April 21, 2023

The evolution of mining methods in Mount Isa with Leigh Neindorf

My guest today is Leigh Neindorf, who has spent almost four decades working in the mining and resources industry in various positions across Mount Isa. Throughout his extensive career, Leigh has witnessed a significant evolution in mining methods at Mount Isa and today he shares his stories and experiences on site from the last 40 years. 

For the last 17 years, Leigh Neindorf has held the position of Mine Projects Manager at Xstrata Zinc, managing feasibility studies for both underground and surface mines. In this episode, Leigh reflects on his beginnings in the industry and how he progressed through various roles over the course of his career. As a new graduate, Leigh gained first hand experience working on underground mining contracts and was then offered positions in research engineering, copper mine production, construction, supervision and forming work, drilling and blasting and mine planning.

Leigh talks about the practical and technical experiences that gave him the skills and exposure to many different types of people. He shares how there was always a new challenge and something to learn in each role, and how this gave him a firm basis for his managerial career. 

We discuss how a manager must always ensure that good procedures are established and ensure that people understand them, utilise them and know the potential risks if they’re not followed. Leigh shares the tragic story of two underground fatalities, both of which could have been avoided if procedures were followed. 

Leigh also reflects on the changes he has witnessed in the Mt Isa community and what he perceives to be the most significant contributions to the success of the area. You’ll also hear Leigh’s biggest learnings and challenges over his impressive career and his technical and financial advice to people getting started in the industry. 

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