The National Mining Games is an annual competition held at different universities across Australia that involves teams to participate in traditional mining activities such as gold panning, air leg drilling, mucking, track stand, swede saw, face-tie and rock ID.



On May 2nd, 1972 fire broke out in the Sunshine Mine, near Kellogg, Idaho, USA. At the time 178 miners were working in the mine. Carbon Monoxide, heat, and smoke spread quickly through the tunnels, hampering efforts of rescue workers. Initially, 85 miners escaped safely and two more were rescued seven days later. On May 13, the last of the 91 victims were brought out. The tragedy was the country's worst hard rock mining disaster since 1917. The International Collegiate Mining Games started in 1978, to honour and remember the men; and families of the men who tragically perished in the disaster. It has been adopted by Australia with the National Collegiate Mining Games being held every year throughout Australia with an International Collegiate Mining Games. The miners of Ballarat have also experienced their share of such tragedies. Local records list more 5600 miners killed or seriously injured in the Ballarat goldfields since 1856. It is thus no surprise that Australia has embraced this mining competition started by our industry cousins in the US.


The Games Today

The national mining games are one of the most popular events for students in the mining and mineral industry. The games bring together universities from across australia along with graduates and industry representatives. The AusIMM southern Queensland student chapter strongly encouraged all of our members  to attend both the conference and the games as they provide many benefits including:

  • Development of interpersonal and team work skills in competing events of the games;
  • Establishing a network of graduates and undergraduates from other universities and industry;
  • Building relationship between students and companies;
  • Gaining appreciation for old mining techniques and where the industry has come from;


This year the games will be hosted by the AusIMM Southern Queensland student chapter in Brisbane on the 14-15 September, immediately after the New Leaders conference. There has been a huge show of interest from the UQ engineering faculty for the national mining games this year, so much so that the AusIMM Southern Queensland student chapter has decided to extend the team capacities. Hence the National Mining Games are looking to be bigger and better than ever. The Games represent one of the more congenial environments where our industry gathers with approximately 200 students expected to be competing this year.  




About the New Leaders Conference

The New Leaders conference aims to provide current students and recent graduates with some of the skills and knowledge that may not be addressed during university studies.  The conference incorporates practical applications for recent graduates transitioning to the professional industry while allowing for recent graduates to present on their experiences and projects since entering the workforce. Conference attendees will hear from a variety of experts with a focus on imparting skills and knowledge required by ‘new leaders’ to progress within the minerals industry. The two-day conference will include a special industry networking lunch, New Leaders’ Networking Night, delegate breakfast and post-conference tours. The conference organising committee invites all AusIMM members, together with friends and colleagues across all disciplines of the mining industry to participate in this exciting event and we look forward to hosting your visit to Brisbane in September 2016.