Associated Events

Paterson & Cooke Mine Backfill – Design and Operation Course

The one day backfill course will introduce the fundamental concepts of geomechanics and material properties that
underpin decision-making when developing a backfill design. The course will examine the various elements that go into engineering and operating a backfill system,including plant/process design, underground reticulation design and backfill management planning.

Further details to be advised.

ACG Is the Future Filtered? Paste and Thickened Tailings Short Course

Thickening of mine tailings is now going beyond the use of large, deep thickeners and addressing a new challenge – filtration of tailings to produce a low water content material that should pose much lower environmental and safety risks than most conventional TSFs. Tailings filtration provides many potential benefits, including improved water recovery and the ability to deposit and compact the filtered tailings to form a stable, engineered landform. However, there are also many concerns and potential pitfalls in adopting a filtered tailings management system, including high capital costs, equipment reliability, clogging of filter cloths, appropriate wash systems and optimisation of placement techniques. Although in the past it has been considered unachievable, large-volume filtered tailings operations are beginning to emerge and there are already a number of operational facilities dealing with medium volume (to the order of 20 ktonne/day) throughputs.
Given the increasing scrutiny of the mining industry and its relatively poor record with regards to mine tailings management, increased requirements to minimise water usage (often accompanied by very high costs of water) and the need to demonstrate achievable long-term closure strategies, it is likely that the option of a filtered tailings system will need to be considered in many operations in future.
It has therefore been decided to dedicate a short course to this topic to provide practitioners and decision-makers with as much information as possible, as early as possible.
Drawing on experiences from a number of operational filtered tailings facilities, the short course will discuss available technologies,
appropriate test programmes to determine relevant design parameters, operational challenges and cost comparisons.

Designers, consultants, owners and operators, mine planners, regulators and researchers would all benefit from attending this short course, which will provide a valuable opportunity to examine a rapidly growing technology that is likely to see increased adoption in the future.


Professor Andy Fourie
Professor of Civil and Mining Engineering
The 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 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.

The Australian Centre for Geomechanics invites proposals to host workshops/short courses to accompany the Paste 2019 Conference. Click here for more details.