UMT 2020 Conference Report

The Second International Conference on Underground Mining Technology (UMT 2020) was held in Perth, Australia, 3-4 November 2020. The conference was the first hybrid event hosted by the Australian Centre for Geomechanics (ACG), with 20 delegates in attendance, and 58 virtual attendees, participating via the online platform.

UMT 2020 gave industry practitioners the opportunity to network and discuss the latest applications and technologies employed in the quest to improve mine safety, productivity and efficiency.

UMT 2020 was chaired by Associate Professor Johan Wesseloo, ACG director. There were 22 speakers, seven sponsoring/exhibiting companies, and ten countries represented from around the world.

On the day prior to the conference, the Monitoring Performance of Underground Excavations Hybrid Workshop was held, which attracted 35 attendees. This workshop was sponsored by Canary Systems Inc., Master Builders Solutions, and Sika. The workshop covered  two main themes of technologies: focussing on convergence measurements from repeated laser surveys, and conventional instrumentation. The workshop facilitator was Professor Yves Potvin, ACG.   

The two-day technical conference programme contained a total of 25 presentations, representing authors from 16 countries around the world. Themes covered in the nine plenary sessions included: machine learning, seismicity, paste, monitoring, stope design, ground support and fundamental rock mechanics.

Day one of UMT 2020 began with the keynote presentation, “Mobile LiDAR for Underground Geomechanics: learnings from the Teens and Directions for the Twenties”. This was presented by Even Jones, BHP. The second keynote was delivered by Dr Jonny Sjöberg, Itasca Consultants AB, Sweden, in the final session of the day. This keynote was entitled, “Solving Rock Mechanics Issues through Modelling: Then, Now and in the Future”. 

Day two included two more keynote presentations: the first being “Breaking New Ground: Challenges and Opportunities for Maximising Value from Underground Blasting” by Dr Ewan Sellers, CSIRO and Mining3; and the second keynote, “Recovery and Flow in Cave Mining: Current Knowledge Gaps and the Role of Technology in the Future”, delivered by Dr Alex Campbell, Beck Engineering Pty Ltd.

The ACG team greatly appreciates the support of the UMT 2020 sponsors and exhibitors. We were delighted to have Canary Systems Inc. as the Principal Sponsor of the event. Major Sponsors were Master Builders Solutions and Sika. Thank you to all of the sponsors and exhibitors for their highly valued participation.

The UMT 2020 Conference papers are openly accessible at the ACG’s Online Repository of Conference Proceedings and can be freely downloaded at, courtesy of the Open Access Sponsor, DSI Underground. The Online Repository aims to provide the mining geomechanics fraternity with open access, peer-reviewed conference proceedings, to assist in maintaining and developing skills, knowledge and capabilities. There is a large catalogue of published conference papers, covering topics across the geotechnical mining spectrum, available to all.

The ACG team extends sincere thanks to all of the UMT 2020 delegates (both in-person and online), speakers, authors, reviewers, sponsors and exhibitors for their contributions towards this conference, and helping it to be a success.

Bookmark for up-to-date information on upcoming conferences on underground mining, and visit for information on all of ACG’s upcoming events. 


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