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EIG bucks downturn

Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth

The 16th Extractive Industry Geology Conference surpassed all expectations at a time of almost unprecedented economic decline, reports Adler deWind*.

Geoscientist 21.1 February 2011.  (This story online only.)

Since its inception in 1978, the biennial EIG Conference has become firmly established as the principal UK event for sharing knowledge, research, innovation and best practice in applied geology within the national non-petroleum extractive industries. EIG is an independent organisation, run by a voluntary committee of geo-professionals. In 2008 it became “Extractive Industry Geology Conferences”, a company limited by guarantee with a board of unpaid directors drawn from the organising committee.

Despite the fact that we have experienced the most severe and prolonged economic downturn in recent history, around 180 delegates attended, only a few short of the record number at Cardiff in 2008. Sponsorship was headlined by Tarmac, SRK Consulting, Lafarge and the Mineral Products Association as well as 13 others. Trade stands sold out, while attendees also got CPD “Endorsed Training” brownie points from The Geological Society - which also had a stand at the exhibition.

The (fully subscribed) field trips included Michelmersh Brick & Tile Company Ltd., and Brightling Mine (British Gypsum) – as well as a reception on Portsmouth’s landmark Spinnaker Tower (picture). A high point EIG conferences is the Ansel Dunham, named for the former EIG Chair and Professor of Industrial Mineralogy at Hull University and Leicester, who died in 1998. This year, Professor Geoffrey Walton (PGW&A LLP and Leeds University) spoke on ‘Consulting geologists and the British extractive industries’.

Ninety seven percent of delegates rated their overall experience either “excellent” (71%) or “good” (26%). Papers presented will be published, subject to submission and peer review, in the Conference Proceedings and on the EIG web site

Planning is already underway for EIG 2012.