Sydney Mining Club Roots
The first Sydney Mining Club forum was held in March 1997. The speaker was Peter Robinson who talked about the recent takeovers of Pancon and Cudgeon by his company Renison Consolidated Goldfields. Sounds like ancient history doesn’t it! Attending this inaugural event were 50 people. In February 2004 when we hosted Robert Friedland for our 72nd forum we (regretfully) turned away more than twice that number from a packed venue.
The initial impetus for the formation of the Sydney club was discontent in the mining community with many aspects of the professional institutes and most of all with their ability to bring people together. Our activism led to the first changes to the constitution of the largest Institute in more than a century. But we were keen not to be seen purely as critics. So we started the Sydney Mining Club to fill at least one of the holes that we had been pointing to.
In our modest beginnings we didn’t quite realize the strength of some underlying principles. These are:
- Be inclusive – come to one Mining Club forum and you are ‘a member’ for life. In practice it means you are permanently added to our email list and are not required to pay any membership fee or perform any formality.
- Include the media as our guests.
- Avoid droning and technical presenters. Prepare speakers to take a lively ‘current affairs’ outlook to their story and to give something of a beachhead presentation about their company growth, their passions, rocks, riches and the big picture behind their work.
- Limit the formalities and introductions. Present with a tight lunchtime slot that gets you back to the office soon after 2.00 pm.
- Remind the members that they own the club and try to reflect their sentiments in the Club’s running.
We’ve helped our friends at the Melbourne Mining Club and Brisbane Mining Club to adapt this platform to suit the moulds of those great mining centres.
The Sydney Mining Club meets every month except January on the first Thursday. The Melbourne Mining Club meets every second month on the second Thursday and Brisbane also meets every second month but on the third Thursday.
So to join us as a member – please book yourself a lunch! You may also ask for us to add your colleagues to the email list by sending them to us at the ‘Membership’ section on the web site, or by forwarding an email making such a request from the individual.
Our stake in the ground
At the start of any great mineral project, some enterprising, and possibly lonely, figure stands in the landscape and drops a stake into a hole. The claim is made. The stake will eventually look like the one facing which was dug into the hardpan near Cloncurry, Queensland at the place where the great Ernest Henry copper-gold mine would later arise.
This particular stake went on to become vital evidence in the gripping Savage Resources vs Western Mining Corporation case. Savage, a Sydney enterprise, won a massive settlement and went on to great things and eventual takeover by Pasminco Ltd. Later this zinc giant went into receivership.
The stake was thought to be lost. Eventually we found this stake in the Museum of Queensland. We thank the Tattersalls Club, the erstwhile home of the Sydney Mining Club, for letting us mount this totem here. It is a totem not just to Jim Wall and John Gaskell who led Savage to victory, but to every one of Sydney’s enterprising mining souls – past, present and future.
Sydney Mining Club patron of 2003 Prof Geoffrey Blainey described the prospector’s act of staking as ‘a statement of hope’. So is our mounting of this stake.
Sydney Mining Club
The Sydney Mining Club meets at the Ivy Ballroom, located at Level 1, 330 George Street, Sydney.
The lunches are held in the first floor ballroom (just walk up the stairs to Level 1). Lunch commences at 12.30pm for pre-lunch drinks with 1.00pm sit down for lunch and the presentation.
Lunch concludes usually around 2 – 2.30pm.
For more information about Ivy, visit: http://merivale.com.au/ivy