AMIRA International was incorporated in September 1959 as The Australian Mineral Industries Research Association Limited (A.M.I.R.A.). The founding fathers’ unique vision to facilitate the development of collaborative research projects sponsored by members, is still an important driving purpose that continues today. To better reflect our global reach, AMIRA International Limited was adopted as the trading name in 1998. The business name was formerly changed to AMIRA International Limited in 2001.
A.M.I.R.A. was created as a private-sector, independent, not-for-profit industry association. The founding fathers decided that A.M.I.R.A. should be funded not through an industry levy, but on its ability to work with members and develop the research programmes designed to deliver the solutions for the group challenges. For its time, it represented a truly innovative business model in Australia, and indeed the world.
AMIRA International is now a global organisation promoting projects generated by the world’s best researchers to our members worldwide and acknowledged as an international benchmark for collaborative research in the private sector. In recent years, AMIRA has embraced the principle of ‘think global, act local ‘ to facilitate regional project development in countries where members operate. A particularly important spin-off from AMIRA’s activities is to assist in capacity building and nurturing research infrastructure in these countries.
Whilst holding true to the vision of our founding fathers, AMIRA has been adapting to changing circumstances. We have developed and administered close to 700 projects since inception, delivering many innovations in the form of widgets and software, new methodologies, standards and tools, improved understanding of physical processes, new exploration concepts, and geological data/databases. Approximately AU$580 million has been invested, in current dollar terms, by our members in these projects.
Although AMIRA continues its important role of providing solutions to members’ business challenges through collaboration, this does not preclude AMIRA from being engaged by a member on a one-on-one basis to develop and manage research programmes on their behalf.
AMIRA is managed like any other public company, but as a not-for-profit member-based organisation we have a special relationship with our members. Our corporate goals therefore, revolve around delivering value to our various classes of members through:
The past year has been another of less than satisfactory metal prices and the industry has struggled to maintain adequate levels of profitability. Predictably, companies have focused on reducing costs by staff reductions, deferring capital expenditure and improving productivity. Many companies have now reached the stage where further staff reductions and capital deferments have the potential to impact negatively on viability and are accordingly searching for other avenues of investment of time and money into improving costs and, by extension, to grow. One avenue is, of course, to increase expenditure into research and development and it is here that AMIRA International, with over 50 years of experience in the field, is able to make a real contribution.
During this difficult period AMIRA International has also focused more on projects with early delivery of implementable outcomes and most of the projects supported this year exemplify this. For example, the P420F, gold processing project and P1153 explorers toolbox project. Both have received considerable support and delivered practical solutions of material value
AMIRA has, nevertheless, not ignored the longer term as the second stage of the P1162 “Unlocking Australia’s hidden mineral potential:- The Roadmap” demonstrates. This long term initiative is aimed at solving the challenge of exploration through cover and is receiving unprecedented collaborative support from the mineral exploration industry, government geological survey organisations, suppliers, and the research community.
Membership during the year declined slightly to 70. Mid-tier miners, junior explorers and suppliers without project portfolios made up the majority of the companies that withdrew.
Despite the industry downturn, it is pleasing to report that AMIRA International staff delivered just over $6 million of new projects, which has resulted in the company posting a modest surplus for financial year.
During the year two Directors stepped down from the board. of AMIRA. The board and staff would like to thank Mr Gavin Yeates for his service to the organization, over the last two years and would particularly like to thank Mr Joe Pease for his 13 year service as a Director. Joe’s knowledge, and experience has contributed greatly to both the running of the board and company.
I am also happy to advise that during the year there were three additions to the board; Dr Stephen Grocott (Rio Tinto), Dr Anthony Harris (Newcrest), and Dr Chris Wijns (First Quantum). Their presence is most welcome as all are eminently qualified to make valuable contributions to the organization
In conclusion it is my pleasant duty to compliment both the Managing Director, Joe Cucuzza, and his staff on a difficult year, well managed, with positive outcomes. My thanks also to my colleagues on the board for their assistance and support throughout the year
AMIRA International has not been immune to the industry downturn of course, indeed as a not-for-profit organisation the effect on us is even more severe. We have also needed to cut costs and try to improve productivity since our revenue from projects has significantly decreased because of the declining investment in collaborative research that typically accompanies downturns, in addition membership revenue has decreased in real terms as a result of the fact that the membership fees have been maintained at the same level for the last six years. As an example of the former, over the last two years we had to decrease our total staff numbers, mostly support staff, as well as curtailing some international travel. Through these and other measures we have managed to reduce our costs whilst trying to preserve our ability to develop projects for our members around the world. With these measures and the hard work of AMIRA International’s staff in delivering some $6m of new projects, we have managed to post a modest surplus for financial year 2015-16.
The AMIRA International team successfully attracted just over AU$6 million of financial support from industry during the year. This came from the following projects:
In addition new sponsors were secured for the projects P943B: West African Exploration Initiative Stage 3 and P260G: Flotation.
Worth mentioning is the one-on-one work that AMIRA International carried during the year. Although AMIRA International’s core work has focused on multi-member collaborative research, these skills have been put to use on a one-on-one basis during the year. One of our members has commissioned AMIRA International to assist it in addressing some technical challenges. We anticipate that there will be more of these types of proprietary projects in the future. We also expect that there will be opportunities to manage such projects on behalf of individual members. AMIRA International continues to build a pipeline of new project ideas as well as advancing those projects that are close to circulation with the view of seeking financial support.
During the year we bid farewell to Dr Alan Goode and Ms Ileana Inocencio. Alan Goode retired after 17 years with AMIRA International, with the last three years devoted to running Data Metallogenica. Alan joined AMIRA International as Research Director back in 1997. He was appointed Program Manager – Geoscience in 2009. From 1999 he was also responsible for the Data Metallogenica. In 2012 he was appointed Project Director of Data Metallogenica.
Ileana Inocencio joined AMIRA International in 2007 as Project Support Officer to the Geoscience Group. Ileana was invaluable to the effective running of the Geoscience Group, particularly in organising the many Sponsors‘ Review Meetings. Ileana was heavily involved in the delivery of the many successful Biennial Exploration Managers Conferences.
Two new appointments were made during the year. Mr John Visser joined AMIRA International as part-time Program Manager based in Perth. John’s career includes working as a Consulting/Manager Metallurgist for several resource companies (Samancor, Anglovaal Mining and Rio Tinto), as a Principal Metallurgist for engineering companies (GRD Minproc and METS), as Metallurgical and Marketing Manager for various supplier companies within a broad range of commodities and working as an Actuary for Hollandia Reinsurance Group, all of which has provided him with an interesting and diverse career path.
In addition, Dr Robert Flynn joined AMIRA International on a part-time basis as Advisor: Strategy and Marketing, based in our Melbourne office. Robert has consulted to a wide range of public and private sector enterprises on his completion of his PhD in critical thinking.
Ms Adele Seymon was promoted to the position of Program Director of the Exploration to Mine and Sustainability Business Unit at the beginning of the financial year. Although the results for this financial year are pleasing, AMIRA International continues to strive to deliver value to our members. Indeed towards the end of the financial year we embarked on the development of a Strategic Marketing Plan aimed at improving the delivery of our core business but also enhancing our value proposition to members by identifying new service offerings.
AMIRA International is the preeminent independent consortium builder that delivers technology solutions for the advancement of our members.
Identify and partner with the best organisations around the world that can provide solutions to the business challenges of our members through scientific research or engineering outcomes
To ourselves, our members, our partners and the environment
We are passionate about helping the industry transform itself into a truly safe, socially and environmentally responsible, technology driven sustainable industry for the betterment of all society.
We act with integrity, responsibly and competently at all times. We respect the law, support universal human rights, protect the environment and benefit the communities where we work.
We respect cultural and individual differences both within the organisation and with all those we work with. We work together to embrace trust, openness, and teamwork to achieve mutually rewarding results.
The high standard we set for ourselves in all we do. Always accountable, always learning, always improving and delivering value to our members. We are constantly seeking to understand our members’ challenges irrespective of their location and deliver valued solutions. Focusing on things that matter most to our members. Promote positive change by encouraging innovation and applying agreed upon practices. Develop our people in pursuit of excellence.
Nurturing and developing the global resources industry network for our Members and the research community.
Maximise the benefit of our services to all our stakeholders
Success Through People:
Ensuring attraction and retention of energetic talented people