BookCover-StrictlyMining-final“…valuable reading for resources industry directors.”

– AusIMM Bulletin

“…a useful guide for future directors.”

– Geoscientist



Allan Trench has written the Strictly Boardroom column on for around 10 years. Three years ago, he published his first compilation of the articles as a book entitled “Strictly (Mining) Boardroom”. Since then I have begun helping Allan on the Strictly Boardroom co-authoring and authoring many of the articles. As such, I am honoured to co-author the next book compiling articles written between 2012 and early-2016. The book is entitled “Strictly (Mining) Boardroom: Volume II – A Practitioner’s Guide for Next Generation Directors“.

The book, this time, is focused on helping potential new industry leaders, particularly those with an eye on entering the minerals industry boardroom. Though it is also fair to say more experienced industry hands should also benefit from the book.

The thinking is based on Allan’s years of experience working on the resource industry front line, in the minerals industry boardroom, as a management academic, and as a management consultant, with some younger and hopefully fresh perspectives from myself, having spent several years consulting to the boards of small minerals companies, and conducting industry-based and academic research on the minerals industry. Together, we hopefully provide a top-down and bottom-up perspective of the industry.

As well, as the articles from, commentary is also provided on each section highlighting how the articles apply to minerals sector management and leadership. The book is hopefully both comprehensive in coverage and punchy in style.


If you are interested in buying the book it is available as a hard copy or e-book from Major Street Publishing or Amazon.


The sections covered in the book are:


A positive review of the book by James Montgomery appeared in the August 2017 edition of Geoscientist (the members magazine of the Geological Society of London), where he described Strictly Boardroom: Volume II as “…an interesting book, a good introduction to the mining sector and no doubt a useful guide for future directors”.

A positive review of the book by Ivy Chen (Principal Consultant at CSA Global) appeared in the February 2017 edition of the AusIMM Bulletin, where she described the book as “valuable reading for resources industry directors”.

Articles publicising the book have appeared in ‘The Digger‘ (July 2016) and the 2016 winter edition of WA Director, the members’ magazine of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).

Advanced Praise

“Trench and Sykes are two incredibly well learned professionals presenting an insightful illustration of the formulation and implementation of mining company strategy backed by academic, empirical and experiential evidence. Strictly (Mining) Boardroom is a well balanced text and a very useful addition to my bookshelf.

  • Tim Andrews, Contracts and Procurement Professional and The University of Western Australia MBA Graduate 2016

“An entertaining dialogue, covering many aspects of the business of mining from the board’s perspective. The mention of low (STEM) gender diversity at the board level is well timed now that innovation is clearly linked to a long-term mindset and divergent thinking. This book has reminded me of some key concepts from my MBA(Fin) and their relevance to every strategic decision, with a focus on what must go right, asking the right questions at the right time and with an awareness of availability heuristics. This book sheds light on value adding strategies and current commodities of choice, exploring the risk-return relationship in exploration, development and M&A! The book also touches on social licence to operate and the industry’s duty to share some of the wealth it generates with the community through government “rents”. There’s a nice argument at the end on the need for a review of the royalties and tax regime in Australia and the need for long-term policy stability. A nice book!”

  • Alex Atkins, Manager in Risk Advisory at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Director for the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) and Earth Science Western Australia (ESWA)

“Trench and Sykes are storytellers who bring issues that mire our industry to the forefront in an engaging style. I found myself thinking ‘I know this person’, maybe because at least once or twice it was me.”

  • Steve Beresford, Exploration Geologist, Adjunct Professor at the Centre for Exploration Targeting, The University of Western Australia, and Chair of Geoscience, UNCOVER

“Managers, directors, students and teachers can benefit from this book. I am definitely recommending it; particularly to “my” WASM students of Mine Management and Corporate Governance. Examples through – out are incredibly illustrative and a great combination of the concepts that drive successful strategic management in the resources sector and practical advice on its implementation. This is more effective than deciphering theories. I had fun reading it – and hope to see more women on mining boardrooms, before 2040!”

  • Dr Carla Boehl, Senior Lecturer, Western Australian School of Mines (WASM), Curtin University

“Trench and Sykes deliver a valuable resource to practitioners and students of the boardroom alike, by stripping away theoretical overburden and providing intelligent, entertaining and practical insights on the full gamut of issues faced by boards of mining companies.”

“Strictly (Mining) Boardroom is a delight, with lots of truth and advice for everyone. Don’t read it from the front, just dive in anywhere. Maybe flag the key insights at the end of every chapter for memorising unless you can read the whole book three times. Have Post-It notes handy.”

  • Chris Davis, Mining Industry Consultant

“Balanced with the perfect amount of humour, Strictly (Mining) Boardroom presents practical and progressive scenarios and case studies, which challenge the reader to consider historical assumptions of the industry when looking to the future.”

“Trench and Sykes’ informative and entertaining new book Strictly (Mining) Boardroom is a savvy guide for decision-makers in the mining industry. Using real-world examples and scenarios that illustrate the issues facing the board members of mining companies it provides insights on where we as an industry can do better.”

  • Matthew Greentree, Principal Consultant (Geology & Project Evaluation), SRK Consulting

“A thought-provoking read packed with anecdotes, Strictly (Mining) Boardroom encourages strategic and lateral thinking in the mining industry. Trench and Sykes present a forward-thinking and fresh perspective on what it takes for companies and professionals to succeed in the mining industry of the 21st century.”

“Allan Trench and John Sykes have mastered what few are able to do with their publication Strictly (Mining) Boardroom by delivering an incredibly insightful and informative text in a very engaging and readable format. The use of personal anecdotes and thought pieces underlined by a subtly humorous narrative makes for a very enjoyable and equally thought-provoking read.”

“Whatever your current or aspiring role in the mining industry – whether director, investor, analyst, specialist, accountant or other stakeholder, this collection of case studies, theoretical examples and thought-provoking scenarios offers real insight into the decision making processes that should occur around the table at boardrooms. The authors and contributors draw on a range of direct experiences in the mining and exploration industry rarely achievable for any individual, gained through years of client contact, board positions, management consulting and armchair speculation. If you’re serious about the mining and exploration industry, particularly in its current state, make sure you know about the issues and ideas raised here. Buy the book!”

“Strictly (Mining) Boardroom focuses on issues prevalent in the mining industry – ranging from the obvious to the ignored. It will serve as an essential guide for everyone: from the next generation of mining executives, to technical leaders and anyone interested in mining and mineral exploration strategy. There are likely other such resources, but this will eclipse them due to the simple, practical and entertaining presentation of its insights.”

  • Ahmad Saleem, Exploration geologist and PhD Researcher (Mineral economics)

“Entertaining and thought-provoking in equal measures, Strictly (Mining) Boardroom is an invaluable resource for the next generation of leaders; alongside offering practical advice for directors, the book sets itself apart by challenging those conventions that may not be as clear-cut as they first appear.”

“The authors’ chatty style and witty metaphors form a highly entertaining backdrop to their compelling insights into ‘real’ issues confronting resources industry boards. This is highly recommended to aspiring board members, those seeking to improve their emotional intelligence in a board setting, and anyone seeking an entertaining read.”

“Trench and Sykes revisit the Strictly Boardroom columns to provide us with the do’s and don’t’s for any would-be mining exec. The questions posed give the reader a taste of the many business conundrums that boards may face and offer tips for strategy and planning in various hypothetical scenarios. A nice informal read for a serious, business-orientated genre.”

  • Josh Wright, Minerals Consultant and Director of Rowton Consolidated