Cutifani’s journey to his present position began when he started his education in mining engineering on a part time basis at the University of Wollongong while working at the Coalcliff colliery.
He graduated from the University of Wollongong in 1982 with a first-class honours degree in mining engineering.
During the course of his study at Wollongong, Cutifani won numerous honours, including the Western Mining Corporation award for best second-year student in a mining engineering course in 1980, and an award for best thesis in 1982.
He was also a recipient of the Atlas Copco Travelling Bursary, an honour bestowed on just one student in Australasia per year.
Following his graduation, Cutifani pursued a career with many of Australia’s largest and most innovative mining companies.
He was recognised by his employers as having a particular talent for problem solving. To this end, he was quick to harness the university’s capabilities by engaging mining engineering academics in short-term research projects.
Cutifani also kept up his association with the science and study of mining by training University of Wollongong students during the summer vacation training program of mining engineering students.
In 2003, he embarked on an international career with Vale, AngloGold Ashanti and, most recently, Anglo American.
Nationally and internationally he has had a powerful impact on mine education through his involvement with numerous international programs and institutions in Brazil, South Africa, the US and Canada.
He is the chairman of the World Mining Congress, has published several scholarly papers and is a strong global advocate for the mining industry.
Cutifani also has a particular interest in workplace safety.
Renowned for the priority he places on mine safety, Cutifani noted in 2012 that zero fatalities was the only acceptable number. At AngloGold, the safety record improved by 70% under his leadership.
In presenting Cutifani’s award, University of Wollongong executive dean of the Faculty of Engineering Chris Cook said: “Mark has won widespread respect throughout the mining industry, governments and communities not only for his business acumen, but for his approach to the political and social issues facing communities where mining operations are located.
“Mark has a commitment to improving the lives and wellbeing of the miners and mining industry in Australia and worldwide.
“Chancellor, for his outstanding contribution to the mining industry and, in particular, for his abiding commitment to community engagement and workplace safety, it is my pleasure to present Mark Cutifani for the award Doctor of Business Administration, honoris causa.”