Kate Sommerville


Kate is a mining engineer with 25 years of experience in the mining industry. After hearing her fellow geotechnical students talking about their adventurous work experience in far-flung places, she decided that she must be part of the resources industry – an industry she is still proud of today – as it builds nations and provides many types of people with jobs. She embarked on her AusIMM journey with Students Meet Industry nights and her first conference as a student in Broken Hill.

Kate has worked at operations around Australia in open-cut iron ore and underground silver/lead zinc, nickel and gold mines. Through corporate and consulting roles she has also worked on many overseas sites. Throughout this journey, the AusIMM has remained her home base, with the collegiate atmosphere, friendships and industry passion of AusIMM members keeping her connected.

After being on a few committees, Kate decided she wanted to shape the AusIMM and was an elected board member for the AusIMM during 2007-2012. She has shaped sustainability, remote and regional members’ participation, papers, keynote talks at conferences and is currently shaping the Joint Ore Reserves Committee (JORC) for mining engineers.

An unexpected outcome from her board time was a contribution to women in mining. Preferring to lead by example, Kate soon realised that role models, mentors and advocacy were needed to make the path easier. She was a speaker at the 2008 Underground Operators’ Conference and has been giving motivational talks ever since.

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