Special Report: This year’s Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) Convention will tackle the tough issues facing Australia’s exploration sector in a bid to help attract new investment and talent to the space.

This year’s theme of “Next Generation Mining” will place a focus on innovation that impacts the way the industry works; education of the future workforce and engagement with the wider community.

AMEC CEO Warren Pearce says right now explorers and miners are witnessing a “two-speed industry”.

“Those that are in production are doing really well, commodity prices are good, it looks like the recovery is going to go really strongly for the next few years. So that’s really positive,” he told Stockhead.

“But exploration is going through a challenging time, being buffeted by an uncertain global economic environment.

“So we’re really focused on how we can better support our members to undertake that crucial exploration task, to innovate, to bring investment into the sector, and educate the future workforce needed  to continue its success.”

The two-day convention’s format differs slightly this year.

Day one is dedicated to discussing the industry issues while day two will showcase the industry players.


This year’s Sir Arvi Parbo Oration — the 15th year it will be delivered at the AMEC Convention — will be particularly important given the recent passing of the mining industry icon.

The oration will be delivered by Dr Vanessa Guthrie, a highly accomplished mining executive who has undertaken a diverse range of roles across a variety of projects and operations.

Dr Guthrie will discuss the future of work in the mining industry and how critical it is to invest in education.

An exciting addition to this year’s convention will be presentations by the Centre of Resources Excellence (CoRE) on STEM Learning for Resourcing the Future. This will be followed by Year 8, 9 and 10 students from Kent Street Senior High School showcasing the projects they have been developing during semester one.

Wednesday will conclude with a conversation about Shifting the Exploration Paradigm.

Professor Michelle Simmons, 2018 Australian of the Year, delivered the keynote at last year’s AMEC Conference.

Dr Jon Hronsky OAM, Director at Western Mining Services, will propose a vision for future exploration that integrates the way we finance the exploration process, the strategic and tactical framework for exploration management and the way we train explorers.

Dr Hronksy’s comments will be discussed with a panel of industry experts including Steve Beresford, chief geologist at Independence Group; Mike Young, managing director at VIMY Resources and Mike Christie, director exploration at First Quantum Minerals.

Day two will open with a presentation from Dr Raymond Goldie, independent analyst and director on Canadian and Australian perspectives on mineral markets.

He will cover some of the investment challenges facing exploration companies around the world.

Delegates will get to hear investor updates from small caps like Australian Vanadium (ASX:AVL), Barra Resources (ASX:BAR), Bryah Resources (ASX:BYH), Element 25 (ASX:E25), Encounter Resources (ASX:ENR), VRX Silica (ASX:VRX) and Image Resources (ASX:IMA).

And to round out the two-day gathering, legendary former AFL coach Kevin Sheedy will deliver the closing presentation on Thursday afternoon.

Sheedy has received numerous accolades for his passion and commitment to sport and the community.

This story was developed in collaboration with The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
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