About the Event

Underground mining continues to progress at deeper levels and industry is now extracting mineral reserves at depth that previously would have been considered unmineable. Deep mining is a very technical and challenging environment. A high level of understanding and technically sound approaches are essential to satisfactorily deal with the significant geotechnical (from squeezing ground to rockbursts) and logistical (transportation, ventilation) issues of deep and high stress mining, and best practice and innovation need to be implemented.

The Australian Centre for Geomechanics looks forward to hosting the Eighth International Conference on Deep and High Stress Mining in Perth in March 2017. This follows the previous conferences held in Sudbury, 2014; Perth, 2012; Santiago, 2010; Perth, 2007; Quebec City, 2006; Johannesburg, 2004; and Perth, 2002.

Conference Themes:

  • Rockburst and seismicity
  • Rock mass characterisation – data management and interpretation
  • Seismic hazard/risk
  • Geotechnical design methodology
  • Ground support – dynamic support design/selection and element performance
  • Seismic monitoring and analysis
  • Ground control
  • In situ stress determination – measurement and seismic inversion
  • Numerical modelling methodology
  • Rock mass characterisation – property inference techniques
  • Ventilation/Mining method
  • Seismic responses and re-entry analysis
  • Understanding rock failure
  • Managing challenging conditions
  • Overbreak and rockfall – measurement technology and application
  • Ground support – squeezing ground and weak rock

Conference Chair


Dr Johan Wesseloo
Senior Research Fellow — Rock Engineering
Project Leader — mXrap Development
Australian Centre for Geomechanics

Johan has been involved in geotechnical engineering since 1998, with experience in both underground and open pit environments. Johan obtained a BEng (Civil), MEng and PhD (Geotechnical) from The University of Pretoria, South Africa and is Fellow of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. He started his career as a geotechnical engineer with SRK Consulting, South Africa.

In 2007, Johan joined the Australian Centre for Geomechanics, where he led and completed the ACG’s High Resolution Seismic Monitoring in Open Pit Mines project and the Mine Seismicity and Rockburst Risk Management. Johan has an interest in the rock engineering aspects of mine-induced seismicity and developed several procedures and methods for seismic analysis for rock engineering purposes and mining seismic hazard assessment methods, which are integrated into mXrap Apps. 

Opening Speaker



Graham Ehm
EVP Planning and Technical, AngloGold Ashanti & Director, Mining 3 (formerly CRC Mining)

Graham is currently the Executive Vice President – Group Planning and Technical with AngloGold Ashanti.  This role is accountable for business planning and portfolio optimisation, capital investment optimization, projects, studies and exploration, and non-managed joint ventures. Previously he was EVP Australia and Tanzania, and was General Manager for a number of Australian mines including Sunrise Dam. Graham has a background in mine operations and management, covering the nickel, copper, uranium and gold sectors. He holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons), is a member of both the AusIMM and the AICD, a Director of CRC Mining and a Director of the Minerals Council of Australia.

Keynote Speakers


Emrich Hamman
Vice President Geotechnical Engineering, Mining and Technical, AngloGold Ashanti Ltd

Emrich has been working as a geotechnical engineer in the mining industry since graduating as a civil engineer from the University of Stellenbosch in 1996. His career spans designing and implementing excavations in materials ranging from weathered and saturated surficial to ultra-deep high stress underground environments.  He started work as a seismologist in the South African deep level mines, while working in the Savuka rock engineering department, assisting with what is still the world’s deepest shaft pillar extraction.  The new millennium provided a change of scenery when in 2000, Emrich started working on open pit mines in Tanzania and Namibia, before doing expat work for a couple of years in Mali (West Africa). He transferred to Australia in 2004, working on the Sunrise Dam Gold Mine open pit and the then underground feasibility project. Since, he has slowly moved away from the coal face into a more corporate role – first as the regional geotechnical engineer for AGA Australia, and then as a principal engineer in a corporate governance role for AGA.  Currently he leads a team of principal geotechnical engineers in providing service and support to the international operations of the AGA group.

Keynote address: Data management and geotechnical models


William Joughin
Partner & Principal Mining Geotech Engineer, SRK Consulting (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd

William Joughin spent the past 25 years in underground rock engineering, working on South African deep-level gold mines before joining SRK Consulting in 1998. He specialises in underground rock engineering investigation and design, with expertise in numerical modelling, selecting mining methods, designing excavations, investigating shaft stability and geotechnical risk, while providing consultancy services for mining projects on five continents. William is Vice President, African Region of the International Society for Rock Mechanics.  He received the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy’s gold medal and the Alec Wilson Award for outstanding papers.

Keynote address: Dealing with uncertainty and risk in the design of deep and high stress mining excavations


Professor Boris Tarasov
Professorial Fellow, Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems, The University of Western Australia

Boris graduated as a mechanical engineer in Russia, 1974 and since 1978 he has worked in rock mechanics. He completed his PhD in 1983, and highest doctoral degree in 1992. From 1992 to 1998 he was a Professor at the Mining University in Saint-Petersburg. Since 2000 Boris has been a Professor at the University of Western Australia. His professional interests lie in experimental physics and rock mechanics, especially hard rock behaviour at conditions of great depth. He has designed many unique testing apparatus to study this subject.

Keynote address: Shear ruptures of extreme dynamics in laboratory and natural conditions