Reimagine. Repurpose. Relinquish.


1 September 2019 | The Westin Perth, Western Australia

In planning for closure, a mining company puts forth a vision of what the coming years will hold for its site. Otherwise known as the post-mining land use, this vision captures what condition and what use(s) the company visualises for the land. The company then works steadily towards achieving that vision. However, even when a company has met all of its rehabilitation and closure obligations, regulators and/or other stakeholders may still be reluctant to allow a mine to be relinquished, particularly where this requires custodial transfer of risk. Consequently, it encounters barriers, frustrations and costly delays.

This one day workshop includes presentations and interactive sessions. In the morning, the programme will discuss the challenges, barriers and opportunities associated with relinquishment, and discuss current policy and practical issues associated with custodial transfer of risk. During the afternoon, we will reimagine the closure planning process to repurpose this for relinquishment planning.

Workshop Facilitator


Sonia Finucane
Director and Principal Consultant
Bioscope Environmental Consulting Pty Ltd

Sonia provides closure services to projects in Australia, the Asia-Pacific and Africa. With more than 30 years of experience, she has been involved in closure planning for mining, industrial and infrastructure projects and operations. Sonia works at the interface of the environment and community, and has a strong track record in providing practical advice and workable solutions.

Workshop Presenters

Dr Kirsty Beckett
Principal Mine Closure
Fortescue Metals Group
Kirsty is a multi-disciplinary geoscientist who specialises in mine closure management. Kirsty’s technical experience across a range of environmental disciplines enables her to see beyond the technical outputs to develop site specific closure strategies that reduce risk and cost, and capitalise on opportunities during the mine life.

Luke Stephens
Afrique Gold, Ivory Coast
Luke is a mining social performance professional with 20 years experience in Africa, Eastern Europe, Central Asia and South East Asia. Luke’s experience covers a diverse range of disciplines including community relations, community development, humanitarian emergency response and closure planning. Known for bridging the divide between mine and community, Luke is currently based at a gold mine in the Ivory Coast where he is responsible for planning and managing development and implementation of the mine’s closure program (including social closure).

Dr Kamila Svobodova
Research Fellow
University of Queensland & Czech University of Life Sciences Prague
Kamila is a landscape engineer with PhD in architecture and urbanism. She works with the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining at Sustainable Mineral Institute. Kamila’s research interests span landscape planning, human perception and mine rehabilitation. Her expertise is in understanding the importance of environmental psychology when designing a post-mining landscape. Beside her academic career, Kamila has worked as an urban planner, and participated in various regional development planning projects.

Chris Tiemann
Environment & Community Manager
Independence Group
Chris is a HSEC professional with 10 years mining experience in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. In his current role, Chris is responsible for overall management of Independence Group’s group closure planning processes and liability estimates. Chris is also undertaking a PhD in mine closure policy, focusing specifically on relinquishment.

Pit Lakes Closure Planning Workshop

1 September 2019 | Perth, Western Australia


Pit lakes are a key feature of many open cut operations globally and have typically been poorly considered in the mine closure planning process. Multitudes of legacy pit lakes worldwide have drawn attention from stakeholders, particularly regulators and impacted communities, as to the liability these large final landforms can present.

This workshop will provide an overview of mine pit lakes; what they are, how they form, their types and characteristics. The workshop will then introduce attendees to key issues to be addressed in during mine closure planning to increase the likelihood of successful rehabilitation and relinquishment of operations featuring pit lakes. Examples of issues and potential management strategies and tools to address them are given with reference to presenter’s experiences in Australia and overseas. The concept of repurposing end pit lakes as beneficial end uses will also be explored.

This workshop compliments the conference field trip to the Collie Pit Lake District hosted by Dr McCullough.

Workshop Facilitator and Presenter

Dr Cherie D. McCullough
Director, Principal Environmental Scientist
Mine Lakes Consulting, Australia

Cherie has over 20 years’ experience in research and consulting, focussed on environmental management issues, with primary skills in geochemistry, hydrogeology ecotoxicology, ecology and environmental management. Her key expertise is in mining and the environment, particularly mine closure planning. Cherie is recognised internationally as a leading international expert on mine closure planning and mine pit lakes and has authored over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and books. Cherie also makes regular presentations to government and professional bodies on mine closure and has helped develop closure regulatory guidance for Western Australia, South Australia, the Commonwealth of Australia, PNG, Canada and APEC.

Workshop Presenter

Dr Devin Castendyk
Senior Geochemist
Golder Associates Inc., USA

Devin has over 20 years’ experience researching the geochemistry, hydrogeology, physical limnology, and closure of mine pit lakes. Devin has led field research programmes on oil sands pit lakes in Alberta and coal mine pit lakes in Pennsylvania, as well as field research on natural lakes in Guatemala and Antarctica.  He supervised the development of the INAP Pit Lakes Database and was a contributing author to both the Global Acid Rock Drainage (GARD) Guide and the CEMA End Pit Lake Technical Guidance Document for the Canadian oil sands industry.  In 2009, Devin was senior editor of the book Mine Pit Lakes: Characteristics, Predictive Modeling, and Sustainability, published by the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration. Devin has studied and modelled over 33 pit lakes in 5 countries, and has published over 12 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on pit lakes.


Click to view the preliminary programme (subject to change)

09:00Introduction to pit lakes Dr Cherie McCullough, Mine Lakes Consulting
09:30Key issues with pit lakes: Dr Cherie McCullough
Australia and international examples
10:30Morning break
11:00Key opportunities with pit lakes: Dr Cherie McCullough
Australia and international examples
13:00Pit lakes water balance and water quality modelling: Theory Dr Devin Castendyk, Golder Associates Inc., USA
14:00Pit lake water balance and water quality modelling: Case studies Dr Devin Castendyk
15:00Afternoon break
15:30Water balance strategies Dr Cherie McCullough
16:00Lessons learned Dr Devin Castendyk
16:45Synthesis and closing Dr Cherie McCullough

Geotechnical Systems that Evolve with Ecological Processes Course

2 September 2019 | The Westin Perth, Western Australia

Geotechnical systems are required to perform safely throughout their service life, which can span from decades for levees to in-perpetuity for TSFs. The conventional design practice by geotechnical engineers for these systems utilises the as-built material properties to predict its performance throughout the required service life. The implicit assumption in this design methodology is that the soil properties are stable through time. This is counter to long-term field observations of these systems, particularly where ecological processes such as plant, animal biological and geochemical activity is present. This course presents an integrated perspective and new approach to this issue; considering ecological, geotechnical and mining demands and constraints.


Course Presenters

Professor Andy Fourie
Professor of Civil and Mining Engineering
The University of Western Australia

Mark Tibbett
Professor Mark Tibbett
Professor of Soil Ecology
University of Reading, UK

Click to view the preliminary programme (subject to change)

8:30Session 1
Introducing concepts and purpose
Geotechnical principles and good practice for soils and post-mining landscapes
An introduction to the biology of the soil (part 1)
10:30Morning break
11:00Session 2
An introduction to the biology of the soil (part 2)
Differing perspectives: ecology versus engineering
13:30Session 3
How biology colonises and changes soil
Soil property and parameter change through time
Participant discussion
15:00Afternoon break
15:30Session 4
Managing an evolving engineered land system: towards an integrated geo-ecological approach
Closing discussion
17:00Wrap-up and course close

Landform Design and Modelling for Mine Rehabilitation and Closure Workshop

2 September 2019 | Perth, Western Australia

The post-mining landform is the canvass for all other aspects of ecological rehabilitation. Traditionally, the design approach to these landforms has been linear using empirical methods or generic designs. With the development of computer aided construction equipment, designers are no longer confined to straight lines, benches, contour banks and drop structures.

Popular with the community, geomorphic designs claim to ensure greater connectivity with the surrounding environment, visually and functionally by emulating fluvial geomorphic processes. But are these more complex designs cost effective? Are the outcomes more stable, and likely to function ecologically than traditional approaches? and how do we assess that? What of the role of Landscape Evolution Models (LEMs) and how significant are their limitations?

This workshop will provide a practical view of landform design both world-wide and in Australia. Presenters will discuss successes and failures, provide an integrated perspective of the different directions in which this field may develop, and interact with the attendees during question times, breaks and during the panel discussion.


Click to view the preliminary programme (subject to change)

8:30Welcome and introduction Harley Lacy, MCMS Pty Ltd and Associate Professor Jose F. Martín Duque, Complutense University of Madrid and Geosciences Institute, Spain
8:45Setting the scene: what have we done historically in landform design, how has it worked, what lessons can we learn Harley Lacy
9:10The importance of geotechnical stability in landform design – toward sustainability Professor David Williams, The University of Queensland
9:40Understanding the tension between material movement optimisation, ensuring erosional stability and geomorphic/hydrological considerations Chris Waygood, Golder Associates Pty Ltd
10:00Morning break
10:20Erosional stability: an overview on soil erosion modelling (RUSLE, WEPP) and landscape evolution modelling (SIBERIA, CAESAR, others) Associate Professor Greg Hancock, The University of Newcastle
11:00Geomorphic/hydrological considerations – landform design tools and software - GeoFluv-Natural Regrade, Talus Royal, River Morphology and the Canadian fluvial geomorphic approach Associate Professor Jose F. Martín Duque
11:45Integration of landform design and landscape evolution modelling Associate Professors Greg Hancock and Jose F. Martín Duque
12:00Panel discussion – challenges and observations, practitioners’ experience with these tools All
13:10Case studies and lessons learnt:
• European example
• NSW alluvial analogue example
• NSW non-alluvial analogue example
• Arid environment example
• Long duration assessments for uranium mining
14:30Afternoon break
15:00River restoration and stream diversion approaches Associate Professor Jose F. Martín Duque and Chris Waygood
15:40Integrating ideas, developing new ideas, addressing ongoing challenges in implementation and philosophy Panel discussion
17:00Workshop Close

Workshop Presenters

Associate Professor José F. Martín Duque
Complutense University of Madrid and Geosciences Institute, Spain

José’s extensive work has included design, modelling, monitoring and publishing in erosion and geomorphic rehabilitation of mined lands since 1995. He directs a specialised research and technology-transfer university group on this topic and teaches it for two master programs. José has led geomorphic rehabilitation projects on mined lands, and lectured about this innovative discipline, in many different countries.

Associate Professor Greg Hancock
University of Newcastle

Greg made his PhD on the use of the SIBERIA model under the supervision of Professor Garry Willgoose, inventor of the Landscape Evolution Model SIBERIA. He has more than 25 years of experience in the use of SIBERIA, and he is one of the most influential authors worldwide in the field of landform stability in mine rehabilitation. He also masters the use of other landscape evolution and soil erosion models.

Harley Lacy
Environmental Scientist
MCMS Pty Ltd

Harley has spent 30 + years involved in closure and rehabilitation of the many forms of mines and mine waste landforms.  This has included applied research and use of trials on mine tailings and waste landforms to optimise design and rehabilitation outcomes. In 1990 he founded Outback Ecology which was acquired by MWH 2013, then Stantec. He now consults independently to Stantec. Amongst other environmental activities, Harley works to help mining develop a positive legacy for society as a whole. 

Chris Waygood
Principal Mine Closure Specialist
Golder Associates Pty Ltd

Chris is a civil engineer with over 35 years of experience mainly in the fields of mining and water related projects ranging from large river diversions to water management plans. 

Over the last 7 years Chris has developed specific expertise in geomorphic landform design for mining overburden, designing and constructing these landforms on many of the large open cut mines in the Hunter Valley in NSW, Australia.  In terms of practical experience in Australia and adapting the Geofluv™ technique to meet the needs of the local mining community, Chris is probably the leading exponent in this field.

Professor David Williams
Director, Geotechnical Engineering Centre
The University of Queensland

Professor David Williams initiated and directs the industry-sponsored Geotechnical Engineering Centre at The University of Queensland, with industry funding of up to A$600,000/year, and University matching funding of $300,000/year. The Centre supports unique civil & geotechnical engineering, and mining & geotechnical engineering dual Major degree programmes, which graduate up to 65 students per year, and supports up to 40 PhD students. Professor Williams is also manager of the large open pit project. David’s primary research and consulting interests lie in the application of geotechnical principles to the management and rehabilitation of mine wastes, for which he enjoys an international reputation.