February’s WAMC luncheon kicked off the year with an excellent start, reflecting the general energy and excitement permeating the industry currently with one of our highest attendances recorded for the month, upwards of 400.
After being warmly Welcomed to Country by John Maguire, attendees listened to Stuart Mathews provide an update of Gold Fields Australasia’s focus and vision for the future. Stuart outlined how ‘under the radar’ GFA flies in Australia as one of the country’s lowest-cost gold producers on an AIC basis.
He painted a picture of a Company that is committed to heavily investing in exploration and growth with many resources displaying significant upside potential.
Looking forward, he didn’t shy away from the challenges ahead for the company and the industry in general. GFA have set ambitious ESG targets focusing on a wide range of areas including decarbonisation, gender diversity, tailings management, water stewardship and more. Targets they are actively working towards accomplishing with the company already achieving a 13% reduction in carbon emissions across their Australia operations.
On the topic of diversity, Stuart impressed that the industry isn’t doing enough to get buy-in from the incoming generations. We need to look further than university, and get their interest at a high school level.
Her Majesty Queen Nkandu Beltz supported this view, but thinks industry can go one step further stating that there are a lot of resources available to tap into that are currently untapped here in Perth in order to address both diversity and skills shortages. As an example, look at how many companies are operating in Africa, but African professionals and young professionals aren’t being offered a seat at the table.
So as important as it is for our industry to continue to discover and develop and grow mineral resources, we won’t get anywhere if we don’t have a workforce to come in after us. Investing in our people now and investing in the next generation will see our industry continue to grow and prosper.