Global Speakers



Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Member for Cannington

Government of Western Australia

Topic: Keynote: Intelligent Mines – Building an Autonomous Mine from Pit to Port

Bill Johnston was sworn in as the Mines and Petroleum, Commerce and Industrial Relations, Electoral Affairs, and Asian Engagement Minister in March 2017.

This occurred a week after the WA Labor Party’s landslide victory against the Liberal Government.

As our State’s first Asian Engagement Minister, Minister Johnston’s focus was to capitalise on the rapid population and economic growth in Asia to create more job-boosting opportunities in Western Australia.

The Minister has a particular affinity with Indonesia, having spent time in West Java as a high school exchange student, and he maintains a working proficiency in both written and spoken Indonesian.

After almost two years in those roles, Minister Johnston was appointed Energy Minister on December 13, 2018.
To accommodate these changes, and to focus on this important new role, the Asian Engagement, Commerce and Electoral Affairs portfolios were handed over to other Cabinet Ministers.

He retains the Mines and Petroleum and Industrial Relations portfolios.

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.

During this time he was also a member of the Australian Labor Party’s National Executive.

As Assistant State Secretary of WA Labor from 1998 until 2001, his duties included creating and operating the Labor Business Roundtable, that connects WA Labor with business, industry and the not-for-profit sector in WA.

In 1985, he was a delegate to the International Youth Conference in Kingston, Jamaica during the UN International Youth Year; he participated in the Australian Young Political Leaders Program delegation to Indonesia in 1991; he participated in the US State Department’s Australian Young Political Leaders tour for the Mid-Term Elections in 2002; and in 2006 he was an ALP International Delegate for the UK Labour Party National Conference.

He was a senior official of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association for eight years, President of ACT Young Labor in 1988, and appointed by Prime Minister Bob Hawke as Youth Director to the Board of the Australian Bicentennial Authority from 1985 until 1989.



Research Portfolio Manager

Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia

Topic: The State’s Strategic Investment in the Future of the Mineral’s Sector: Focusing on Innovation and the Digital Economy

minerals research institute of western australia logo



Head of Product, Digital Solutions


Topic: Digitising Drill and Blast, And Its Critical Role in The Mining Value Chain


Angelo is Orica’s Head of Product, Digital Solutions, leading the direction and roadmap of the company’s product development, and managing a team of globally distributed product owners. 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 to facilitate the continuous improvement of blast outcomes for customers.

Angelo moved to the Head of Product role in October 2018. Prior to this, he was the Senior Manager, Strategic Marketing for Digital based in Melbourne, Australia. In this role, he developed the initial vision and strategic plan for a dedicated Digital Solutions function.

In his 24-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.



AI Research Developer

AI Centre, Vale, Australia

Topic: The Application of Artificial Intelligence to Improve Productivity, and Energy Efficiency in Surface Mine Sites

Vale Logo

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:



Strategic Marketing Director


Topic: Future X Architecture for Mining: a Connected Digital Platform for Creating Safer, More Efficient and Productive Mines


Marc Jadoul is strategic marketing director at Nokia. In this role, he is defining the company’s go-to-market strategy and shaping campaigns for the mining industry — working with key stakeholders and stretching across networking technologies and IoT and analytics solutions and services.

With more than two decades of experience in the ICT sector, he has held positions in research & innovation, strategy, marketing and communications, business development, and solutions consulting.

Marc holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from the University of Brussels. He is a passionate B2B storyteller, aspiring thought leader, casual blogger, author or co-author of more than 200 papers, magazine articles, interviews, and conference presentations, and a frequent speaker and panelist at industry events.

Over the past years Marc has published white papers, opinion pieces and blog posts, and has delivered conference presentations, public lectures, and interviews about technology trends, digital transformation, the Internet of Things, and use cases for smart cities, connected cars, industrial automation, etc. He speaks Dutch, English and French.



General Manager - APAC

MST Global

Topic: Connecting Your Mine to the Future – Axon Digital Ecosystem


Brett is the General Manager – APAC for MST Global. Brett commenced his career in underground mine electrical systems in Australia before joining General Electric with roles in infrastructure, utilities and mining. He has held senior leadership roles with General Electric and JSON Capital based in Australia and US. Prior to MST Global, Brett was the Global General Manager of GE Mine Energy systems and Founding Partner of JSON Capital. He has broad experience in executive management, digital technology and mineral processing systems.

Brett has Electrical Engineering and Computer Science degrees, and a Master’s Degree in Business Marketing and Applied Finance from the from Queensland University of Technology.



Program Director Autonomous Operations


Topic: Interoperability Enabling Autonomous Missions in Mining


Sharna is an experienced technology leader and has worked a variety of roles in her eighteen years with BHP. She has expertise in technology commercialisation, business development, business planning, corporate venturing, project management and remote operating centres.

Sharna is the global Program Director of autonomy development in BHP. She is strongly of the shaper category. Sharna likes to create vision that inspires and aligns teams to deliver innovations that lead to a step change in mining safety and productivity.



Program Manager Mine Automation


Topic: 5G and High Resolution Positioning Services as Enablers for Mine Automation


Peter Burman, Program Manager Mine Automation Born 1964, Mr Burman holds a master of science and M.B.A. Mr. Burman has been Project Manager in the Mine Automation Program since 2012. 2015 appointed to Program manager for the whole mine automation Program. Working for Boliden 1988-1995 he left for the telecom business. During 17 years at Ericsson and Ascom he worked in various positions like R&D manager and Business Area Manager.

He is also coordinating Boliden’s contacts with some European universities and research organizations.



Product Strategy - Manager


Topic: The Best of Both Worlds: Edge and Cloud Combined for More Efficient and Effective Mining




Analytics Manager - Smart Solutions


Topic: The Best of Both Worlds: Edge and Cloud Combined for More Efficient and Effective Mining



Managing Director

Petra Data Science

Topic: Pit to Plant Digital Twin Simulation Case Studies


Upon graduating from the University of Queensland with a degree in mining engineering, Dr Penny Stewart worked on-site for five years, obtaining her Queensland 1st Class Mine Managers’ Certificate of Competency in 2000. In 2000, she commenced PhD studies at UQ’s Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre, where she studied advanced analytics, predictive modelling and probabilistic methods under the supervision of Professor Tim Napier Munn, Dr Geoff Lyman and Professor Bill Whiten. She received the Ian Morley prize for Best Minerals Engineering Postgraduate student for her work developing an original statistical method. In 2009, she instigated the application of self-organising maps (machine learning neural networks) for the study of SLC recovery analysis (Brunton et al 2010). As a consultant rock mechanics engineer, she developed original regression and probabilistic (maximum likelihood) models to predict geotechnical instability/failures. As Senior Innovation Engineer with Newcrest in 2011 to 2013, she combined her operational background with advanced analytical skills, to design and execute research and innovation projects, including; prototype machines and novel ground support and systems.

In June 2015, Penny cofounded PETRA® Data Science Pty Ltd to deliver ‘big data’ value creation to the mining industry. Recent projects, include; FORESTALLTM machine learning algorithms to predict equipment breakdowns and loss events, PRODFINDERTM big data integration mine-to-mill studies, MMT3 blast pre-conditioning, application of support vector machine learning algorithm to quantify drawpoint fragmentation using 3D lidar data. In addition to data analytics and machine learning, Dr Stewart developed a new method to quantify intact rock damage from microCT data – LABYRINTH® for the 3rd Mass Mining Technology Blast Preconditioning project.

As an Associate Professor at The University of Queensland’s Geotechnical Engineering Centre she provides specialist lectures for the Advanced Rock Mechanics and Mining Geomechanics courses. She is AusIMM CP (Geotechnical) and RPEQ certified.




YilMaden Holding, a Yildrim Group Company

Topic: Mining Chief Tech Officer Conference Panel Discussion

DR. ALP MALAZGIRT_Yildrim company logo

Dr. Alp Malazgirt is the YilMaden Holding CEO, Metals and Mining division of the parent Yildirim Group of Companies,, based in Istanbul, Turkey, a rising star amongst the Turkish industrial conglomerates. Active in more than 11 sectors Yildirim Group is fast becoming a global company with its holdings and assets spanning over some 20+countries.

Dr. Malazgirt’s tenure at Yildirim coincided with the expansion of its metals and mining business in two countries, Turkey (EtiKrom) and Sweden (Vargon Alloys) to six countries: Voskhod Oriel chrome mining operations in Kazakhstan, Tikhvin Ferroalloy Plant in Russia, Bear Metallurgical Company in Butler, USA, and the recently acquired Best Coal Company in Colombia. YilMaden Holding is now the world’s second largest high quality high carbon ferrochrome producer in the world. YilKrom, another YilMaden company owns both exploration and production licenses in Turkey which are currently being explored. Dr. Malazgirt has played a key role in the post-merger integration of these cross border acquisitions and has been instrumental in the transformational changes undertaken in these otherwise poorly performing or even bankrupt companies.

Dr. Malazgirt as the YilMaden Holding CEO initiated many innovative projects including the recycling of “legacy” tailings both at the EtiKrom and Voskhod operations, extensive exploration projects on the concessions and licenses owned by YilMaden, and many corporate social responsibility projects which have received numerous accolades and awards from organizations such as the EBRD, EMEAFinance, ICDA, and CIS National Business Rating Agency. He focused on training and educating the local talent to fully staff the operations and providing equality of opportunity to the local community members. All in all, he stressed the importance of being a good corporate citizen of the community and earn the “social license to operate”.



Chief Advisor Automation & Technology Delivery

Rio Tinto

Topic: The “Other” Side to Automation: People and Process Change Requirements to Maximize Value




General Manager, Christmas Creek


Topic: Fortescue Metals: Improving Mining Asset Performance with Predictive Maintenance and Analytics

Fortescue logo

Jim Herring joined Fortescue in 2010 and has worked in Manager and General Manager roles across the Chichester and Solomon Hubs.

As Mine Manager at Christmas Creek in the Chichester Hub, Jim managed the successful ramp up of mining operations from 10 million tonnes of iron ore per annum (mpta) to 50 mpta. In 2015 he transferred to Mining Manger at Fortescue’s Solomon Hub and was responsible for expanding the autonomous truck program from 15 trucks to 60 trucks over two years. While at Solomon, Jim also introduced autonomous blast hole drilling.

Returning to Christmas Creek as General Manager in 2017, Jim led the transition of a brownfields operation to an autonomous haulage system. Christmas Creek is now running 43 autonomous haul trucks and will be expanding to 65 trucks by the end of 2019.

Jim has extensive experience in both technical and operational roles across multiple commodities including copper, gold, coal, nickel and iron ore.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mining Engineering.



General Manager - Automation & Technoloigy, Productivity & Technical Support

Rio Tinto

Topic: How Rio Tinto Realizes Major Benefits in Automation: From Autonomous Drilling to Driverless Trains


Alastair Mathias leads the Rio Tinto Automation and Technology group within Rio Tinto’s Growth & Innovation organisation. His team employs specialist expertise to identify, develop, implement and support automation technologies across the mining value chain. This includes managing Rio Tinto’s highly publicised Mine Automation System (MAS) and Visualisation tool (RTVis™) as well as the drill automation program (ADS), Smart Charge Truck, and Automated Blast Cone Sampler.

Alastair’s is a mining engineer who joined Rio Tinto in 1992 and has experience in both surface and underground mining across a range of commodities. He has worked in operations and technical roles including line leadership, operational performance analysis and improvement as well as mine planning, M&A support, equipment strategy development, and operations simulation.



Director, Mineral Exploration and Production

Yilmaden Holding Inc.

Topic: Data Analytics in Mining


Yilmaden logo

Onur began his career in 2005 working as an exploration geologist upon the completion of his BS from Hacettepe University. He joined Demir Export working in Western Turkey on exploration of base and precious metal projects for joint ventures between Demir Export (Turkey) and Tuprag (subsidiary of Eldorado Gold Co.). He later completed his M.Sc. degree in economic geology in 2011. His foray into international exploration started with his consulting responsibilities for TPM Mining’s numerous gold, and lead projects in Tanzania. He joined Yılmaden Holding in 2014 as a senior geologist where he was part of the team that finalized the financing of the Voskhod chrome mine in Kromtau, Kazakhstan with EBRD and Unicredit. He is also the team leader and the project manager for a number of global joint exploration ventures YilMaden Holding has embarked.




Group Executive Chairman

First Indochina Group, Vietnam

Topic: Integrating IoTs with Miners to Track Efficiencies, Output and Productivity

Thao Dh Ngo_First Indochina Group logo

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.



Chief Executive Officer

Global Drone Solutions

Site Tour Leader

GDS logo with transparent background

Mahmood Hussein is the Chief Executive officer of Global Drone Solutions, a CASA approved drone pilot training organisation. Mahmood is a seasoned senior executive, strategist & CASA certified drone pilot. Having held numerous senior executive positions with national and multi-national market leaders in the Mining, Automotive and Advanced Manufacturing industries.

Global Drone Solutions harness drone technology to solve both social and business problems and create new business opportunities.

Global Drone Solutions is an innovative business, in a disruptive high tech high Drone Industry which is literally taking off (pun intended). It provides tailored drone training and solutions to a broad range of industries. Outcomes include reduced operational costs, reduced risk, improved operation efficiencies and most importantly improved safety.



Unit Manager: Projects

Gold Fields

Topic: Case Study of Granny Smith Gold Mine IIoT Deployment Strategies. Why and How IIoT deployments succeeded


As a Mining Engineer and Manager, Michael has worked in gold & base metals as a consultant, contractor and in an owner-operator environment both in Australia and Internationally.

He holds a First Class Mine Managers Certificate (WA & SA) and have primary expertise in personnel management, project management and leadership.

His current role involves leading the Granny Smith Gold Mine Projects Department. This includes providing input into the strategic direction for the Projects functions at Granny Smith Gold Mine and within the Australasian region.

This role also makes him responsible for providing technology solutions to be included in trade off and project evaluations to ensure that delivered projects are not only capital effective but have low maintenance costs and a high level of future integration.



Director Mines Safety

Department of Mines Industry Regulation and Safety

Topic: Safety Regulation in the Autonomous Mines of Western Australia

Andrew Chaplyn is Director Mines Safety in the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, Safety Regulation Group. He has spent more than 30 years working in the mining industry, from a graduate mining engineer through to senior leadership roles in both private industry and government. Andrew joined DMIRS in 2009 and has been a key driver of mine safety reforms during this time.

As State Mining Engineer, Andrew is also responsible for administering the provisions of the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994. This includes managing the State’s mine safety inspectorate, approving key mining submissions, chairing the Board of Examiners and the Mines Survey Board, and is a member of both the Commission of Occupational Safety and Health and the Mining Industry Advisory Committee.



Managing Director and CEO

Resolute Mining Limited

Topic: How Resolute has Captured Advantages and is Leading the Industry in Commissioning the World’s First Fully Automated Underground Gold Mine at Syama in Mali

Resolute Mining



Head of Geoscience, Western Australia Iron Ore


Topic: Using Innovation and Automation to Leverage Orebody Knowledge Across the Value Chain




Superintendent Modelling, Operations/Mining

Roy Hill Iron Ore Pty Ltd

Topic: Artificial Intelligence in Mining and Metallurgical Operations, with Case Studies: Treating Rocks and Minerals as Data Objects using AI and Immersive Visualization

Roy Hill_Higher Res



Head of Application Delivery

Anglo American

Topic: Building a Data Analytics Team: Lessons Learnt




Automation Project Manager

Resolute Mining Limited

Topic: Building a World-class Autonomous Fleet Management System Plus Retro-fitting Existing Trucks, Loaders and Equipment’s to Autonomous Capabilities

Resolute Mining

Rio Tinto_Logo


Manager - Automation & Technology Platforms

Rio Tinto

Topic: Mining Robots: New Autonomous Drilling Delivering Significant Gains in Blast Accuracy and Drilling Performance While Driving Improvements in Productivity and Safety (Plus New Advances in Drilling Tech)