Interview with Patrick Walta, Executive Director, Carbine Resources and Winner of the Austmine Innovation Award for Miners
Carbine Resources were the winner of the inaugural Austmine Innovation Award for Miners in 2015. Executive Director, Patrick Walta, accepted the award on Carbine's behalf and we caught up with Patrick to get some insights into how Carbine Resources embraces innovation and what made their award submission stand out this year.
Congratulations on winning the inaugural 2015 Austmine Innovation Award for Miners! What do you think made your submission win over the others received?
The work being undertaken at Mount Morgan is innovative in every sense of the word. The project has remained dormant for nearly 25 years due to previous owners tending to focus on conventional process flowsheets, but taking advantage of higher metals prices. Unfortunately for them this has not provided an economic solution to restart operations at the historic mine site. Carbine’s use of an innovative flowsheet to process gold, copper and pyrite has not only provided a pathway to economic extraction, it has also allowed for the progressive environmental remediation of the site. It is therefore a win-win for all stakeholders, which is not often available in the mining industry.
How important has innovation been so far in your work on the Mount Morgan Copper and Gold Project?
Innovation has been critical to the success of our development process at Mount Morgan. Simply using conventional technology has been shown produce a unsatisfactory economic returns, therefore without innovation the project could not be developed into an operating mine.
What would your advice be to any miners looking to apply for the award in 2017?
I would encourage all mining companies who are thinking outside the square and seeking to challenge industry norms to apply for the award. Given the relatively conservative nature of the mining industry, it is important that innovation is lauded as much as possible. The Austmine Innovation Award for Miners provides a fantastic opportunity to do this.
If you'd be interested in hearing more about the Mount Morgan Copper and Gold project and how Carbine are using ion exchange technology to turn it around commercially, join us in Perth next month on the 23 July to hear from Patrick!