The winner and runners-up of the 2023 Caernarfon Award have been revealed by the international presidents of the Institute of Quarrying (IQ).
Since 1989, the international honour has been presented annually to an IQ member anywhere in the world who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of the science and practice of the mineral products sector.
IQ Malaysia has been announced as this year’s winner of the Caernarfon Award, receiving the accolade for the first time ever.
It was the presentation by Zeems Foo Kheng Sin FIQ - ‘Quarrying in the era of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG)’ - that impressed the international IQ presidents. Delivered at the IQ Malaysia conference in October 2022, his paper showcased the Environmental, Safety and Productivity (ESP) Quarrying Best Practices model and highlighted the positive impact on the environment and co-existence between the local community and quarrying.
Ultimately, the ESP model is likely to lead to rebranding the Malaysian Quarry Industry, which aims to transform the traditional ‘quarryman’ from a 3D (Dirty, Dangerous and Difficult) job to highlighting it as a professional career in Malaysia.
Nirmala Devi is the Manager of the Institute of Quarrying Malaysia (IQM). Nirmala says: ‘Zeems was initially nominated due to the quality of his presentation which gave insight into how quarrying is perceived by local communities and how the relationship has improved over the years. IQM is beyond proud of Zeems for being recognised as this year’s Caernarfon Award winner, which is a first in history for an IQM member.’
With an exceptional number of high-quality submissions for the prestigious award, IQ’s presidents also presented three entries with a ‘Highly Commended’ recognition.
Dr Neil Humphries FIQ, IQ UK, was the lead author for the updated publication ‘Good Practice Guide for Handling Soils in Mineral Workings’, which succeeds Defra’s ‘Good Practice for Handling Soils’ originally published in 2000. The new 162-page document contains the theory and knowledge of soils handling along with 15 detailed practical applications of best practice. Neil delivered presentations to UK branches and international conferences on the updated guidance.
Marius Z Van Deventer presented ‘State of the quarry industry: Health & safety compliance’ on behalf of IQ Africa. His presentation was an in-depth look at how health and safety compliance has changed over the years. Marius discussed how the Aggregate and Sand Producers Association of Southern Africa (ASPASA) and small-scale opencast mining has improved since the promulgation act was introduced in 2015, as well as highlighted health and safety hot topics, such as traffic management plans, protection of pedestrians, improvements on contributing factors of injuries, and bad practices.
Kurt Hine, IQ New Zealand, presented ‘Engaging our community’, a paper that highlighted Stevenson Group’s proactive approach towards stakeholder engagement. His presentation outlined the process and planning that the business went through in preparation to develop the next stage of Stevenson Drury Quarry, including an insightful discussion on its community engagement project to educate and inform local residents and the wider Drury community. He also outlined how the project considered environmental aspects such as local wildlife and nature, along with any potential eyesores or impacts from local residents.
Viv Russell FIQ is IQ International Presidents Chair. He adds: “We received an exceptional number of high-level entries to this year’s Caernarfon Award. It is a great reflection on how our international network of IQ organisations continue to deliver high-quality, informative and educational sessions for their members. On behalf of the IQ network, I’d like to congratulate our winner, Zeems Foo Kheng Sin, as well as each of our highly commended runners up.”