Global Speakers


Kate Dickson


Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC)

Conference Chairperson

Kate Dickson joined the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) as the Queensland Director in October 2019. AMEC is a National Industry Association representing almost 300 member companies across Australia. AMEC’s members are explorers, emerging miners, producers, and a wide range of businesses working in and for the mining industry. With an eye on the future and a strong understanding of the resource sector’s past, Kate works with stakeholders to deliver the best outcomes for AMEC members and the resources industry in Australia, with a focus on Queensland.

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Carlos Galli


Norlab SRL (Argentina)

Topic: Improving Lithium Mining & Processing With Advanced Technologies

Carlos Daniel Galli, born in Jujuy, Argentina; he is married and has 3 sons. Carlos is Chemical bachelor-technician from the School of Mines in Jujuy, Industrial Engineer from the University of Buenos Aires, with an MBA and Master in Finances in EUDE, a business school in Spain. Carlos worked in SKF and Alfa Laval in maintenance, engineering and marketing, and has over 10 years of experience in lithium, where he participated in the construction of the first lithium carbonate industrial scale plant in Salta, that he then operated, and then developed projects from brownfield to feasibility in Salta and Jujuy provinces. He participated in several patents for lithium processing, and wrote several articles on energy efficiency and lithium. Now Carlos is focused on process and technologies for lithium production, as well as in the water dimension of a lithium from brine project, with a systemic view from his experience. He does so as an independent consultant in Aires Consulting, and through his work in Norlab, a company working with lab and bench scale trials over lithium brines, both with the objective of helping the lithium industry to reach improved recovery, efficiency and better performance in environmental and sustainability matters, for lithium to help in our challenge of changing towards a society better integrated into the environment.
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Clinton McKinnon

Product Manager – Digital Mines


Topic: Adaptive Mine Planning On The Fly

Clinton McKinnon is a Product Manager for Digital in Mining for ABB Australia. In this role he works with Australia’s leading mine operators and suppliers to enable connectivity and interoperability of mining systems and provide visibility and control of underground mines. McKinnon holds both a Master’s degree and Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Newcastle.




Craig Scott

State Manager QLD, Industrial Automation

Schneider Electric SE

Topic: Connected Products And Big Data, A Vital Part In Achieving Autonomous Mining Operations

Craig is the State Manager of the Industrial Automation Business in QLD. He has over 15 years’ experience in developing trusted relationships and partnerships. He has a passion for progress in driving digital transformation across multiple market segments and channels enabling new business value for customers. Craig leads a team of professionals focussed on customers achieving their business objectives, digitally transforming their operations through the application of new innovative technologies in hardware, software and digital services enabling Industry 4.0. Creating profitable and sustainable businesses today and for the next generation.

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Lars Bergkvist

Global Key Customer Manager


Workshop B: Accelerating The Development Of Autonomous Solutions Through Industry Collaborations

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Nicolas Jubera


TIMining (Chile)

Topic: Augmented Reality And Enabling Technologies Of The Mining 4.0 Revolution

Nicolas is an Industrial and Electrical Engineer, expert at innovation management, product development, and applied R&D.  He has spent the last 7 years leading the development of solutions around Industry 4.0 (Augmented Reality, Big Data, Analytics). Nicolas has been around consulting, innovation and mining for over 15 years, involved in over 20 technology R&D projects for mining, logistics and construction.

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Nick Harrison

Senior Manager Services & Automation Technology


Workshop B: Accelerating The Development Of Autonomous Solutions Through Industry Collaborations

Nick joined Orica in 2005 as a Mechatronics Engineer and spent 16 years spanning operations, marketing, product development and commercialisation, focusing on large mining in Australia and Asia, the civil construction industry in Europe. In recent years, Nick has supported and driven the introduction of new technology and commercialisation of sophisticated services in a global role.



Ben Taylor

Manager, Underground Automation


Workshop B: Accelerating The Development Of Autonomous Solutions Through Industry Collaborations

Ben joined Orica in July 2020 as Manager Underground Automation after 14 years in the mining industry across Australia and Africa with Xstrata, Glencore, CBH Resources and Byrnecut Offshore. As a Mining Engineer specialised in underground hard rock mining, Ben has held roles ranging from Mine Manager through to technical and operational Mining Engineering functions.



Camilla Spångberg

Global Product Manager


Workshop B: Accelerating The Development Of Autonomous Solutions Through Industry Collaborations

Camilla joined Epiroc in June 2003 as Mechanical Engineer. She has a solid background within R&D in different positions. Camilla has also worked as Project Manager in joint development projects together with customers and partners. Currently Camilla is working as Global Product Manager for Face Drilling and Remote Charging in Marketing.

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Nicholas Davies

Digital & Spatial Manager VIC / SA / TAS

Veris Australia

Workshop C: Veris Australia

Nicholas is a professional Spatial Services consultant, obtaining an Executive MBA degree from Melbourne Business School and an Honours degree from the University of Tasmania in Geomatics. His current position being the Principal of 3D Spatial at Veris, an ASX listed company.

For fourteen years – from 2003 to 2017 – Nicholas provided specialist consultancy services in 3D laser scanning and associated 3D spatial technologies, to the resources, manufacturing, Engineering and Architectural sectors in Australia and internationally. Now, Nicholas’ day to day work includes consultancy to private and government business; coordinating business development activities, project scoping, business strategy execution and data analytics activities, using a growing base of both office and field-based team members. With the growth of digital engineering and BIM practices within the design sectors, Nicholas has been able to drive consultancy practices that provide spatial platforms for clients to design on and support their clients with confidence.

Nicholas is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors where previously, Nicholas held Executive Director board position for Lester Franks and has held Non-Executive Director board positions for the Spatial Business Association (SIBA) and Locate Conferences.

Specialties and interests: On-going and sustainable competitive strategy; team development and growth, corporate governance, stakeholder engagement, driving diversity in the workplace, spatial technologies and international business.

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Karl Keys

Manager Mine Scheduling

Roy Hill

Topic: Orebody Knowledge To blasting Outcomes In Tomorrow’s Mine, Today

Karl currently leads Roy Hill’s Mine Scheduling department comprised of Geological Sciences, Mine Engineering and Mine Scheduling functions of Roy Hill’s Demand Chain mine execution horizon. Karl’s career started within Resource and Mine Geology which later transcended to Engineering Geology, Mine Engineering and Technology Innovation. Karl has worked extensively within the resource and mining industry across Australia, New Zealand and the United States spanning 25+ years and 15 years within the Iron Ore industry with various organisations. The rapid development of large data warehouses and complex architecture solutions has provided the platform for data science enabling greater capability to extend my technical acumen through innovative thinking and technology.

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Paul Barclay

Sales Manager

ABB Mining Solutions

Zoom Breakout Session C: Decarbonising Mining Through Digital Mining Infrastructure

Paul has over 18 years of experience in offering integrated mining solutions to customers globally.  His experience ranges from Process Control Systems and Electrical equipment for Process plants all the way through to underground mining solutions and mine electrification. With the digital landscape of mining changing at a rapid pace, Paul finds himself assisting more and more customers with turnkey solutions while improving their productivity, reducing costs and providing solutions for a safer environment.



Jonathan Maher

Sales Manager, Mining Systems

ABB Australia

Topic: Making Digital A Reality: What It Actually Takes To Build A Digitally Connected Mine

Jonathan Maher is the digital mining solutions lead for ABB Australia.  With more than 20 years’ experience in offering integrated digital solutions, Maher has worked with  leading mining operators.  His experience ranges from process control systems and electrical infrastructure for process plants all the way through to underground mining solutions. With the digital landscape of mining evolving rapidly, Maher finds himself increasingly assisting customers with turnkey digital solutions while improving their productivity through production scheduling and fleet management, reducing energy costs and providing solutions for a safer and more sustainable working environment.



Hon Bill Johnston MLA

Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Member for Cannington

Government of Western Australia

Topic: How Australian Government Is Supporting Investments Into Autonomous Mines

The Hon. Bill Johnston is Western Australia’s Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Energy and Corrective Services. He has been a Minister for the McGowan Labor Government since March 2017, and has previously been Minister for Commerce, Industrial Relations, Electoral Affairs, and Asian Engagement.

So far, his achievements include cutting red-tape for the mining industry, introducing the Work Health and Safety Bill (industrial manslaughter provisions) and assisting in revolutionising Western Australia’s energy system.

In Opposition he served as Shadow Minister for State Development and Energy from 2012, and Shadow Minister for Mines and Petroleum from 2013. He was a Member of the Economics and Industry Standing Committee and Deputy Chair of the Inquiry into Domestic Gas Prices from 2010 to 2011. Prior to entering Parliament, he was the State Secretary of WA Labor from 2001 until 2008, with responsibility for all State and Federal election campaigns.

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Craig Copes

Principal Solutions Architect Australia

AQURA Technologies

Zoom Breakout Session A: Is Mining Transformation Strategy Being Derailed At The Edge?

Craig has broad experience in providing technology and business guidance in the Operational Technology (OT) and IT sector. His recent experience with introducing the next wave of technologies such as Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Mission Critical Push to Talk (MCPTT), LTE an Augmented Reality (AR) has enabled him to improve business operations.



Mei Wan

Solution Architect

Emerson Automation Solutions, Melbourne, Australia

Workshop A: Experience How A Digital Mine Will Work For You

Mei is an experienced engineering professional with a demonstrated history of delivering automation projects to various industries. As a Solution Architect, she engages with customers in their digital transformation journey by designing and executing solutions that will deliver real value to their business.



Jonas Berge

Senior Director of Applied Technology

Emerson Automation Solutions, Singapore

Workshop A: Experience How A Digital Mine Will Work For You

Jonas is a Senior Director at Emerson Automation Solutions in Singapore. He is a trusted advisor for plants and EPCs to adopt new technologies moving the industry forward with digital transformation. He has over thirty years of experience in the field of instrumentation and controls. He is a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in Digital Transformation (DX) / Industrie 4.0 including data management, analytics, wireless sensors, and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Jonas is the author of two books and has contributed to several others. He is frequently featured in articles and white papers.



Tom Pils


Australian Certified UAV Operators Association

Topic: How Autonomous Drones Are Transforming Mining Operations Around The World

Tom Pils is an Australian lawyer specialising in drone law & the regulations surrounding this rapidly growing area of aviation. His mission is to guide clients through the red-tape & regulatory risk associated with integrating & utilising drones in their operations so as to ultimately increase their productivity & profitability.

With a strong interest in drone regulation education, Tom regularly writes articles on legal aspects concerning drones which he publishes on his website Tom is also the author of The Drone Pilot’s Legal Handbook, a pilot-focused, plain language, practical guide to understanding many of the legal considerations in running a drone business.

Tom is also President of the Australian Certified UAV Operator’s Association (ACUO) where alongside the Management Committee, he promotes the growth, expansion and longevity of the commercial drone industry in Australia. Tom has also presented at numerous conferences, podcasts, and events.

Complementing his drone law focus, Tom also practices in the areas of commercial law, disputes & litigation. With a double degree in Commerce-Accounting and Bachelor of Laws, Tom understands the drivers that underlie business success, and as a result provides actionable legal advice in its commercial context.

Whether representing the interests of a foreign government in a trade mark dispute, representing a drone operator in a Civil Aviation Safety Authority investigation, or acting against one of the big car manufacturers in contempt of court proceedings, Tom’s attention to detail yet with a view of the big picture, means Tom provides prompt and practical legal solutions. Tom’s broad range of experience serves his mission to empower drone operators through education, advice, and to be the trusted advisor in their corner of the sky.

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Nick Beaton

General Manager - Integrated Extraction Simulator


Zoom Breakout Session B: Sustainable Mine To Mill – Digital Solutions Enabling End-to-end Integrated Simulation And Operational Workflow

Nick has enjoyed a successful 30-year career in the development and commercialisation of technology for the global mining industry.

His professional experience spans senior appointments with Datamine, Mincom, KPMG and CAE Mining, with postings to the UK, South Africa, Germany, the USA and Switzerland.

In addition to his extensive mining industry experience, Nick Beaton has also worked in management consultancy in Europe, leading pan-European projects in business restructuring, technology development and enterprise system “roll-outs” for automotive, chemical and pharmaceutical clients.

Within CRC ORE, Nick is the General Manager of the team developing the Integrated Extraction Simulator (IES).



Nik Gresshoff

Head of Mining Process Industries Division

ABB Australia

Topic: To Be Confirmed

Nik Gresshoff, in his role as Head of Mining for ABB’s Process Industries division, leads a talented and enthusiastic team of sales and service professionals. A group dedicated to applying ABB’s industry-specific integrated automation, electrification and digital solutions to enhance our customers’ performance across the mining and minerals, metals, aluminium, pulp and paper, and cement segments.

Nik has a wealth of industry experience utilising the latest automation and mechanical technologies, along with a proven track record of improving business performance across global markets including Europe, Africa, East Asia, China, Japan and Australia. His industry experience spans mining, oil & gas, utilities and general manufacturing.



Mike Train

Chief Sustainability Officer


Topic: Sustainability In Mining

Michael Train was named Emerson’s first chief sustainability officer in March 2021. In this role, he leads the company’s environmental sustainability strategy, with a focus on advancing technologies and advocacy to enhance company operations and enable customer improvements through Emerson’s solutions and partnerships. He joined Emerson’s Office of the Chief Executive, which helps develop and guide the company’s global business strategies, in 2016.

From 2018 to March 2021, Train served as president of Emerson, where he oversaw software and digital technology development, major investments, international growth and global shared service organizations.

Train began his career at Emerson in 1991, starting as an international planner, and was promoted to vice president of planning and development for Emerson Asia-Pacific in 1994. He became president of Emerson in Japan and Korea in 1996, before moving back to the United States to lead Emerson’s planning group from 1997 to 2002 as corporate vice president of planning and international. In 2002, Train returned overseas when he was named president of Emerson Process Management Asia-Pacific, a role he held until 2008.

From 2008 to 2010, Train served as president of Emerson’s Rosemount business. From October 2010 to April 2016, Train served as president of global sales for Emerson Process Management. In the latter role, he oversaw five world area regional organizations focused on sales, service, support and customer satisfaction across all products and services provided by Emerson Process Management.

In April 2016, Train was named executive president of Emerson’s Automation Solutions business, managing strategy and operations for one of the company’s two business platforms. In this role, he led initiatives to help industrial customers enhance their operations to achieve Top Quartile performance.

Train currently serves as chairman of the board of trustees at Ranken Technical College and on Cornell University’s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management Advisory Council. He was a 2008 Eisenhower Fellowship recipient.

Train holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from General Motors Institute and a master’s degree in business administration from Cornell University.



Steven Blott

State Manager Western Australia for FLIR System

RS Components + FLIR

Topic: FLIR Ex Series Cameras – Powerful Troubleshooting Tools For Building, Electrical, And Mechanical Applications

Steven has been in Infrared Technology for 25 years. He has spent 10 years as a Service Engineer and then 15 years as Sales Manager for Flir Australia & NZ. FLIR Systems has a range of thermal cameras that are applicable in the mining industry. FLIR uses thermography for predictive maintenance inspection programs for virtually all types of industries. From predictive maintenance, condition monitoring, non-destructive testing, R&D, medical science, temperature measurement and thermal testing to law enforcement, surveillance, security and manufacturing process control, FLIR offers the widest selection of infrared cameras for beginners to pros. Steven has a ONC & HNC in Electronic Engineering from Watford University in the UK and his previous roles included various Sales and Service positions for other companies in the UK, before emigrating to Australia in 2005.

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Michelle Ash



Topic: Global Mining Guidelines Group: Implementation Of Autonomous Technology On Large Scale

Michelle Ash, CEO of Dassault Systèmes GEOVIA, has made significant contributions to the mining sector with a focus on Innovation Strategy, Technology and Digital Transformation.

Highly passionate about Mining and the Natural Resources industry, Michelle remains focused on helping mining to evolve through digital transformation and the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, to help deliver sustainable solutions to the sector.

Michelle is also the Chair of the Global Mining Guidelines Group and has contributed to develop best practices and guidelines for the implementation of technology and socially enabled changes in the mining industry.

Previously she was Chief Innovation Officer at Barrick Gold Corporation where she oversaw the company’s innovation program, looking both at how innovation can drive productivity in the existing business as well as how it can be harnessed to deliver alternative business models.

Michelle was named to the 2016 list of “100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining” by Women in Mining UK and won the Technology Innovator of the Year Award by Mines and Technology in 2019.  She holds a degree in Civil Engineering and an Executive MBA from the Melbourne Business School; as well as a degree in Psychology from Deakin University.

Follow Michelle on Twitter: MichelleAsh18.

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Eden Paki

Senior Manager - Global Accounts (Auspac)


Topic: Orebody Knowledge To blasting Outcomes In Tomorrow’s Mine, Today

Eden manages key relationships with Orica’s major global customers, supporting regional sales, manufacturing, and operational teams in the consistent delivery of quality products and service excellence. In his role, Eden connects research and innovation and marketing teams with technology partners and global customers to identify and develop opportunities to problem solve using innovation. Eden is passionate about transformation across the industry by adopting technology and innovation to improve safety, increase efficiency, and simplify processes to extract superior value. Eden currently leads customer innovation projects, focussing on surface automation, digital (AI, machine learning and integration) and ore body knowledge.

Previously, Eden was Vice President of Marketing for Orica for the Europe Middle-East and Africa market. He led geographically dispersed teams, responsible for delivering market and product strategies and expanding Orica’s global footprint into new territories in Africa, the CIS, and the Middle-East. He also held directorships across various multinational boards, mentoring and providing business leadership with joint-venture partnerships in Russia, Kazakhstan, Sweden, Turkey and the UAE.

Eden has also held senior P&L roles as Vice President Nordics, Baltics and CIS, Services Manager EMEA, Regional Services Manager EMEA and Regional Manager Middle-East. During his 17 years with Orica, Eden has had the privilege of living and working in Russia, Germany, UAE, New Zealand, and Australia.

Outside of Orica, Eden served as the President of the Australia-Russia Dialogue from 2016-2020, promoting multifaceted and bi-lateral co-operation between Australia and Russia in business academia, technology, tourism and culture. As well as facilitating events and forums for members, government and community stakeholders, a core part of this role included support for Australian businesses either operating in or looking to expand economic ties with Russia and the CIS territories.



Angelo Labriola

Senior Manager, Digital Solutions


Zoom Breakout Session B: Sustainable Mine To Mill – Digital Solutions Enabling End-to-end Integrated Simulation And Operational Workflow

Angelo leads Orica’s Insights and Data Science function in the Digital Solutions group. He oversees the development and commercialisation of insights products and the application of data analytics and machine learning, connecting blasting upstream and downstream across the mining value chain to transform orebody knowledge to blasting for outcomes in a Digital age.

The role is core to the delivery of Orica’s digital strategy, providing a suite of software, operational technology control systems and measurement technology solutions integrated via an open digital platform to embed sustained continuous improvement of blast outcomes in a mining operational environment.

Angelo assumed his current role in October 2020, after being Head of Product from October 2018 and leading the co-ordinated integrated Digital Solutions roadmap with a team of Product Owners globally. Prior to this, he was the Senior Manager, Strategic Marketing for Digital Solutions based in Melbourne, Australia, where he developed the initial vision and strategic plan for a dedicated Digital Solutions function.

In his 26-year career at Orica, Angelo forged a path towards Digital Solutions following a period as Global Manager for Orica’s Advanced Blasting Services, during which he was responsible for building and growing performance-based services. These service contracts offered clients the opportunity to purchase guaranteed blast results that reduced total cost of operation by delivering outcomes to agreed specifications. It was during this period that Angelo reinforced his belief in a digital twin of the drill and blast process that would connect and react to rich data from upstream and downstream processes in the mining value chain.

Angelo has also served as the Marketing and Technical Manager of the Australian Quarry and Construction business unit following his role as a field engineer in the early part of his career with Orica; through which he has gained experience in all major market segments of the business, spanning surface and underground mining, quarrying and construction as well as all major geographical locations of Orica’s global business.

Angelo holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Geological Engineering from RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.



Adrian Beer

Chief Executive Officer

METS Ignited

Topic: The Role Of Technology Vendors In Digital Technology Adoption

Adrian is the CEO of METS Ignited, an industry led, government funded Growth Centre for the mining equipment, technology and services sector funded by the Department of Industry Science, Energy and Resources. The Growth Centre initiative is supporting the National Manufacturing Priority sectors of the Modern Manufacturing Strategy. The goal of the strategy is to drive the local commercialisation of innovation, enhancing industry skills & capabilities, and grow export markets in areas where Australia has a proven competitive advantage.

As an industry technology leader, Adrian has a broad range of global experience spanning over 20 years. Most recently he was with the world leading automation company ABB, where he led the integration of their mining software acquisitions working with McKinsey as part of the overall ABB group strategy. Prior to that Adrian was with General Electric, as the mining industry subject matter expert helping the organisation establish their entry to the mining sector, including defining the company’s technology acquisition and investment strategy.

Adrian’s early career was in electrical engineering, supplying, installing and commissioning industrial drive systems for grinding mills and crushing plants in the mining industry, as well as power systems in transmission, distribution, and the power generation sector. With extensive experience in the supply of industrial technology solutions and business transformations projects in capital intensive industries.

Adrian is passionate about collaborative transformation, business efficiency, maximizing the performance and effectiveness of operations for the benefit of all stakeholders. Adrian has completed a Master of Business Administration from the University of New England (Australia), a Fellow of The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. He holds advisory board positions with Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER), and SMARTSAT CRC, and is a member of the Global Mining Guidelines Group leadership team.



Stefan Debruyne

Director, Iodine and Lithium

SQM International

Topic: Mining With Responsibility: Using The Latest Technology To Address Environmental Concerns In Latin America Mining – The SQM Experience

Stefan Debruyne joined SQM in 2005 as Asia-Pacific Sales Director, Lithium and Iodine, where he witnessed firsthand the lithium-ion battery production boom in Asia and the emerging electrification of transportation in China. In his present role as Business Development Director, he is focusing on the engagement with the automotive battery value chain and its stakeholders. Prior to joining SQM in 2005, he held a variety of international commercial roles at different listed companies. Mr. Debruyne obtained his Masters in Commercial Engineering from KU Leuven, Belgium in 1997, as well as a Masters in European Studies from UC Louvain, Belgium in 1998. He is currently an Executive MBA candidate at the Vlerick Business School in Belgium.

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Coert Du Plessis

Data Chief


Topic: 7 Lessons On Mining Automation Whilst Driving Digital Transformation At BHP

Coert led BHPs global digital transformation and then BHPs global data agenda through to 2020. Before BHP Coert was a senior partner with Deloitte leading the WA data analytics practice specialising in machine learning and application in the mining and education sectors. He has recently returned to his startup roots with a soon to be announced venture. Coert is often described as 100% passion and 100% relentless drive, making up the 200% energy needed to sustain lasting change. He is a regular keynote speaker, an avid angel investor and mentor.

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Joshua Letcher

Chief Executive Officer

Space Industries

Topic: Moonshot Thinking: Making Space Mining A Reality

Mr Letcher has experience working in various operational and technical roles within the African and Australian mining industry, Mr Letcher remains in the resources sector as Founder of Mirrorplex developing Lithium and Vanadium assets and involved as a non-execitive Director for ASX:SI6 & ASX:ARN.

Mr Letcher is the founder of Space Industries which are developing a flagship mission to the Moon and Mars to produce water and Helium-3 (critical resources) and with this are developing new mine processing technologies for Earth based mining operations as well as new energy production methods.

Mr Letcher served in the Royal Australian Navy and trained as a Mechanical Engineer.

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Martin Van Der Merwe

Business Director Systems and Solutions


Topic: Understanding The Benefits Of A Digital Twin In A Mining Digital Transformation

Martin Van Der Merwe has been in the automation industry for over 17 years as a registered engineer. He has been involved in the mining and oil and gas industries in South Africa prior to moving to Emerson Australia in 2008 where he has held several positions responsible for project delivery, managing the national service organisation and key account management. His range of roles and associated client experiences has provided him with valuable insights to his current role as the Director for Emerson’s Systems and Software business across Australia and New Zealand.



Jon Weidenbaum

Automation Consultant


Topic: Understanding The Benefits Of A Digital Twin In A Mining Digital Transformation

Jon has worked for Emerson since 2006 as automation and project consultant in Mining & Minerals. Jon is currently engaged with our Emerson global centre of Excellence in mining, introducing new unique mining solutions, processes and technologies into the industry.



Peter O’Loughlin

Senior Inspector of Mines - Mines Safety Directorate

Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety

Topic: Regulating Autonomous Equipment In WA – The Journey To So Far

Peter holds a BEng Degree (Mining) and a First Class Mine Manager’s Certificate for WA.

Peter has 30+ years’ mining experience, having worked in various production, technical and management roles at KCGM for 11 years, before taking on a District Inspector of Mines role with the Department of Mines and Energy in Kalgoorlie and a Senior Inspector of Mines role since 2006 in the South West and Pilbara.

Peter has led the development of a number of Department Codes of Practice and Guidelines and is the regulatory champion for mobile autonomous mining systems in WA mines, Peter led the development of the Safe Mobile Autonomous Mining in Western Australia – Code of Practice (2015) and is a member of the steering committee for the Global Mining Guidelines Group which released the Implementation of Autonomous Systems in Mining guideline in 2019.

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Mark Thomas

Group Manager Technology & Autonomy

Fortescue Metals Group

Topic: Innovation Delivering Safety And Productivity Improvements For The Mining Industry

Mark Thomas was appointed Group Manager Technology and Autonomy at Fortescue Metals Group in April 2019.  He has previously held senior positions at Fortescue including Group Manager Procurement and Information Services, Group Manager Infrastructure Services, Company Secretary and Group Manager Finance.

With more than 25 years’ experience in the mining and professional services industries, Mark has gained comprehensive experience in technology, accounting and finance, governance and risk, and business administration. He has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Western Australia, Graduate Diploma in Applied Corporate Governance, a Masters of Business Administration and is a Certified Practising Accountant and a Fellow of Governance Institute of Australia.

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Mitin Hirani

Principal Data Scientist

Roy Hill

Topic: Digital Ore Tracking And Real World Applications

Mitin Hirani leads Roy Hill’s internal analytics team comprised of Data Scientists and Data Engineers. Since graduating from Imperial College London in 2010, he has spent most of his career in technical consulting roles within the resources sector. His experience has ranged from building simulation models of complex mining supply chains through to optimising the production of LNG facilities. Through all of this, the common theme has been his desire to solve the unsolvable problems.

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Paul Howat

Director Digital Transformation


Topic: Navigating The Roadblocks To The Vision Of Autonomous Operations

Paul has been in the Process Control industry for over twenty years with recent positions at Emerson in both Sales and Service. He has had an active involvement with the design and implementation of training/educational programs to aid service personnel improvement.

Paul Howat was recently appointed to the position of Director – Digital Transformation for Emerson Automation Solutions Australia and New Zealand. Based in Melbourne, he recently moved from the role of Flow Business Development Director. Previously he held the role as National Service Manager for 4 years, responsible for overseeing all of Emerson’s service personnel and strategic direction.  Both roles have given him an appreciation of the market in Australia and the range of customer requirements. Paul relocated from the United Kingdom 12 years ago after completing his apprenticeship and progressing his career within Unilever.

Paul holds an Advanced Diploma in Electrical Engineering (Instrumentation) and a Diploma in Management.

Paul’s background at grass roots level from service in industry, combined with his numerous years of experience in process systems with global leading companies, puts him in a great place to support and drive Emerson Automation Solutions to continue to be a successful solution provider to the Process Control market.



Alan Seery

Chief Technology Officer

AQURA Technologies

Topic: Is Mining Transformation Strategy Being Derailed At The Edge?

Zoom Breakout Session A: Is Mining Transformation Strategy Being Derailed At The Edge?

Alan is a proven leader with a track record of innovation and solution delivery. He has over 25 years experience working in global telecommunications vendors, major telecommunications carriers and Tier 1 Global Mining operations. Alan has increased business value by focusing on technology and embedding it into all aspects of existing business processes. As the Chief Technology Officer for Aqura, Alan is responsible for developing technology solutions tailored to meet specific client needs and demands.



Thao D.H. Ngo

Group Executive Chairman

First Indochina Group, Vietnam

Topic: Sustainability In Mining: How Technology Is Rapidly Improving Sustainability In Mining And Successful Mine Rehabilitations Case Studies

Thao D.H. Ngo has been responsible for creating business strategy, development of partnerships with foreign vendors and investors, here under also the Overseas Vietnamese communities from US, Japan, Asia Pacific and Europe.

After more than 20 years of living and working in Denmark and other countries; Thao D.H. Ngo has more than 15 years of experience in property developments, government relations, management, consulting, and investments in the areas of cross-border business development, strategies, marketing, sales, distribution, technology transfer and technology investments in the CMLV countries (Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam).

Thao D.H. Ngo has been advising and assisting companies with their business expansion and growth strategies within many sectors in Europe, North America and Asian countries.

After more than 18 years of permanent stay in Vietnam and Cambodia, Thao D.H. Ngo has built up a substantial knowledge base of the many sectors in Vietnam and Cambodia at the current state, combined with his background from overseas studies and works. Thao D.H. Ngo is focusing in how to bring the businesses into CMLV countries from the world and vice versa.

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Dr Geoffrey Batt

Research Portfolio Manager

Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia

Topic: Sustainability In Mining

Geoff delivers value to partners in the mining and resource sectors through insightful analysis, strategic advice, and management services across complex scientific research programs. Currently a Research Portfolio Manager for the innovative Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia, his success in this role is built on a foundation of problem solving, professionalism, and soft-power management honed by 20 years as a respected research geologist, consultant and award-winning communicator. A trusted adviser to business and government agencies over many years, Dr Batt maintains a proud reputation for diplomacy, collegiality and problem-solving.

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Ali Soofastaei

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Research Developer at the AI Centre of Excellence


Topic: Artificial Intelligence For Mining

Ali Soofastaei is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) Research Developer at the AI Centre of Excellence at Vale. Vale is a multinational corporation engaged in metals and mining. He uses innovative models based on AI methods to improve safety, productivity, and energy efficiency, and to reduce maintenance costs.  Dr. Soofastaei completed his Ph.D. at the University of Queensland where he led a revolution in the use of deep learning (DL) and AI methods in the mining industry.  In the past 15 years, He has conducted a variety of research studies in academic and industrial environments. For more information:



Malcolm McRae

Head of Advanced Analytics



  • AI And Big Data Analytics In Intelligent Mines
  • Future Smart Mines With Artificial Intelligence: Vale’s New Artificial Intelligence Mining Center

Malcolm leads up the AI and Advanced Analytic group at Vale, one of the world’s leading multi metal mining companies. He is an evangelist for the adoption of applied AI in the mining industry and has assembled an industry recognized team and practice in this area. Malcolm is a frequent speaker on the adoption of AI and its application in asset intensive industries. He has over 20 years of industry experience and holds degrees in Economics and Computerized Business Systems.