International Organising Committee

Third International Slope Stability in Mining Conference
14–16 November 2023 | The Westin Perth, Western Australia

International Organising Committee

Greg Abrahams
Manager – Geotechnical
Rio Tinto

Greg has 17 years’ international surface mining experience in both consulting and operational roles. At Bingham Canyon, he leads the geotechnical teams in design optimisation, implementation, and monitoring. Prior to working at Bingham Canyon, Greg was the principal geotechnical advisor and qualified individual at Rio Tinto’s Iron Ore Company of Canada mine. In a consulting role, Greg worked on numerous mine design projects from scoping level, through to feasibility and operational level design.

Peter Andrews
VP and Group Head of Geotechnical
Gold Fields 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 Teo da Costa
Project Management and Geotechnical Research
Vale S.A., Brazil

In 1998, Teo joined Vale as a short-term geologist for iron ore mines and in 2004, he moved to the geotechnical team focusing on slope monitoring and stability, slope designing and database collection for several open pits. In 2017, Teo moved to geotechnical risk management and supported the local geotechnical team for open pit operations, risk, final slope design, monitoring and new technologies applied to slope stability for all of Vale’s ferrous mines. Teo is one of Vale’s representatives for the industry’s Large Open Pit research project since 2008. 

Teo graduated with a geological engineering degree from the Federal University of Ouro Preto, Brazil in 1994 and in 1999, he obtained an honours in metallogenesis at the State University of Campinas, Brazil, and Master’s degree in science in geotechnics applied to mining in 2009 at Federal University of Ouro Preto, Brazil. In 2022, Teo was awarded a PhD from The University of Western Australia. He recently became Vale´s geotechnical competent person and a post-graduate professor at Pontific Catholic University of Minas Gerais.

Professor Phil Dight
Professor of Geotechnical Engineering
Australian Centre for Geomechanics

Phil has been involved with the development and design of ground support for mining applications since 1975. He was a partner in BFP Consultants until BFP was acquired by Coffey Mining. Phil has extensive consulting experience in the geotechnical aspects of the mining industry, and has worked on open pit and underground metalliferous mining problems. In 1985 he was awarded the Manuel Rocha Medal by the International Society for Rock Mechanics for his work in open pit mining and use of ground support to improve pit stability. His ground support algorithm has been adopted by Rocscience in its evaluation of ground support in Phases. With Peter Fuller, he undertook research into ground support work in a number of AMIRA sponsored projects. Much of that early research work has now been formalised in the literature by others. Phil joined the ACG in 2008 and has since been working on stress memory effects in rocks, ground support applications and slope stability problems.

Dr Ebrahim Fathi Salmi
Senior Research Scientist in Mining Geomechanics, Hard Rock Mining

Ebrahim is a senior researcher and a design engineer with extensive experience in rock mechanics and rock engineering. Ebrahim triggered his journey in geotechnical engineering in 2007 when he started working as a tunnel engineer for a civil engineering consulting firm. He was involved with a broad range of projects, including mechanised and conventional tunnelling, design, and the stability analysis of excavations in problematic grounds (e.g. heavily tectonised rocks and fault zones. swelling and squeezing rocks. water-bearing grounds and anisotropic and foliated rock masses). Ebrahim also worked on the long-term stability analysis of abandoned mine workings and the valorisation of these excavations for other engineering applications. He used two-dimensional and three-dimensional continuous and discontinuous numerical modellings to investigate the long-term stability of mining excavations and the risks of ground failure. Ebrahim joined CSIRO in 2017 and has since been involved with several projects, including Measurement While Drilling in Iron Ore Mines, In-situ Characterisation of Rock Masses for the Selective Blasting of Rocks, Rock Fragmentation for Mine to Mill Optimisation and Grade Engineering, and Analytical and Numerical Modelling for the Stability Analysis of Surface and Underground Mining Excavations.

Wouter Hartman
Manager Geotechnical & Hydrogeology
PT Merdeka Copper Gold Tbk, Indonesia

Wouter is currently the manager geotechnical and hydrogeology for Merdeka Copper Gold based in Indonesia. Wouter has over 34 years’ industry experience of which 30 of those years have been related to geotechnical/rock engineering. Wouter has a particular focus around operational and consulting activities related to geotechnical/rock mechanics guidance for underground and open pit mining/waste dumps, water dams and tailings storage facilities in Indonesia, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Vietnam, China, Chile, UAE, Oman. Wouter has broad exposure to a range of mining and civil related projects and operations with experience in the following commodities: dold, copper, nickel, lead/zinc, platinum, and brown and black coal.

His mining and civil geotechnical experience is coupled with project management of many small to large projects. Wouter has been involved with geotechnical corporate governance and driving change to management plans (GCMPs, WMP, HLMP, TSFMPs) to be more risk-based with an emphasis around critical controls and trigger action response plans.

Wouter’s extensive experience in risk management, monitoring and failure/damage assessment, ground control design and stability assessments for various mining and civil projects and being an expert witness has provided an insight into various process and management system failures.

Christian Holland
Senior Manager: Geotechnical Support Operations
AngloGold Ashanti

Christian has worked in the mining industry for over 25 years, with operational geology and geotechnical engineering experience in open pit and underground mines across multiple commodities in Africa, Australia, South America and Southeast Asia.  

Dr Kim Le Roux
Manager Geotechnical Engineering
Rio Tinto

Kim has over 25 years’ experience as a geotechnical professional in a range of industries and countries in both consulting and operational roles. She has led diverse, multidisciplinary teams to effectively deliver on a wide range of complex projects ranging from open pit and underground mining, roads and rail projects, dams, tailings dams, and ports and harbours. She has a PhD in civil engineering from the University of Toronto. At Rio Tinto Iron Ore she leads the geotechnical engineering community through the product lifecycle, from data collection, delivery of studies, operational design and support, risk management and assurance, and mine closure.

Dr Alison McQuillan
Rocscience Australia

Alison currently holds the position of director at Rocscience Australia where she oversees operations in the Southeast Asia-Pacific region. She is a chartered professional in geotech and RPEQ. Alison has a PhD in rock mechanics. Her area of expertise is open cut slope stability. She previously worked in both operational and corporate roles for Anglo American and Rio Tinto, as well as providing consulting advice for copper, gold, and iron ore operations in Australia and Southeast Asia.

Josephine Ruddle
Event Manager
Australian Centre for Geomechanics

Dr Adam Schwartzkopff
Senior Lecturer, Mining Engineering
The University of Western Australia

Adam has a BEng (Mining Engineering) and PhD (Geomechanics) from The University of Adelaide. During his PhD, he examined the prediction of breakdown pressures and fracture propagation surfaces from hydraulic fracturing using artificial rock specimens (intact and with a replicated crack). During a post-doctoral research fellowship at Kumamoto University in Japan, he investigated using an extended finite element code the prediction of fault mechanics and microseismicity from an in-situ fluid injection experiment into a pre-existing fault. He is currently a senior lecturer in mining engineering at The University of Western Australia.

Diane Walker
Principal Consultant (Geotechnical Engineering)
SRK Consulting

Diane graduated in 1996 with an MSc in engineering geology, and has over 20 years’ experience working in geotechnical engineering. Her principal areas of expertise are slope design for open pit mines, and 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

Felicia is a principal engineering geologist at PSM, an Australian based geotechnical engineering firm. She joined PSM over 17 years ago after completing her PhD at the University of Sydney. Felicia specialises in geotechnical open pit slope design and operational support. Her recent work has focused on the development of robust 3D engineering geology models, rock fall risk management and assisting operations in the management of unstable slopes. Felicia is a member of ARMA, AGS and AusIMM.

Charlotte Woolley
Principal Geotechnical Engineer
Ora Banda Mining

Charlotte has over 10 years’ experience in the Australian mining industry, in both underground and open pit operations. During this time, she has worked in a variety of challenging geotechnical settings ranging from seismically active hard rock environments to saturated weathered slopes. Her open pit specialities are risk management/mitigation and failure remediation.