Western Australian of the Year and Eisenhower Fellow David ‘Flano’ Flanagan
Western Australian of the Year and Eisenhower Fellow David 'Flano' Flanagan.

Western Australian of the Year and Eisenhower Fellow David ‘Flano’ Flanagan

Guests at the WA Mining Club’s March luncheon at Optus Stadium’s River Room were treated to a vintage performance from the inimitable Western Australian of the Year and Eisenhower Fellow David ‘Flano’ Flanagan.

Kicking off by reminding us that the rock stars of the resources industry are indeed the rocks, Flano took us on a tour de force across politics, personal accolades and experiences, corporate squeeze shenanigans and good old common sense when it comes to extricating oneself from sticky situations.

We heard about Kevin Rudd’s arrogance and indifference towards the resources industry during the MRRT debate “he’s the only one in a room that cares about everyday Australians” (in a room full of mining execs).

We heard about some of the corporate squeeze tactics applied back in the day to the iron ore version of Pilbara Minerals.

We learnt some useful tips about extricating oneself from tricky situations in foreign countries, particularly where the locals have form for beheading geologists (mining engineers would no doubt be spared this fate owing to their comparative usefulness).

We learnt that the Simandou iron ore deposits of Guinea have the scale that could cause significant competition for our Pilbara region and that the lessons learnt from Indonesian nickel of late are a prescient and reminder warning about taking any perceived market advantage for granted. Flano’s advice was that we need to encourage as much Australian ownership of Guinean iron ore deposits as possible (per his example at Arrow Minerals) and maximise the diminishing advantage we hold in the mining technology space. Certainly not a time for complacency and believing that the engine room of Australians economy has an assured long-term future without the right public and government support.

We learnt about Australia’s important role in space exploration via the Arose project, which Flano is helping to steer, again reiterating the importance of innovation and its application to the resources industry.

We learnt that if someone ever makes a casual approach to you to become a chancellor of a university, intimating that it’s a cushy number, maybe think again …… soon into Flano’s tenure at Murdoch Chancellor it was a great ‘learning experience’ to be forcibly drawn into a code of conduct investigation via ASIC.

We learnt that we should all buy Arrow Minerals shares, because ‘even if they have some crumbs around the main Simandou deposits, it’ll generate significant value uplift for shareholders’. It will also help to lift the local population out of poverty, hence they are very supportive of his projects.

One could go on, but you get the gist. If you were there you heard it all firsthand.

So, the message is that rather than read these event reviews after the fact or hear about it from excited others, be there in person to network and have a great lunch with a great bunch!

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