Michelle Ash, CEO of GEOVIA at Dassault Systèmes, has made significant contributions to the mining sector with a focus on Innovation Strategy, Technology, and Digital Transformation.
Michelle is highly passionate about Mining and Infrastructure and remains focused on delivering sustainable solutions that help these sectors to continue to create and shape the world in which we live, through digital transformation and the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.
As Chair of the Global Mining Guidelines Group – GMG, Michelle has contributed to develop best practices and guidelines for the implementation of technology and socially enabled changes in the mining industry. She is also on the advisory board of several start-ups such as Petra Data Science, OffWorld, Behault, Descartes Labs and MineSpider.
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.
She began her career as a blasting engineer with Rio Tinto and has held several operational roles in various mining companies and across commodities.
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; she also holds a degree in Psychology from Deakin University.
Follow Michelle on Twitter: MichelleAsh18
Kalev Ruberg has been active in the information systems arena for over 40 years. As a BSc and Masters graduate from MIT, his studies included work at the Architecture Machine Lab (now the Media Lab) before carrying out digital simulation research at the National Bureau of Standards (now NIST) in Washington DC, University of California Berkeley Labs, and then at Georgia Tech, as an assistant professor.
In 1982 he joined Canada’s National Research Council in Ottawa, as a Senior Research Scientist where he developed a number of machine learning algorithms in the artificial intelligence field. Joining IBM Global Services, he designed large machine learning and control systems for IBM Manufacturing and clients worldwide.
In 1998, he was appointed the CIO and Deputy Minister to the Finance Minister, at the Government of Manitoba, where he was responsible for the government’s Information Services. Subsequently, he led development at a B2B e-commerce company, and then became a VP at TELUS, where he was responsible for Application Development, Business Development, and development of the IT strategy and offerings for TELUS’ Healthcare vertical.
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Building on his experience at Telus, Kalev became the CIO and Executive General Manager for Information Services at Placer Dome, formerly the largest gold mining enterprise in the world here he led the restructuring of technology services worldwide. Since 2006, he has been Teck Resources as the CIO Vice President, Teck Digital Systems, where he was responsible for the overall digital systems services and projects for this global mining company. Most recently, Kalev was appointed VP Future and Chief Innovation Officer, where he is exploring the future of mining at Teck. In 2020, Kalev was also appointed adjunct Professor at the Keevil School of Mining Engineering at UBC.
Kalev has published more than 30 papers in proceedings and journals. In 2018, he was named to CIM Magazine’s 2018 Names to Know and is Vice Chair of the Global Mining Guidelines organization.
Helius started his professional career in 1987 in a start-up company as a technical lead supporting commercial and implementation of an in-house developed Computer Aided Design software for engineering, mining, utilities and government agencies. At this start-up company he also developed an accounting system which was implemented in several organizations. After graduating as a geologist in 1990 and completing a master degree in geosciences, Helius supported the implementation of a new GIS and Remote Sensing laboratory for COMIG – a public organization that promotes mining activities in the Minas Gerais State in Brazil. In 1994 he joined De Beers and developed database and GIS capabilities to support easy access to data for exploration activities in South America. Later he focused on designing and implementing strategies to manage IT, Information Centre, GIS and Drawing departments. One of the strategies involved the digitalization of historic data and information workflows enabling cost effective decision making processes to support diamond exploration projects. In 2001, Helius moved to De Beers Corporate Headquarters in Johannesburg to manage global programmes in all countries De Beers Group Exploration operated – delivering standardized processes and systems as well as supporting the establishment of a global collaborative culture. During this time, he forged strategic relationships with 3rd party vendors for long term value add to support the solutions implemented. In 2003 he completed his MBA and from 2005 developed strategies, architecture, policies, and implemented solutions to support De Beers Group Exploration decision making process in targeting, project reviews, and balancing supply & demand at laboratories spread in different geographical areas. Helius was certified as a Project Management Professional in 2005 and in early 2007 joined Rio Tinto in London to direct the Rio Tinto Exploration Information System & Technology function and the management of its data and information. He led a team, which delivered secure and fit-for-purpose tools and services to facilitate the acquisition, process and interpretation of exploration results. Helius moved to Singapore in 2015 to take on the responsibility for developing strategies and roadmaps for Rio Tinto Information System & Technology through the translation of Rio Tinto’s business objectives into effective IT solutions and standards. He promoted innovation and application of emerging technologies to support Rio Tinto’s strategic objectives. Helius is now based in Perth and leading digital transformation in the Alcoa mining business. Helius was the chair of the Global Mining Guidelines group for 2 years before handing it over to Michelle Ash in 2018.
Andrew has been involved in the mining innovation arena since the very beginning of his career over 30 years’ ago. Having studied biotechnology and computer science at the University of Queensland, he was drawn to the mining industry as a means of funding his ongoing study. As a young field assistant, he quickly found himself fulfilling the role of “go-to” person for any new technology that needed to be investigated or implemented. If ever he felt that a position within a company wasn’t giving him technology exposure, Andrew discovered that he would engineer himself into those roles. One example is when Michelle Ash became Chief Innovation Officer at Barrick, he made sure that he was on her team delivering on their digital strategy as Senior Director Innovation. Andrew was at the beginning of GMG becoming the first GMG Incoming Chairman, with Tim Skinner as Chairman, to then follow Tim as Chairman, Outgoing Chairman and Working Groups Chair and thoroughly enjoys working with motivated and passionate people to improve the industry through collaboration, guidelines, and innovation. As Senior Director, Innovation/Digital Mining at Barrick, Andrew had the scope of providing technology support for the entire mining process, which includes everything from exploration, feasibility, construction, production, reconciliation, through mine closure. Andrew has currently the Founder and Principal Innovator at Symbiotic Innovations alongside his concurrent role as Executive Chairman of Queensland Robotics, a member of Robotics Australia, striving to build a sustainable robotics industry. Ultimately Andrew is focused to make the world a better place through innovation and appropriate use of technology! Develop deep symbiotic collaboration to stimulate, promote and realize positive outcomes for humanity and the planet earth.
Kelly has over a decade of experience in mining and tech, both as a metallurgist and as a data scientist. She has worked in both production and consulting environments and has an interest in data science and artificial intelligence in the mining industry.
Mark has been active in the mining business for nearly 40 years and is a Professional Engineer in British Columbia, graduating from Camborne School of Mines (UK) in 1981 with an ACSM and BSc (Mining Engineering). In 1983 he completed a MSc (Mining Engineering) at Queens University (Kingston, Canada), before starting working for De Beers at the Kimberley Mines (RSA). Experience included working in block cave and sub-level caving at several mines in the Northern Cape and Deep level gold operations in the Orange Free State. At the Finsch Mine, Mark worked in open pit operations and planning, as well as development of the new underground mine. Finsch was the first exposure to automation as he joined the underground automation team as a Senior Engineer. In 1988, he moved to Premier Mine where he was responsible for a number of projects including the development of an automated draw control and LHD monitoring system as well as working in mine operations.
In 1992, he was appointed Senior Engineer at Highland Valley Copper in British Columbia, with responsibilities for new equipment and technology selection, purchase, and implementation. Technologies included early implementation of GPS machine navigation and GIS systems. Highland Valley was an early adopter of the mine to mill philosophy where Mark was a key part of the integration and optimization process.
In 2001, he moved to the environment group with responsibilities to ensure compliance with regulations and permits and coordinating aspects of the mine’s site closure plans. In this capacity, he expanded the use of GIS to include mine reclamation and the use of remote sensing for monitoring reclamation performance.
In 2008, Mark moved to Teck’s Applied Research and Technology group in Trail, BC, where he developed a mining technology group to identify, develop and promote technologies to support Teck’s business units. These have led to significant returns through continuous improvement, growth, and improved safety. This new role provided the opportunity to implement the mine to mill philosophy across Teck’s base metal mines. Other key technologies have included drill automation, enhanced measure while drilling and vehicle proximity detection.
Mark has published papers in proceedings and journals on the development and implementation of technology across the mining space. He completed his MBA at Simon Fraser University in 2015 with a thesis on Technology and Innovation Strategies. He has been involved with GMG since its inception and is currently Secretary on the Governing Council.
Ricardo, Manager Enterprise Solutions at RPM Global, is an industrial engineer in electronics. He holds an MBA and has over than 25 years of experience in the mining industry in technology innovation, ERP and mining systems implementations and portfolio, program and project management. He is also an entrepreneur and university professor and tutor in innovation.
In his previous role as Mining Technology Innovation Regional Manager for Barrick Gold in South America, he led a functional team of engineers acting as the subject matter expert in mining IT, process plant IT, maintenance IT and data analytics systems. In this role, he was responsible for making a significant contribution to shaping how information technology efficiently serves the operational/mining side of the business.
Laura Mottola is the President and CEO of Flow Partners Inc., a Canadian consulting company with operations in Chile, and Director of Great Lakes Graphite Inc., a company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. She is recognized globally as a leader in Lean Mining®, Mining Automation, Technology and Innovation in the natural resources sector. Laura is a mining engineer with a Masters of Engineering in Mining Automation from McGill University. A seasoned professional and business leader with more than 20 years of global experience in mining, Laura was named one of 100 most inspirational women in mining by Women in Mining UK. Laura is dedicated to Lean Thinking, Methodology, Lean Mining®, Innovation, development integration of concepts from other industries, and multidisciplinary approach strategies. She is a Co-Founder of the Lean Institute Canada and the Founder of the Lean Mining® Institute. She is passionate about creating value, increasing productivity, social, environmental responsibility and teamwork in mining. Laura brings the multidimensional leadership and vision needed to transformation the mining sector and to generate dynamic and diverse opportunities within it. Laura has personally worked with clients such as Yamana Gold, Sherritt International Corp., Goldcorp, KGHM International, Sierra Gorda S.C.M., KMC Mining, Rio Tinto Technology & Innovation, IAMGold, Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold, Alcoa, Syncrude, Suncor, Cambior, Inco, was a council member of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy, and Petroleum and currently is the Leader of the Integrated Operations Working Group for Global Mining Standards and Guidelines Group.
An expert in the application of technologies towards mining solutions, Patrícia Procópio has founded XRLab, which focuses in immersive and virtual experiences. With over 30 years of experience in mining, she is also the founder and president of MP Consulting, a consulting firm specialized in geotechnologies and geoinformation solutions for environmental, mining, engineering and agrobusiness. Prior to leading her own businesses, Patricia spent 17 years with Vale, where she led many innovative projects, including the implementation of their advanced decision making virtual room, the infrastructure for spatial data- GISMineral, Global Geological Database Management System-GDMS, among many others. With a PhD in geology and specialization in Geoprocessing, Procópio’s projects have been recognized internationally, including award winning projects in the: Geospatial World Excellence Awards in Amsterdam (2012), Geospatial Latin American Excellence Award (2011), GIS Award in San Diego (2010 and 2006), MundoGeoconect and DroneShow (2019 and 2014) and Inova Vale (2010). Procopio is also committed to making mining a more inclusive industry, and in 2019 became on of the founders and president of Women in Mining Brasil.
Dr. Mohammad Babaei has worked in a variety of contexts including open pit mines, consultancies, and universities. In his current role at Teck, he guides and supports digital innovations that improve safety, sustainability and productivity. For example, he led projects applying machine learning in mining and maintenance and developing a unique real-time diggability solution. He holds a PhD in Mining Engineering from the University of British Columbia and published several scientific papers and won several awards for his work. In 2017, he was featured CIM Magazine as one of their “Names to Know” feature. In 2018, he received one of the CIM-Bedford Canadian Young Mining Leaders Awards.
Mark O’Brien currently serves as the Manager for Digital Transformation at CITIC Pacific Mining, the world’s largest magnetite iron ore operation, and China’s largest resources sector investment outside of China. His responsibilities cover strategic engagement with the business, leadership of technology solutions delivery, and ownership of the key application and infrastructure platforms at CPM, across both IT and OT. He has an involvement in mining technology that stretches over 30 years. He is a graduate of Curtin University with a degree in Mathematics and Computer Science. Mark is the Chair of the GMG AI in Mining Working Group.
Zoltan (Zoli) Lukacs
Zoli is a Mining Engineer and asset management advisor. In previous positions Zoli was responsible for operational excellence and reliability management at a major copper mine; Director of Reliability, responsible for developing and implementing a maintenance planning and reliability strategy for a mining fleet of over 200 units; and Operations Manager as well as Director of Maintenance Planning and Technology for a major mining contractor. He has held consulting positions as Manager, Mining Services and Managing Consultant, and Global Maintenance Practice at leading mining consulting firms. His experience is based on a strong operational background gained over 25 years at leading mine operations where he’s been involved in mine operations planning, performance and cost analysis, marketing and logistics support, and maintenance management. Throughout his career, a major focus has been operational improvement enabled by systems and technology. He has participated in development of technology strategy and several systems design and implementation projects. Zoli is a strong advocate of knowledge and best practices exchanges through involvement in CIM, SMART and GMG.
Graeme is a professional engineer with over 25 years’ experience in the design, management and delivery of innovative engineering solutions to the mining, oil & gas and defence sectors. Graeme has a strong background in innovation, research & development and commercialising new and emerging technologies with significant Autonomous Mining Systems knowledge having led the development and delivery of Autonomous Mining Systems, both OEM and OEM-agnostic open and inter-operable solutions at Tier 1 global miner both in Australia and USA. Graeme has held various technical and research committee positions and is actively involved in the GMG.
Aidan Giblett is Director Processing at Newmont Corporation. He has over 25 years’ experience in gold & base metals processing in a combination of operational and corporate roles. His current responsibilities include providing technical support to processing operations and development projects on four continents. He graduated from the Western Australian School of Mines in 1994, with an honours degree in Minerals Engineering and Extractive Metallurgy.
Alvaro has an electronics engineering background with over 20 years of experience applying digital technologies to solve industrial problems in multiple industries – Mining, Cement, Oil & Gas, Power Generation, Pulp & Paper sector. Through his career, he has participated in early-adopter innovative digital and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) projects during his tenure in an Oil & Gas operator (ECOPETROL), an industrial systems integrator and technology supplier (Matrikon), automation vendors (Honeywell and Rockwell Automation) and an engineering firm (Hatch). During his tenure at Hatch, he acted as the Global Director for Smart Industries and Systems Integration Practices where he was responsible for the inception of digital offerings such as digital transformation, digital twins for Hatch technologies, asset intelligence, integrated operations, and remote service enablement. His interests’ areas pursuant to enabling smarter operations and helping clients transform their operations by applying innovative thinking, leading edge digital technologies, best practices and standards. He is currently involved with supporting some IIoT and Blockchain start-ups in Canada, and non-profit industry organizations such as GMG and Digital Twin Consortium.
Russell has been involved in the mining automation and technology domain for over 15 years, primarily working on underground mobile equipment automation and supporting technology infrastructure. Roles with Caterpillar and later Rio Tinto have provided experience in mining technology development and implementation, and his current position with the Oyu Tolgoi project has given him the opportunity to help build a world class communications and technology platform supporting a new level of safe and productive mining.
Riaan Van Wyk
Riaan started his professional career in 1992 at the South African Airforce as an electronics engineer. He was tasked with designing electronic systems, telemetry links and power supplies for both land and aircraft-based systems. In 1998 he joined Altech as a system engineer that specialised in radar data processing, flight data distribution and training simulators. He was also involved in engineering for digital satellite decoder systems. In 2002 he joined DetNet as the lead product design engineer for electronic detonators and the enabling control equipment. He was also tasked with research into new technologies to enable future blasting and mining systems. In 2019 he joined Davey Bickford Enaex in France to help guide and scope the companies new blasting systems and innovation research activities.
Kevin Lueschow is a Product Safety and Compliance consultant at Caterpillar ensuring Caterpillar products are Safe and meet the requirements of the markets into which the products are placed.
He has worked for Caterpillar for 32 years and specializes in: High/Low Voltage, Electromagnetic compatibility, Digital Controls, and Electronics.
Kevin earned his Bachelors of Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin – Platteville in 1988
He has Masters in Electrical Engineering and Business Administration both earned from Bradley University in Peoria, IL
Rob Labbé, Director of Information Security at Vancouver based Teck Resources Limited has been working in various roles in information security for the past 20 years. The past 6 years at Teck focused on the security of industrial control systems, ensuring safe production trough Teck’s digital transformation. Prior to his current role at Teck Resources, Rob held progressively senior roles in Microsoft’s internal information security team, and running a successful boutique cyber security consulting company.
In 2017, Rob co-founded the Mining and Metals ISAC, a collaborative community in which threat and incident information is shared in order to improve cyber security of metals and mining companies where he currently serves as chair.
In 2017, he was named to CIM Magazine’s 2017 Names to Know and in 2018 was named as one of the top 20 global security and fire influencers by IFSEC