It is with great sadness that we note the passing of Bill Webb after a long illness. Bill, who lived in Perth, Western Australia, was a stalwart of our industry, a former employee and a friend to me and many people at Ausenco. Bill was an experienced “old school’ Construction Manager thriving in difficult and challenging remote environments in various parts of the world. I’ve been very fortunate to meet some amazing people during my time at Ausenco and without question Bill is up there with the best.
Bill commenced in our industry when he joined Minproc Engineers in the early 1980s developing cost effective gold projects throughout Australia. This was the era of colourful characters and Bill was certainly one of them.
When the company expanded into West Africa, Bill was the first to pack his bags and was the Construction Manager on the Bogosu Gold Project in Ghana. This was the start of a love affair with that country that saw him involved in the development of a number of projects that are still operating today.
Working in these types of environments required resourcefulness, strong leadership, persistence and a never give up attitude, Bill possessed all these traits and more. People liked working for Bill, they understood their roles, their goals and their responsibilities but more importantly he was fair and made working in some very inhospitable places fun.
Following stints in Russia, Chile and Indonesia Bill joined Ausenco to undertake the North Mara project in Tanzania, one of our most successful and hallmark projects. This lead to a period of growth for Ausenco in which Bill played an active part. He worked for Ausenco over a 13-year period on some iconic projects in all parts of the world. During this time Bill influenced and trained many young engineers to become skilled Project Managers, most of whom have gone onto very successful careers.
It is worth reflecting on just some of the projects in which Bill participated – a real history of our industry:
- Kinsevere Stage II Copper Project, Democratic Republic of Congo
- Manantial Espejo Silver/Gold Project, Argentina
- Oyu Tolgoi Project Development, Mongolia
- North Mara Gold Project, Tanzania
- Macraes Gold Project, New Zealand
- Yolland Nitrates Project, Chile
- Bakyrchick Gold Project, Kazakhstan
- Bogosu Gold Project, Ghana
- Bibiani Gold Project, Ghana
- Ashanti Goldfields Mine Expansion Project, Ghana
- Ridgeway Gold Project, USA
- Baia Marie Gold Project, Romania
- Jubilee Gold Project, Australia
- Harbour Lights Gold Project, Australia
- Paringa Gold Project, Australia
- Rum Jungle, Australia
- Greenbushes Tin Mine Expansion and Upgrade, Australia.
The contributions that Bill made to Ausenco and the industry were unparalleled. He was at the forefront of remote construction in Africa and developed innovative techniques which resulted in savings in time and cost, benefiting the clients and the company. We will miss Bill and he will always be in our thoughts.
We pass on our best wishes and condolences to his wife Zanette, his extended family and his many friends throughout Ausenco and our industry.
Vale Bill Webb.
Zimi Meka June 2018