You are currently viewing EP.8 Metals, Minerals & the Future of Mining with Don Smith of Xeni

EP.8 Metals, Minerals & the Future of Mining with Don Smith of Xeni

On Full Production this week, I’m speaking with a great mate of mine and one of the first people I ever met on a mine site, Don Smith. With decades of experience in the industry, Don’s passionate about what’s needed to get mines up and running from the ground up. Don’s not like other geologists – there are no rock collections in his lounge – and he’s more focused on making sure that exploration leads to an economically worthwhile operation.

Our chat takes us through Don’s education, what led him to geology and what he’s seen over the years working in the mining industry. We take some time to discuss the problems the industry in Australia faces today and over the course of the current upswing. Don outlines his vision of what he thinks the cycles will look like over the next few decades.

Tune in for our chat that also covers:

  • What life is like living on a mine site as a kid
  • The reason why looking at projects holistically is key to success
  • Why understanding cost and project scale is important
  • How dead projects from the last upswing are getting resurrected
  • Why exploration is like finding a needle in a haystack
  • How upswing/downswing cycles will get shorter
  • Why the industry isn’t doing enough to prep for the next upswing
  • The reason why creating environments for people to succeed is important
  • How artificial intelligence is in the industry’s future
  • Sub-level caving vs. underground approaches for orebodies



Don Smith – LinkedIn