Call for workshops

The Mine Closure 2019 organisers are seeking expressions of interest from parties interested in hosting short courses/workshops in association with the Mine Closure 2019 conference. Click here for more information on what is involved.

Please email the Mine Closure 2019 Committee to express your interest to host a workshop.


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
Postdoctoral Researcher
University of Life Sciences Prague, Czech Republic
Research Fellow
University of Queensland
Kamila is a landscape engineer who is currently conducting postdoctoral research in the Land Research Group at the University of Life Sciences Prague. Her 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.

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.

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