The Melbourne Mining Club Chairman's Annual Letter
Welcome to 2017 and what promises to be a big year for the Melbourne Mining Club.
Thank you to all our members, guests, sponsors and supporters for your involvement in our 2016 program, which was full of infectious enthusiasm. Perhaps we could sense the coming improvement in the resource space as China fires up its infrastructure spending and long-depressed metal prices started to rise.
With the strong support of our Principal Sponsors in Swann Global and AMC Consultants, our year started well with David Harquail, CEO of international gold royalty company Franco-Nevada, prompting members and guests to think about innovative financing of gold projects. Franco-Nevada has made an art form of royalties and metals streaming deals, and David certainly had a few CFOs taking notes during his wide-ranging presentation.
BHP Billiton’s Mike Henry captured centre stage at our April event which was well timed as Mike had just been appointed head of the restructured BHP Australia assets. South32 CEO Graham Kerr then celebrated the company’s first anniversary as a listed entity with a well-received keynote speech at our June lunch at the Melbourne Town Hall.
Shell Australia Chairman, Andrew Smith, energised our August gathering with a forceful speech urging more attention to reliable sources of energy for Australia. His comments were well remembered when the lights went out in South Australia later in the year.
The Club welcomed Evolution Mining’s Executive Chairman Jake Klein to the stage in October, the second time that Jake has spoken at the town hall (the first time being in 2009 while CEO of Sino Gold). We love having former speakers return to the Club and Jake has been a great supporter over the years. We are also delighted that so many former MMC speakers attended our London dinner in 2016 (see below) and our Australian events in 2016, and we look forward to seeing more of them in 2017.
Perhaps the highlight of the 2016 lunches was our Christmas special where the interest was so high that we moved the event to Etihad Stadium to hear Rio Tinto’s CEO Jean-Sébastien Jacques make his first public address in Australia. It was an honour to host J-S and a great way to end the year as nearly 700 members and guests trooped down to the sporting stadium for a once-off event.
The Melbourne Mining Club dinner in London in 2016 was a huge success, again at the Lord’s Cricket Ground – our 10th year in the Old Dart. Our speaker, retiring MMG CEO and long-time MMC supporter, was Andrew Michelmore. Andrew has had a decorated career heading up large resource companies, and we were delighted to hear from him not only for his insight into our major trading partner China, but also in his capacity as Chairman of our industry’s global representative body, the ICMM.
Our Cutting Edge events for small- and mid-caps drew large audiences in 2016 as investors, service companies and mining executives supported this venture which showcases innovation in the resources sector. There were five C/E events in 2016, with 15 speakers and great support from our sponsors in the Victorian Government’s Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources as well as our good friends at PwC Australia, headed by partner John O’Donoghue. These events are growing in popularity, and our networking sessions are very worthwhile for those wanting to meet the Victorian exploration and early development players.
We kick off the 2017 program with a home-town presenter, Newcrest’s CEO Sandeep Biswas. Gold was certainly one of the key stories in 2016 and we are eagerly awaiting the first MMC presentation by Sandeep. We are back at the Melbourne Town hall for Thursday 9 February, and we are looking forward to seeing you all there.
We have an A-Grade list of speakers for the year ahead and some interesting ideas for the Cutting Edge. The MMC in London dinner is on again for the 11th year, targeted for late June, at Lord’s.
Thanks to our Foundation Sponsors in 2016 and to Gekko Systems for support through the Future of Mining Student Sponsor, helping to mentor the future leaders of our great industry.
Once again, thanks to our hardworking Steering Committee of volunteers: Gavan Collery from ResourceComms, Tim Duncan from Hintons, Ian Howarth from Collins Street Media, Barry FitzGerald, Sam Stevens from Orica, Sam Street from Morgans Stockbroking, Richard Schodde from Minex Consulting, David Byers representing the Minerals Council of Australia and our hardworking Secretariat led by Jenny Neales. Our International Advisory Board was a great initiative in 2016. The MMC is well represented in the global financial capitals which are so important for the resource industry. Thank you to our team of Robert Kennedy in New York, Phil Beard in London and Rowan Callick in Beijing.
And all these achievements under the watchful gaze of our patron, Sir Arvi Parbo AC, pictured with J-S Jacques at our November lunch event at Etihad Stadium.
Wishing you all a safe and prosperous New Year.
Chairman, Melbourne Mining Club