ANU at the Mining Games

24 August 2014

A team of six students have competed for the first time ever in the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy’s (AusIMM) Mining Games in Perth, panning for gold, separating minerals and even setting up a makeshift detonator to mimic an underground mine blast.

The four men and two women, led by AusIMM Brindabella student chapter President Elliott Kahn and Vice President Johnno Killen, took part in the Games on 15 and 16 August at the University of Western Australia.

The team competed in 10 events including surveying and rock identification.

“The one that we did best in was the rock identification,” Killen says.

“We ended up being in first place after the first day, but we got knocked out on the second day by some other teams.”

Killen, 43, has decided to change careers from counselling to mining and is now studying geology at the ANU Research School of Earth Sciences (RSES). He says the games were not so much about winning, but more about meeting people in the industry.

“The mining industry in Australia, while everyone sees it as being very big, is actually quite small and you get to know a lot of people very quickly. Because they’re the people we’re going to be working with in the future, it’s almost like a get to know you before you get into the industry. And there’s a lot of networking involved as well," he said.

“I also get a lot out of that team-spirited behaviour, and there was a lot of that at the Games.”

The team received sponsorship from the RSES and Northparkes Mine, which also supplied safety gear.