Michelle Ash’s last role was as Chief Innovation Officer at Barrick. In her role, Ash 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. Ash joined Barrick in January 2016 and brought with her more than 20 years of experience in the mining and manufacturing sectors with a focus on business improvement and change management. Ash was named to the 2016 list of “100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining” by Women in Mining UK.
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.
Kalev Ruberg has been active in the information systems arena for more than 40 years. As a BSc and Masters graduate from MIT, he studied at the Architecture Machine Lab (now the Media Lab). He continued his digital simulation research; first at the National Bureau of Standards (now NIST) in Washington DC and University of California Berkeley Labs, 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 for 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 as a VP at TELUS, he was responsible for Application Development and Business Development and for developing the IT strategy and offerings for TELUS’ Healthcare vertical. As the CIO and Executive General Manager for Information Services at Placer Dome, formerly the largest gold mining enterprise in the world, he led the restructuring of technology services worldwide. Since 2006, he has been the CIO at Teck Resources, and most recently, he was also appointed Vice President, Teck Digital Systems, where he is responsible for the overall digital systems services and projects for this global mining company. Kalev has published more than 30 papers in proceedings and journals. In 2018, he was named to CIM Magazine’s 2018 Names to Know.
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. The latest 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. Since 2012 Andrew has been GMG Incoming Chairman, 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. In addition, Andrew represented Barrick on the OSI Soft Client Advisory Board, collaborating with representatives from other OSI Soft customers from other industries, which he thoroughly enjoyed. Andrew has recently taken up the position of Principal Innovator at Symbiotic Innovations alongside his concurrent role as CORE Skills Facilitator. He is enthusiastic about further supporting the resource sector’s successful digital transformation.
Tim is President of his own consulting practice, SMART Systems Group. He has over 35 years of experience in mining and minerals processing with Cominco, Elk Valley Coal, its predecessor Fording Coal, NYCO Minerals, and his consulting business. The majority of his experience is in surface mining and mineral processing developing, implementing, and operating digital technology, information and operational systems and integration, and real time control and advanced automation systems. In early 2007, Tim retired from his senior position as General Manager, Information Systems for Elk Valley Coal. He had been the senior management leader for Elk Valley Coal and its predecessor Fording Coal for about 20 years, responsible for all corporate system management functions from geological exploration to the consolidated corporate financial statement. Tim has been active in ISO (International Standards Organization) as the Chair of Canada’s ISO TC82 Mining Mirror Committee, currently International Chair of TC82 SC8 (Subcommittee 8) for Advanced Automated Mining Systems, and as a Canadian expert in the development of several ISO mining automation standards.
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.
Graeme is a professional engineer with over 25 years’ experience in the design, management and execution 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 from early stage development through to full deployment and optimisation. Graeme’s passion is in the development of autonomous mining systems for both OEM and non-OEM (vendor independent) autonomous solutions and is a strong advocate of open and interoperable systems. Graeme has held various autonomous development roles within BHP and represented BHP in various mining forums related to autonomous mining systems and equipment interoperability and is actively involved in GMG.
Zoltan (Zoli) Lukacs
Zoli is a Mining Engineer, currently Senior Advisor, Asset Management Strategy at JDS Mining and Energy. 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.
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.
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.
Aidan Giblett is Senior Technical Advisor – Mineral Processing at Newmont Mining Corporation. He has 25 years’ experience in gold & base metals mineral processing and extractive metallurgy in a combination of operational and corporate roles. His current responsibilities include providing technical support to operations and project development on four continents. He graduated from the Western Australian School of Mines in 1994, with an honours degree in Minerals Engineering and Extractive Metallurgy. Aidan is also chair of the AusIMM Metallurgical Society.
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.
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. Currently he is tasked with research into new technologies to enable future blasting and mining systems.
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.