Conference Co-Chairs

Professor Andy Fourie
Professor of Civil & Mining Engineering and Program Director – Future Tails, The University of Western Australia

Andy is a professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering at The University of Western Australia in Perth. He has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, and a PhD from the Imperial College, University of London. He has worked at the University of Queensland and the University of the Witwatersrand. He 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. Andy has been involved in many industry-focussed projects with current projects including An Evaluation of Tailings Storage Facilities Monitoring Technologies managed by AMIRA and funded by eight mining companies; Future Tails aimed at training, research and education to improve tailings management funded by BHP and Rio Tinto; and Evaluating Potential Static Liquefaction of Tailings to Prevent Failures, funded by six mining companies as well as the Australian Research Council. Andy is also currently a member of five international tailings review boards.


Dr David Reid
Research Fellow, The University of Western Australia

David is a tailings engineer with 16 years of consulting and research experience in the design, laboratory testing, and analysis of tailings and tailings storage facilities.  He is primarily involved in laboratory and in situ characterisation of tailings with respect to their strength, consolidation behaviour, and liquefaction susceptibility.  David completed a PhD at UWA on the behaviour of polymer-treated tailings. He has worked at UWA since 2017 as a research fellow on the ARC Linkage project TAILLIQ and more recently on the Future Tails project.



Keynote Speakers


Stephen Newman
Practice Lead Tailings, BHP

Presentation title: BHP Long-Term Tailings Strategy



Dr Danielle Risbey
Team Leader, Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety

Presentation title: Regulation of Tailings in Western Australia

Danielle completed a B.Sc. (Hons) in Biological Sciences at Murdoch University in 1991 and then a PhD on the impact and control of feral cats in Shark Bay in 2000. She commenced working in the mining industry as an environmental consultant in 2000 and joined the Department of Mineral and Petroleum Resources (now Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, DMIRS) in Kalgoorlie as an environmental officer in 2002. Danielle transferred to the Perth DMIRS office in 2005 and has been in a management role for the northern half of Western Australia since July 2007. Danielle is particularly interested in successful rehabilitation and closure, and has gained 20 years of experience in the environmental assessment and regulation of exploration and mining operations in WA.


Dr Ryan Veenstra
Global Backfill Specialist, Newmont Australia

Presentation title: Using Instrumentation in Underground Backfill Systems

Instrumentation is rapidly becoming a prevalent practice and data resource in backfill systems across the globe. In this talk, I will be exploring some of the more common types of instrumentation being used, as well as their functions and their advantages. Three areas for instrumenting in backfill will be covered including the backfill plant, reticulation systems, and stopes.  Drawing on a range of case studies, I will explore recent exemplars of both successes and failures in backfill instrumentation and the lessons that can be drawn from these scenarios.

Ryan is Newmont’s global backfill specialist, providing technical and operational expertise and leadership for Newmont’s underground mines. Over the last 15 years, he has been involved in backfill as an academic, consultant, and on-site engineer and presently coaches and mentors Newmont’s backfill engineers in Australia and the Americas. His expertise and experience cover the entire backfill system with a particular speciality in backfill geomechanics. He has a geological engineering degree from the University of Waterloo and holds a PhD in civil engineering from the University of Toronto.


Event Contacts

Josephine Ruddle
Event Manager, Australian Centre for Geomechanics




Candice McLennan
Event Coordinator, Australian Centre for Geomechanics