Expansion of Mining3’s global presence and key staff appointments

Following on from the 2016 union with CSIRO Mineral Resources to form Mining3, we stated our intention to make Mining3 an ‘innovation driver’ with strong international connections and global impact. Recent structural changes and key staff appointments are significant steps to strengthen our international engagement and deliver our ‘three pillar’ vision to transform the mining industry through: Lean Mining, In-Place Mining, and Sustainability through Technology.

Earlier this year, we welcomed Dr Antonio Nieto to Mining3 to the new role of Chief Technology Officer. Antonio is responsible for managing Mining3’s industry member research engagement, activities, and projects to ensure the organisation continues to produce high-quality research that delivers effective outcomes for our members and the mining industry.

Antonio is a mining engineer with operational experience in the industry and an extensive academic and research background in mine systems optimisation, mineral economics, ore reserve estimation, and surface and underground mine design. Antonio has already made himself known to many of our members during the past few months and is working closely with our Program Directors to continue to streamline and optimise research activities and outcomes.

Mining3 understands that effective collaboration is by far the most powerful instrument of innovation. Seeking to deepen international ties provided a great impetus for Mining3 to establish a satellite office within the key geographic market of North America.

As such, we are very pleased to announce the opening of an office in Toronto, Canada. While Mining3 will remain a single, industry-focused entity with our Toronto office reporting into the Australian headquarters, Ms Susan Grandone has been appointed Managing Director, Mining3 Canada, to lead our activities and grow partnerships in the region.

Based on her extensive experience and project delivery achievements throughout her 25-year career including as a Program Director with Mining3 since 2015, and prior to that in director and management positions with some of the world’s largest mining and original equipment manufacturing companies, Susan will bring great value to the role, our members, and partners. In support of the Mining3 Strategic Plan, Susan will seek to develop new collaborative partnerships with industry, academia, and research organisations in North America.

While Susan will retain a range of responsibilities associated with Mining3 research projects, her appointment to Managing Director, Mining3 Canada, has allowed for Dr Erik Isokangas’ promotion to Program Director to be formalised. Erik joined Mining3 in 2017 as a technology leader and will continue to deliver technical expertise as well as strategic direction to project leaders and research teams in his role as a Mining3 Program Director.

Erik provides research excellence in the fields of mine process modelling, complex simulation, integrated mine process design and implementation, and future mining systems.

In a move that will strengthen Mining3’s robotics and automation research capability and deepen ties with QUT’s Mining Robotics Research Program, we are also very pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Thierry Peynot into the dual roles of Mining3 Program Director and QUT Mining3 Chair in Robotics.

Thierry will provide research leadership for Mining3 Automation Program while maintaining participation in QUT Robotics and Autonomous Systems Group.

Thierry’s current research interests focus on mobile robotics and autonomous systems in challenging environments such as mining, and include in particular: resilient perception, multimodal sensing, sensor data fusion, robotic vision, mapping and localisation, and terrain traversability estimation for unmanned ground vehicles.

In conjunction with Prof Neville Plint, Director of The University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI), I am very pleased to advise that we are working closely to finalise the Transforming Cave Mining (TCM) Initiative—a partnership between Mining3 and SMI to integrate and leverage cave mining capacity and capability from the two organisations and our respective networks. SMI’s Prof Gideon Chitombo will be the Technology Lead for the partnership and with his world-leading experience in international collaborative mining research in rock breakage and underground mass mining using caving methods, we very much look forward to his contribution to advancing cave mining knowledge and expertise.

We also extend a very warm welcome to SMI’s Professor Anna Littleboy who has been seconded to Mining3 to take up the role of Technology Leader – Sustainability through Technology. Anna has specialist knowledge and extensive experience in working with the mining industry and governments to deliver technology and practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mitigate environmental impact, and enable trusting relationships between operations and host communities.

Anna’s appointment also supports the linkages between Mining3 and SMI where she has been appointed Program Leader – Mine Lifecycles.

SMI Director, Prof Neville Plint, shares this view—he stated that these appointments illustrate the increasing connections being developed between Mining3 and The University of Queensland, which is an active Mining3 member.

The diversity and quality of people attracted to Mining3 is a great testament to the legacy of research, collaboration and innovation that characterises the organisation. We are committed and passionate about transforming our industry to ensure the sustainable supply of raw material in a way that contributes to an equitable, progressive society and environmental preservation in equal measure. It remains a great pleasure to be involved in and help lead this transformation.

Full profiles of our technical specialists, Executive Team, and Board of Directors can be found on the ‘People‘ section of this website.

Prof Paul Lever
CEO, Mining3