CEEC Melbourne Energy Innovation event “engaging, collaborative, strategic”

The workshop held prior to IMARC included CEEC participants Alison Keogh (CEEC CEO), Dr Zeljka Pokrajcic (CEEC Director and PETRA Data Science presenter) and Dr Mary Stewart (CEEC Director and Energetics COO).
The workshop held prior to IMARC included CEEC participants Alison Keogh (CEEC CEO), Dr Zeljka Pokrajcic (CEEC Director and PETRA Data Science presenter) and Dr Mary Stewart (CEEC Director and Energetics COO).

Mining Energy Efficiency and Innovation workshop @ IMARC

– Delivering mine-to-product innovation and improvement options

More than 40 mining industry professionals, METS representatives and researchers converged on the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre last month for CEEC’s successful Mining Energy Efficiency and Innovation workshop.

Tagged “engaging, collaborative, strategic” by participants, this stimulating and highly interactive workshop was part of CEEC’s worldwide program of events delivering practical options for improvement and innovation across mining. Workshop participants took away practical improvement ideas that they can implement at site, and an understanding of important, industry-changing innovations and advances.

The workshop was delivered in partnership with Australia’s largest annual mining conference IMARC, which attracted over 3,500 delegates.


PHOTO: Top row – Alison Keogh (CEEC CEO), with CEEC sponsors in attendance including Evert Lessing (Weir), Nicholas Bartsch (OZ Minerals), Robert Braun (Ausenco), Zeljka Pokrajcic (CEEC Director and PETRA Data Science), Mary Stewart (CEEC Director and Energetics), Noor Crookshanks (Donhad) and Ezio Viti (Eriez). Seated – Forum panel experts Michelle Ash (Barrick), Sandy Gray (Gekko Systems), Dan Curry (MMG) and Susan Thompson (Rio Tinto), with facilitator Phil Bangerter.

Leaders shared challenges and innovative solutions – energy expert Mary Stewart, Barrick innovation leader Michelle Ash and Whittle’s Phil Bangerter

Industry leaders Michelle Ash (Barrick Gold Chief Innovation Officer) and Dr Mary Stewart (Energetics Chief Operating Officer) delivered presentations that were valued by participants, sharing practical site improvement options that will reduce costs and improve efficiency, and imparting a deeper understanding of important advances that are changing our industry. Phil Bangerter presented on how to think about value and NPV when undertaking energy efficiency and productivity improvements.

Focusing on innovation opportunities, Ash discussed the rate of technological change, its impact on society and industry’s role in this new environment. Michelle said “Our job is to prepare for an accelerated rate of change in the world,” and outlined the benefits if we can harness that opportunity. Ash said Barrick’s response was to embrace innovation and the company had identified five innovation priorities, actively implementing changes now: autonomous and electric mines, blockchain enabled solutions, precisions extraction, symbiotic development, and global orebody intelligence.

Practical site improvement case studies shared – energy savings and data-enabled value options being implemented now

Stewart focused on energy management and its impact to the bottom line. Her presentation covered mine site energy benchmarking, a number of practical case studies, the importance of using data effectively, and what you get for your energy dollar.

CEEC Director and PETRA Data Science Principal Dr Zeljka Pokrajcic presented multiple case studies about how PETRA’s engineered data science solutions had been applied to mining industry challenges, helping companies predict, optimise and improve their business across the value chain. Click here for more information on Pokrajcic’s presentation.

Both presentations brought practical ideas for participants that can be implemented at site to save money and improve productivity.


PHOTO: Michelle Ash (Barrick) presented, outlining Barrick priorities for innovation priorities and components being actioned this year – talking about initiatives and value from autonomous and electric mine, blockchain-enabled solutions, precision extraction, symbiotic development and global orebody intelligence.

Industry panellists outlined their plans for innovation, and collaboration opportunities – options to accelerate improvement

Numbers for the workshop swelled to over 50 when Ash and Stewart joined Dan Curry (MMG Las Bambas Transformation Leader), Sandy Gray (Gekko Systems Co-Founder and Technical Director) and Susan Thompson (Rio Tinto Growth and Innovation Principal Advisor) for an engaging panel session. The panel explored global change and innovation; mining challenges and opportunities across the world; collaboration between miners, METS and researchers; and breaking down silos. The importance of including compelling, engaging humanistic design principles was identified as a critical factor in the uptake of new technology. Workshop participants posed insightful questions and shared their own experiences in an engaging and informative session.

Bold targets and case studies provided inspiration and ideas – CMIC, energy curves and practical improvement ideas

CEEC CEO Alison Keogh talked about global trends in energy, productivity and resources – including inspiring step-change targets being set in energy, water and footprint by mining companies and organisations worldwide. The Canadian Mining Innovation Council is one such organisation which has announced 10-year targets of 50% reduction in water, 50% reduction in energy and 50% reduction in footprint.

Supporting such aims requires proactive knowledge and knowledge of practical ways to implement changes at site. Options for miners can also add value and improve energy efficiency and productivity, The CEEC team presented a number of demonstrated options, with 10 global improvement case studies.

Throughout the day, participants took part in a series of interactive activities centred on value (value add, ranking and propositions) as well as three operational challenges that deepened understanding of approaches to tackle energy efficiency and productivity improvements.

Engaged, diverse audience – collaborating to share mining to processing options and emerging advances

The diversity of topics covered, the interactive nature of the activities, and the openness of speakers and facilitators were identified as key strengths of the workshop. Participants took advantage of the networking and learning opportunities, saying that they could apply the “forward thinking ideas” and “cross-value chain analysis” to their own work environments.

Not only did the workshop topics cover the value-chain from resource to product, the participants were diverse, from mining, processing and design backgrounds. Participants represented more than 12 mining companies (including iron ore, coal, gold and base metals), 15 technical providers, domestic and international research institutions, and many of CEEC’s valued sponsors were present and actively engaged (including Barrick Gold, Eriez, Ausenco, Gekko Systems, Donhad, PETRA Data Science, New Gold, OZ Minerals, and Weir Minerals).

Workshop attendees outlined numerous existing and emerging options that can be put in place to improve energy and productivity on mine sites now and in the near future. Attendees also outlined some of the exciting advances on the cusp for industry change in the next 5+ years, which will greatly enhance achievements of step-change targets being set by organisations across the world.

CEEC would like to thank the following people and organisations for their important contributions to this event:

  • Speakers Michelle Ash (Barrick Chief Innovation Officer), Mary Stewart (Energetics COO and CEEC Director), Phil Bangerter (Whittle and CEEC facilitator), Zeljka Pokrajcic (PETRA Data Science and CEEC Director)
  • Panel experts Dan Curry (MMG Transformation Leader), Michelle Ash (Barrick), Susan Thompson (Rio Tinto) and Sandy Gray (Gekko Systems)
  • The participants, from across mining, METS and research organisations, who shared ideas, insights and practical experiences in the true spirit of collaboration
  • IMARC for event management and in-kind support of this event
  • METS Ignited for funding opportunities and event support
  • Workshop facilitators Phil Bangerter, Alison Keogh and Zeljka Pokrajcic
  • CEEC Events and Communications Coordinator Sandy Worden for helping make the event possible
  • CEEC’s visionary sponsors, vital to enable CEEC’s work and events worldwide.

Our thanks: CEEC sincerely thanks our valued and visionary sponsors who enable us to hold our international events, helping our industry.

Our sponsors and supporters: CEEC, a global not-for-profit company, is funded wholly by valued sponsorship from the mineral industry – Anglo American, Antofagasta Minerals, Ausenco, Barrick Gold, Bechtel, CITIC-HIC, CRC ORE, Donhad, Eriez, FL Smidth, Freeport McMoran, Gekko Systems, Glencore Technology, Goldcorp, Hatch, Metso, New Gold Inc, Orica, Oz Minerals, PETRA Data Science, Sandvik, Steinert, TOMS Institute and Weir Minerals.

CEEC facilities and other in-kind support is kindly provided by AMIRA International, Austmine, IMARC, MEI, UQ Sustainable Minerals Institute and The AusIMM.

CEEC – bringing miners, METS and researchers together to drive energy efficient mineral production