Keynote Speakers

Alex Campbell
Principal Engineer Mining and Rock Mechanics
Beck Engineering Pty Ltd

Alex is a mining engineer with 15 years’ experience in operating mines and as a consultant. His experience spans underground and open pit mining, with roles including geotechnical engineering, mine production and long term mine planning. He holds bachelor’s degrees in Mining Engineering and Civil Engineering, a master’s in Mining Geomechanics and completed a PhD in 2019. Alex has special interests in sublevel caving, blasting and cave flow simulation, and has published over 20 papers to date. Alex is currently a principal mining and rock mechanics engineering at Beck Engineering.

Evan Jones
Principal Geotechnical Engineer
BHP

Evan was introduced to underground mining when he joined BHP Olympic Dam as a graduate in 2011. Following 12 months as an underground operator and then a short period on the surface as a scheduling engineer he transferred to Nickel West where he was a geomechanical engineer at the Perseverance SLC. It was during his time at Perseverance where he was first exposed to mining in challenging ground conditions including strain bursting, squeezing ground, seismicity and large-scale instabilities. Following the closure of the Perseverance Mine he moved to Beck Engineering where he consulted on a range of underground mining projects throughout Australia, North America, South Africa, Indonesia, India and Spain. In 2014 he commenced his PhD through Curtin University investigating methods for the recognition of large-scale instabilities in underground hardrock mines. For the past five years his research has led to the development of methods for using mobile LiDAR scans for geomechanics applications, applying these to various mining methods and purposes. As a leader in the field of mobile LiDAR methods in underground mining he assisted Emesent as they spun out of CSIRO and commercialised the Hovermap drone autonomy platform for the underground mining industry and helped establish them as a leading Australian METS company. He has since returned to Olympic Dam as the principal geotechnical engineer where he is implementing a range of technology-based projects involving mobile LiDAR, autonomous drones and digital twins.

Joe Seery
Principal Geotechnical Engineer
Bastion Geotechnical Pty Ltd

Joe Seery graduated from the Curtin University – Western Australian School of Mines in 1996 with a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Mineral Exploration and Mining Geology and subsequently completed a Masters of Engineering Science in Mining Geomechanics at the Curtin University Western Australian School of Mines in 2004.  Joe has over 25 years of geotechnical and geological experience in a diverse range of underground and open cut mining operations and projects in commodities including iron ore, gold, lithium/tantalum and coal in both Australia and internationally in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Papua New Guinea, Mali, Ghana and Tanzania.  In late 2019, Joe founded Bastion Geotechnical Pty Ltd.  He has authored/co-authored a large number of technical reports, published 11 technical papers and presented at several international conferences.  Joe’s expertise extends to the development and implementation of geotechnical data management systems and he has a keen interest in advancing efficiencies in the discipline through the use of developing technologies.

Dr Ewan Sellers
Research Director
CSIRO Mineral Resources

Dr Ewan Sellers has 25 years’ experience in the mining industry combining numerical analysis and experimental work with field measurements integrated into knowledge management solutions for mining and blasting problems.

He started work at the University of Cape Town as a research engineer and spent 11 years at the Mining Division of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa culminating as head of the Mining Competency Area. He joined AEL in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2005 as a blasting scientist and developed to group manager blasting science. By 2012 he was group manager mining optimisation at AEL Mining Services. He moved to JKTech in Brisbane during 2013 and was involved with a number of Mine to Mill projects, blast movement monitoring and underground blasting and cave mining studies. He has worked with multiple mining operations including gold, copper, platinum, coal, diamonds, silver and coal on surface and underground. In 2017 he moved to CSIRO as research director for hard rock mining and is a program director at the Mining3 collaborative research organisation. Dr Sellers has written over 60 technical conference and journal papers as well as numerous consultancy reports covering numerical models for soil, rock failure and fracture, laboratory testing, in-situ stress measurements and the optimisation of blasting in theory and practice.

 

Dr Jonny Sjöberg
General Manager, Principal Engineer
Itasca Consultants AB, Sweden
Adjunct Professor in in Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, Luleå University of Technology

Abstract title: “Solving rock mechanics issues through modelling: then, now and in the future” read abstract

There is no dispute about the advances in numerical rock mechanical modelling following its debut in engineering science some 50 years ago. Significant strides have been made since the days of punch cards and line printers, with modelling tools now being easy to use (well, relatively speaking) and capable of replicating many (but not all) aspects of rock behaviour. This paper explores some common rock mechanical problems in underground mining, and how these have been addressed through numerical modelling. The described issues include ground support design, caving prediction, large/squeezing deformations, mining-induced ground subsidence, mining seismicity, and more. Examples of how modelling technology has evolved over the years are given, while also pointing out current gaps and limitations in the technology. Finally, an outlook for the future is presented, including some of the challenges that we are facing. An increased fundamental understanding of many rock mechanics issues is still required, but eventually, one may envision a deep integration of rock mechanical modelling into mine planning and production, for a more sustainable future mining.

Jonny Sjöberg is a rock mechanics engineer with experience in operations, research, and consulting. He has worked for several mining and consulting companies on projects dealing with underground and surface mining rock mechanics, civil engineering tunnelling, and rock stress measurements. Currently, he is the general manager of the Itasca Office in Sweden. He is also appointed adjunct professor in rock mechanics and rock engineering at the Luleå University of Technology.

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