2017 Speakers

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Tom Koutsantonis MP


Minister for Finance

Minister for State Development

Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy

Opening address


Alexandra Blood

Executive Director - Mineral Resource Division

SA Review



Session 1

Michael Schwarz          Session 1: 9.00-9.15am

Northern Cobalt

Northern Cobalt Project


Michael has over 20 years’ senior experience in mineral exploration spanning industry and government as a geologist and director of several exploration companies.  Michael has extensive experience both at a senior corporate level and in the hands-on roles of a geologist.  Michael has knowledge and experience in South Australian and Northern Territory geology and mineralisation styles and has led research projects with State Governments, Geoscience Australia and various universities.


The Wollogorang cobalt-nickel-copper (Co-Cu-Ni) project is located in the Northern Territory of Australia, adjacent to both the Queensland border and the Gulf of Carpentaria, located within the Wearyan Shelf tectonic element of the southeastern Palaeoproterozoic to Mesoproterozoic McArthur Basin. The discovery of breccia pipes hosting Co-Cu-Ni mineralisation at Stanton occurred in the late 1980’s. Mineralisation is interpreted to be largely controlled by stratigraphy within the flat lying interbedded sediment and volcanic rock units of the Proterozoic Gold Creek Volcanics. Brecciation and faulting has a strong control on the intensity and limits of mineralisation. In fresh rock the cobalt-nickel is located in disseminated siegenite (cobalt-nickel sulphide). Chalcocite and pyrite are also noted. Weathering to a variable depth of approximately 30m has resulted in cobalt oxide secondary mineralisation in a large proportion of the deposit.

Dr Kevin Wills          Session 1: 9.15-9.30am

Executive Director, Exploration - Marmota Ltd

Aurora Tank


Kevin Wills is a geologist with significant experience in multi-commodity mineral exploration including feasibility studies, mine operations and corporate activities in Australasia. He has been closely involved in the discovery and evaluation of economic mineral deposits of: diamonds (Argyle, WA), base metals (Thalanga & Waterloo QLD), gold (Murchison WA and Challenger SA), mineral sands (Burekup, WA) and iron ore (Blacksmith WA). Dr Wills was Managing Director of Flinders Mines Limited for over ten years. Since March 2016, he has been working as Chief Consulting Geologist with Marmota; as acting MD of Marmota from 14 November 2016 until 30 January 2017, and as Executive Director (Exploration) since 5 June 2017.


Marmota Ltd’s flagship project Aurora Tank in the Central Gawler Craton continued to return exciting gold grades during the 2017 drilling campaign. The Company is acquiring new geological data about the deposit through a diamond drill campaign aimed at understanding the structural controls on high grade intersections. Marmota continued with a program of regional calcrete sampling to further define drill targets.

Rob Rutherford          Session 1: 9.30-9.45am

Red Metal

Red Metals in South Australia


Red Metal Limited is a junior base metal exploration company set-up to generate and drill test “Company and Country Making” Tier 1 target concepts in Australia. The company’s exploration portfolio is rich with mouth-watering “Big Base Metal” plays that stir the imagination of every good geologist.


Rob Rutherford is the MD of Red Metal and set the company up in 2003 after running Phelps Dodge’s Australian exploration effort for 8 years. He has close to 30 years exploration experience in a diversity of commodities, terrains and countries but is passionate about the discovery of giant base metal and gold in Australia.

Dr Tony Belperio          Session 1: 9.45-10.00am

Executive Director - Minotaur Exploration Ltd

IOCG Exploration Advances South Australia and Cloncurry


Tony Belperio has an Honours Degree in Geology from The University of Adelaide and a PhD from James Cook University of North Queensland. He currently holds the position of Executive Director of Business Development with Minotaur Exploration, having previously held the positions of Chief Geologist and Director of Exploration with Minotaur. Tony played a key role in the exploration strategy and target selection that led to the Prominent Hill discovery in 2001 and the Artemis ISCG discovery in Queensland in 2014.


Intensive exploration for IOCG – related copper-gold in both the Gawler Craton and the Cloncurry District over the past 10 years has led to a greater appreciation of IOCG alteration and mineralisation styles. Extensive outcrop and shallow cover in the Cloncurry district has resulted in many more styles iron related mineralisation, including iron sulphide-, iron carbonate- and calcsilicate- alteration styles. Although the Gawler Craton remains the premier IOCG exploration address, there is much still to be uncovered by utilising other models hitherto largely overlooked. This presentation will look critically at several such models and how they are being applied at the Prominent Hill joint venture project between Minotaur and Oz Minerals.

Heather Schijns          Session 1: 10.00-10.15am

Principal Geoscientist, Seismic Geophysics, Geoscience Centre of Excellence – BHP

Seismic Methods in Mineral Exploration


Heather Schijns is a geophysicist with experience exploring in North and South America, Australia and Africa for a range of commodities, including nickel, copper, lead-zinc and coal.  She is a graduate of the University of Alberta, where she completed an MSc and a PhD in geophysics with a focus on seismic rock physics of metamorphic rocks. Prior to moving to Australia in 2017 to join BHP as Principal Geoscientist, Seismic Geophysics, Heather worked as a geophysicist for MMG.


Potential field and electromagnetic methods often form the key components of the geophysical toolbox for minerals exploration, but application of these techniques is more difficult in areas of deep or conductive cover. Inclusion of seismic methods can improve target vectoring and enhance geological interpretation.

Session 2

Chris Drown          Session 2: 11.00-11.15am

Managing Director - Andromeda Metals

In-situ copper recovery investigation - Moonta-Wallaroo district.


Chris is a geologist and the Managing Director of Andromeda Metals Limited. He is a member of the AusIMM, the AIG, the AICD and the GSA.

He studied geology at Macquarie University in Sydney and at the University of Tasmania in Hobart, graduating in 1984.

Chris worked in underground nickel mines at Kambalda in WA and the Hellyer Pb-Zn-Ag underground mine in western Tasmania before moving into exploration. He has explored for a range of commodities including gold, nickel, copper, lead-zinc-silver, iron ore, uranium and mineral sands in SA, NT, QLD, WA and VIC.

Chris was part of the team that discovered the Barns and Baggy Green gold deposits.


Andromeda Metals is in the early stages of investigating whether copper production using innovative in-situ recovery (ISR) methods may be possible for two copper deposits located on its Moonta Copper Gold Project tenement.

Copper mineralisation at the Bruce Zone at Alford West and at the Wombat deposit, located about three kilometres to the west, occurs in deep weathering troughs that extend hundreds of metres below the normal depth of weathering. Preliminary 3-D modelling for the weathering troughs at Bruce and Wombat has allowed estimation of an Exploration Target, indicating significant tonnage potential at copper grades comparable to those at international copper ISR projects.

The deposits display a number of mineralogical and hydrological parameters considered critical for an ISR operation. Copper bearing secondary mineral phases include chalcocite, tenorite (?), native coper and rare copper carbonates, and preliminary leach testwork confirms that a portion of the copper is soluble. Non-target lixiviant consuming mineral phases appear to effectively absent, the mineralisation is below the water table, and the fresh impermeable walls of the weathering troughs can act as aquicludes to contain lixiviant.

Dr Geoff Johnson          Session 2: 11.15-11.30am

Exploration Manager - SIMEC Mining

Exploration Success in the Middleback Ranges


Geoff  is a graduate of the University of Adelaide where he completed Honours and PhD degrees in geology. He also holds a Graduate Diploma in Environmental Science from Murdoch University.

Geoff is currently SIMEC Mining’s Exploration Manager with responsibility for exploration activities within the Gawler Craton. He has previously held Chief Geologist and Technical Director roles, and has  >30 years multi-commodity resource industry experience in a wide variety of geological terrains in Australia and overseas.


Despite more than a hundred years of mining, the Middleback Ranges continues to yield exploration success. With a focus on good old fashioned boots on the ground,  the use of high resolution geophysics and a commitment to drilling, the  geological understanding of the complex Proterozoic terrane continues to grow. Together with an innovative approach to processing and the ability to beneficiate in a number of sites within the Middleback Ranges, further exploration success continues to be achieved.

Steve Johnston          Session 2: 11.30-11.45am

Managing Director - Alliance Resources Ltd

Wilcherry Project Update (Au, base metals)


Steve Johnston is Managing Director of Alliance Resources Limited. Steve is a geologist with more than 35 years’ exploration and mining experience within Australia for gold, base metals and uranium. He has been employed by Alliance since 2003 in varying capacities including as General Manager and CEO. Steve is a Corporate Member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and a Member of the Society of Economic Geologist Inc.


Drilling by previous explorers at Wilcherry has identified significant mineralised systems within the Palaeoproterozoic metasediments which are intruded by Hiltaba Suite granites, responsible for widespread gold and base metal mineralisation in the Gawler Craton. Strong depletion of metals in the regolith and shallow transported cover over much of the project area represents an opportunity for an explorer using modern geophysics. Since Alliance acquired 51% of the Wilcherry Project in late 2016, the joint venture has spent more than $2 million on exploration including a regional helicopter borne electromagnetic survey, ground moving loop electromagnetic surveys, RC and diamond drilling.

Rohan Gleeson          Session 2: 11.45-12.00 noon

Exploration Manager - Cu River Mining Australia

Cairn Hill Magnetite Mine


Rohan Gleeson is the Exploration Manager for Cu River Mining. He is a Geologist with 8 years experience in base and precious metals exploration. He studied Geology at the University of Sydney and University of Tasmania in Hobart and is a member of the AusIMM and SEG.

Rohan has worked across Australia and South East Asia, focusing on greenfields exploration through to Mine Development. He has worked across a range of commodities including, Cu-Au porphyry deposits of Northern Queensland, Mt Isa Pb-Zn deposits, Fe-Cr mineral sands in PNG, Zr mineral sands in WA and IOCG deposits in SA.


Cu River is in the process of expanding the Cairn Hill Magnetite Mine. Edge Definition drilling is underway targeting a resource of 25mt. Production is scheduled to start Q3 2018. Furthermore, Cu River is in the planning phase for a 75,000m drilling program to further define the Snaefell and Tomahawk Magnetite Deposits located south of Cairn Hill. Utilising a large database of historical drilling as well as extensive geophysics, Cu River plans to strategically define resources to ensure a consistent pipeline of projects moving towards production.

Dr John Parker          Session 2: 12.00-12.15pm

Managing Director, Lincoln Minerals Limited



Dr Parker is a geologist and geophysicist with extensive knowledge of the geology, mineral deposits and mineralizing systems in the Gawler Craton in South Australia.

He was formerly Chief Geologist with the mapping branch of the SA Geological Survey where he initiated the GIS system that has now become SARIG but has spent the last 23 years in mineral exploration.

He is a former Fulbright Post-Doctoral Fellow where he studied Lake Superior-style banded iron formations at the Minnesota Geological Survey, and has made a major contribution to the identification and delineation of iron ore, graphite and other mineral resources on Eyre Peninsula.


Lincoln Minerals is in the final stages of getting approvals for its flagship high grade Kookaburra Gully Graphite Project on SA’s Eyre Peninsula.  A Mining Lease was granted in 2016 and the Program for Environment Protection and Rehabilitation (PEPR) was lodged in September 2017.  Lincoln plans to commence development in 2018 with the aim of launching its maiden new-age graphite products in Q1 2019.

Session 3

Laura Johnston          Session 3: 1.30-1.45pm

Project Approvals Manager - Iron Road Limited

Central Eyre


Ms Johnston began her career with the Department of Mines and Energy, South Australia (now DPC) specialising in providing advice and assistance to landowners, the resources sector and other stakeholders on the mining legislation as both a former Mining Registrar and Principal Advisor. After leaving Government she consulted to numerous ASX listed resources companies for several years, including Iron Road Limited, before joining the company full time in 2011 to head up the areas of project approvals, stakeholder engagement and regulatory compliance.


Iron Road Limited (ASX:IRD) is an Adelaide-based resources company and the developer of the US$4 billion Central Eyre Iron Project (CEIP) located on the central Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. The proposed CEIP development comprises a magnetite mining and minerals processing operation, together with rail, power, water supply and deep sea port required to support the operation and provide the logistics chain to market.  The two major State Government approvals for the CEIP were received on 3 May 2017 and the company is focussing on finalising secondary approvals and project funding.

John Anderson          Session 3: 1.45-2.00pm

Managing Director - Investigator Resources Ltd

Paris and porphyries


Managing Director of Investigator Resources since the Company’s listing in 2007, John is a successful minerals explorer of 40-years’ experience previously with Aberfoyle and MIM. He initiated an innovative research-based strategy in establishing Investigator’s resource opportunities in South Australia.


The presentation will include descriptions of:-

• The development pathway for the flagship Paris silver project northwest of Kimba

• Breakthrough targets for porphyry copper-gold of Olympic Dam age near Paris

• Re-invigoration of Tier 1 IOCG copper gold targets in the southern Olympic Dam belt

• A major geological reset with expanding potential for Archaean nickel and other metals.

David Christensen          Session 3: 2.00-2.15pm

Managing Director - Renascor Resources

Siviour Graphite Deposit


David Christensen is an experienced mining executive, with significant experience managing exploration and mining operations.  Prior to founding Renascor, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Adelaide-based companies, Heathgate Resources and Quasar Resource and President of Nuclear Fuels Corporation, a uranium marketing and trading company.


Discovered by Renascor in 2016, the Siviour Graphite Deposit has quickly grown into Australia’s largest graphite deposit and one of the largest graphite deposits in the world. Metallurgical test work on Siviour has demonstrated that Siviour can produce coarse flake concentrate at high grades, and thus deliver a high-quality basket of products to service both traditional industrial demand, as well as growing applications, such as lithium-ion batteries.  Renascor has rapidly developed Siviour, and earlier this year released a scoping study that demonstrated Siviour’s potential to become a globally competitive graphite, with a project operating cost among the lowest in the world. Renascor is currently completing a pre-feasibility study, as well as investigating the potential to produce spherical graphite for sale into the lithium-ion battery sector.

Paul Wittwer          Session 3: 2.15-2.30pm

Senior Project Geologist, WPG Resources Ltd

Challenger/Tarcoola update


Paul Wittwer (BSc – Hons. in Geology) is a Geologist of 13 years’ experience in mining, resource development and exploration. He has worked in Archaean gold and copper terranes in SA & WA, low sulphidation epithermal systems (NSW, Thailand) and high sulphidation epithermal in Chile. He has had significant involvement in the Challenger Gold Mine and the associated exploration tenure spanning his career and has recently been primarily focused on the Tarcoola Gold Mine.


WPG Resources has had an active year with its integrated Challenger and Tarcoola Gold operations. Challenger is progressing well after some challenging issues during the year and significant exploration work has been completed and is ongoing. Tarcoola was successfully started up and the geology has become much clearer as a result of exposure in the open pit. A number of exploration opportunities are being tested at both operations to extend the mine life.

Dr Chris Giles          Session 3: 2.30-2.45pm

Managing Director, Havilah Resources Limited

The Portia Gold Mine


Dr Chris Giles is an experienced exploration geologist having worked on exploration teams that have been directly responsible for the discovery of several operating gold mines in various parts of the world, including Indonesia, East Africa and Australia. He was jointly responsible for the formation of Havilah and the development and execution of the Company’s exploration and corporate strategy. Dr Giles is a resident of Adelaide and a Member of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists.


Havilah Resources (ASX : HAV), has successfully financed and developed its first gold mine at Portia in north-eastern South Australia through an innovative revenue sharing arrangement with a local Broken Hill based mining contractor. Some 75 metres of barren Tertiary sand and clay overburden has been removed to expose a 2 metre thick light grey clay unit at the base of Tertiary, which contains high grade gravity recoverable gold. The east-dipping weathered bedrock below contains lower grade free gold over significant widths as  vein / bedding replacement style mineralisation, and its limits are yet to be defined by drilling.

Session 4

Dr Andrea Marsland-Smith          Session 4: 3.30-3.45pm

Operations Manager, Heathgate Resources

Frome Basin ISR Uranium Mining Operations


Dr Andrea Marsland-Smith is a geologist with 25 years industry experience with the last 15 years being involved in the uranium exploration and mining and in various senior roles. Currently, she is Operations Manager for Heathgate Resources overseeing ISR uranium mining operations in the Frome Basin, South Australia.


Heathgate Resources Pty Ltd (Heathgate) is based in Adelaide and in 1990 purchased the Beverley Uranium Mine located 550 km north of Adelaide in the Frome Basin. It took 10 years to get the project into production which commenced in 2000. It was Australia’s first In-Situ Recovery (ISR) uranium mining operation. Since 2000, the operations in the Frome Basin have incrementally expanded as a result of continued commitment to exploration in the region which now include the Beverley North and Four Mile Uranium Mines.

The Four Mile project currently provides jobs for about 285 employees and contractors. At least 20% of site, non-professional employees are also Adnyamathanha. The Company has over 15 years of technical experience and expertise in ISR operations, State and Commonwealth regulation and best practice in environmental and radiation monitoring and management.

This presentation provides an update on the current ISR mining operations, breakthroughs, challenges and future plans for the further development of uranium resources in the region.

Andrew Cole          Session 4: 3.45-4.00pm

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Oz Minerals



Andrew has over 21 years’ experience in exploration and operations in the resources industry. Following exploration geoscientist roles in Australia, Canada, USA and Mexico with Rio Tinto Exploration (CRA and Kennecott), Andrew spent 10 years in mine development and mine operations with Rio Tinto in Australia, China, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Andrew was Chief Operating Officer of Rio Tinto Iron and Titanium in 2013, responsible for the leadership of more than 5,000 employees across four operating sites based out of Montreal.

Andrew is particularly passionate about leading and developing people, creating safe workplaces and driving continuous improvement. Andrew was appointed to Managing Director and CEO of OZ Minerals in 2014.

Kathy Ehrig          Session 4: 4.00-4.30pm

Principal Geometallurgist, BHP Billiton Olympic Dam

Olympic Dam Geology - new insights


Kathy is a geologist with over 30 years experience in the geothermal and mining industries. She has worked at Olympic Dam in a variety of roles since 1992 which have focussed on unravelling the genesis of the Olympic Dam Cu-U-Au-Ag deposit while providing mineralogical support to the onsite processing facilities. She leads the geometallurgical team who developed the relationships which express process performance as a function of mineralogy and chemical composition.


Geological drilling, logging, mapping and research continue. Learn about our latest results and new insights on the timing of mineralization.

Q & A Session

Chaired by Derek Carter

South Australian Exploration and Mining Conference ADELAIDE CONVENTION CENTRE ADELAIDE - SOUTH AUSTRALIA 8 December 2017
South Australian Exploration and Mining Conference ADELAIDE CONVENTION CENTRE ADELAIDE - SOUTH AUSTRALIA 8 December 2017