Keynote Speakers

In addition to our technical program, we are thrilled to welcome the following mine water experts as Keynote Speakers at the 2022 Conference:

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Dr. Jocelyn Fraser
Research Associate
Bradshaw Research Initiative for Minerals and Mining, University of British Columbia

An instructor and research associate, Dr. Jocelyn Fraser focuses on social risk and social responsibility in the international mining sector. She is particularly interested in investigating ways in which mining companies can collaborate with communities to develop a business strategy with parallel goals: improving operational performance while delivering tangible social benefits that advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Currently, Jocelyn leads a working group on stakeholder engagement for the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (CIM), and sits on the Mining Association of Canada’s Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) Communities of Interest Panel representing the international development perspective.  She is a member of the International Association of Public Participation, the Shared Value Initiative, and the American Academy of Management.  Her professional experience includes more than 15 years working with extractive companies to enhance stakeholder engagement, create value and earn social permission for local, national, and international projects.

Kate Sommerville
General Manager

Kate Sommerville is BHP’s General Manager Legacy Assets. She has responsibility for 24 closed mines across USA and Canada, a team of 200 including contractors. This includes 108 dams in 24 different facilities. The goal is safe, stable closure and to reduce risk through characterisation and remediation.

Kate has an engineering degree, an MBA, a First Class Mine Managers Certificate and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is a Fellow and Chartered Professional of the AusIMM.

Kate has over 29 years’ in the mining industry with a depth of experience in open cut and underground operations. She has worked a variety of technical, operational, management, contractor, consulting and corporate roles across a number of commodities.  Prior to this role Kate was Vice President Mining for Gold Fields – where she had functional and strategic oversight of assets in Ghana, South Africa, Australia, Peru and Chile.  She has also served 6 years as Director for the Industry Professional Organisation AusIMM. She currently serves as a Director for the Arizona Mining Association.

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Tania Demchuk
Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation
Government of British Columbia

Tania is a 15-year BC Public Servant, who has worked in various aspects of mining regulatory oversight at the B.C. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation since 2010. This has included managing Mines Act permitting processes, and First Nations and community engagement required for tailings dam repair and the restart of mining operations at the Mount Polley mine. She also led legislative and structural changes for mining compliance and enforcement to address recommendations of the Office of the Auditor General.

Tania holds a Master of Science from the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Victoria and is a registered Professional Geoscientist with the Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia.

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Laurel Nash 
Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
Government of British Columbia

Laurel has worked for the BC provincial government, in the Natural Resources Sector, for over 25 years, including roles in BC Parks, the Ministries of Forests, Energy Mines and Petroleum Resources, Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation and most recently Environment and Climate Change Strategy. She has held senior leadership and statutory roles such roles as the Director of Petroleum Lands and the Chief Gold Commissioner and Chief Negotiator.

Laurel has been an Assistant Deputy Minister since 2014, first in the Strategic Initiatives Division of the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, and currently as Assistant Deputy Minister of the Environmental Protection Division of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

Laurel brings strong leadership, innovation and collaboration to this role and looks forward to working with all levels of government, Indigenous Nations, industry and other partners to find opportunities to improve our stewardship in the province.

Laurel grew up in in the Northwest Territories, before coming to B.C., where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Geography from the University of Victoria. She currently lives in Victoria with her husband and two children.

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Dr. Caspar M. Amman
Chief Scientist
Climate Strategies Group

Dr. Caspar Ammann is Chief Climate Scientist at the Climate Strategies Group with 20+ years of experience in the field of analysis and modeling of global to regional climates across a range of timescales. As a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, he led the development of the Climate Risk Management engine (CRMe), a toolset designed to access, evaluate, and translate large climate archives into useful and usable products for applications in different sectors where they serve in climate risk screening and impacts assessments. Most recently, Caspar has assisted the World Bank’s Climate Change Knowledge Portal (WB-CCKP) to upgrade the portal to the latest projections of climate change information and to broaden its products for more detailed analysis of climate variability and change.

Caspar has a Ph.D. in Geosciences from the University of Massachusetts, and a Masters in Geography, Geology and Mineralogy from the University of Bern, Switzerland. He has participated in the IPCC process and helped lead and advise several national and international programs (IGBP-PAGES/WCRP-CLIVAR, NOAA, NASA-LWS, NSF-SEARCH), and served on several National Research Council evaluation panels on detection and attribution of forced climate change.