Engineering a brighter future for our WA School of Mines students
Peter Bradford, Chair of Curtin’s WAIT Alumni Scholarships Campaign Committee, is a WA School of Mines Curtin graduate whose professional achievements span decades, but he’s not just expanding his own career horizons. He’s giving back to the Curtin and broader community.
Peter Bradford commenced his studies at Curtin’s WA School of Mines in 1976. Graduating with an Extractive Metallurgy degree in 1978, his career has seen him travel the world, working extensively in Ghana and the Democratic Republic of Congo in senior management and chief executive roles, providing leadership in the strategic development and growth of a variety of companies.
Before reaching the age of 30, he rose through the ranks at Gidgee gold mine in 1987 to the position of general manager, overseeing the construction and development of the mine in Western Australia.
Offshore, he achieved similar success in Ghana, West Africa, for an Australian company with the development of the Iduapriem gold mine in 1992, which continues to operate today and remains a significant local employer and contributor to Ghana’s economy.
As CEO of IGO, a diversified mining, development and exploration company, Bradford has assisted with the acquisition of Sirius Resources in 2015 and the subsequent development and construction of the world-class Nova nickel-copper-cobalt mine which reached commercial production in July 2017, just five years after its discovery.
He connects the establishment of his successful career to his studies at WASM Curtin.
“The experience of living and studying away from home in Kalgoorlie was a great experience that contributed to a strong sense of independence,” Bradford explains.
“My Curtin degree has given me the opportunity to enjoy a great and rewarding career in Australia, Africa and the United States with the opportunity to work with and get to know many people from a diverse range of cultures.”
After years in the industry, Bradford feels it’s important to give back to the Curtin community, which is why he instigated mentoring programs and vacation placement opportunities for engineering students at IGO.
“The choice to study mining was a last-minute decision instead of medicine, thanks to an information session held by representatives from the WA School of Mines when I was in Grade 12. That ‘sliding doors moment’ has enabled me to have a range of professional and personal experiences that I would have never dreamed of. This kind of experience left an impact – one that ended up changing the course of my life and for the better.
“It’s for this reason that I feel so passionate about advocating on behalf of, and promoting working in, the mining industry to current and future generations of students in our state,” says Bradford.
“IGO has an active vacation program and two-year graduate program. We also support a number of scholarships through the WAIT Alumni Endowment Foundation and the WA Mining Club. We consider mentoring a key element of each of these programs. Personally, I am also an active mentor with the Women in Mining Western Australian mentoring program.”
In addition, Bradford is Chair of Curtin’s WAIT Alumni Scholarships Campaign Committee, a position that features many layers. Primarily it aims to actively raise the profile of the scholarship campaign, leveraging off the other committee members and Curtin University resources. The role is also responsible for appointing additional committee members so there is representation from every school, faculty. Finally, the Chair utilises existing networks and connections to identify and approach potential donors.
These initiatives, along his work in the field, earned him a place as a 2017 Western Australian of the Year finalist in the community and business category, and Bradford is determined to continue to have a positive impact on the industry.
“I look forward to continuing the journey we have started at IGO to build on the alignment that Nova’s nickel, copper and cobalt production has to the energy storage sector.
“We want to be more than a miner, we want to make a difference, and we believe that being aligned to the energy storage and electric vehicles sectors delivers this while providing our people with a greater sense of purpose.”