Since 1989, the international honour has been presented to an IQ member who has significantly contributed to advancing the science and practice of the quarrying sector. Gavin Hartley MIQ, quarry manager at Blackhead Quarry, Dunedin, New Zealand, is this year's winner.
It was his presentation Quarrying Way down South, which highlighted the challenges of quarrying in one of the world's harshest environments, delivered at the IQ Otago/Southland Branch mini-conference in July 2020, that impressed the IQ presidents.
The international presidents recognised that Hartley's presentation demonstrated how IQ members share their skills and expertise with colleagues and other professionals worldwide while at the same time expanding their knowledge and understanding of the science of quarrying; the very principles of what IQ was founded on.
Dean Torstonson, IQ New Zealand president, explains: "Quarrying in an isolated place and adverse weather conditions is very challenging. Gavin's paper provided a snapshot of a small team of quarrying professionals producing aggregate for new building foundations in one of the world's harshest environments - way down south – in McMurdo Station, Antarctica. It described the landscape, the project, the quarry and equipment, health and safety, the people, and the outcomes, as well as piqued the interest of everyone associated with the quarrying industry. Congratulations Gavin; the honour is well deserved."
Hartley adds: "To receive an award judged by your peers in New Zealand is awesome, but to be recognised by your peers internationally is an unbelievable honour, and I am so proud to be part of such a great industry."
With an exceptional number of high-quality submissions for the prestigious award, IQ's presidents also presented four entries with a 'Highly Commended' recognition.
Gavin Mennie FIQ, Breedon Group, and Martin McGroarty, Fife Council, presented Mineral Planning in Scotland on behalf of the IQ Scottish Branch. The presentation gave the audience a unique insight, both pre-operational and of a working site, of the requirements that the operator and the planning authority have to consider during and after the life of the site.
Claudia Trotter, Mates in Mind, presented Improving mental health within the workplace on behalf of the IQ North Wales Branch. While many businesses have structures in place to help staff with issues, the presentation highlighted important information on what help was available and, more importantly, assisted with dismissing the stigma of asking for help and understanding different forms of mental health problems. This was particularly important due to the additional pressures from COVID on people's wellbeing.
Simon Tose, Blast Consult, delivered a short online course on Blast Design to the IQ South Africa members. The course covered the fundamentals for blast and blast design. Providing insight into approaches for developing more efficient blasting methods.
Mark Godden FIQ, Albion Stone, presented Portland Stone – The transition from Surface to Deep Mining on behalf of the IQ West of England Branch. It outlined the geology of Portland and the important role Portland stone had played in construction over past centuries, the drivers for going underground in terms of the past and current impact of quarrying on the landscape of Portland, and the processes involved in developing the underground excavation work. He also explained how this innovation would secure a long-term future for Portland stone.
Shane Braddy is IQ international presidents chair. He adds: "Despite the challenges caused by the global pandemic, it's clear to see from the volume of applications to this year's Caernarfon Award that our international network of Institute of Quarrying organisations have continued to deliver high-quality, informative and educational sessions for their members. On behalf of the IQ, I'd like to congratulate our winner, Gavin Hartley, as well as each of our highly commended runners up."