In March 2012, the Board of Directors for the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) announced the appointment of Damien Duff as Chief Operating Officer (COO). In his role as COO, he will run daily operations to ensure that CEMI fulfills its commitments to stakeholders and funding agencies for existing programs. This will include coordination of research initiatives, capacity and network development, contract development and execution as well as policy development and compliance.The statement continued: “By ensuring quality outcomes he will enable CEMI to meet the needs of patron and sponsor organisations as new projects and programs become operational. This will maintain a solid foundation from which CEMI will be able to implement its growth strategy.” He brings expertise from a 31 year career in mining and exploration geology, with Noranda and Falconbridge (now Xstrata), including three years on secondment from Xstrata to the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, Mines and Minerals Division as a Senior Advisor. For the past four years, he has served as R&D Program Director at CEMI, focused in the areas of deep mining geotechnical risk, mineral exploration and environmental sustainability. He is a former president of the Geological Society of the Canadian Institute of Mining (CIMM) and Company Director of First Nickel. He is also a recipient of the CIM Fellowship Award, awarded in recognition of “contributions to the Canadian minerals industry and to the CIM,” and is a registered Professional Geoscientist in the Province of Ontario.Douglas Morrison, President & CEO, CEMI said: “Damien, working with Dr Peter Kaiser during his time as the Founding President of CEMI, has been heavily involved in the development of the major research programs on GeoRisk and Ground Characterisation for deep mines. He is thoroughly familiar with the work of the academics who are the leaders of the individual research projects and personally committed to completing these objectives. Now that Dr Kaiser is focused on Rio Tinto’s Underground Mine Construction program, Damien is the ideal person to take over the direction of these programs and personally I am delighted that he has agreed to take on this important responsibility.”The Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) directs and coordinates step-change innovation in the areas of exploration, deep mining, integrated mine engineering, environment and sustainability for the metal mining industry. With a seasoned team of program directors, CEMI identifies, assesses, funds and manages industry-focused applied research & development projects that extend from geology and engineering to the natural sciences. CEMI states that it recognises innovation as a three-phase process: research, development and implementation (R&D&I), where innovative ideas can become best practice.