Joanne Heyes is the co-chair of the AusIMM Community and Environment Society, the Global Practice Lead Closure for BHP and a mum of two little girls.
After graduating from the University of Leeds UK with a BEng Hons in Mining Engineering, she relocated to Australia and began working at GEMCO in the Northern Territory. It was there that Jo’s interest in the sustainability of mining commenced, being located in an operation with environmental and social challenges. Jo worked as an operational mining engineer for over 10 years, in manganese, nickel and iron ore, before dedicating herself to closure planning.
Jo focused on changing the perception that mine closure planning was an environmental responsibility, but rather is an integrated part of mine planning. Jo established a dedicated multi-disciplinary Closure Planning team within BHP WA Iron Ore, a first for BHP, before moving to her current role as the Global Practice Lead for Closure.
Recent achievements have been the release of a new Closure Standard for BHP. Jo worked in conjunction with the BHP WAIO Environment team initiating a long-term partnership with the WA Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority and focused on restoration of mined lands within the Pilbara.
In 2018, Jo took on the role of Chair of the ICMM Closure Working Group.
Jo is an active contributor to the broader mining industry through being an active mentor through WIMWA, UWA and BHP. Jo has been a member of the organising committees for several industry conferences focused on sustainability in mining. One initiative that Jo has championed during her time with the AusIMM Community and Environment Society has been the project to improve the consideration of Community and Environment aspects within JORC.