The winners of the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies’ (AMEC) prestigious awards were announced, during a gala dinner at Optus Stadium.

The awards ceremony, which showcased the industry’s commitment to exploration, diversity and inclusion, the environment, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander empowerment, and community within the Australian mineral exploration and mining sector, was attended by almost 500 people from across the sector. 

“It has been another busy year within the industry, which has again resulted in a high calibre of nominations in all categories,” said AMEC Chief Executive Officer, Warren Pearce. 

The winners of the coveted 2022 Prospector Award were Dr Kevin Frost and Mr Morgan Frejabise, for the Chalice Mining Julimar Project. 

“The Julimar project exemplifies what the Prospector Award is all about, recognising the individuals who make the most outstanding mineral deposit discovery,” Mr Pearce said. 

“This impressive discovery has significant near-term growth potential, making it one of Australia’s most exciting Greenfields projects. 

“It’s the largest nickel sulphide discovery in over 20 years and the largest PGE group discovery in Australian history, which is why this exceptional discovery was awarded the Prospector Award for 2022.” 

The AMEC Community Contribution Award highlights the importance of working together through truly collaborative partnerships, recognising those companies that are teaming with the community in emerging and established partnerships to provide enduring benefits. 

This year’s winners were Oz Minerals and Global Maintenance Upper Spencer Gulf (GMUSG) for their competitive capability program, which provided vital business agility support to the Upper Spencer Gulf, especially during the challenges presented by COVID-19. 

“The collaboration between Oz Minerals and GMUSG minimised disruption to pipelines of work for regional businesses during COVID-19, enabling regional communities to actively compete for packages of work whilst providing sustained economic benefits for the area,” Mr Pearce said. 

The AMEC Environment Award was presented to EQ Resources for supporting the transition to a low carbon future and its commitment towards sustainable development of natural resources at their Mt Carbine Tungsten mine. 

“It was clear from their submission that EQ Resources is developing innovative methods to achieve better long-term environmental outcomes,” Mr Pearce said.

The AMEC Media Award has been recognising excellence in journalism covering the Australian mineral exploration and mining industry since 1985. This year’s winner was Matt McKenzie from the WA Business News. 

Matt’s story ‘A combined 2,234 days on the waiting list’, highlighted the challenges lengthy delays in securing development approvals cause the industry. 

Two new awards were added this year; Diversity and Inclusion, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Empowerment which were won by Bellevue Gold for its Diversity Ambassador Program and Fortescue Metals for its Billion Opportunities Program respectively. 

Fortescue recognised for its commitment to Aboriginal business capability

Fortescue was awarded the AMEC Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Empowerment Award in recognition of its industry leading Billion Opportunities program.

Since the program was established in 2011, more than AU$4 billion in contracts and subcontracts have been awarded to over 140 Aboriginal businesses, forming a critical element of Fortescue’s approach to ensuring economic opportunity and growth for the Traditional Custodians of the regions in which it operates.

The program has driven real change in government policy across Australia and was the blueprint for the Commonwealth Government’s Indigenous Procurement Policy.

Key facts

  • In FY22, Fortescue purchased AU$452 million worth of goods and services from Aboriginal businesses. Nearly 90 per cent of this spend was with businesses owned by native title partners and their members
  • Fortescue also awarded or extended 32 contracts to a value of AU$513 million to Aboriginal businesses

Featured Image: Fortescue receiving the AMEC Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Empowerment Award in recognition of its industry leading Billion Opportunities program.

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