Organised by:

The AusIMM

Keynote Speakers

Photo:Isobel Clark

Isobel Clark FAusIMM

Director and Principal Consultant, Geostokos Limited

Underground bulk sampling, uniform conditioning and conditional simulation - unrealistic expectations?

Isobel has taught, researched and consulted in the field of geostatistics for over 42 years. Possibly best known as the author of the introductory text "Practical Geostatistics" (1979), and co-author of a more complete textbook, Practical Geostatistics 2000.

Dr. Clark lectured at the Royal School of Mines, London, at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, was Visiting Professor for Camborne School of Mines and is currently Visiting Professor of Practice at the University of Johannesburg.

To subsidise these academic engagements, she has been a Director of Geostokos Limited, an international consultancy company based in Central Scotland for 35 years.

Photo: Dr Kathy Ehrig MAusIMM

Dr Kathy Ehrig MAusIMM

Principal Geometallurgist, BHP Billiton Olympic Dam, Australia

Sampling the supergiant Olympic Dam iron-oxide Cu-U-Au-Ag deposit, South Australia

Kathy graduated with a BSc in Geology from the California State University- Fresno in 1984 and conducted geophysical surveys in the search of geothermal energy resources for the US Navy in the mid-1970s to early 1980s. She completed a PhD in Geology from the University of California- Berkeley in 1991 and left San Francisco in 1992 to join the former WMC as a research geologist to work on the genesis of the Olympic Dam deposit and to provide mineralogical support to metallurgy.

Kathy worked and lived at Olympic Dam from 1992-2006 and held various roles as research geologist, senior research geologist, and chief research geologist.

Kathy then joined BHP Billiton in 2005 when WMC was acquired by BHP Billiton and moved to Adelaide in 2006 as Principal Geometallurgist to lead a team of eight geologists, mineralogists and metallurgists who developed and implemented the massive geometallurgy program which is used to support the future expansion of Olympic Dam. The Olympic Dam Geometallurgy team also established the predictive mineralogical and metallurgical performance models for the Yeelirrie calcrete hosted uranium deposit and her current work consists of optimising the OD geometallurgy models for use in short-, medium-, and long-term mine planning and developing geometallurgy testing programs to be used in exploration.

Photo:Kim H. Esbensen

Kim H. Esbensen Ph.D. Dr (Hon)

Theory of sampling - what's next?

After 35 years as research professor in Geoscience Data Analysis and Sampling at GEUS (National Geological Surveys of Denmark and Greenland), chemometrics professor with the ACABS research group, Aalborg University, Denmark and professor (Process Analytical Technologies) at Telemark Institute of Technology, Norway, in 2015 he phased out this institutional career and established an international consultancy: A geologist/geochemist/data analyst of training, since 2001 he has devoted his time to the theme of representative sampling of heterogeneous systems and processes (Theory of Sampling, TOS), PAT (Process Analytical Technology) and chemometrics (multivariate data analysis). In 2003 he organized the first World Conference on Sampling and Blending conference. Across all years he has put a strong emphasis on scientific outreach and academic teaching (he is the author of a chemometrics textbook, published in five editions (33,000 copies). He was chairman of the taskforce responsible for writing the world’s first horizontal (matrix-independent) sampling standard (2013)  In 2013 he started and is editor of TOS forum He is a member of five international scientific associations and societies.

Claudia Paoletti

Dr Claudia Paoletti

Deputy Head GMO Unity, European Food Safety Authority - EFSA, Italy

Assessing and monitoring food and feed safety - a 15 year quest for proper sampling

Dr. Claudia Paoletti did her Master in Biological Science at the University of Rome (Italy) and her Ph.D. in Plant Genetics at the University of Connecticut, USA. She was for three years at Dalhousie University (Canada) studying plant population genetics and biometry. She continued her research activity at the Research Institute for Industrial Crops in Bologna (Italy) where she focused on the evaluation of the risks associated to the use of transgenic crops. She has been the Italian expert nominated by the European Commission, for definition of sampling plans for GMO detection in conventional seeds. She was responsible for the European Commission sampling research projects on GMOs and she was the biometric officer of the EU Community Reference Laboratory for GMOs. In January 2006 she joined the GMO Unit of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Currently, she is Deputy Head of the GMO Unit and leader of the molecular characterization, food and feed risk assessment team, focusing on food and feed safety assessment and on the development of statistical and sampling approaches suitable for risk assessment. She has over 75 contributions either as book chapters, or as scientific papers.

Photo: Dr Anita Parbhakar-Fox

Dr Anita Parbhakar-Fox MAusIMM

Research Fellow in Geoenvironmental Studies, University of Tasmania

Sampling and blending in geoenvironmental campaigns - current practice and future opportunities

Anita completed her degrees at the Royal School of Mines, UK and CODES, UTAS. Currently she is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow/Lecturer in Geoenvironmental Studies at the ARC Transforming the Mining Value Chain Research Hub, UTAS. Anita is focussed on mine waste characterisation for improved mine planning and waste management. She has developed new tests and protocols in this area, particularly for acid rock drainage prediction. Anita is also involved in identifying remediation options for abandoned/ historical mine sites. Most recently, she has been characterising a range of mine waste materials to re-evaluate their economic potential.

Photo: Francis Pitard

Francis Pitard

President, Francis Pitard Sampling Consultants, USA

Integration of Visman and Ingamells works into the theory of sampling - a necessity to expand possibilities in sampling practices

Francis has over 40 years of progressive, technical and management experience in the natural resources industry and atomic energy. Accomplished in teaching short courses on the sampling of particulate materials for several Universities and numerous companies around the world, in consulting, in directing the activities of a production oriented research analytical facility with emphasis on innovation and cost effectiveness. Versatile in applying talents in a variety of areas including nuclear chemistry, analytical chemistry, geochemistry, and statistical process control. Outstanding expertise in all aspects of sampling accumulated during a 20 year association with Dr. C.O. Ingamells and Dr. Pierre M. Gy. Dr. Pitard is the author of many papers, three books on sampling and a gold medal recipient from the World Conference on Sampling and Blending.

Photo: Rodolfo J. Romañach

Rodolfo J. Romañach

University of Puerto Rico

Theory of sampling - from missing link to key enabler for process analytical technology

Dr. Romañach is Professor of Chemistry at the University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez Campus, and Site Leader for the Engineering Research Center on Structured Organic Particulate Systems ( He worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 12 years before joining the Chemistry Department in 1999. His research is focused on developing a thorough understanding of the uncertainty of real time and at-line sensor measurements and sampling error in pharmaceutical analysis, and includes over 60 publications. Five graduate students have completed their Ph.D. studies in his research group, and 14 students have completed their M.S. in Chemistry.

He has worked in the sampling and analysis of pharmaceutical blends for over 25 years.  In 2010, he read Pierre Gy’s Sampling for Analytical Purposes and found that TOS provides a much needed insight for the development of real time analytical methods.  He is currently collaborating with Kim Esbensen on the application of TOS to pharmaceutical applications.