This new ACG conference seeks to provide a forum for mining geomechanical practitioners around the world to improve on assessing, quantifying, communicating and managing mining geomechanical risk to maximise shareholder value.
List of received papers now available!
Dr Bruce Brown
Bruce Brown Consulting Pty Ltd, Australia
Bruce Brown has 43 years’ experience in geotechnical engineering and mine waste management. His career has comprised 25 years as a principal of the international consulting group, Knight Piésold Consulting and 13 years as the Chief Adviser, Tailings and Dams for Rio Tinto, Technology and Innovation. In this time he has been responsible for the design, construction, operation and closure of numerous tailings storage facilities in North and South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the South Pacific. His experience ranges from cold regions of Alaska and Northern Canada to the mountainous regions of South America and the tropical monsoonal countries. With Rio Tinto, he has been focussed on risk management, technical reviews and development of standards for effective mine waste management. He was an author of the ANCOLD Guidelines on Planning, Design, Construction, Operation and Closure of Tailings Dams and the Federal EPA Tailings Containment module of the Best Practice Environmental Management in Mining.
Dr Brown is now in private practice and offers services to the mining and consulting communities for peer and independent technical and strategic reviews, audits for operations and construction quality assurance, risk assessments, conceptual design and value engineering.
Keynote address: What are the real risks for tailings facilities?
Despite this focus on technical risk assessment at the design phases of the development of a TSF, there are still a significant number of failures occurring in every year. In recent times, there have been a number of high profile TSF failures in facilities owned by major mining houses and/or located in highly regulated, first world countries. In almost every case, the investigation into the failures have been carried out by high profile, internationally recognized geotechnical engineers who have identified the technical reasons for the failure.
In many cases, it has been shown that the root causes of the failures have been a failure in governance, capital constraints, change management, independent reviews, construction supervision, operation etc. The investigation of failures and reported to the public are almost exclusively focused on the technical cause with much less on what is often the underlying root cause.
A number of international mining industry groups have recognised the lack of effective governance as being a major risk that could lead to TSF failures. The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) and the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) are two examples.
In this paper, the various methods for risk assessment and management are described. Non-technical risks that arise in the design and operation of TSFs are discussed and importance of good governance and continuity of its application during the full life cycle of the facilities is emphasised.
Dr German Flores-Gonzalez
Newcrest Mining Limited, Australia
German is a mining engineer with more than 35 years of experience in geotechnical engineering, mining engineering, mine planning and operations of block/panel caving and large open pits mines and projects. He has performed various roles during his professional career including mine preparation and production shift supervisor, geotechnical engineer and geotechnical engineering superintendent for block/panel caving and open pits mines, study manager for the transition from open pit to underground panel cave mining, study manager for large open pit and panel caving projects, group development manager for block/panel caving and open pit projects and corporate roles as head of development and head of mining. He was the project manager for Chuquicamata Underground project. Currently is the general manager caving at Newcrest Mining Limited.
Keynote address: Major hazards associated with cave mining – are they manageable?Read abstract
This paper focusses on the major risks of caving process which includes cave establishment (development, drawbell opening, undercutting), cave propagation, cave breakthrough to surface, steady state production and the end of the mine life. Measures to manage these risks aiming to reduce their consequences are also discussed.
Professor John Hadjigeorgiou
University of Toronto, Canada
Professor Hadjigeorgiou holds the Pierre Lassonde Chair in Mining Engineering at the University of Toronto. John previously served as head of the Department of Mining, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering at Université Laval in Quebec City.
Dr Hadjigeorgiou is a PEng with over 25 years of international experience in mining engineering. John is a past recipient of the John Franklin Award from the Canadian Geotechnical Society and the Rock Mechanics Award from the Canadian Institute of Mining. John is a fellow of the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and holds the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.
Keynote address: Understanding, managing, and communicating geomechanical mining risk
Dr John Lupo
Newmont Mining Corporation, USA
Dr Lupo holds a PhD in geotechnical engineering. He has over 30 years’ experience working within the mining industry. He currently is the Senior Director of Geotechnical and Hydrology at Newmont Mining Corporation in Denver, Colorado, USA.
Keynote address: Geotechnical risk-informed decision-making in mining
Mount Isa Mines Limited, A Glencore Company, Australia
Geoffrey began his career in 1994 as a Learner Official at President Steyn Gold Mine in South Africa. He received his Chamber of Mines Certificate in Rock Engineering in 2006 while working as a Rock Mechanics Officer at Rustenburg Platinum Mine gaining extensive experience in hard rock narrow tabular mining. He has gained experience in Board and Pillar mining and Sub Level Open Stoping while working as Senior Rock Mechanics Engineer at Xstrata Alloys and Rock Mechanics Superintendent at Mount Isa Mines Copper Operations. Geoffrey represented Africa on the ISRM Young Members Presidential Group and served on the national committee of the South African National Institute of Rock Engineering.
Keynote address: Risk-based access control at Mount Isa Copper OperationsRead abstract
A significant increase in rock related near-hit incidents occurred during the second half of 2014 and the first half of 2015. A number of these incidents had the potential to cause severe or fatal harm. The incidents triggered internal investigations that aimed at understanding and reducing the ground failure risk. The outcome of the investigations was the creation of a series of interlinked systems namely the Tunnel Condition Risk Assessment (TCRA), Mine Closure Areas (MCA), Ground Awareness Training (GAT), Vertical Opening Pillar Hazard Assessment and Control (VOPHAC), Stope Void Review (SVR), Manual Scaling crews, Fall of Ground Database and the QA/QC Management Plan (QA/QC MP). The Individual components of the system are specialised and simple, however; the system is comprehensive and robust. Each of the components as well as how they interlink is discussed within this paper.
The interlinked systems and practices provide controls and have proven to be effective at reducing the ground failure risks. Although the systems were developed at MICO, they have the potential to be easily adapted and utilised at other mine sites.
- Assessing uncertainty and variability and the risk and opportunity value of information.
- Qualitative and quantitative assessment of mining geotechnical risk and risk-based design.
- Communicating geotechnical risk to different stakeholders.
- Management of mining geotechnical risk.
- Integration of geotechnical risk in mine planning and mine design processes.
This conference targets all geomechanics practitioners, consultants, researchers and mining engineers from all geomechanics disciplines in mining as well as senior executives faced with managing the business risks. The conference will address risk from geotechnical fields in mining including surface and underground rock mechanics, tailings and backfill, environmental geomechanics and mine closure.
Click here to view an article on mining geomechanical risk, written by conference chair, Associate Professor Johan Wesseloo.