Short courses

Course 1:



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 observation 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

School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering,The University of Western Australia, Australia

Professor Mark Tibbett

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


07:30   Registration

08.15 Welcome and Introduction

08:30   Session 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)

10:30   Morning break

11:00   Session 2

  • An introduction to the biology of the soil (part 2)
  • Differing perspectives: ecology versus engineering

12:30   Lunch

13:30   Session 3

  • How biology colonises and changes soil
  • Soil property and parameter change through time
  • Participant discussion

15:00   Afternoon   break

15:30   Session 4

  • Managing an evolving engineered land system: towards an integrated geo-ecological approach
  • Closing discussion

17:00   Wrap-up


Course 2:

Advangeo®: Artificial neural networks for analyzing and predicting geological and geotechnical process – background, software and application examples


Geological and geotechnical processes such as soil liquefaction, slope instabilities, soil erosion and mineral deposit formation are results of complex interactions in geological systems controlled by multiple parameters. The analysis and prediction of these processes faces serious problems because of complex and often unclear cause – effect relationships preventing the application of mathematical rules and relationships for process description. In this environment, self-learning methods of artificial intelligence show exclusive strengths for establishing respective models usable for process prediction. The course introduces the attendee into the background of artificial neural network data analysis, and its application for analyzing and predicting instability processes in mining waste, slope instabilities and prediction of mineral occurrences for more sustainable natural resource management. Together with the presenter, the attendees create real models and apply them for prediction purposes.

Course presenters

Dr. Mandy Schipek, MSc Geoecology, PhD Hydrogeology

Beak Consultants GmbH, Freiberg: Project Manager Hydrogeology & Geohazards 


Peggy Hielscher, MSc Geology

Beak Consultants GmbH, Freiberg: Project Manager Machine Learning



07:30   Registration

08:30   Session 1

  • What are artificial neural networks (ANN)?
  • Application of ANN in a spatial and geological environment
  • Application examples
  • Advangeo® software

10:30   Morning break

11:00   Session 2: Waste pile stability analysis

  • How to build a real mining waste pile stability model?
  • Data base and data preparation
  • Model setup
  • Model application for instability predictive mapping

12:30   Lunch

13:30   Session 3: Slope instability analysis for infrastructure risk assessment

  • How to build the model?
  • Data base and data preparation
  • Model setup
  • Model application for slope instability predictive mapping

15:00   Afternoon   break

15:30   Session 4: Mineral predictive mapping for more resource sustainability

  • How to build the model?
  • Data base and data preparation
  • Model setup
  • Model application for slope instability predictive mapping

17:00   Wrap-up

  • Closing discussion
  • Conclusions

** The preliminary programme is subject to change.

Course 3:

Rehabilitation of Historic Mine Workings – A Phased Approach Category: Mining, Reclamation and Remediation

Course presenters

Sue Longo, Golder Associates Ltd, Canada – 

Jonathon Taylor, Golder Associates Ltd, Canada –

Darren Kennard, Golder Associates Ltd, Canada – 

John Scholte, Golder Associates Ltd, Canada –

Course Objectives

This course aims to walk participants through the process of investigating, mitigating, and rehabilitating hazards associated with abandoned, orphaned or historic mines.  With these old mine workings the typical issues are around unmitigated hazards that can present themselves in two ways – gradually or as sudden event. These hazards can include open mine voids on surface, land subsidence, sinkholes, etc. The problems associated with these sites can be complex and difficult to manage from a technical, environmental and especially economic perspective.  The mechanisms of surface impacts can be difficult to understand, making assessment of hazards and suitable mitigation or remediation efforts to limit risk complex. In some cases, there is considerable uncertainty around the accuracy/availability of the geometry of the mine workings and the geology. Challenges such as historical mine plans along with physical constraints like limited safe underground access, access for equipment and logistics, and proximity to local communities with the overarching umbrella of potential adverse environmental impacts are common

Over the last decade robust processes have been developed to cut through the complexity and develop solutions to manage or remove these hazards while optimizing costs and timelines.

Recent experience has shown that developing a holistic site wide investigation and rehabilitation approach can result in benefits to both the mineral rights holder, government, and/or the general public/landowners in the area of the hazards, resulting in cost savings and/or less intrusive rehabilitation methods.

Course Participants

The expected audience will include mine managers, environment and risk managers, and regulatory personnel that are dealing with issues related to land adversely impacted by historic mining.  This can be in the context of active mining near historical mine workings or abandoned/orphaned mines.

Course Outline

The course will cover four main technical components:

  • Session 1: Stability assessment of underground mine openings.
  • Session 2: Remediation options for hazard mitigation
  • Session 3: Backfill system development
  • Session 4: Execution of stabilization options

Each session will have case studies presented that demonstrate the potential issues involved as well as the potential solutions.

Session 1: Stability assessment of voids, openings and workings

Stability assessments are generally completed using an iterative/phased approach. This session will discuss the phased approach to stability assessments:

  • Data gathering and validation
  • Desktop stability and data gap assessments
  • Planning and execution of the physical investigation
  • Stability assessments
  • Identification of what mine openings require rehabilitation

Session 2: Options development for hazard mitigation and risk management

In order to optimize the mitigation and/or rehabilitation effort required to address hazards posed by historical mining activity, it is important to develop an overall rehabilitation strategy for a site including end land-uses. This can be achieved in a phased approach. It is also important to develop rehabilitation priorities as these may markedly impact cost and schedule impacts. This session will discuss:

  • Potential rehabilitation option identification
  • Order of magnitude costing and data gap/advantage/disadvantage assessment
  • Detailed option design and assessment
  • Prioritizing rehabilitation methods and developing a rehabilitation strategy

Session 3: Backfill system development

One of the remediation options available is backfilling voids to limit the progression of any failure and reduce or remove the potential for surface impacts.  There are multiple types and methods for applying backfill in these situations.  This session will discuss:

  • Backfill type / method assessment
  • Testing programs and recipe development
  • Planning and sequencing strategy development
  • QA/QC planning

Session 4: Execution of stabilization options

This is the actual site execution phase of the work.  There are ways to phase the execution that can help manage costs and schedule.  This session will discuss:

  • Execution planning
  • Labour, Materials, Equipment required
  • Site examples

Course Requirements

Handouts will be provided