Western Australia’s resources sector continues to shine

Five exceptional projects take honours at the DMIRS Resources Sector Awards for Excellence ceremony
Date: Friday, 26 October 2018

Bats, biosecurity, lightning protection, emergency response procedures, health, infrastructure and education were all in the spotlight at the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety’s Resources Sector Awards for Excellence ceremony.

Five projects from across Western Australia were recognised for their commitment to continuous innovation and excellence in the State’s resources sector.

DMIRS Director General David Smith said the winners were a credit to WA’s nationally significant industry.

“Our State continues to be at the forefront of social, safety and environmental outcomes in the resources sector and sharing these great projects is an important part of continuing that trend,” Mr Smith said.

“Western Australians want the State’s resources companies to be responsible. That means being aware of their duties in environmental stewardship, their need to work hand in hand with the communities in which they operate, and the importance of protecting employees from harm.

“The winners of these awards have gone above and beyond their regulatory commitments to demonstrate that dedication.”


Two projects demonstrated such high standards of environmental excellence that they were both awarded the prestigious Golden Gecko award, now in its 27th year.

BHP Iron Ore were recognised for their formative research project, Chasing Ghosts: Understanding Ghost Bat ecology in the Pilbara. Evidence of the presence of the ghost bat in BHP's Mining Area C commenced a significant collaborative project across industry, government and academia which resulted in a regionally relevant understanding of the ecology and management of the ghost bat population in the Pilbara.

WA Port Authorities and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development were also awarded for their world-first State Wide Array Surveillance Program (SWASP). The program uses molecular techniques with a collaborative marine biosecurity surveillance network to more rapidly respond to a potential incursion of an introduced marine pest.

Alcoa Australia received a Golden Gecko certificate of merit for their project that has delivered a technique to eradicate the Phytophthora dieback pathogen without chemicals and on a large scale.

Roy Hill Holdings were awarded in the Safety and Health Engineering category for its unique lightning protection system which protects staff who are moving around facilities during lightning red alerts.

Mineral Resources Limited were recognised for their Spring Leaf Pack Hoist, reducing impact injuries to hands and fingers during the removal and replacement of leaf spring packs.

The Systems and People award was presented to Rio Tinto Iron Ore for its effective and practical solution to emergency response exposure reduction initiative, BARRIO and Newmont Mining were acknowledged for its mentoring program supporting Health and Safety Representatives.

BHP continued its success taking out the Community Partnership Resources Sector Award for its partnership with Foodbank WA, Healthy Food for All – Pilbara Regional Strategy. The Food Sensations suite of programs and School Breakfast program have evolved from a long-term partnership, which fosters a cohesive relationship between students, parents and educators in a social setting to meet children’s nutritional needs, and general physical and mental health.

Two partnerships received certificates of merit for their long-term and innovative commitment to community partnerships. Yule Brook College and Carey Mining were recognised for their innovative approach and demonstrated leadership with their Makerspace Project. Munda Biddi Trail Foundation and Alcoa Australia were recognised for their long-term consistent partnership which has created economic benefits to the local and regional community.

2018 Resources Sector Awards for Excellence Winners

Golden Gecko Award


  • Chasing Ghosts: Understanding Ghost Bat Ecology in the Pilbara, BHP Iron Ore
  • The State Wide Array Surveillance Program, WA Port Authorities and Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development

Certificate of Merit:

  • Alcoa and Murdoch University Partnership Eradicates Biological Bulldozer Phytophthora Dieback, Alcoa of Australia

Safety and Health Resources Sector Award



  • Lightning Protection System, Roy Hill Holdings
  • Certificate of Merit:
  • Spring Leaf Pack Hoist, Mineral Resources Limited

Systems and People


  • Emergency response exposure reduction initiative – BARRIO, Rio Tinto Iron Ore

Certificate of Merit:

  • Newmont Boddington Gold Health and Safety Representative Mentoring Program, Newmont Mining

Community Partnership Resources Sector Award


  • Healthy Food for All – Pilbara Regional Strategy, Foodbank WA and BHP

Certificates of Merit:

  • Makerspace Project, Yule Brook College and Carey Mining
  • Alcoa/Munda Biddi Trail Foundation Partnership, Munda Biddi Trail Foundation and Alcoa

More information about the 2018 Resources Sector Awards for Excellence projects can be found in the commemorative booklet.