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About the Event

The ACG is delighted to host the 13th International Conference on Mine Closure in September 2019 in Perth, Western Australia.


Conference Themes

  • Planning, relinquishment and legacy management
  • Landform design and water management
  • Decomissioning and waste management
  • Financing and cost estimation
  • Stakeholders and community
  • Site remediation and impact management
  • Land rehabilitation and ecosystem restoration
  • Project management and execution


Conference Co-Chairs

Professor Andy Fourie

School of Civil, Environmental & Mining Engineering, University of Western Australia, Australia

Andy is a Professor in the School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering at the University of Western Australia in Perth. He has Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, and a PhD from Imperial College, University of London. He has worked at the University of Queensland, the University of Witwatersrand and has been a visiting professor at the University of Alberta, the Catholic University of Valparaiso in Chile and the University of Colorado in Boulder. His research is in the field of mitigating the impact of mining and municipal solid waste disposal. Outcomes from his research have been incorporated in changes to environmental legislation in South Africa. He has recently contributed to a series of Guidelines for managing mine tailings in Australia, as well as developing a document for the International Atomic Energy Association on barrier systems for retaining uranium mining waste.

Professor Mark Tibbett

School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading, UK

Mark is a soil ecologist with over 25 years of experience in a range of fields related to plants-soil interactions, mycorrhizas, decomposition and microbially mediated processes in soil. His research portfolio includes soil carbon, metals in the soil-plant system, phosphorus cycling, bioremediation, metallophytes and mine site rehabilitation. Mark is the co Editor-in-Chief of the international journal “Soil Research” and an associate editor for the “Australian Journal of Botany” and “Restoration Ecology” and has recently published a book entitled “Mining in Ecologically Sensitive Landscapes”.


Keynote Speakers

Professor Angus Morrison-Saunders

Professor, Environmental Management, Edith Cowan University, Australia

Angus is Professor of Environmental Management, School of Science, Edith Cowan University, Australia; Extraordinary Professor in Environmental Sciences and Management, Research Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management, North West University, South Africa; Fellow of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, UK; and Adjunct Professor in Environmental Assessment, Murdoch University, Australia. His specialty interest is environmental impact assessment and its contribution to sustainable development. His teaching and research revolve around the translation of policies, legislation and administrative practices into environmental and/or sustainability behaviours and outcomes. A recent focus has been on mine closure planning and the potential to incorporate ecosystem services thinking into the process to enhance outcomes.

Professor Laco Mucina

Iluka Chair in Vegetation Science and Biogeography, Harry Butler Institute, Murdoch University, Australia

Laco received his education and was awarded scientific degrees and pedagogical qualifications in Slovakia and at the Technical University Berlin, Germany. He served as professor at universities in Austria, Italy, Sweden, Kuwait, and South Africa. Since 2013, he has been incumbent of the Iluka Chair Vegetation Science and Biogeography, first at The University of Western Australia and currently at Murdoch University, Harry Butler Institute in Perth. He uses this platform as the engagement interface between biodiversity science, rehabilitation ecology, and challenges facing mineral-sand mining industry. Laco has published almost 400 papers and 26 books, supervised many postgraduate students, and served as editor of several international scientific journals. He is also very active in several international learned societies. His scientific interests span descriptive vegetation science (especially vegetation surveys, classification and mapping), biosystematics, molecular phylogeny, population ecology, evolutionary biology, biogeography, biodiversity science, environmental management, plant community restoration, and conservation biology.

Keynote address: Ecology, Biodiversity, and Mining: Science Solving the Challenges

Read abstract

Mining has an impact on the ecology and biodiversity and this impact must be mitigated (regulatory requirements). Mitigation is achieved by applying measures deeply rooting in scientific knowledge of the functioning of the impacted (and rehabilitated) ecosystems and the biota supported by these ecosystems. Using Western Australian experience (and drawing on comparisons from other countries), this paper addresses three issues focusing on ecology and biodiversity patterns of an area under mining impact: (1) When and in which form is science of ecology and biodiversity called to assist mining process, incl. mine closure? (2) Which tools are used to address ecology, biodiversity and emerging conservation issues and how well these tools reflect regulatory advice (and requirements) at the current level of scientific knowledge? (3) What should we do if we find discrepancy between the regulatory expectations and advice, and the level they reflect current scientific knowledge. The paper analyses the issues of the pre-mining ecology and biodiversity surveys (science behind field inventories, data analysis, reporting), the scientific basis of some crucial regulatory requirements, and how science is applied in post-mining activities, including in situ rehabilitation (restoration) measures and monitoring of progress of the restoration. Concrete steps serving and enhancing the clarity and plausibility of regulatory tools (guidance manuals) are identified. Also identified are improvements of the application of the ecological and biodiversity-focuses in scientific knowledge in both pre-mining and post-mining phases. Among these steps are: improved field sampling; the need for a centralised vegetation database; habitat classification system and a scientifically sound and ecologically informative vegetation map; and an application of functional approach both to data sampling and data analyses.

Laura Tyler

Asset President Olympic Dam and Chief Geoscientist, BHP, Australia

Laura began her career in the British civil engineering industry before moving into mining in 1994. Laura has worked across three continents in operations spanning civil engineering, open pit mining and underground mining.

Laura joined BHP in 2004, and in 2018 was appointed Asset President Olympic Dam, responsible for the safe and sustainable operation of one of the world’s most significant polymetallic resources producing copper, uranium, gold and silver in remote South Australia. Laura also holds the role of Chief Geoscientist, responsible for BHP’s global team of technical experts in geoscience and resource engineering. Laura has held this accountability since 2016, and in this capacity is a member of BHP’s Executive Leadership Team.

Prior to leading Olympic Dam, Laura spent three years as Chief of Staff to the CEO, working closely with Andrew Mackenzie and other senior executives on delivering the company’s strategic plan. Previously, Laura has worked in various technical and operational leadership positions, including at the Cannington Mine in Queensland as Asset President, at the EKATI Diamond Mine in Canada, and in BHP’s corporate HSEC team in London. Prior to joining BHP, Laura worked for Western Mining Corporation, Newcrest Mining and Mount Isa Mines.

Dr Benjamin Warr

Founder & Director, Betterworld Energy Ltd, Zambia

Benjamin is founder and director of BetterWorld Energy, a social and environmental innovation and consulting firm working in Sub-Saharan Africa to regenerate landscapes and stimulate innovation in post-mining economic diversification. He is Visiting Faculty at INSEAD Business School Social Innovation Centre and Stellenbosch University Dept. of Soil Science. Benjamin is an internationally renowned ecological economist, co-author of “The Economic Growth Engine”. He completed a PhD in Environmental Soil Science in 2001 from the University of Reading and a Masters in Geostatistics from Ecole des Mines Paris. His research focuses on the biophysical dimensions of socio-economic activity to inform the development of government policy and sustainable business strategy.

Welcome to Country

In acknowledgment and respect for the traditional owners of this land, we are delighted to have May McGuire performing a Welcome to Country for Mine Closure 2019 Delegates.

Event Contacts

Josephine Ruddle
Event Manager, Australian Centre for Geomechanics 


Candice McLennan
Event Coordinator, Australian Centre for Geomechanics

Future Mine Closure Conferences
Please contact the Mine Closure 2019 Committee to express your interest to host a future conferences via