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.

View the event brochure.


List of accepted abstracts now available!

Keynote speakers


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 associated with tailings management

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The main focus on risk assessment for tailings facility is often on the technical aspects that are usually addressed in the design phase of project development. In almost every failure case it has been shown that the root cause has been a failure in governance, capital constraints, change management independent reviews, construction supervision etc. The investigation of failures almost exclusively focus on the technical cause with not the same level of review of what is often the underlying root cause.

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 process – are they manageable?

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Cave mining methods have become viable and preferred mass mining options where the objectives are low cost and high production rates. However, the cave mining industry has already entered into a less certain period where current cave mining methods may not be suitable to achieve the low cost and high productivity objectives. This environment includes deeper and sometimes blind deposits (more than 1,200m from surface), lower average grade deposits, harder and heterogeneous rock masses, higher stress and in some cases higher temperature environments. This scenario is requiring greater caving block heights, demanding for increased safety and productivity and escalating mining costs (capital and operating). In addition, there is increasing shortage of technical skills, becoming more difficult to access capital and communities are after higher environmental standards. In this new cave mining environment, several challenges or risks are identified that can have critical impact on safety, productivity and profitability. It is necessary, therefore, that these major hazards be acknowledged, and the likelihood of their occurrence be evaluated and minimised during the deposit investigation, mine design and planning, and operational stages of caving process. These are not trivial issues and can have the most serious of consequences. They demand serious managerial and technical attention.
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.

John Hadjigeorgiou

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

John Lupo

Dr John Lupo
Newmont Asia Pacific, 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

Conference themes

  • 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.

Conference audience

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, Dr Johan Wesseloo.