Dr John Player, Principal Engineer
MEngSc (Mining Geomechanics)
John has more than 25 years of experience in mining and geotechnical engineering. His specialties include:
- Dynamic testing and analysis of rock reinforcement and support systems, resulting in a vast knowledge of reinforcement response to dynamic energy, and using this knowledge in designing ground support schemes for these environments.
- Rock mass and ground support scheme response and design in a seismic and non-seismic environment.
- Using statistical methods for rock mass description and analysis improving confidence in the results.
- Identifying and applying technology to forecast and assess rock mass response to excavation and utilising this information to implement sustainable mine designs.
- Open stope dilution/performance/sequencing and development.
- Longitudinal sublevel caving design, implementation, recoveries, and ground response to production.
- Assessment of rock mass conditions to forecast response to mining, then utilising this knowledge to establish better mine design and sequencing.
Player spent seven years from 2003 undertaking his PhD (Dynamic Testing of Rock Reinforcement Systems) then continuing as a Senior Research Fellow to undertake further data analysis and continue to develop the WASM Dynamic Testing Facility and associated equipment for determining the performance of reinforcement and support systems. During this time he has also undertaken consulting work to open-cut and underground mines in Western Australia.
Player spent seven years from 1996 at Big Bell Mine:
- Two years as Drill and Blast Engineer for the sublevel caving operations where he achieved the implementation of a data tracking and control process, standardisation of blasting practices, reduction in drill and blast costs and minimisation of bridging in the cave.
- Five years as Geotechnical Engineer (plus often undertaking the drill and blast role), incorporating a two year period of high mine seismicity, supervision of contractors for ground support installation, designed and installed the micro-seismic system, implemented change to the mining operations (cave geometry, extraction rate and development location, ground support requirements) to substantially reduce damaging mine seismicity.
John’s full resume is available on request
Emma Jones, Principal Study Manager - Geotechnical
MEngSc (Mining Geomechanics)
Emma Jones has 17 years of experience in geotechnical engineering.
Emma spent 7 years in the Kalgoorlie region during which she gained experience in both open pit and underground mining, with exposure to several different mining methods and geotechnical environments.
Emma has also held senior, principal and manager roles for large mining companies that allowed her to work intimately with Open Pit and Underground operations located not only in Australia but in Papua New Guinea, Zambia and Saudi Arabia.
In 2012, Emma was a finalist in the Chamber of Minerals & Energy Women in Resources Awards for Outstanding Young Professional Women. In 2013, she was a finalist in the Western Australia Telstra Business Awards in the Young Business Women category and in the Private and Corporate Sector Award category.
Since joining the MGT projects group in 2015, Emma has worked on a range of small and large projects in Australia and internationally, covering multiple commodities.
Her specialties include:
- Geotechnical Studies from Scoping through to Implementation for both Open Pit and Underground
- Ground support scheme design, including cost analysis and optimisation
- Rock mass response to excavation assessments, including rock fall investigations and response plans
- Underground mining and development sequencing
- Due Diligence reviews
- Audits (Hi Impact and in house) and third-party review of geotechnical studies
- GCMP and procedural development
- Vertical development and placement design
- Mentoring and training of geotechnical engineers
Emma’s full resume is available on request
Gordon Sweby, Principal Consulting Geotechnical Engineer
MSc Mining (Rock Mechanics)
Gordon completed a Geological Engineering degree at the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) in 1984 and a Masters in Rock Mechanics (Wits) in 1994. Gordon also holds the Chamber of Mines (South Africa) Certificates in Rock Mechanics (Coal and Metalliferous) and the Advanced Certificate in Rock Engineering.
Gordon has more than 30 years of operational, consulting and research geotechnical experience in the following mining environments:
- Underground coal – South Africa
- Opencast coal – South Africa, Australia
- Open Pits – South Africa, Ghana, Australia, Peru
- Deep level tabular – South Africa
- Narrow vein handheld mining – Australia
- Mechanised Longhole Open Stoping – Australia
- Sublevel Caving – Australia
Areas of experience/expertise include:
- Feasibility Studies
- Mine seismicity
- Ground Support Design
- Mine Design and Sequencing
- Slope Stability
- Instrumentation and Monitoring
- Geotechnical Management and Technical Leadership
Gordon is proficient in the practical application of the following geotechnical software:
- Rocscience Suite – Dips, Rocdata, RS2, RS3, Slide, Unwedge
- Flac3d (Itasca)
- Basrock Software – Gem4d, Trajec3d
- 3DmAnalyst Suite (Adam Technology)
Gordon’s full resume is available on request
Peter Evans, Principal Geotechnical Engineer - Shafts
MEngSc (Mining Geomechanics)
Peter is a Geotechnical Engineer with more than 15 years of experience in the mining industry. Peter’s experience has covered many years as a site-based geotechnical engineer and he has been consulting with MineGeoTech since 2014. He has a broad range of experience covering the design, implementation and verification of geotechnical engineering.
Peter has worked in multiple locations both in and outside of Australia with a focus on underground operations, particularly block cave projects. Open pit experience includes the design of in-pit cutbacks, design of an in-pit catch fence and wall monitoring using 3D photogrammetry.
His technical capabilities include:
- Underground ground support design and implementation
- Design of monitoring systems focused on solving geotechnical issues
- Fibrecrete/shotcrete management – full life cycle processes covering cost and quality management
- Pre-Feasibility and Feasibility studies of underground and open-pit mines
- Design and construction of large underground excavations (crushers, conveyor transfer stations)
- Vertical excavations – Shaft sinking, raise boring, underground ore handling systems and pre-support
- Audit preparation, including internal and external audits such as DMP HIF Audits
- Rockfall investigation and response plans
Peter’s experience also covers site support supervising a team of geotechnical engineers, running daily site geotechnical operations and audit preparation in underground narrow vein back fill stoping operations. Work included reviewing seismic activity in relation to blasting, review of ground support strategy for changing ground conditions, reviewing operational and technical manuals for paste backfill, monitoring pit movements using point cloud data analysis, ground support optimisation through controlled trials (bolting and grouting practices).
Peter’s full resume is available on request
Colin Thomson, Geotechnical Engineer
Colin graduated from the Western Australian School of Mines in 2011 with an honours degree in Mining Engineering. He has more than 8 years of experience in the mining industry having worked a range of roles from exploration and drilling to engineering in Australia, Canada, Mexico and Papua New Guinea.
His geotechnical experience is from a combination of site-based and project-based work. He has worked as an operational geotechnical engineer in the mid-west region of Western Australia and in various position-coverage roles across the state. For the past 18 months, Colin has been working in MineGeoTech’s projects group while working remotely from Wales in the UK. The majority of his geotechnical work has focused on underground operations including narrow vein open stoping, volcanogenic massive sulphides and sedex deposits.
Colin’s recent experience covers geotechnical reviews and audits in underground stoping operations. Other work has included reviewing geotechnical documentation, assessing ground conditions and performing dilution modelling from drill-hole data and 3D modelling of stoping activities with RocScience RS3.
Colin’s full resume is available on request
Geotechnical Engineering Services
Richard Varden, Senior Geotechnical Engineer
MEngSc (Mining Geomechanics)
Richard graduated from Camborne School of Mines in 1993 with an honours degree in Mining Engineering. Subsequently he has undertaken a Masters in Geomechanics at the Western Australian School of Mines in Kalgoorlie.
Richard has more than 25 years experience in mining in Zimbabwe and Australia in both underground hard rock mining and small to medium sized open pits. Other recent consulting experience includes work in Finland and Argentina.
Underground mining methods are mainly sub level open stoping and steep narrow vein stoping with some experience in sub level caving. Richard’s main experience is in deep high stress complex seismically active mines, squeezing ground conditions and narrow vein mining. Technical capabilities include:
- Seismicity. The design and maintenance of systems, interpretation and analysis for a deep high stress operation with large damaging events. Investigation of large seismic events and rock falls with high injury potential. Software usage includes IMS packages JMTS and JDi.
- Rock mass damage mapping and interpretation. Rock mass characterisation including data collection, core logging, line mapping and photogrammetry; data analysis – including Q system and RMR systems to in house modified systems.
- Support design. Experience with a number of different design calculators, design of both static systems and dynamic systems. Involved with the development and implementation of the Garford Dynamic yielding bolt.
- Stope design. Use of the Modified Mathews Graph for initial stope design to in house methods that utilise actual data including back analysis mythologies.
- Modelling. Rocscience packages, GEM4D, Strata 4 and Map3D modelling experience and experience with Voxler to analysis Abacus modelling results.
- Feasibility studies and projects. Experience with prefeasibility and feasibility studies for underground operations. Significant involvement with conducting and managing projects that include new technologies and efficiency improvement systems.
- Backfill design and management of rock fill systems, cemented rock fill and paste fill methods.
- Pilar design, including crown pillar, sill pillar and in-stope pillar assessments.
- Raisebore analysis.
- Writing of GCMP’s and preparations for regulatory audits.
Richard has open pit experience in slope design and monitoring systems. He also has experience with prefeasibility and feasibility studies for open pits. His open pit software skills include the Rocscience suite and Surpac.
Richard’s full resume is available on request
Nadia Power, Engineering Geologist
Nadia has over 7 years experience in the mining industry having worked in Geotechnical roles in Papua New Guinea and in Australia.
Her Geotechnical experience has been primarily site based as an operational Geotechnical Engineer in both open pit and UG mine settings.
Her experience Includes:
- Geotechnical mapping and core logging.
- Geotechnical stope & slope stability assessments and reconciliations.
- Long term and short term stope and mine design assessments.
- Numerical modelling in Map3D and RocScience suite. Also proficient in Deswik and Datamine.
- QAQC of UG ground support performance.
- Implementation of GCMP, standard operating procedures and work instructions.
- Geotechnical Instrumentation, installation, monitoring and reporting.
- Develop and conduct ground awareness training programs.
Nadia’s full resume is available on request
Ariberto Sacco, Early Career Engineering Geologist
MSc (Mining Geology)
Ariberto has more than 4 years of practical mining and civil engineering experience having worked on projects across Italy, the United Kingdom and Australia.
In Italy, Ariberto performed Engineering Geology duties for shallow-level foundations and the stability of anthropic caves, while in the UK he worked as a Mine Geologist in Kaolin mines focusing on improving grade control practices. Most recently, Ariberto has worked in Australia as an Engineering Geologist, primarily in underground mines focusing on day-to-day geotechnical activities.
Since joining MineGeoTech in 2019, Ariberto has spent the majority of his time gaining experience on-site. He has spent the last 18 months at EMR’s Golden Grove operation, undertaking the role of a site based geotechnical engineer. In addition, Ariberto has completed other project work including the preliminary geotechnical assessment of Technology Metals Australia Ltd (TMT) Gabanintha Vanadium project (open pit).
Ariberto’s specialities include:
- Geotechnical and geological mapping
- Geotechnical, geological and structural logging
- Rock and soil testing
- Inspection of development and stopes
- Ground support scheme selection
- Geotechnical review of stope and development design
- Planning of Hydraulic Backfill operations and day-to-day management of a small backfill team
Ariberto’s full resume is available on request
Alex Phillips, Senior Geotechnical Engineer
MSc (Mining Geology)
MAusIMM (CP) Geotechnical
Alex has over 20 years’ industry experience managing projects in drilling, mining, quarrying and civil construction, accumulating a wide range of skills, such as team leadership, commercial and contractor management, consultant relationships and health & safety management.
His experience includes:
- Conducting geotechnical inspections of development and stopes, maintaining regular assessments and audits of ground support, developing rehabilitation plans
- Assessments of ground conditions and rock mass characteristics, development of additional or remedial support plans and sequencing in problem areas
- Review of development, paste, firing, cable, support and stope plans against geotechnical hazards using Deswik, AutoCAD, UnWedge, Dips and Gem4D
- Monitoring of installed seismic event detection systems and production of periodic reports
- Probe drill planning, tell-tale monitoring, brow and draw point support plans
- Training of junior Geotechnical personnel
- Project work; Mines Department Audit, Stope panel sequencing and Support Corrosion assessment
- Project coordination and set-up of an underground Lidar Laser scanning team of technicians on 24/7 operations
Alex’s full resume is available on request
Nicole Player, Principal Technical Manager - Mining
Nicole graduated from the University of Queensland in 2000 with an Honours Degree in Mining Engineering.
Nicole has more than 20 years of practical mining knowledge in evaluating open pit and underground deposits. From small versatile surface operations, to large entrenched block caves, her experience encompasses project development of varying commodities (gold, diamonds, tungsten, iron ore, mineral sands and base metals) in a variety of locations (Australia, Cambodia, Canada, Germany, Ghana, Kazakhstan, Peru, Russia, South Africa and Venezuela).
Nicole is committed to project evaluation through sustained value delivery. Each project focuses on safe, financially profitable, technically appropriate and environmentally and socially responsible extraction. Advances in innovation and technology are utilised as opportunities to increase levels of efficiency, reduce costs, improve safety and further mitigate environmental impacts to create value for our clients.
Nicole has the technical knowledge base to:
- Conduct open-pit optimisations, final/staged pit designs and schedules for Scoping to Feasibility Studies (including Ore Reserves). Including waste dump design, abandonment bund placement, equipment selection and mining cost build-ups.
- Determine underground mining methods and generate designs and scheduling options for Scoping to Feasibility Studies (including Ore Reserves). Including ventilation analysis, equipment selection and mining cost build-ups.
- Develop LOM plans that enable the safe achievement of production targets.
- Undertake project financial evaluation to determine project constraints and drivers to derive shareholder value.
- Develop project schedules to match COG or blend restrictions.
- Develop projects in ecologically sensitive areas through responsible management of environmental impacts.
- Assess environmental social governance risks and opportunities as a critical components of the project.
- Assess opportunities to lower project capital-intensive development and introduce phased production expansion.
Software competency includes Datamine, Deswik, Whittle, NPV Scheduler, Mine 2-4D, Earthworks Production Scheduler, Talpac and Microsoft Office Applications.
Nicole’s full resume is available on request
Emma Doherty, Senior Mining Engineer
MSc (Minerals Engineering)
First Class Mine Managers Certificate of Competency (No 932, 18/12/2008)
Emma graduated from the University of Birmingham in 1993 with an Honours Degree in Chemical Engineering with Minerals Engineering and then completed a Master’s Degree in Minerals Engineering at Camborne School of Mines in 1995. Having gained experience as a plant metallurgist she then broadened her knowledge, graduating with a Graduate Diploma in Mining from the WA School of Mines in 2006. Emma is currently studying a Master of Information Management.
Emma has over 20 years of experience in the mining industry in the fields of metallurgy and mining engineering. She has production experience in underground and open pit operations and knowledge in evaluating deposits around the world including Australia, Cameroon, Finland and Kazakhstan.
As part of the MGT team, Emma is committed to project evaluation through sustained value delivery. Each project focuses on safe, financially profitable, technically appropriate and environmentally and socially responsible extraction. Advances in innovation and technology are utilised as opportunities to increase levels of efficiency, reduce costs, improve safety and further mitigate environmental impacts to create value for our clients.
Emma has the technical knowledge base to:
- Conduct open pit optimisations, final/staged pit designs and schedules for Scoping to Pre-Feasibility Studies. Including waste dump design, abandonment bund placement, equipment selection and mining cost buildups.
- Conduct underground designs and scheduling options for Scoping Studies.
- Develop open pit and underground LOM plans that enable the safe achievement of production targets.
- Develop Ore Reserves and participate in Ore Reserve reviews.
Software competency includes Datamine, Surpac, Whittle, NPV Scheduler, Mine 2-4D, Minemax Planner, Talpac, Deswik CAD, Deswik Scheduler and Microsoft Office Applications.
Emma’s full resume is available on request
Glen Donaldson, Senior Mining Engineer
Dip (Engineering & Mine Surveying)
Authorised Mine Surveyor Grade 1 WA (#1185)
Glen obtained a Diploma of Mine and Engineering Surveying in 1996. He then worked as a surveyor for the next 11 years focusing on Mine Surveying roles and obtained WA Grade 1 Authorisation as Mine Surveyor in 1998. Leveraging off his mine surveying experience, Glen transitioned into Mine Engineering completing a Graduate Diploma in Mining from Federation University.
He has held various mine engineering roles in both underground and surface mining, including consulting, operations and contractor experience. He has experience working with a variety of commodities including gold, base metals, coal, bauxite and mineral sands.
As part of the MGT team Glen is committed to project evaluation through sustained value delivery. Each project focuses on safe, financially profitable, technically appropriate and environmentally and socially responsible extraction. Advances in innovation and technology are utilised as opportunities to increase levels of efficiency, reduce costs, improve safety and further mitigate environmental impacts to create value for our clients.
Glen has the technical knowledge base to:
- Conduct operational short to medium term mine planning for surface and underground projects
- Conduct underground designs and scheduling options for Scoping to Feasibility Studies
- Conducting open pit designs and scheduling options to meet COG criteria, blend and customer requirements
- Tender preparation for surface mining and earthworks projects
- Evaluate and implement improvement initiatives and reviews including business case development and data analysis
- Assess environmental social governance risks and opportunities as a critical component of the project
- Undertake project financial evaluation to determine project constraints and drivers to derive shareholder value
Software competency includes Datamine, Surpac, Mine 2-4D, 5D Planner, Deswik CAD, Deswik Scheduler, Minex, Minesight, and Microsoft Office Applications.
Glen’s full resume is available on request
Geotechnical Data Collection and Analysis
Michael Tin, Senior Engineering Geologist
MAppSc (Engineering Geology, Hydrology and Environmental Geology)
Michael has more than 15 years consulting mine geotechnical engineering experience and more than 10 years exploration and mine geologist experience throughout Australia and overseas.
Michael’s core competencies are in the application of Geotechnical, Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology Techniques to projects including:
- Mine site geotechnical slope stability, pre-split drill and blast design, slope damage and ground support assessment, slope monitoring using prisms, extensometer, tiltmeter, inclinometer and ground probe radar
- Site investigation, geotechnical scanline and detailed large scale/ small scale structural mapping of open pit slope wall and underground face
- ADAM 3D Mine Mapping Suite photogrammetry, camera lens calibration, setting targets, capturing images on multi-bench walls and analysis of joint sets data
- Geotechnical drill design, supervise RC, Diamond, Sonic core logging, packer tests, piezometer, pumping test, slope depressurising, anchoring and grouting
- Training and mentoring graduate geotechnical engineers in mapping, geotechnical core handling, sampling, logging for soil/ rock mass/ orientated defect data collection and analysis
- Soil properties logging, sampling and in-situ soil tests (DCPT, SPT, VST), rock mass material and structural shear strength (c, phi) characterisation, laboratory test supervision (UCS, Triaxial, Direct Shear, PLT, PSD and AL),
- Database management, QA/QC, validation, data reduction, RMR, GSI and Q calculation, statistical presentation as graph and charts
- Stereoplots, kinematic, limit equilibrium, empirical, quantitative analysis (FOS, POF)
- Geotechnical domain modelling, pit sector slope design, slope experience reconciliation and back analysis
- Feasibility Study PFS DFS technical report writing, scoping studies and costing, project ownership alone or as a team member and review other consultant’s geotechnical reports
Michael’s full resume is available on request
Lyndell Juggernaut, Engineering Geologist
Lyndell graduated from the University of Auckland in 2008 with a Masters’ Degree in Geology. Lyndell has 8 years of practical mining knowledge in evaluating deposits including projects in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Lyndell has experience with the exploration and logging of narrow vein gold, sediment-hosted copper and skarn copper deposits. He has logged 120+ km of Archean Greenstone belt volcanic rock (WA) and turbiditic sedimentary deposits.
His experience includes:
- Corelogging – design and implementation of logging systems for both geological and geotechnical purposes
- Drill rig supervision both diamond and RC
- Remote site management
- Participation in project work and analysis of collected geological/geotechnical data
- Training staff in areas of diamond core processing/sampling, geology and geotechnical logging
Software competency includes: Aquire, Logchief, DHlogger, Vulcan, Basrock Software and Microsoft Office applications.
Lyndell’s full resume is available on request