Michael John Lawrence


Michael is an economic geologist who graduated from UNSW in 1966 with a Bachelor of Science (First Class Honours). Michael has spent most of his 52-year career as a mining and geological consultant with major international resource consultancies, serving as Managing Director of their regional operations.

From 1970 to 1982 he was Resident Manager (Australia and Pacific) for the French Government’s BRGM/SEREM; and from 1988 to 1990 was CEO Asia Pacific for the Robertson Group plc (UK).

In 1991, Michael founded Sydney-based Minval Associates, which undertakes mineral property audits/due diligence and valuations for most minerals and construction materials, and provides global industry dispute resolution solutions (acting as an arbitrator/mediator and expert witness).

Michael spent from1982 to 1987 at the NSW Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, developing skills in dealing with government administration, the political process, as well as how public interest/civil society groups use their influence. Hence, he became competent in resolving environmental and community conflict issues involving major resource project developments and was responsible for mining title administration.

Whilst there, Michael also completed his Graduate Diploma Public Sector Management (Distinction) from UTS (1985).  He also gained a Professional Certificate (Distinction) Arbitration and Mediation (University of Adelaide) in 2000, and was appointed to the NSW Ministerial Land Access and Compensation Arbitration Panel from 2008-2017.

Michael was a Chartered Engineer UK (CEng) from IOM3 from 1972-2014 and Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Geoscientists from 1987-2015. In 1989 he became a MICA-accredited Mining and Exploration Tenement Valuer (serving on its board from 1992-2002) and was awarded the MICA Medal in 2010.  Michael has been a Certified Mineral Valuer of the Australasian Institute of Minerals Valuers and Appraisers since September 2012 and was its founding Chair. He has authored 99 technical papers on mineral valuation, project due diligence and risk, ethics and professional liability, exploration and the minerals industry, and ADR/expert witness issues.

Mike joined AusIMM in 1966, becoming a Fellow in 1976, a Chartered Professional Geologist (CPGeo) in 1997 and served as AusIMM President in 1999. Michael was also Vice President from 1994-1998 and a Councillor from 1992-2000.  He also facilitated the initial memorandum of understanding with PERHAPI (Association of Indonesian Mining Professionals) in 1998, with particular assistance from Tony Osman and Jack Brady.

Michael was the 2001 Beryl Jacka Award winner and AusIMM’s 2001 entrant in Professions Australia’s inaugural Professional of the Year, having made major contributions, particularly internationally, to the VALMIN Code and its conference volumes since 1991 (serving as Chair of the VALMIN Committee from 2000-2002); and the Chartered Professional status concept (amongst much other committee work). He became an Honorary Fellow in 2008 for these contributions over the past four decades.  Michael’s primary focus at AusIMM has been to develop and support professional practice guidelines.

Like all those in our industry, most of these achievements have been only possible with the support of his family: Jennifer and daughters (Brittany, 24 and Caitlin, 22).

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