Speaker Spotlight: David Laurence26 April 2019
David Laurence’s presentation at SDIMI 2019 is titled: The devolution of the social licence to operate in the Australian mining industry
We recently asked David some questions about his upcoming keynote presentation at SDIMI 2019, and the importance of the conference to the mining industry.
How significant is AusIMM’s SDIMI conference for the mining industry?
The SDIMI conference in Sydney in May will be a very significant event for the mining industry and its associated stakeholders. Unquestionably, the industry’s license to operate across all sectors but particularly the energy sector, is under threat. We now recognise the issue as the industry’s highest risk. It is a global issue as well as an issue in every state and territory in Australia. The metrics are undeniable – record low university enrolments and more mining schools merging or disappearing; approvals to explore and mine are lengthening to the point where investment in the sector diminishes; good news stories about mining in the media are non-existent and so on.
What are you most looking forward to about SDIMI 2019?
I am looking forward to hearing positive case studies and measures industry are adopting to regain its social licence to operate. There are a range of excellent speakers from many countries and I am hoping that the conference provides a platform to put the past behind us and start regaining support of the community and its representatives in government.
Can you provide an insight into what your keynote presentation will cover?
As a former mine manager, practising mining engineer, and senior government representative in Australia and other countries, I will briefly track the history of the industry’s license to operate in Australia and beyond and attempt to identify the how and the why the industry began to lose its license to operate. My presentation will be a wake-up call before it is too late.