Autumn leaf in front of UOW sign

Resource Operators’ Conference successfully held online

Resource Operators’ Conference successfully held online

Annual event focuses on mining safety and reducing the industry’s environmental impact

Mining academics and industry members from across Australia gathered online last week for the 2021 Resource Operators’ Conference.

The conference focused on innovations and best-practise in the areas of worker safety and reducing the environmental impact of the mining sector.

The two-day event addressed issues relating to various aspects of modern mining operations, both surface and underground, bringing industry experts and university researchers together to share their expertise and knowledge to help the industry be safer and more efficient.

The conference was organised jointly by the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) and the University of Wollongong (UOW) and was supported by the Illawarra branch of the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and the Mine Managers Association of Australia.

After last year’s conference was deferred due to the impact of the bushfire crisis, organisers were determined to go ahead this year despite the difficulties presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

With travel restrictions presenting obstacles for an event that draws participants from across the country, organisers moved the conference to an online format.

The Hon Ian Macfarlane, Chief Executive of the Queensland Resources Council was guest speaker.

While organising a conference during a pandemic and then switching it to a new format presented many challenges, the end result was well worth the effort and provided a valuable forum for sharing best practice and innovation in safety and environmental performance for the mining sector.

In many ways, the pandemic and its impact on the Australian economy highlighted the importance of the Resource Operators’ Conference.

The conference is intended to improve safety and share the best practice in mining industry, thus helping Australia’s resource and mining industry to continue its crucial role in the economy recovery by boosting growth and creating of jobs, particularly in regional areas.

The mining industry is fundamental to much of modern life, and mining safety and reducing the environmental impact of the mining process are critical issues for academics to study and to share their learnings with industry.

Previously known as the Coal Operators’ Conference, the name was changed to better reflect its focus on the mining industry more broadly.