SA Mines and Energy Journal : February-March 2010
31 FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010 SA MINES & ENERGY JOURNAL EDUCATION Mining and Resources Risk Solutions Many businesses today are aggressively scrutinising their risk exposure and insurance cover in an effort to control the cost of insurance while retaining adequate risk protection. Management of a company s risk profile requires a balanced approach between risk transfer and the installation of management systems and insurance purchasing options to minimise and avoid loss creating situations. OAMPS specialists provide risk solutions that improve corporate performance and productivity as well as reduce costs. Our expertise in the resource sector include: OAMPS Insurance Brokers Ltd ABN 34 005 543 920 AFSL 238312 Ref: 0194NOVE08 Adelaide branch 8172 8000 168 Greenhill Road, Parkside SA A Wesfarmers Company Down to earth It is curiosity about Earth sciences that leads to many exciting discoveries, writes Dr Jim Gehling, Senior Research Scientist at the South Australian Museum. Geological research has moved with the times and now makes full use of remote sensing, geochronology labs, isotope geochemistry labs and synchrotrons. Considering the acceleration of mineral resource discoveries in the past few decades, there can be no denying the value of advancements in geological education. Yet, at the very time when we are opening up a new phase of research into early animal life and environments, there is a conspicuous shortage of Australian students taking up this style of research and developing ideas and techniques that will prepare them for innovative careers in any field. A few years of exploring some other aspect of geology can only enhance the capacity of science graduates to adapt to the rapid theoretical and technical changes in industry that are inevitable during the course of a career. Clearly some in the industry have not forgotten the more general areas of geological research. Primary Industries and Resources SA Minerals and Energy division and Beach Energy (formerly Beach Petroleum) are examples of SA organisations that are actively supporting research in palaeontology and stratigraphy in the South Australian Museum and SA universities. It is no coincidence that the late Dr Reg Sprigg, who began his career as a government geologist and later was instrumental in the setting up of Beach, was driven by curiosity about the geological heritage of South Australia. Dr Sprigg was perhaps the finest example of a man who considered that Earth history and economic geology were intertwined. We place great emphasis on an actual discovery. However, the truly valuable skills are those of choosing where to look and then being able to recognise the importance of what you have discovered. Before Dr Sprigg, prospectors and geologists had seen Ediacara fossils in the Flinders Ranges but dismissed them as sedimentary artefacts. What are now known to be Precambrian (Ediacaran) fossils were noted in south-west Africa before World War I and in England in the 19th century, but their ages and organic origins were uncertain at the time. Those characteristics of inquisitiveness, determination and ability to innovate are essential for success in both research and business ventures. Satisfy your curiosity at the SA Museum during Palaeontology Week in March. See page 38 for more details.