Sydney, Sep 18, 2008 AEST (ABN Newswire) - The Australian mining industry recognised the best miners and explorers of the year at the "Legends in Mining Awards" breakfast, a part of the Excellence in Mining & Exploration event at the Hilton in Sydney.

The legends awards recognised industry stalwart Ian Burston and South Australian resources minister Paul Holloway as this year's Legends in Mining.

Burston and Holloway join a prestigious line-up of legends in the industry some of whom were at the breakfast including John Collier, Owen Hegarty, Ron Manners, Gavin Thomas, Roy Woodall and Trevor Sykes.

The awards were sponsored by Macquarie Bank and the breakfast was ably MC'd by Professor Ian Plimer, a previous recipient of the Legends in Mining award.

Professor Plimer said, "Paul Holloway has been a cabinet minister for six and a half years and in his capacity as minister for mineral resources in the south Australian parliament he has really driven exploration in South Australia.

Expenditure has risen, the risks have gone, and there is a one-stop spot if you want to do exploration, mine development and mining".

Holloway was one of the architects of South Australia's (Plan for Accelerating Exploration) PACE program, which co-funds plans for accelerated exploration in the state.

As a result of his initiative the Carrapateena deposit was discovered.

Professor Plimer also stated "This is in stark contrast to other states such as Western Australia who are prepared to accept the royalties from mining and who place roadblocks and a lack of infrastructure in the path of wealth generating industries"

The other recipient of today's award, Ian Burston, fits all the criteria of a true industry legend, Plimer said at the breakfast today.

Burston has more than 30 years experience in both WA mining and the state's powerhouse iron ore industry.

His career highlights included a stint at Hamersley Iron in the 1970s and 1980s, a pivotal period for Australia's iron ore industry. He was appointed managing director of Hamersley in 1982 and served in that position until 1986. Burston spent a total of 22 years at CRA, the pre-cursor to Rio Tinto's now massive iron ore business.

He also filled chief executive positions, starting at Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines, the owner of the Superpit, where Burston was one of the people responsible for its re-development, Aztec Resources, Portman, Aurora Gold, and Cape Lambert.

Burston has also been awarded the Western Australian Citizen of the Year, the Order of Australia and an Honorary Doctor of Science, along with the GJ Stokes memorial award at Diggers & Dealers.

He is currently involved with successful nickel miner Mincor Resources, one of Australia's largest independent nickel miners and a major success story of the WA nickel industry.

Kerry Stevenson, Managing Director of Resourceful Events, the conference organisers, said "The mining industry keeps Australia afloat. Recognising people such as Minister Holloway is sending a strong message to other states of the importance that we need to place in supporting and moving forward mining in this country".

About Resourceful Events

Resourceful Events is the events and conference division of Aspermont Limited, Australia's leading print and Internet publisher to the mining, oil & gas and related sectors.

 


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