The Melbourne Mining Club Chairman’s Annual Letter 2018

As 2018 arrives, the Melbourne Mining Club is looking forward to a big year for our members, sponsors and associates. Commodity prices are at multi-year highs, the sharemarket is renewing old friendships with mining companies and exploration is picking up handsomely.
In 2017, your club celebrated the milestone of our 100th bi-monthly luncheon. It was fitting that the event was held at our home, the Melbourne Town Hall, and that the speaker was the chief executive of BHP, the biggest mining company in the world and Melbourne-based. Andrew Mackenzie delivered a passionate address about the industry and the future for mining, a speech which attracted much public attention. The lunch capped a great year and we were delighted to have the Victorian Minister for Resources the Hon. Tim Pallas in attendance, along with our patron, Sir Arvi Parbo, and the leaders of many Melbourne-based mining and mining services companies.

We had a strong roster of speakers in 2017, including many local heroes. Our first speaker was Newcrest MD Sandeep Biswas in February. We then changed tack and learned more about the logistics of bulk mining when the CEO of Aurizon, Andrew Harding, spoke at our April gathering. Our June luncheon was addressed by Arnoud Balhuizen, chief commercial officer of BHP, who shone light on the intricacies of international markets for BHP’s products. Our first overseas speaker was CEO of Chilean copper group, Ivan Arriagada, when he braved the depths of a Melbourne winter at our August lunch. Chilean trade group Pro-Chile set up in the foyer of the town hall to educate our members and guests on the delights of Chile.
We were delighted to host the new chief executive of MMG Limited, Jerry Jiao, at our October event which was one short of our hundred where Andrew Mackenzie spoke in front of 680 members and guests, a speech which was live-streamed over the internet and on SkyTV. Our long-term catering partners at the town hall told us attendances were up 5% in 2017. That’s pretty much a full house.
The MMC travelled to the other home of global mining finance in early July for the annual MMC in London event and we were delighted to host the CEO of South32, Graham Kerr, in a fun night where the miners mingle with the money men from the City of London. Members and guests loved the new format of a fireside chat between Graham and FT editor Lionel Barber. A great night thanks to Lionel, our Event Partner ANZ and our wonderful support sponsors. The MMC London dinner is a highlight of the London finance calendar and we will be back at Lord’s Nursery Pavilion on 28 June this year to do it all again. Stay tuned.
The Cutting Edge series was enjoyable, informative and value-creating this year – a wonderful showcase for companies big and small. Some of our Cutting Edge graduates are doing bigger and better things these days. We have a strong line-up for 2019, so if you want to know what’s really happening among the up and comers, Tuesday afternoons at the Town Hall are well worth the effort. Special thanks to our event sponsors PwC, the Victorian Government and Mincore Engineers. Check out our website for the complete list of Cutting Edge presenters
Your steering committee welcomed four new members: Janenie Mohgan, now a Kirkland Lake geologist and AusIMM member, Daniel Zavattiero replacing David Byers as our MCA rep, Simon Jemison from Rio Tinto and Matt Chambers resources writer with The Australian. Ian Howarth has taken extended leave while on the sailing adventure of his life in 2018. Ian was awarded the first-ever life membership of the MMC in October in recognition of more than a decade of voluntary service to the committee. I’d like to thank our committee and secretariat for the hard work in 2017. A full list of members is available on the website along with our International Advisory Board, who keep us informed on global mining developments.
Our Foundation sponsorships, limited to 25 corporations, was rearranged in late 2017 to welcome three new members: Arete Capital, a Melbourne-based private equity company; Shell Australia and law firm White & Case. A full list of Foundation sponsors is available on our website. We wouldn’t be here without them as well as our Principal Sponsors, Swann Global and AMC Consultants. And I can’t overlook Gekko Systems, sponsors of our students table, one of the MMC’s commitments to mining education. Tertiary education in the resources disciplines is a major issue for the industry in 2018. We will do all we can to support and promote education measures in 2018 and beyond.
I look forward to seeing as many of our members who can squeeze into the Town Hall for our first lunch event on Thursday 8 February, where we have the CEO of Orica Alberto Calderon braving our lectern. I am also looking forward to the IMARC conference in October. This three-day event has got bigger and better every year and this year welcomes the ICMM which is holding the bi-annual board meeting in Marvellous Melbourne to coincide with IMARC
Wishing all our members and sponsors a prosperous 2018.

Richard Morrow
Chairman – Steering Committee
The Melbourne Mining Club