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Ron Knapp

Secretary General, International Aluminium Institute

Ron Knapp has been in his current post as Secretary General of the International Aluminium Institute, London since December 2008. Prior to this appointment Ron was the Executive Director of the Australian Aluminium Council from 2002 to 2008. Previous positions include Chief Executive of the World Coal Institute from 1997 to 2001 and the Minerals Council of Australia from 1987 to 1996. Ron is an economist with experience in both government and private sectors. The International Aluminium Institute is the global forum of the world's aluminium producers. Through the Institute, the aluminium industry aims to promote a wider understanding of its activities and demonstrate its responsibility in relation to all key sustainability issues - environmental, health, safety and recycling.


Prof. Xiao-bin Li

Professor, School of Metallurgy and Environment, Central South University, China

Prof. Li is the academic head of the Alkaline Process Metallurgy Research Center at Central South University, China. His research interests include the theory and technique of alkaline process metallurgy, crystallization process, interface properties, and comprehensive utilization of resources and environmental protection.

Li has been researching on alumina refinery since 1983 and made stellar achievements. He published approximately 200 scientific refereed papers , held nearly 50 Chinese invention patents, and accomplished more than 80 research projects. Moreover, several innovative technologies such as the sandy alumina production and oxalate removal from Bayer liquor have been successfully applied in alumina refineries, several others including red mud discharge reduction and intensified seeded precipitation are on the way of commercialization. Additionally, based on the long-term research on alumina refinery, Li creatively proposed a metallurgical symmetric principle comprising orientated regulations of mineral transformation and mineralogical phase reconstruction, and successively developed cleaner processes for producing sodium dichromate, ammonium paratungstate and ammonium molybdates in recent years.

Recognized for his exceptional work, Prof. Li has been honored with numerous awards including two National Awards, several provincial scientific awards, Chinese Patent Gold Medal, and Science and Technology Cooperation Award by Chalco.


Raphael Costa

Technology Director, Bauxite & Alumina
Hydro Bauxite, Brazil

Raphael is the technology director for the Bauxite & Alumina business unit of Hydro, responsible for technology selection and development, the R&D group portfolio and the technical support to operations, including the bauxite mining and beneficiation operations at Paragominas and the alumina refining operations at Alunorte. He is the president of the Companhia de Alumina do Para (CAP) alumina refinery project. He is also a member of the bauxite mine Mineração Rio do Norte (MRN) board, the Paragominas mine board, and the Alunorte refinery board.

Raphael has more than 30 years of experience in the aluminum industry, working in various technical and managerial positions with Alcoa and Hydro, in Brazil, US, Spain and Australia. He also has 4 years of experience in the steel mini-mill industry in the US. 

He has a Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in Brazil and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Houston-Victoria, in the US.


Dr Anne Duncan

Plant Manager, Almatis Burnside
Almatis Premium Alumina, USA

Anne is the Plant Manager of the Almatis Burnside Specialty Alumina Refinery located in southeastern Louisiana, USA. Anne is responsible for the specialty refinery transformation and production of premium alumina feedstocks for global Almatis and US third party customers. With more than 25 years of alumina experience, Anne has held technical and operational management roles in 5 refineries across Australia, Jamaica, and the USA. As Chief Advisor Technology for Rio Tinto Alcan, Anne led Best Practice Networks to unlock refinery business value. A Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma, Anne has introduced an appropriate Lean standard for Burnside and Almatis. A Nuclear Engineer (McMaster University) by training, Anne also has a Masters Degree in Metallurgy (University of Toronto), and a PhD in Chemical Engineering (University of Auckland).


Bruce Cox

Managing Director
Pacific Operations, Aluminium
Rio Tinto

Bruce is managing director of Rio Tinto Aluminium’s Pacific Operations. This business is responsible for the bauxite mining, alumina refining, and primary metal smelting assets of Rio Tinto in the Pacific region. The business has an employee base of approximately 6,000 employees and a revenue base in excess of US$4.5 billion. The Pacific Operations portfolio includes the bauxite mines, Gove and Weipa, alumina refineries, QAL and Yarwun, aluminium smelters, Bell Bay, Boyne, Tomago and NZAS as well as the Gladstone Power Station.

Bruce has more than 36 years of experience within Rio Tinto and BHP, and prior to his current role was managing director of Rio Tinto Diamonds. Bruce’s career has spanned the steel, platinum, copper, iron ore, uranium, diamond and aluminium commodity sectors and he has lived in Australia, Zimbabwe, Chile, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Bruce is Chair of the Australian Aluminium Council and Queensland Alumina Limited, board member of Tomago and recently was non-executive director of the listed company ERA. He has a Bachelor of Commerce and MBA and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

During his career, Bruce has held a number of senior CFO roles as well as broader CEO and Managing Director roles. He has extensive commercial, M&A and operational experience across multiple commodity sectors. Bruce has substantial on-the-ground experience in business turnaround and transformation of distressed assets.


Guest Speaker

Dr Keith Suter

Futurist & Consultant on Strategic Planning

Since moving to Australia from London in 1973 at the age of 25, Dr Keith Suter has achieved three doctorates. The first of these was about the international law of guerrilla warfare (University of Sydney), and the second about the social and economic consequences of the arms race (Deakin University) and a third doctorate on scenario planning (Sydney University).

He has been appointed to many prestigious roles throughout his career, including Chairperson of the International Humanitarian Law Committee of Australian Red Cross (NSW), Chairperson of the International Commission of Jurists (NSW), Director of Studies at the International Law Association (Australian Branch) and Managing Director of the Global Directions think tank.

He has also been a member of the prestigious Club of Rome since 1993. The Club is “an informal association of independent leading personalities from politics, business and science, men and women who are long-term thinkers interested in contributing in a systemic interdisciplinary and holistic manner to a better world. The Club of Rome members share a common concern for the future of humanity and the planet.” The club has only 100 members, with Mikhail Gorbachev amongst them.

In 1999, Keith was made a Life Member of the United Nations Association of Australia in recognition of his service. At various times from 1978 to 1999, he served as the national president of the organisation and took on the roles of the WA and NSW state president.

Keith was the President of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (1991-1998) at the University of Sydney, and was a Consultant on Social Policy with the Wesley Mission’s for 17 years. In addition, he served as a consultant for a number of other organisations, with a focus on local and international issues.

He is also an active member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and his activities include conducting monthly webcasts with business leaders. He frequently appears on radio and television discussing politics and international affairs.

Amongst Keith’s many books are "All about Terrorism: Everything you were afraid to ask" and “Global Order and Global Disorder: Globalization and the Nation-State” and “50 Things You Want to Know About World Issues... But Were Too Afraid to Ask.”

He is a highly experienced, professional and awarded presenter of ideas, with topics including ethics, world affairs, globalisation, mining, global warming, leadership, the future, and corporate governance.


Master of Ceremonies

Karen Tighe

ABC TV sports Presenter & Broadcaster

Karen has been a regular face and voice of ABC TV and radio sport since joining the ABC in 1989.

After completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and Psychology at Macquarie University in Sydney, Karen spent eight years as a TV sports broadcaster and presenter, anchoring golf, tennis and other major sporting broadcasts on the ABC network.

In 1997, she made the move to ABC Radio as the presenter of the weekend national sports program ‘Summer Grandstand’ – a role she still enjoys from her adopted home town of Perth.

Karen co-hosted ABC Radio’s cover of the Sydney, Athens and Beijing Olympics, Kuala Lumpur and Manchester Commonwealth Games and has hosted six Paralympic Games (Lillehammer, Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney, Beijing and London) with ABC TV.

She was part of the Friday night fun of ‘Live & Sweaty’ on ABC TV in the early nineties and for six years presented sport on ABC TV’s weeknight news in Perth.

Karen was also the regular host of ABC TV’s annual coverage of the Hopman Cup tennis tournament from 1994 to 2010.

She was the Media Award winner at the 2000 and 2001 Australian Sports Awards.

Karen is married to former ABC sports commentator Glenn Mitchell and is mother of ten year old James.