The International World Mining Congress has come to Australia for the first time since the association was formed in Europe in 1958.
As congress chair, Dr Hua Guo acknowledged at the opening today acknowledging Australia’s strong position in mining, “It’s about time you got here”.
More than 3,500 participants from 70 countries have gathered in Brisbane, bringing together an impressive senior line-up of government, corporates, researchers, educators and suppliers to discuss vital issues which will see the mining industry work towards Net Zero.
The mining industry provides minerals critically required to make this transition.
PCO ICMS Australasia has been embedded into the organising committee since Brisbane won the bid in 2016, helping to deliver this benchmark event, achieving record global participation, sponsorship and government buy-in.
The high security event is highly complex – security, stakeholder management, 13 concurrent sessions, satellite meetings, a huge exhibition component, and accredited media.
The challenges have been many and varied. At one point more than 500 emails per hour were being received by the ICMSA Secretariat.
But, as ICMSA managing director Emma Bowyer says, “this is what we live for: guiding clients to produce congresses that lead to impactful changes in society. Working collaboratively at such a high level with this client has been a major factor enabling us to deliver this event”.
Mining is a controversial and sensitive sector today, not withstanding its vital role, in delivering essential minerals for the global transition.
As BHP CEO Mike Henry said in the opening plenary this morning this is “a pivotal time for the mining industry”.
He called on Congress delegates to share perspectives, advance understanding and find solutions, echoing the call by made by the congress chair Dr Guo and the chief executive of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) Rohitesh Dhawan who both see this meeting as an opportunity to move the dial on responsibly sourced materials and Net Zero. Outgoing CSIRO chief Larry Marshall said “without change, the mining industry will not be able to sustain the world of tomorrow”.
Although this Congress was the first time held in Australia, given its calibre, it won’t be the last.