Since November 2005 I have been working as an independent mining/geotechnical consultant. I am available for; mining method selection and reviews; geotechnical input for mine planning and feasibility studies; stope stability and dilution studies; support designs and performance reviews; and seismic system designs, data analysis and activity reviews. I also specialise in geotechnical studies in poor ground, high stress and seismic environments.
Summary of Experience
Following completion of a mining degree in 1979, from the Royal School of Mines, Imperial College, London, I worked for 3 years with Rio Tinto in Zimbabwe. This was followed by a masters degree, also at Imperial College, and 8 years with Rand Mines in South Africa, including 4 years at East Rand Proprietary Mines and 4 years in head office looking after the geotechnical side of the company’s chrome and platinum mines, and various gold, nickel, vanadium mines, limestone quarries and mine-timber plantations.
From 1993 to 1997 I was in charge of the underground geotechnical department at Ashanti Goldfields’ Obuasi operations in Ghana. I joined AMC Consultants in October 1997 and worked on a wide variety projects until leaving to work as an independent consultant in October 2005. During my time at AMC I also consulted full time for WMC at Leinster Nickel Operations for 8 months in 1998, in charge of the Geotechnical Department, and 4 months in 1998/9 at the Long/Victor complex.
I have a very wide hard-rock mining experience covering many orebody shapes, rockmass qualities and mining methods, in production, mine planning and geotechnical fields. This experience covers the full range of mining methods, ground conditions, stresses and orebody shapes and size, including:
- massive orebodies and narrow vein orebodies
- shallow to deep orebodies
- good rock and very poor rock
- shallow dipping to steep dipping
- mechanised and hand-held methods
- shallow and deep open pits
- low stress and high stress environments.
Main areas of expertise:
- Geotechnical core logging
- Interpretation of rockmass properties from logging data
- Mining method selection and reviews
- Geotechnical input for feasibility studies
- Stope stability, dilution and pillar design studies
- Support designs and performance reviews
- Seismic system designs, installation, data analysis and reviews
- Stope stability studies
- Rockfall and rockburst investigations.
1. Geotechnical Core Logging
Data obtained from diamond drill core is an integral part of many feasibility and design studies. I have had many years experience in geotechnical core logging, for many different types of rock. I have also taught exploration geologists how to log core geotechnically, which is normally more cost-effective for the exploration and mining companies.
2. Interpretation of rockmass properties from logging data
Each geologist logs core differently and the resultant core-logging databases require interpreting relative to the geological contacts and geotechnical domains. The interpretation of rockmass properties also has to be undertaken in different ways to take into account the probable mining methods and mining boundaries. I have had significant experience dealing with different logging data in various formats.
3. Mining method selection and reviews
Mining method selection based on rockmass properties, orebody geometry and grades is critical for all levels of mining studies, from scoping studies to feasibility studies. I have had experience working and consulting to mines with a wide range of rockmass conditions and with many types of mining methods. This includes labour intensive methods using hand-held equipment, and large-scale mechanised methods such as caving and open stoping.
4. Geotechnical input for feasibility studies
I have completed the geotechnical input for a number of scoping, pre-feasibility and feasibility studies for open pits and underground mines. The underground studies have included many different mining methods, flowing onto the geotechnical sections of Notice of Intent (NOI) and support designs for contract quotations.
5. Stope stability, dilution and pillar design studies
Stope stability and dilution studies have formed a major part of my experience - for operating mines and for due-diligence and feasibility studies. These studies can be based on data from diamond drill core or from underground mapping and current and previous stope performance. Pillar designs have been undertaken for room and pillar mines, crown pillars, regional pillars, yielding pillars and for shaft pillars, using empirical methods and numerical modelling.
6. Support designs and performance reviews
I have been involved with support designs for underground excavations for over 20 years. This included support designs using diamond drill core data, from analysis of numerical modelling results, monitoring results and from rockfall analyses. I have specialist experience in designing support for seismic conditions and for weak, high-deformation rocks.
7. Seismic system designs, installation, data analysis and reviews
I have been involved with seismic system design, installation, data analysis and interpretation for over 18 mines. I also initiated, commissioned and managed a 6-system rental programme for AMC. Analysis of data can indicate which domains, structures, designs and extraction sequences cause the seismic activity, and which areas need support upgrades and increased re-entry periods.
8. Slope stability studies
I have undertaken slope stability studies for a range of open pit mines, including limestone, copper, gold and nickel in Africa and Australia.
9. Rockfall and rockburst investigations
I have undertaken rockfall, rockburst and accident investigations for clients. The objectives have been to determine the causes of the falls and to recommend changes to designs, extraction sequencing and support required to prevent repeat incidents.
Please contact me for my charge-out rates which can be daily for large jobs or hourly for small jobs.
I aim to give clients dedicated service with results and reports delivered on-time. If you have any queries, please contact me.