Australian Organising Committee

Peter Andrews
VP and Group Head of Geotechnical
Gold Fields Australia Pty Ltd

Peter has over 20 years of experience in the mining industry in both operating and consulting capacities. He has a broad range of experience with specific expertise in soil and rock mechanics in the geotechnical engineering field. Over this period, he has obtained international industry experience, having worked on a number of large open pit operations in Australia, New Guinea, Zambia, Ghana, and South America in material types ranging from weak sediments to hard rock environments. He specialises in geotechnical optimisation to extract additional value from operating pits.

Dr Stephan Arndt
WW Senior Industry Process Consultant, GEOVIA
Dassault Systèmes

Stephan is part of the global Industry Process Consulting team in Dassault Systèmes’ GEOVIA brand, providing business and people with virtual universes to imagine sustainable innovations. With over 25 years’ experience in advanced simulation methods in applications of rock mechanics, seismicity, discrete fracture networks, coupled multi-physics simulations he has been part of studies for major mining projects in Australia and overseas. His previous roles include A/Professor and Director Mining & Resources Engineering at Monash University and managing teams specialised in Geomechanics in Mining and Oil & Gas. He is serving on the AusIMM Mining Society Committee 2020-2022, on the Australian National University Environmental Engineering Industry Advisory Board and an active member of the American Rock Mechanics Association.

Professor Phil Dight
Professor Geotechnical Engineering
Australian Centre for Geomechanics

Phil has been involved with the development and design of ground support for mining applications since 1975. Phil joined the ACG in 2008 and has since been working on stress memory effects in rocks, ground support applications, slope stability problems (including the use of microseismicity to understand failure mechanisms), and 3D rock properties. In 2017, Phil commenced a four year MRIWA project aimed at investigating the issues of strainburst vulnerability in underground mines.

Michael Dunn
Principal Geotechnical Engineer
Debswana Diamond Company

Michael has 25 years’ mining geotechnical engineering experience in operational, corporate and consulting roles. He has experience in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Ghana and the USA, covering a range of deep to near surface underground mining methods and small to large open pits. Michael has held several senior roles at AngloGold Ashanti, Newmont, Evolution Mining and SRK Consulting. Michael has a strong interest in the geotechnical design process, especially with respect to understanding geotechnical uncertainty and managing geotechnical risk. Michael is a Fellow and Chartered Professional of the AusIMM and has published 28 technical papers.

Dr Marc Elmouttie
Research Team Leader: Mining Geoscience
CSIRO Energy

Marc leads the Mining Geoscience Team. He is a physicist with 15 years experience in researching and developing technologies for both mineral exploration and mining. The team’s research has been funded by coal and metalliferous mining companies and current research areas include 3D imaging, borehole logging and other sensing technologies, structural analysis algorithms and geotechnical analysis algorithms for stability analysis in surface and underground excavations. Marc’s research areas include 3D rock mass imaging & characterisation, quantifying uncertainty of structural analysis, modelling and monitoring of fractured rock systems for slope stability and other geotechnical analyses.

Jon Hall
Consulting Hydrogeologist
AQ2 Pty Ltd

Jon is a hydrogeologist with over 30 years in local and international mine water management consulting experience. Much of this work has been associated with open pit and underground mine inflow control, and pit slope and underground pore pressure control. Over the last 15 years or so, he has been commissioned by many international mining companies to provide high level technical and due diligence reviews relating to mine dewatering and depressurisation.
Over his professional career he been a mine geologist and a hydrogeologist with the Geological Survey of WA before starting his consulting career with Australian Groundwater Consultants in 1983. He was a founding director of Aquaterra in 1998 and continued with the group as a Technical Director after it after became part of the RPS Group in 2010. He recently left RPS to join a number of his old Aquaterra work colleagues at AQ2, a specialist mine water management group.

Christian Holland
Principal Geotechnical Engineer
BHP

Christan has worked for organisations such as MMG, AngloGold Ashanti, BHP, Placer Dome, Harmony Gold and WMC at numerous underground and open pit operations across Australia and Africa. This has allowed Christian to experience and work on challenging ground conditions and backfill requirements across diverse commodities, mining methods and cultures.

Dr Sanjive Narendranathan
Technical Director – Mining Geotechnical Engineering
GHD Pty Ltd

Sanjive is a Chartered Mining Professional and a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers Australia, he has over 15 years’ experience in the field of Mining Geomechanics. His operational experience includes responsibility for ground control at KCGM’s Super Pit and Mt Charlotte (underground) operations, where he undertook a number of applied research projects on topics such as final wall blasting techniques for open pit batters underlain by historic underground workings and underground support design requirements in ‘high stress’ conditions. He spent 10 years as a consulting engineer with Coffey Mining (7 years) and the Infra Tech Group (3 years), where he undertook a number of geotechnical designs and feasibility studies for clients such as Rio Tinto, BHP, Barrick, Newmont, for projects across of number of commodities in Australia, Asia and Africa. He has also been called upon to provide expert technical and forensic advice on a number of sensitive cases involving geotechnical engineering issues and disputes for firms such as Clayton UTZ and Minter Ellison’s.
He spent 1 year with the mining regulator in Victoria, as a Geotechnical Advisor, where he was responsible for providing advice to the office of State Resources Minister on Victorian mine and quarry stability requirements. In early 2018 he joined GHD as Technical Director (Mining) Geotechnical Engineering, and is focussed on the closure related stability considerations for Brown Coal Mines in the Latrobe Valley Region of Victoria.

Josephine Ruddle
Marketing Manager
Australian Centre for Geomechanics

Josephine’s responsibilities include marketing  communications, direct marketing, brand development, public relations and event management. Jo’s focus is to strengthen the ACG’s position locally and internationally as a leading provider of mining geomechanics information.

Julian Venter
Manager Geotechnical Engineering
AngloGold Ashanti

Julian Venter graduated from the University of Pretoria (UP) in 2000 with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering. Subsequently he obtained Master’s degrees in Geotechnical Engineering from UP in 2004, a Graduate Diploma in Rock Mechanics from the University of the Witwatersrand in 2007 followed by an MBa and a Master’s degree in Mineral Economics from Curtin University in 2017. He started his working career with SRK Consulting in Johannesburg in 2002 where he gained a well-rounded geotechnical exposure to a variety of problems including open pit and underground mining and construction. For geotechnical risk work carried out at SRK he was co-recipient of the SAIMM Gold medal in 2007 and also co-recipient of the ARMA Award for Applied Rock Mechanics Research in 2009. In 2008 Julian and his family moved to Tom Price in Australia where he joined Rio Tinto’s Tom Price Iron Ore mine as Senior Geotechnical Engineer accountable for Tom Price and periodically Marandoo and Brockman 2 operations. After carrying out further roles in Rio Tinto in Mine Planning, Technical Services Superintendent at Tom Price, Technical Serves Superintendent at Brockman 2 and Geotechnical Superintendent for the East Pilbara, he left Rio Tinto in 2015 to join SRG Limited as National Manager Geotechnical Engineering. In 2016 Julian started with AngloGold Ashanti as Geotechnical Manager for the Continental Africa Region. A position he still holds. Throughout his career Julian has served on open pit design teams in roles including: contributor, technical lead, project manager, project director and third party reviewer for more than 200 open pits and cut backs. Based on this experience he has become a champion of rigorous data based design processes based on a proper understanding of risk.

Diane Walker
Principal Consultant (Geotechnical Engineering)
SRK Consulting

Diane graduated in 1996 with a MSc in Engineering Geology, and has over 20 years experience working in geotechnical engineering. Her principal area of expertise is slope design for open pit mines, and also geotechnical characterisation for underground operations and mining infrastructure projects. She has undertaken feasibility studies, support to operations, technical reviews and due diligence studies. She has worked in a range of commodities including iron ore, gold, copper porphyry, nickel and uranium; in geological environments including saprolite, soft rock and anisotropic rock; with incorporation of hydrogeology and structural geology inputs. She has a particular focus on understanding the geological control on rock mass properties. She has undertaken several secondments on site and at mine head offices, working on technical and management aspects of geotechnical studies.

Dr Felicia Weir
Principal
PSM

Felicia Weir is a Principal Engineering Geologist of Pells Sullivan Meynink Pty Ltd, with over 12 years’ experience in her field. Felicia joined PSM after completing her PhD in Geomorphology. Felicia’s primary areas of practice include engineering geology, 3D geotechnical models and stability assessments for open cut mining.
Felicia enjoys a spectrum of projects from short life operations to large scale pits in complex risk settings. The development of accurate ground models and appropriate slope designs is her greatest pleasure. With recent work as Acting Geotechnical Superintendent at Ok Tedi Mine she has a good appreciation of the challenges faced in operations.
Felicia has worked on numerous major mining projects across Australia, Asia and Africa, including a number of large and technically challenging projects including Olympic Dam Open Pit Expansion, Ok Tedi operations and design in geothermal conditions at Lihir Gold Mine.