By Courtney Pearson
October 12, 2015
BRINGING together the entire mining industry is no easy task, yet for the second year in a row, the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) plans to do just that.
The inaugural IMARC, held in 2014, aimed to unite mining leaders, policy makers, financiers, technical experts, innovators, collaborators and educators.
The five-day event attracted 200 speakers from across the globe to deliver presentations, share their insights, address challenges and look ahead, IMARC event director Anita Richards said.
“Thought leaders in innovation, investment, workforce strengthening, policy, safety and more were positioned front and centre, presenting to an audience of over 2000 key mining and resources industry representatives,” she said.
The 2015 conference will feature a mining summit, technology, and the Mines and Money investment streams, as well as an interesting plenary program for delegates – on top of seminars, workshops, a master class, a generous student program and networking events.
Former Victorian National leader and Gippsland member Peter Ryan launched the inaugural IMARC last year.
“The IMARC conference is anticipated to join the ‘grand slam’ of world mining events alongside PDAC [Prospectors and Developers Association] in Canada, Expomin in Chile, Mining Indaba in South Africa and China Mining,” he said.
Mrs Richards said one of the key elements of IMARC is that it offers a “global perspective”.
“It isn’t about one aspect of mining, whether that’s raising finance or sourcing new suppliers or learning how to improve productivity; all of those aspects are included,” she said.
The conference has a number of prominent industry partners including The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM), Austmine, the Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA), investment event series Mines and Money, and the Victorian Government.
“IMARC is a conference that provides a lot of valuable information and input for senior decision makers within the mining sector and in that way, it adds to the conference offerings that AusIMM and other partners such as Austmine provide,” AusIMM chief executive Michael Catchpole said.
A number of international ministers and government representatives are confirmed for the 2015 conference, including PNG Mining minster Byron Chan, Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organisation chairman Dr Mehdi Karbasian and Ecuador Mines minister Javier Cordova.
“At IMARC they are all brought together to deliver a global perspective of mining with an Australian accent,” Mrs Richards said.
With the market changing every year, organisers decided to maintain flexibility around the topics for conference presentations and discussions.
Mrs Richards expected that the biggest and most prominent topics in 2015 would be collaboration; robotics; automation; next generation and smart mining; processing optimisation; commodity prices and their effect; the cyclical nature of the industry; majors and their acquisition targets; and juniors most likely to survive when the short term difficulties associated with capital are no longer an issue.
Presentations will be led by some of the industry’s leading bodies, including BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Roy Hill, the World Economic Forum, Engineers Without Borders, Anglo American and investment expert Frank Holmes.
Each day will start with a plenary session, with keynote presentations ‘The only constant in mining is change’ and ‘Innovation is key’ set to spark early discussion. The conference will be brought to a close with a presentation titled ‘The mining effect’, looking at the industry’s past, present and future.
Throughout the conference’s three days, the mining summit stream will cover international laws, jurisdictions and governments, exploration, productivity, innovation, safety, community partnerships and opportunities, and sustainable mining.
Within the technology stream, AusIMM will be running its own series of presentations focused on the bigger picture in Australia, including value realisation through innovation and technology and value realisation through optimisation.
“This year AusIMM will run an Excellence in Mining stream,” Mr Catchpole said.
“We’ll be looking at the challenges and the benefits of innovation, new technologies, [and] process optimisation – quite specific and technical areas that are important to current and future mining operations.
“It’s a very forward-looking program for AusIMM to run within the overall IMARC program.”
AusIMM’s Excellence in Mining series will run on Tuesday 10 November.
Austmine will also run a series of five discussions within the technology stream on Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 November.
These sessions will discuss collaboration, next generation mining, safety, asset lifecycle management and improving productivity and efficiency in processing operations.
IMARC’s investment stream will provide attendees with knowledge and know-how about start-ups, exchanges, capital raising and mining investment.
“Mines and Money Australia is the leading international event series for matching mining companies with investment capital,” Ms Richards said.
“Examining global commodity and investment outlooks, this event has deal making at its core.”
Mines and Money is a global investment-focused conference that specifically targets the mining sector, running annually in London and Hong Kong.
At IMARC, Mines and Money will take over the conference’s investment stream to deliver advice, commodity outlooks, company spotlights and capital raising pointers.
The stream will feature presentations from some of the industry’s big players, including S2 Resources managing director and chief executive Mark Bennett, KPMG partner Bernard Salt and Noah’s Rule managing director and principal Sean Russo.
IMARC will also include a student program, sponsored by AusIMM, to provide university students with the opportunity to show their work to the international resources community with a poster display.
Mr Catchpole said students were the future of the mining industry.
“We see students as the next wave of mining professionals and, given the difficulties that some students are finding in getting employment within the mining sector at the moment, it gives them an opportunity to show their best work in front of a very influential audience,” he said.
With the inclusion of Mines and Money, IMARC would be Australia’s only truly international mining event, according to Mrs Richards.
“It delivers the global mining community to an Australian doorstep,” she said.
“Instead of Australian miners travelling around the world to find equipment, finance or jurisdictions in which to work, all of those aspects will be covered at IMARC.”
Exhibitions are an ideal place to showcase the most innovative products and processes a company can offer, and IMARC has made a number of changes to improve its exhibition floor.
The IMARC exhibition has attracted some big names such as AMMA, CSIRO, KPMG and Orica.
Attendees can visit the free seminar series which will include workshops, presentations and master classes for investors, geologists and mining engineers.
The program will cover retail investors, education and training and a two-hour AusIMM Explorers Forum geology master class to discuss challenges and strategies for exploration and understand mineral systems. Orica will also present blasting workshop titled ‘Data driven mining productivity’.
The CSIRO is sponsoring an Innovation Alley, where exhibition attendees can experience the latest technology in the mining industry.
IMARC has also introduced a dedicated junior mining hub marketplace, supported by the Victorian Government, to allow junior miners to present their products on the exhibition floor.
“For 2015 we certainly see IMARC taking a significant step forward as a major international event on the mining calendar,” Mr Catchpole said.
IMARC has a new event app and one-to-one meeting planner to make scheduling meetings and searching for delegates easier.
The Meet the Oil and Gas Companies and Meet the Miners networking events will take place on the first and second day of the event, respectively.
Investors will be able to host round tables in the networking exhibition hall during lunch on Wednesday 11 November to allow direct communication.
“This is a great opportunity for miners to talk directly with a range of different investors in a relaxed environment,” Mrs Richards said.
“Miners will find out how to make their projects more appealing to prospective investors.”
The IMARC Gala Dinner is an ideal way to send off the conference, featuring Gina Rinehart as a special guest speaker.
The 2015 International Mining and Resources Conference will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on 10 to 12 November.
Workshops will be held on 9 and 13 November.
Further information is available at www.imarcmelbourne.com