Speaker Spotlight: Sandra Occhipinti

15 May 2019

As we build up to Iron Ore 2019, we will be interviewing our keynote speakers on some key issues within the Iron Ore industry.

We recently asked Sandra Occhipinti for her views on the industry. Sandra is a structural geologist with over 20 years of experience and is currently the Research Director of CSIRO’s minerals discovery program. Her team is focussed on solving the greatest challenges faced in the mineral industry through innovative science and technology. Through multi-disciplinary, collaborative research and development, CSIRO works to find the best solutions to minerals exploration problems we face today, tomorrow and in future. This includes leveraging CSIRO’s Data61 and deep earth imaging capabilities.

1. In 2017 there was a strong focus on the importance of mineralogy and petrology on iron ore processing characteristics (ie geometallurgy), the rationale being that you need to understand the detailed characteristics of an ore to optimise mining, blending, beneficiation and downstream processing operations. Do these characteristics still hold true in 2019?

Yes, they absolutely hold true. With more efficient and mobile scanning technologies it is possible to understand ore deportment from the mine face, through into processing and shipping.

2. How important is flexibility when responding to today’s market conditions (Feijao collapse vs slowing Chinese economy)

My expertise is in the exploration space, so I’m not sure I can comment on this except to say that long-term strategic planning with inbuilt agility is required in any industry to ensure demand is met, without oversupply.

3. What message would you like to provide to the delegates – what do you hope will be the main message they will take away from your keynote presentation?

That understanding the whole of value chain (from exploration, to mining, processing and remediation) will ensure greater ore body knowledge, efficient and effective mining, lower the risk of negative environmental or economic impacts.

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