Progressing the WMC 2023 Programming

Reviews of over 1,000+ submitted abstracts are nearing completion and notification letters will be sent to the presenting authors of the accepted oral abstracts and poster presenters over the coming weeks. We anticipate that all presenting authors will have received their notifications by mid-July 2022. The instructions for the submission of full paper manuscripts are available and although manuscripts are not due until late September 2022, this allows authors plenty of time to finalise. Special registration rates for the accepted presenting authors are available until 1 September 2022.

The Preliminary Program will now be available in the coming weeks.

An Invitation

Inaugurated in 1958, the World Mining Congress (WMC) is the leading international forum for the global mining and resources sectors. For the past 60 years WMC has been held triennially across the world. It presents a unique opportunity for international representatives of the world’s leading resource economies to meet, find new partners, discuss challenges, and share research, technologies, and best practice.

Mining and resources have been a tremendous source of wealth and advancement, but with that comes tremendous responsibility.

At the core of everything we do must be our most precious resources – our people and our environment – and the sustainable and responsible practices that both preserve natural ecosystems and contribute to society.

There is potential for enormous future societal benefit for communities around the world, but to achieve this, we must bring the sector together under shared values of People, Environment and Production.

The 26th WMC will be held in Brisbane, Australia, 26 – 29 June 2023, hosted by Australia’s national science agency, the CSIRO, and supported by government, industry, and academia.

This Congress will focus on Resourcing Tomorrow: Creating Value for Society. It will examine the world’s future economic and social dependence on resources, considering issues like environmental sustainability, climate change, digital transformation, disruptive technologies, and our future workforce.

The Congress represents an exceptional opportunity for all organisations seeking engagement with the resources sector. Mining companies, investors, researchers, educators, regulators, suppliers, and operators from around the world will gather in Brisbane to benefit from insights and grow relationships.

We look forward to welcoming you to Australia and your participation in this premier international mining and resources event.

Dr Larry Marshall
Chief Executive
CSIRO

Dr Hua Guo
Chair
26th World Mining Congress

Professor Marek Cała
Chairman of International
Organising Committee of World Mining Congress

Confirmed Plenary Speakers

Tania Constable

Tania Constable

Chief Executive Officer

Minerals Council of Australia

Cathy Foley AO PSM

Cathy Foley AO PSM

Australia’s Chief Scientist

Australian Government

Tim Gould

Tim Gould

Chief Energy Economist

International Energy Agency

Mike Henry

Mike Henry

Chief Executive Officer and Director

BHP

Li Xiaohong

Li Xiaohong

President

Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE)

Tom Palmer

Tom Palmer

President and Chief Executive Officer

Newmont Corporation

Jakob Stausholm

Jakob Stausholm

Chief Executive

Rio Tinto

Deborah Terry AO

Deborah Terry AO

Vice-Chancellor and President

The University of Queensland

Duncan Wanblad

Duncan Wanblad

Chief Executive

Anglo American plc

HOSTED BY

SUPPORTED BY

Congress Host

Australia’s internationally renowned national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is the proud host of the 26th World Mining Congress (WMC 2023).

With 5,500 talented people working at over 50 sites across Australia and internationally, CSIRO is one of the largest and most diverse research organisations in the world.

Congress Host Information

Key Dates

Abstract submission closes Closed
Author notification and request for full paper between 30 June - Mid-July 2022
Preliminary program launch Mid-July 2022
Early bird registration opens Open
Speaker registration closes 1 September 2022
Paper submission closes 30 September 2022
Final program launch 11 November 2022
Author notification paper approval 15 March 2023
Early bird registration closes 26 March 2023
World Mining Congress 26-29 June 2023

Register Interest

Register Here

About WMC 2023

Congress Streams

Sessions and paper types

  1. Rapid Resources modelling: In-use application papers, Research papers
  2. Tracking ore from blast hole to market: In-use application papers, Research papers
  3. Diagnostics, classification, prediction, scheduling and optimisation for anything used in mining: In-use application papers, Research papers
  4. Infrastructure for AI: digital upskilling and hardware/software, data and communications platforms to support AI and IOT: In-use application papers, Research papers
  5. Autonomy and AI – trust, ethics and replicability: Position papers, Research papers.
  6. The future of mining: In-use application papers, Research papers

Paper types

  • In-use applications papers - 2-page papers focussed on industry applications and trials in progress and in use.
  • Resources papers - 2-page papers to promote efficient and open sharing of data, workflows, algorithms, applications etc.
  • Research papers – traditional full-length academic papers to cover topics in more detail.

Autonomous systems are being adopted by the mining industry; the rate of adoption has increased since the first industrial introduction of Autonomous Haulage systems in Australia circa 2008 and now spans drill and blast through to processing and beneficiation.

Surface and underground operations are looking towards the introduction of Autonomous Systems to improve productivity and deliver superior outcomes in terms of Health Safety and the Environment. Advances in processing automation and increasing yields and driving new levels of sustainability in the sector.

In recognition of the above, this stream will consider three important drivers that are required, in combination, to deliver the operational benefits that Autonomous Systems can bring to Global Mining Operations.

  1. Technical Enablers,
  2. Organizational/Human Factors
  3. Change Management

We will explore these elements against using broad time frames;

  • Timeframe 1 – What mining and processing autonomy does look like in 2023 in terms of capabilities and limitations of existing technologies and use cases.
  • Timeframe 2 – What mining and processing autonomy could look like in 2033
  • Timeframe 3 – What mining and processing autonomy should look like in the more distant future

We will map the migration of Autonomous Systems from the wider commercial and industrial landscape into at-scale Mining enabling, for example, either motive/vehicular (e.g. trucks, trains. loaders, ancillary equipment etc) or advanced AI enabled decision making systems (e.g. process control, human safety tracking etc)

We acknowledge that Autonomous (Mining) Systems embed, at industrial-scale, elements of Artificial Intelligence - defined as a collection of interrelated technologies used to solve problems and perform tasks that, when humans do them, requires thinking. Generally we recognise this will encompass a subset of the following elements,

  • Machine learning
  • Speech
  • Vision
  • Language Processing
  • Expert Systems
  • Planning and Optimisation

We wish to explore what steps the ecosystem should take to build a pathway to enable platform component interoperability which will promote the more extensive exploitation of this exciting technology across the Mining industry.

We also wish to explore the important role of the regulator in assessing and approving use of Autonomy in the mining industry. This is required to enable the at-scale implementation of a functionally safe autonomous technology supported workplace. This exploration will cover the need for the mine owners, equipment manufacturers and regulators to coordinate activities to achieve this outcome.

The Autonomous Systems stream will bring together the perspectives of mining companies, equipment manufacturers, technology providers and researchers.

Importantly, this workstream will look beyond pure technology to explore and understand human factors, organizational and change management elements that must be addressed to maximise the value that Autonomous Systems offers. We note that these drivers are essentially Trust Based, we intend to explore, at a more fundamental level, how they can be engineered into the operating landscape.

Global energy transitions will require very substantial increases in supply of many critical materials. For example, annual demand for battery materials - lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese, vanadium, graphite - is expected to increase by over 450% by 2050.  Rare earth minerals are vital for the manufacture of electronic goods and, whilst not rare, are distributed unevenly around the world.  The Congress will discuss advancements in exploration, extraction, processing, refining and recycling of these critical and strategic materials and explore the global market, environmental and social implications of their production and use. Discussion will range into the opportunities for international collaboration in equipment, technologies and supply chains to deliver the global energy and technology transitions at affordable prices with minimum delays. Topics discussed will include:

  • Global outlook of critical materials demand and supply especially contributing to the global decarbonisation, energy and digital transitions.
  • Technological advancements in exploration, extraction, processing including tailings, refining and recycling to deliver critical raw materials to global markets.
  • Mining equipment, technology and services (METS) innovation in the extraction, processing, refining and recycling of critical materials
  • Impediments and solutions for companies investing, developing and operating mines and the downstream processing of critical materials in all countries including Australia
  • Opportunities and impediments for international technological collaboration in critical minerals extraction, downstream processing, supply chain development and environmental performance.
  • Capital Raising and Investment in Critical Minerals

Arguably the world’s most critical pollution problem is the emission of greenhouse gases that are raising global temperatures to dangerous levels. International pressures to reduce the use of fossil fuels will have a transformative effect on our industry. Our industry has the opportunity to take a lead role in addressing this problem and the Congress will examine the steps that companies are making in this area and explore how, acting together, we might do more. By, for example:

  • Decarbonisation opportunities across the mining value chain.
  • Challenges in commercialising new technologies for the replacement of diesel, including electrification of mining fleets.
  • Use of hydrogen to decarbonise metals processing including steelmaking. Role of hydrogen in fleet applications.
  • Wide deployment of renewable energy systems for off grid applications.
  • Commercialising carbon capture and storage technologies by increasing scale and lowering costs to support decarbonisation across the mining value chain.

Mines are situated in space and impact the surrounding environmental and social ecosystems. At a site scale, environmental management is an increasingly important aspect of site operations encompassing waste and water management, emissions reduction, biodiversity restoration, rehabilitation and closure. At a regional scale, the accumulation of mining activity can affect regional water systems, landscapes and mining legacies. At a global level, environmental performance is becoming increasingly salient for investors looking to finance projects delivering against the United nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The topics to be covered in this stream include:

  • The trends and drivers of environmental management and sustainability practice (including climate change, renewable energy technology, changing methods, complex ore bodies, public expectations and awareness, digital transformation, supply/demand and resource pressures)
  • Operational strategies for delivering safe, stable and non-polluting landforms and ecosystems throughout the mine lifecycle (including alternative tailings and waste management strategies, water management, the reduction of dust and airborne emissions, ecosystem restoration, and monitoring of ecosystem function).
  • Evolutions in environmental regulation and policy.
  • Towards the zero waste mine: Strategies for applying circular economy principles in mining to reduce and recycle mine wastes
  • Managing environmental legacies (including environmental risk assessment, cumulative impacts, forecasting, data analytics, abandoned mines,)
  • Integrated mine closure leading practice
  • Mining Laws and Regulations

As a Congress highlight, the two streams of Environmental Sustainability and Social Performance & Governance will, in conjunction and the Cooperative Research Centre for Transformations in Mining Economies (CRC TiME), hold a Special Symposium on Mine Closure and Post-Mining Transitions.

The different Congress streams highlight new technologies that will change our industry in dramatic ways in the coming years and decades. What implications does this have for the future workforce? What skills will these people need? How will we attract the people with the relevant skills? How will university courses need to change? How can we make our workforce more inclusive? These topics will be explored. Stream topics will include:

Future education challenges for mining industry professionals

  • Future curriculum needs and structure
  • Educating for change (industry 4.0 and beyond; sustainable practices etc)
  • New paradigms for collaborative teaching models
  • What are the roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders in education (academics/providers, students, industry, government, others)?
  • Ongoing sustainability of education providers
  • Knowledge management /knowledge retention and workforce demographics

Future workforce skills

  • What are the skills needs to meet future technologies?
  • Do current training models meet the future needs?
  • Alternative skills development pathways
  • How do we prepare a workforce for the changing technologies ahead, including upskilling, multi-skilling?
  • Access to multi-disciplinary skills, knowledge and innovative thinking from outside the industry

Future ways of working

  • The nature of a future workforce – organisational structures and work-models; the role of contractors and other external workforce providers in the future, versus employees
  • New ways of being a mining professional (remote access, digital communication and managing modern expectations about work/life balance)
  • Leadership in a changing world
  • Building an inclusive, diverse and respectful work environment
  • Attraction and retention - How should we deal with mining’s image in the broader community and the impact that has on attracting and retaining an inclusive workforce

Through this Stream we are also seeking to engage with and attract as many students and early career workers from around the world as possible to physically attend the Congress or, where this is not possible, to engage with the Congress through a Student Challenge team contest - see below.

The Congress will highlight and discuss new data acquisition techniques and geoscience knowledge to support mineral exploration. Key focus areas include exploration under deep cover, attracting exploration to frontier or greenfield regions, data collection and synthesis to unravel the fingerprints of ore-forming systems, characterisation to inform exploration, ore body knowledge, and modelling supported with artificial intelligence. The Congress will also examine the latest advancement and application of geophysics, structural geology, engineering geology for reliable mine characterisation for geological, geotechnical and geohydrological conditions. Specifically, the stream will discuss:

  • Future requirements for minerals based on a low-carbon society are uncertain, hence the ability to efficiently explore for, and understand the economics of, a range of elements and minerals is critical when striving to resource for tomorrow. Exploration theory and methodology must be responsive. This session will highlight the rapid, dynamic, and adaptable but predictive geoscience and techniques that are required.
  • Geoscience in the mine-of-the-future.
  • Translating detailed ore body knowledge into rapid real time decision support for 21st century resources.
  • Integrating geoscience data into 3D and 4D models of physical and geochemical characteristics of a mine.
  • Predictive geoscience for exploration, evaluation, and mining - from footprint to fingerprint
  • New techniques and approaches to exploration and mining to maximize value and mitigate risk (new geophysical and geochemical tools, new drilling technologies, and down hole tools for real time data acquisition).

This stream will examine both seemingly intractable longstanding safety and health challenges and new issues that have arisen as mining technology and mining workplaces have evolved. It will aim to provide a fresh lens through which to view health and safety improvement. Key topics to be covered include: recent developments in risk management, critical controls, and control effectiveness, creating a psychologically well workplace, leadership and safe behaviours, using automation, artificial intelligence, and digitalisation to enhance safety, enhanced use of data including leading indicators, dust and airborne emissions, the connection between operational and safety improvements, and the journey map from inadequate, to excellent, safety and health performance. Specifically:

Health and Wellbeing

  • Improving the Health and Wellbeing of our Workforces – including through new approaches to dust and particulate management, creating a psychologically well workplace, occupational hygiene, dealing with whole body vibration, fatigue management, and living and working with Covid 19.

AI and Automation

  • Using artificial intelligence, digitalisation, and automation to improve safety.

Data Driven Improvement

  • Enhanced collection, and utilisation, of safety and health data – including through improvements in incident investigation, sharing of lessons learnt, data analytics, and the development and implementation of leading indicators.

Leadership and Culture

  • Excellence in safety leadership, developing high performing teams, workforce engagement, and establishing and maintaining a highly reliable, safety and health focused, culture.

Risk Management and Controls

  • Excellence in risk management, and implementation of critical controls.

Technological Advances

  • Technical and operational developments with significant implications for improved safety and health.

This stream will highlight novel mine design solutions and engineering value enhancements in current and proposed mines. It will also feature developments to transform mining methodologies and operational practices with rapidly changing trends towards automation, waste minimisation, low-carbon operating environments, and mining of increasingly complex orebodies. Specifically, topics to be covered will include:

  • Rock fragmentation optimisation
  • Rock mechanics/ground control
  • Mine planning and scheduling
  • Deep, large scale underground mining
  • Cave mining technologies and practices
  • Pit slope stability and control
  • Mine ventilation design
  • Reserve estimation (overlap with Geoscience and Discovery)

These topics will be brought together and illustrated by case studies showing how new mining technologies and operational practices can lead to extraordinary productivity and economic improvements, along with positive safety, environmental and social outcomes.

This stream will explore emerging and longer-term mining opportunities including space resources, ultradeep operations, undersea exploration and rediscovery. It will also provide the forum for visionary thinking to imagine what our industry might look like in the future - thinking forward to the next 10, 20 and 50 years from now. It will offer opportunities to explore how science, technology and innovation will offer new pathways, accelerate convergence of sectors, and facilitate safer and more sustainable resource utilisation.  The stream will also bring together key stakeholders from the space and mining industry to put forward interests, shared challenges and capabilities to support greater levels of science and industrial collaboration. Specifically:

Off-Earth Mining

  • Space science exploration, prospecting, exploration, foundation services, extraction, remote operations, and resource production.
  • Exploring how the space and terrestrial mining industries can collectively benefit from technology transfer and processes.
  • Establishing lunar and Martian economies, enablers and customers.

Pioneering Mining Concepts

  • Novel and visionary resource and recovery concepts, methods and technologies. Demonstrator processes and systems. Exploration of new techniques that shift from bulk resource extraction to greater levels of specificity through selective mining advances.

Rediscovery

  • Identification and rehabilitation of underexploited and stranded mineral materials. Understanding future resource stewardship and long-term sustainability, drivers and opportunities. Redefining assets and parallel processing of resources, including modular processing that can extract the full value of primary and adjacent hosted minerals.

Future mining

  • What will the resource sector look like in 25, 50 or 100 years from now? Exploring how science, technology and innovation will offer new pathways, foster convergence of sectors, facilitate safe and sustainable resource utilisation, and lead to closed loop mining ecosystems.

Deep Sea Exploration

  • Science exploration, sensing technologies, remote and autonomous rovers, sustainable resource recovery processes and practices, technology transfer to adjacent mining sectors. Developing coherent responses to ethics and jurisdiction issues.

Industry faces the challenges not only of complex mineralogy but declining ore grades, access to suitable process water, increasing energy costs and handling of tailings. The Congress will examine process optimization to address these problems by reviewing the latest developments in geometallurgy and ore sorting, including the front-end rejection of gangue and, where feasible, in-situ mining and recovery. Big data utilisation and development of novel processing routes for increasingly complex low-grade ores will be a focus. Specifically we will examine:

Mineral Processing

  • Industry challenges
  • Processing difficult-to-treat low grade ores
  • Novel and improved separation technologies, including comminution, flotation, physical separation and hydrometallurgy
  • Geometallurgy
  • Ore sorting
  • Solid-liquid separation
  • Tailings handling, safety and disposal
  • Trends in dry processing
  • Big data utilisation
  • In-situ processing

Mineral Processing/Smelt/Refine Interface

  • Trends in the interface, in particular forces driving change in where impurities are removed
  • Optimum combination of mineral processing, smelt/refine and hydrometallurgical processing
  • Dealing with difficult impurities, eg, arsenic in large copper deposits

Refining

  • Driving forces and developments in production of iron and steel and other metals
  • Impurity management and removal
  • Driving forces and developments in renewable energy and new battery materials
  • Minimising greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint
  • Green smelting technologies

Recycling

  • Tailings and waste reprocessing
  • Developments in scrap processing and recycling, including e-waste
  • Trends in the use of by-products from mining operations.

This stream will address big questions such as: how to ensure that mining around the globe is conducted in ways that respect human rights, promote social inclusion and contribute positively to local communities and the wider society; how to maximise mining's contribution to social and economic development at the local, regional and national levels; how to engage appropriately with local communities and Indigenous people; how to lessen the impacts of mine closures on communities and regions and enable positive post-mining futures; and, how to ensure that global supplies of critical and strategic minerals are responsibly developed and sourced. These issues will be examined through the mining lifecycle, including - approval, construction, operation expansion, closure and relinquishment - taking an interdisciplinary perspective and exploring international frameworks such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Topics will include:

Mining, Human Rights and Social Inclusion

  • Impacts of mining on the rights of Indigenous peoples, local communities and employees
  • Initiatives for improving human rights due diligence in the mining sector
  • Participation of women and diversity in the mining sector.

Mining and Development

  • Mining's impact on economic and social development at the local, regional and national levels: what works, what doesn’t, and under what circumstances.
  • Emerging models of development and the implications for corporate and governmental practice.

Community and Stakeholder Engagement

  • The changing landscape of stakeholder engagement; the do’s and don’ts of effective engagement
  • Conflict management and resolution strategies
  • Indigenous peoples and the requirement for FPIC.

Mine Closure and Post-Mining Transitions

Responsible Sourcing and Development of Critical minerals - joint session with Critical Minerals Stream

  • Social and environmental risks associated with meeting the rising demand for new economy minerals
  • Commodity tracing and certification initiatives.

Communities, Workforces and Technological Transformations in Mining

  • Social risks, impacts and benefits of new and emerging mining technologies
  • Societal attitudes toward new technologies.
About the Program
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands and waters throughout Australia, and pay respect to the Elders past, present and emerging. We recognise the importance of connection to culture, land, kinship and community to the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander families. We acknowledge the cultural practices and traditions still carried out today and being passed down to future generations.