Consulting services and activities

Since leaving Queen’s University at the end of 2019, I have continued to work as an independent consultant, principally carrying out review work in the area of geomechanics applied to underground mine design, and numerical modelling. Most of this work is also in the area of cave mining. For larger projects I often work with other consultants or companies to provide a larger range of services. I also work as a part-time Commission Member of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

Prior to leaving Queen’s, I maintained a baseline of consulting activity since this engagement (i) helped maintain close contact with current practice and issues in the mining industry,  (ii) provided useful case history information for courses, (iii) helped identify relevant research topics, and importantly – (iv) avoided ivory tower syndrome.

Main areas of expertise:

  • Geomechanics program review
  • Numerical stress analysis
  • Geomechanics applied to open pit and underground mine design
  • Ground support
  • Geomechanics of mining in deep and high stress conditions
  • Mining induced seismicity
  • Planning of field investigation programs, and interpretation
  • Instrumentation programs and data analysis

Current projects:

  • Independent Review Team, Chuquicamata Underground pillar collapse, Codelco, Chile
  • Geotechnical Review Board, Oyu Tolgoi mine, Rio Tinto, Mongolia
  • Geotechnical Review Board, Resolution Copper Project, Rio Tinto, Arizona
  • Chairman, Geomechanics Advisory Board, El Teniente Mine, Chile.
  • Chairman, Geomechanics Advisory Board, Proyecto Nuevo Nivel Mina, El Teniente, Codelco, Chile

Previous projects:

  • Geomechanics & modelling advisor, Chuquicamata underground project, Codelco, Chile
  • Peer review of Glencore’s Kidd D mine final extraction planning, Ontario.
  • Geomechanics consultant, various projects, El Teniente Mine, Codelco, Chile.
  • Geotechnical and Mine Design Advisory Board, El Teniente Mine, Codelco, Chile.
  • Review Board, Mn=3.8 rockburst at the Kidd Mine, Ontario, Xstrata Copper.
  • Review of geotechnical studies, Creighton Deep Complex, Vale.
  • Review of geotechnical stability, San Bartolome Mine, Cerro Rico project, Empresa Minera Manquiri S.A.
  • Lead geotechnical engineer for complete pre-feasibility study of the Al Masane mine, Saudi Arabia.
  • Advisory Board, LKAB Kiruna mine, Sweden, in connection with rockburst fatality.
  • Review of ground support requirements for re-opening of the Gordonsville Zinc Mine, Tennessee, Dynatec Corporation.
  • Member, review team for Mn=4.1 rockburst at a Sudbury mine (name confidential).
  • Member, Geotechnical Advisory Board, Detroit River International Crossing project. Review of bridge foundation stability issues due to proximity of old salt solution mining cavities.
  • Stability assessment of crown pillar and pit slopes due to underground mining beneath existing open pit, Hercules mine, Minera del Norte, Mexico.
  • Review consultant for all geotechnical work in connection with design of mine layout at depth for the Laronde mine, Quebec.
  • Review of large rockburst, Creighton Mine, INCO Ltd.: Reporting to management on the probable cause of large rockburst near an underground crusher station and provision of advice on mining limits and future mining activities in the area.
  • Geotechnical Audit of Copper Cliff North Mine, INCO Ltd.: Audited mine planning and geomechanics at North Mine as a result of operational and ground control problems, reported to the regional manager.
  • Mining of the “costras” in the Prometeo Pit, and the effect on slope stability. Involved planning method of recovery of ore from toe region of a deep pit and its potential effect on slope stability and nearby underground mining. Numerical stress analysis was used.
  • Design of crown pillar at South Mine, INCO Ltd.
  • Geotechnical and mining evaluation of the Charcas Mine, IMMSA, Mexico. Geotechnical characterization, stress measurement, mining method & sequence review, support design, plus economic assessment of pillar recovery operation.
  • Peer review of geotechnical consulting report on stability of open pit mine, Alston Associates, Ontario, Canada.
  • Specification and analysis of laboratory strength testing program on core samples, Hercules Mine, Minera Del Norte, Mexico.
  • Assessment of impact of mining beneath open pit on pit slope stability, including assessment of mining method, Hercules Mine, Minera Del Norte, Mexico.
  • Evaluation of mining and geotechnical engineering practice at the San Rafael Mine, Minsur, Peru.
  • Peer review of instrumentation program for monitoring long-term open pit mine stability, Alston Associates, Ontario, Canada.