and has recently been awarded the 2013 Mining Magazine Editor’s award.

Elizabeth was inducted into the Australian Businesswoman’s Hall of Fame in 2000, is a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia (FINSIA), and has won several awards including the Warren Centre’s Innovation Heroes Award.

Prior to her involvement in the mining sector, Elizabeth worked in stockbroking and strategic planning. Her qualifications include a Bachelor Degree in Economics, and a Masters in Business Management.

Owen Hegarty


Owen Hegarty has some 40 years’ experience in the global mining industry. He had 25 years with the Rio Tinto group where he was Managing Director of Rio Tinto Asia and Managing Director of the Group’s Australian copper and gold business.

He was the founder and CEO of the Oxiana Ltd Group which grew from a small exploration company to a multi-billion dollar Australia, Asia and Pacific focused base and precious metals producer, developer and explorer. Oxiana became OZ Minerals Ltd.

Owen is presently Executive Vice Chairman of Hong Kong listed G-Resources Group Ltd, a gold mining company; and an Advisor to CST Mining Group Ltd, a Hong Kong listed copper mining company. He is a Non-Executive Director of Australian Fortescue Metals Group Ltd, a Director of the AusIMM, a member of a number of Government and industry advisory groups. He is Founding Patron of CEEC (Coalition for Energy Efficient Comminution) – a not-for-profit organisation aimed at increasing energy efficiencies in mining and minerals processing.

Owen is Chairman of Tigers Realm Minerals, a private Melbourne based mining company growing a diversified mining group. He is a Non-Executive Director of ASX listed Tigers Realm Coal Limited. He is also Chairman of EMR Capital, a private equity investment manager focused on resources.

For his achievements and leadership in the mining industry Owen was awarded the AusIMM Institute Medal in 2006 and the G.J. Stokes Memorial Award in 2008.

Jim Gowans


James (Jim) Gowans is a globally respected and active contributor to industry who serves on industry boards including New Gold Inc., Detour Gold, Cameco Ltd and Gedex. Until its recent acquisition by South32 Ltd, Jim was Chief Executive Officer and President of Arizona Mining Inc. He previously held executive leadership roles with Barrick Gold Corporation, Debswana Diamond Company, De Beers Group, PT Vale Indonesia Tbk, Placer Dome (Canada), Teck and Cominco and was a director of companies including Dominion Diamond Corporation and NewCastle Gold Ltd. 

Jim previously served as the President of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum, the President of the Mining Association of Canada, and a Director of the Conference Board of Canada. He has more than 30 years’ experience in mineral exploration, mine feasibility studies, opening new mines, commissioning mine expansions and in the development of best practices in mine safety, mine operations and economic performance improvement.  He has worked on projects throughout Canada and also worked in Nevada, the Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan, Alaska, the High Arctic and Indonesia. 

Jim is a Professional Engineer who holds a Degree in Mining and Mineral Processing Engineering from the University of British Columbia in 1974. He also attended Banff School of Advanced Management.