Global Speakers

Mary Anne Alvin

Mary Anne Alvin

Rare Earth Elements, Technology Manager

National Energy Technology Lab (US Department of Energy, USA Government)

Topic: Meeting USA’s Critical Mineral Needs

Mary Anne Alvin joined the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE), National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) in 2005, and since 2015 she has served as NETL’s Rare Earth Element Technology Manager (TM), responsible for validating the technical and economic feasibility for separation and recovery of salable, high purity, rare earth elements and critical materials from domestic coal-based resources in conventional, prototype, and advanced operating systems. Prior to assuming the TM position, Ms. Alvin served as Division Director for both the Geosciences Division and the Functional Materials Development Division.

Prior to joining NETL, Ms. Alvin had 30 years of experience at the Westinghouse Electric Corporation and at Siemens Westinghouse Power Generation, working in advanced energy systems.  As a Fellow Scientist, she led the development of advanced high temperature ceramic, intermetallics, and superalloy materials for components used in the domestic and off-shore, pilot- and demonstration-scale, land-based, power generation island wrap-around systems.  She currently holds 28 patents, with additional pending.


Andrew Ferrier

Andrew Ferrier

Investment Director

Pacific Road Capital

Topic: Responsible Investments in Critical Minerals

Andrew Ferrier is an Investment Director at Pacific Road having joined the company in 2008. Andrew has extensive mining investment experience across the globe, having managed a number of Pacific Road’s current and realized investments. Prior to joining Pacific Road, Andrew was a metallurgist, mainly focused on the commercialization of new technologies.

He holds a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree (First Class Honours) and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Sydney (Australia). He also holds a Masters of Applied Finance from Macquarie University (Australia) and is a CFA Charterholder.


Trent Barnett

Trent Barnett

Head of Research


Topic: Critical Minerals Investment and Market Outlook from an Equity Capital Market Perspective

Trent has twenty years’ experience in the stock broking industry.  He started his career in Sydney at global investment banks in research and sales.  He moved to Perth in 2008 to lead Hartleys research.  Trent attended the University of Melbourne (1996-2000) and completed a B. Comm (Hons) in econometrics and economics.  He is a CFA Charterholder.

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Ian Rutherford Plimer

Ian Rutherford Plimer

Company Director

Hancock Prospecting

Topic: Challenges to Exploration, Mining and Smelting in Australia

Ian is Emeritus Professor of Earth Science at The University of Melbourne where he was Professor and Head (1991-2005). He was Professor and Head of Geology (University of Newcastle 1985-1991), Professor of Ore Deposit Geology at Ludwig Maximilians Universitat (Munich, 1991) and Professor of Mining geology (University of Adelaide 2006 – 2011). Professor Plimer has published more than 130 scientific papers (including scores of papers on Broken Hill), edited the five-volume Encyclopedia of Geology and is author of eleven books for the general public.

Mid-career, he was senior research geologist with North Broker Hill Ltd and has consulted worldwide to major exploration companies’ governments on mineral exploration and ore deposits. He has served on the boards of the listed explorations companies Ivanhoe Australia Ltd (ASX:IVA, TSX:IVA, taken over by Rio), CBH Resources Ltd (ASX:CBH; taken over by Toho Zinc) and Kefi Minerals plc (AIM:KEFI); sits on the board of Niuminco Group Ltd (ASX:NIU) and represents Hancock Prospecting interests on the board of Lakes Oil NL (ASX:LKO); represented Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd interests on the board of Sun Resources NL (ASX:SUR); sits on the boards of unlisted Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd companies (Roy Hills Holdings, Queensland Coal Investments, Atlas Iron) and sits on the board of the Ivanhoe Mines unlisted entity HPXploration Inc.

For his scientific activities, Ian has won the Eureka Proze (twice), Daley Proze, Centenary Medal, Leopold von Buch Plakette, Clarkes Medal, Goldfields Prize and had a new Broker Hill zinc mineral named after him. For his exploration activities, he has been awarded the Rio Tinto Excellence in Exploration Award, Sir Williss Connolly Medal of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Australian Mining and Exploration Council Identity of the Year, Excellence in Mining and Exploration Legend in Mining, Precious Metals Hall of Fame and resources Stocks Best Industry Identity. He is Patron of Lifeline (Broken Hill) and Patron of the Broken Hill Geocentre.

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Sean Gregory

Sean Gregory

Managing Director and CEO

Barra Resources

Topic: Cobalt Industry Outlook and Mt Thirsty Project Update

Mr. Sean Gregory is a senior resource industry leader with more than 20 years’ experience in developing projects and supporting mining operations with BHP, Murchison Metals and Mineral Resources. He has a comprehensive understanding of the minerals value chain from geology, exploration, metallurgy, feasibility studies, approvals, economic evaluation and business development.

Mr. Gregory’s practical mining experience is well complemented by a strong academic background including a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Geology (UWA), MBA (UWA), Advanced Mergers and Acquisitions Program (Melb Uni) and Company Directors Course Award (AICD).

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Patrick Murphy

Patrick Murphy

Managing Director

AMCI Group

Topic: Strategic Investments in Critical Materials – Perspective from AMCI Group

Patrick joined AMCI Group in 2018 after spending the previous eleven years at global investment group Macquarie. AMCI is a 33 year old specialist natural resources private investment group that owns, invests and operates raw materials mines, processing and logistics facilities across the globe. AMCI today consists of over 20 portfolio companies and handles, processes and markets over 50 different products for industrial applications. AMCI leverages the extensive industry knowledge and network of AMCI to generate attractive investment opportunities. Patrick has specialized in deploying capital in the raw materials and mining industries for his entire career, having previously been based in Sydney and New York. Patrick holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce from The University of Western Australia. He is the current President of the New York Mining Club.

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Jan Fuchter

Jan Fuchter

Director, Project & Structured Finance

Export Finance Australia

Topic: A Perspective on the Financing of Critical Mineral Projects

Jan focuses on the financing of mining projects and companies active in associated support services sectors.  He has experience in the financing of mining projects in Africa, Asia and South America.  Before joining Export Finance Australia he worked in investment and commercial banking after having qualified and worked as an engineer.

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David Christensen

David Christensen

Managing Director

Renascor Resources

Topic: Renascor Resources’ Projects Update

David Christensen is an experienced mining executive, with recent successful experience managing exploration, mining and marketing operations.  Prior to founding the Company, David served as Chief Executive Officer of Adelaide‑based companies, Heathgate Resources Pty Ltd and Quasar Resource Pty Ltd.  While at Heathgate and Quasar, his responsibilities included overseeing Australian operations, including the Beverley uranium mine, as well as the expansion into new projects with the discovery and development of the Four Mile deposit and numerous joint ventures.  David’s experience also includes serving as President of Nuclear Fuels Corporation, a trading and marketing company, where he managed a multi‑million dollar uranium portfolio and was responsible for developing sales strategy, executing trades and swaps and negotiating all contracts.  David commenced his career as an attorney in California and London offices of international law firm Latham & Watkins, where he advised on corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions.  David was educated at Cornell University (BA, Economics and Classical Civilizations), the University of California, Los Angeles (JD) and the Universitá di Bologna (Fulbright Fellow).

Grant Smith

Grant Smith


Less Common Metals

Topic: Less Common Metals – A Unique Position

Grant graduated from the University of New South Wales in 1980 with a B (Applied) Sc. and began his minerals marketing career 38 years ago in the Australian coal industry. From 1987 he has worked in the mineral sands industry and in 1994 he established his own company, Australasian Minerals & Trading (AM&T), specialising in the international marketing and production of industrial minerals and particularly mineral sands. AM&T has offices and operations in Australia, Singapore, Kalimantan, Indonesia and Osaka, Japan.

His experience has included the marketing or production of coal, uranium, all mineral sands, garnet, iron oxide, barite and silica sand/flour to a wide variety of industries worldwide. Grant is a Director of his own companies and he lives and works in Perth, Australia.

Since late 2015 Grant has been Chairman of Less Common Metals, a UK based rare earth metals and alloy production company and the only such non-Chinese based or non-Chinese owned, RE metals and alloys company in the world.

Justin Brown

Justin Brown

Managing Director

Element 25

Topic: Manganese Industry Outlook and Projects Update

Mr Brown is a geologist with over 20 years of experience in global mineral exploration and mining. He has been involved in the full spectrum of mineral exploration through to mining in a range of commodities.

Mr Brown has also held a number of board positions, including an executive role with Element 25 Limited since 2006. He has a strong track record of closing successful commercial transactions and brings a well-rounded set of skills to the management of the Company’s activities.

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Adam Santa Maria

Adam Santa Maria

Managing Director

Discovery Capital Partners

Topic: Helium Industry Outlook and Investment Opportunities

Adam is a founder and joint managing director of Discovery Capital Partners. Adam specialises in strategic execution services, capital markets and M&A.

Adam’s career began as a lawyer on the East Coast of Australia at a global Tier-1 law firm where he specialised in equity capital markets and as M&A advisor to some of Australia’s largest mining houses, public corporations and global investment banks. In that capacity, he worked on several of the world’s leading private equity, capital markets and mergers and acquisitions transactions. Adam then moved to an investment bank based in Perth and Hong Kong where he managed the equity capital markets team, focusing on the natural resources sector.

Prior to founding Discovery Capital Partners, Adam was an experienced public company executive, including roles as General Counsel, CEO and Chairman to listed companies as well as a number of private initiatives. He has founded a number of ventures and created global networks through his work in innovation including work with Stanford University’s global SPARK program.

Adam has advised on equity capital markets and M&A transactions with a total value exceeding $300bn in his career and brings this expertise to bear in structuring and executing focused transactions for the mining and resources sector.

Adam holds a Master of Applied Finance, Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and a Bachelor of Commerce. Adam also completed the Emerging Leaders program at Harvard University in 2016.

Annette Crabbe

Annette Crabbe

Executive Director

Pilbara Metals Group

Topic: Pilbara Metals’ Manganese Sulphate Project Update

Annette is a founder and director of Pilbara Metals Group. She has 10 years’ experience in the processing of various minerals and has managed differing processing operations in Western Australia.

Annette is passionate about sustainability and value-adding to Australian resources, especially waste streams.

Annette’s Executive Director role consists of liaising with shareholders, industry engagement and overseeing the technical studies currently being conducted. She also represents Pilbara Metals Group in the Government backed Future Battery Industry Cooperative Research Centre and was responsible for the organisation receiving a $1.13m CRC-P grant from the Federal Government.


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Stedman Ellis


Future Battery Industries CRC

Topic: Building Australia’s Future Battery Industries

Stedman Ellis is Chief Executive Officer for the Future Battery Industries CRC. Stedman is an experienced executive and non-executive director within the resources, research and non-profit sectors. He has wide experience in membership organisations, regulation and policy development, stakeholder engagement and advocacy. Prior to joining the CRC consortium, he was chief operating officer WA for oil and gas association APPEA. He previously worked as a deputy director general with the WA Department of Mines & Petroleum and in senior external affairs roles with BHP Billiton (including assignments to PNG and the US), Woodside Petroleum and the WA Chamber of Minerals & Energy. Stedman is a director of the Australian Gas Industry Trust and of cultural organisation FORM. He previously chaired the WA Energy Research Alliance industry advisory group, was a member of the Advisory Board of the Australian Centre for Energy & Process Training and a board member of the Minerals Research Institute of WA. He has a bachelor of arts from UWA.


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Vincent Sweeney


Direct Nickel

Topic: A New Era for Nickel – Speedbumps Included

Vincent regards himself a nickel newbie – only having been involved in the industry since 2012.  As a former national head of Corporate Finance for Deloitte, he worked with many companies in fund raisings, ASX listings and growth.  In recent years he has been an observer and participant in the nickel industry and sees it through a newer entrants eyes. At Sydney Capital Partners he is the lead fund investor in three nickel companies including as a Director of the company behind the DNi Process an environmentally friendly laterite processing technology.


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Keith Coughlan

Managing Director

European Metals

Topic: European Metals Projects Update

Keith has almost 30 years’ experience in stockbroking and funds management. He has been largely involved in the funding and promoting of resource companies listed on the ASX, AIM and TSX. He has advised various companies on the identification and acquisition of resource projects and was previously employed by one of Australia’s then largest funds.

Until recently, Keith was the Non–Executive Chairman of ASX listed Talga Resources Limited.  He is currently the Non-Executive Chair of Doriemus PLC and a Non-Executive Director of Calidus Resources Limited and Southern Hemisphere Mining Limited.

Keith is a member of the Audit & Risk and Nomination Committees.


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Alan Flavelle


Obsidian Minerals Pty Ltd

Topic: Critical Metals and Chemicals: Complementary Sources

Alan Flavelle graduated B.Sc. from the University of Western Australia with a major in physics, and sub-majors in mathematics and geology. He has ever since, been employed by, and been a consultant to government and private industry in energy and resource development.

From 1958 to 1968 he was employed by the Bureau of Mineral Resources, (a federal government agency), as a geophysicist and worked in all states of Australia. New Guinea, Canada and the USA. From 1969 t0 1970 Alan was employed by West Australian Petroleum, a Perth based affiliate of Chevron.

In 1971 he became the chief geophysicist of the Layton Group, at that time the largest earth science consulting group based in Australia and he worked on projects in Australia, New Guinea, Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, India. USA and Argentina. From 1881 onwards he has worked as an independent consultant, resource developer and advisor to companies at the technical director level.

Beginning in 2011 Alan and a small group have worked on the problem of converting coal into useful substances, in an environmentally responsible way. The team has evaluated a number of processes and have identified three which show commercial promise and meet all environmental criteria. In particular one process has been singled out and has been selected for development and commercialisation.

John Watts

John Watts


Obsidian Minerals Pty Ltd

Topic: Critical Metals and Chemicals: Complementary Sources

John has worked in mineral exploration and mining worldwide for over 50 years, during which time he has worked for Government instrumentalities, consultancies, publicly listed companies and his own private companies. During his career he has led exploration for precious metals, base metals, industrial minerals and energy related minerals.

John is a Fellow of the Aus.I.M.M., and a CP Geo. of the same organization. He is a Fellow of the UK I.O.M.M.M and a C.Eng of that organization.

Based in Perth, Western Australia, John is currently a director of several private companies, one of which is conducting research into the valorization of carbon-based feedstocks into low molecular weight hydrocarbons for platform industrial chemicals.

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Tim Craske

Managing Director


Topic: Systems Thinking for Mining Managers

Tim Craske is a proven ore discoverer, experienced workshop facilitator and mentor. He has 35 years’ experience in the resources sector and was involved in project generation and discovery of Ernest Henry, E1, Nebo-Babel and Nova-Bollinger orebodies in Australia.

He is a protégé of Douglas Haynes whose conceptual thinking led to discovery of the world’s largest base metal orebody, Olympic Dam. Tim has been employed as a holistic thinker and project generator for over 25 years, and as a professional mentor and coach for 15 years. He is founding director for Geowisdom and Thinkercafé that specialise in developing innovative thinkers, thinking organisations, and disruptive technology solutions for the mining industry.

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Cameron Edwards



Topic: Microgrids, Stand-Alone Power Systems and Power Storage for Mines

Cameron is the co-founder of InfraNomics in Perth and has over 20 years’ experience in financial advisory, investment banking, consulting, economic analysis, operational and executive management roles both domestically and globally. He has had a particular focus on infrastructure development, project financing, risk & credit, energy, renewables, water, fuel terminals and ports. Cameron was the co-author of the 2018 Lithium Valley report and has recently published work on Kwinana outer harbour developments, Indian Ocean trade, New Energy Materials international trade, industry and government energy strategies.


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Stephen Barber

Exploration Manager

Altura Mining

Topic: Case Study: Geology and Mineralisation of Altura’s Lithium Mine, Pilgangoora

Stephen is a qualified Geologist, B.Sc.Hons from the University of Queensland, Australia, with over 27 years of exploration and mining experience.

From 1992 to mid-2000, he worked at gold mines and exploration projects in Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia. Mid-2000 to 2015 he worked on several Indonesian coal projects and mines, mostly as a consultant.

Since mid-2016, he has worked on the exploration and resource development of Altura’s Lithium Mine located at Pilgangoora in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

Stephen is the Exploration Manager of Altura Mining Ltd and a Member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM).



Brian Innes

Managing Director

Starling Energy

Topic: The Future Grid – The Energy Mix That Is Coming

Brian has approximately 20 years of technology, energy management and renewable project advisory and is the Founder of Starling Energy (Creators of Plico Energy) and Lead Energy Advisor for Partners in Performance.

 Plico Energy recently announced that the first stage of their plan to develop a Community Owned DER Energy Company,which everyone can join, with $50 million in equity funding allocated to Plico Energy project. The Plico Energy project utilises an innovative business model that allows households to collectively own an energy company comprising of 1000’s of Distributed Energy Resource (DER) assets. Each member that joins up will receive DER assets (VPP controllable solar and battery systems) that operate under an EaaS (Energy as a Service) model and allows them to create and consume their own energy. As owners of an energy company that owns the equipment, they also get to participate in the DER driven future of our grid as their energy company will negotiate to make income from their cloud-controlled virtual power plant (VPP).

 Brian has been advising on and developing remote energy systems in the WA resource sector for over 10years and has been a leading voice in the WA resource sector on improving the efficiency of mine-site energy use and the cost effectiveness of high penetration renewable projects and has advised across all of the key WA mine minerals including Gold, Copper, nickel and iron ore.  Brian was the lead technical and commercial adviser for a $100M WA mine site energy project that will achieve highest renewable energy fraction for a remote mine utilising wind, solar batteries and gas engines.  He is currently the lead advisor on the technical and commercial aspects and procurement process for two WA mine-site projects which are looking to achieve greater than 50% Renewable energy fractions and install between 30 and 200MW of renewables.



Colleen Yates


Regional Development Australia Perth

Topic: Update on the Western Australian State Government Future Battery Industry Strategy: National Strategies Promoting Lithium, Cobalt and Rare Earth Production in Australia

Colleen is an accomplished leader who motivates others to achieve what they previously thought to be unachievable. Her leadership style is inclusive, and she possesses stellar strategic thinking ability and down to earth communication skills with the capacity to deliver on outcomes. She is a firm believer that change is exciting when you successfully ‘sell’ the vision of the new future and gain buy-in of all affected stakeholders.

Having worked and volunteered for the past 35 years in a number of multi-faceted, composite and challenging roles and situations within the private, government and not-for-profit sectors, she has become highly skilled at making decisions based on sound policy and consultation while applying common sense and simplicity to complex tasks.

She has been the CEO with Regional Development Australia Perth since 2013, having delivered a number of initiatives to drive new business investment and job growth for the Perth region. These include: Driving Change: Perth and Peel an Economic Development Strategy and Infrastructure Priorities Plan for Perth and Peel (2016); Security and Defence in Western Australia: An Economic Perspective (2017); Building the Case for Energy Metals and Battery Manufacturing in WA (2018) and the soon to be released Establishing the Perth DroneHub.

Regional Development Australia Perth


Felipe Kovacic

Chief Development Officer

TEC-C Investments

Topic: Investing in the Power Generation Infrastructure of Mines: Integrated Hybrid Power Generation Delivery Model

Felipe Kovacic is the Chief Development Officer at TEC-C Investments, an integrated Developer and Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) company that is focused on hybrid and renewable energy projects, in medium scale utility grid connected projects as well as off-grid applications with a specific expertise in microgrid solutions and HV works.  TEC-C has successfully developed the 38 MW Molong Solar Farm in NSW and is in the process of delivering the EPC for the solar farm substation, as well as currently developing the FOUR99 Portfolio of 20 sites of 5MW solar farms in NSW. TEC is also delivering the EPC for the University of Adelaide at their Roseworthy Campus for the solar farm, battery and microgrid solution. Felipe is a Naval Electronic Engineer and also holds an MBA in addition to a Masters in Applied Finance. Felipe has previously worked with Origin Energy, and directly consulted for clients such as McKinsey & Co., Goldman Sachs, among others.

TEC-C Investments


Andrew Spinks

Managing Director

Kibaran Resources

Topic: Kibaran Resources Projects Update

Andrew is a Geologist (+25 years’ experience) with a broad range of experience in Australia – Africa for Gold, Nickel, Rare Earths, REE, Diamonds, Iron, PGE’s, Graphite and other Industrial Minerals.

He is a member of board and part of the senior management. He also plays consulting roles in exploration, project development and mining environments.

Andrew is a registered Mine Manager and holds a WA Quarry Managers Certificate and a Member of AusIMM.

Kibaran Resources


Dr Ben Li

Senior Exploration Geologist

Corazon Mining

Topic: Case Study of the Lynn Lake Ni-Cu-Co project

Dr Ben Li is an experienced geologist, member of Australian Institute of Geoscientists. Dr Li received his PhD degree in Economic Geology from Centre for Exploration Targeting, The University of Western Australia. Dr Li has worked on the exploration, mining and research projects for a range of commodities including gold, cobalt, nickel, manganese, copper and moly in Australia, Canada and China during the past decade. Dr Li is currently the geology technical manager managing the nickel and cobalt exploration projects at Corazon Mining Limited (ASX: CZN).



Ian Plimer

Company Director

Hancock Prospecting

Topic: Financing Panel: Closer Look at Funding Critical Minerals and Mining Projects Including Nickel Sulphite, Rare Earths, Graphite, Cobalt, and Lithium. Investor Perspectives on Battery Metals and Rare Earth Projects in Australia and Overseas

Hancock Prospecting


Prof. Peter Klinken AC

Chief Scientist

Western Australia

Topic: Keynote Address: Actively Implementing Australia’s Critical Minerals Strategy and Future Plans

Professor Klinken is a leading Western Australian medical research scientist, highly regarded for his work in advancing the understanding of genes involved in leukemia, cancer and anaemia. His many research achievements include the discovery of a gene that suppresses the growth of tumours.

After obtaining his PhD from The University of Western Australia, he undertook research at the US National Institutes of Health in Washington and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne.

His previous roles have included Professor in Clinical Biochemistry at The University of Western Australia; Director of Research at the Royal Perth Hospital; and the Director of the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research (previously the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research).

Under his stewardship, the Perkins Institute attracted world-class national and international researchers to the State and made numerous acclaimed medical discoveries. He also spear-headed the development of two new state-of-the-art medical research facilities, Perkins North in Nedlands (QEII Medical Centre) and Perkins South in Murdoch (Fiona Stanley Hospital).

Professor Klinken brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the role of Chief Scientist.

His input will support the Government in growing the State’s science industries to achieve future prosperity for Western Australians.

Professor Klinken was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in the June 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Western Australia


Jeffrey Haworth

Executive Director, Geological Survey and Resource Strategy Geological Survey and Resource Strategy Division

WA Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety

Topic: The Role of Geological Surveys in Critical Mineral Strategies

Jeff has worked in both the mineral and petroleum industries for over 40 years.  He has worked throughout Australia and the world including the North Sea, Arctic Ocean, offshore Western Australia, Victoria, Queensland, New Zealand and the USA.

He joined the Department of Mines and Petroleum in 1991 as the Petroleum Data Manager. In 2006 he worked as the Manager – Petroleum Geology for the Geological Survey of Western Australia (GSWA) managing the research and basin studies into petroleum systems in Western Australia.

In 2011 he moved into the Director Petroleum Operations role overseeing operational compliance and then in 2013 became the Executive Director, Petroleum and oversaw the regulatory management of Western Australia’s upstream petroleum industry.

In 2018, he became Executive Director, Geological Survey and Resource Strategy leading the Geological Survey of Western Australia and developing strategies for government for the resource sector.

Jeff has a degree in Mining Geology from the WA School of Mines in Kalgoorlie.

Western Australia