Member of the Month

Member of the Month

Anna Cranney – Social Performance Lead, Blackstone Minerals

Anna Cranney only recently became involved in the mining industry as a way to put her community development and sustainability knowledge to good use.

She started as a high school teacher and spent most of her working life on capacity programs with Government, the International Labour Organisation, not-for-profits, and tertiary education across Timor-Leste, Alice Springs, Melbourne and remote areas of Australia

In Timor-Leste Anna worked in local content for oil and gas projects, looking at supply chain development, community investment and local workforce development programs.

It was the last time she wore her work boots, after visiting an offshore platform in the Timor Sea.

Anna believes her start in other sectors was crucial to gaining ESG-focused work as a social investment lead for Blackstone Minerals because she could show her experience in international development, not-for-profits and oil and gas.

Blackstone Minerals is a nickel producer based in Perth. It plans to expand an existing mine in Vietnam and build a downstream refinery to produce battery grade Nickel Cobalt Manganese (NCM) 811 Precursor for the lithium-ion battery industry. Anna attributed her start in the industry to her year-long effort to network with mining professionals.

“I made last year the ‘Year of Coffee Catchups’ and met close to 30 different people either online or in-person to talk about the mining industry, where they saw ESG fitting within it, and what were good companies to work for,” Anna said.

“I’m really grateful to those people, many of whom are members of the WA Mining Club, that generously gave up their time to share their knowledge with a relative stranger who wasn’t working in mining at the time.

“One of those catchups very fortuitously led me to Blackstone Minerals, where I’ve been privileged to talk about ESG with community leaders, international advocacy organisations, our major and retail shareholders with an ESG focus, and our own team members across the globe.

“I’ve really enjoyed learning more about the emerging expectations of our transparency in business operations, human rights and carbon emissions, and how we build the skills of our suppliers to understand these expectations.”

Anna joined the WA Mining Club soon after starting at Blackstone because of the wide variety of events, speakers, and areas of focus.

The variety of her role is what Anna finds most enjoyable about her job.

“It’s a broad scope, which is part of the appeal to my role; I can influence and make changes across a range of areas,” she said.

Anna doesn’t have a single most memorable boss, instead finding she remembers “those that are ambitious but humble and have a good sense of humour.”

Having started her career in mining during a global pandemic, the most exotic location she has visited is High Bench Espresso in West Perth.

However, she hopes that once travel restrictions are lifted, she will be able to visit their Vietnam team.

If Anna was not involved in mining, she would be a farmer and enjoys hiking, gardening, and eating good food.

Three guests Anna would invite to dinner are Grace Tame, any of her female relatives who travelled from Ireland to Australia by boat in the 1850s, and Al Gore, because she wants to change the perception that “climate change is not the biggest risk – and opportunity – facing us this decade.”