Engineers Australia

Coal mining in the Latrobe Valley

James Faithful and Dr Rob Gaulton

The power stations of the Latrobe Valley play a critical role in the generation of over 80% of power supplied to Victoria. These power stations rely on extensive deposits of brown coal which underlie the region. Coal mining at Hazelwood ceased in March 2017, the Mine is now in the closure phase. Coal mining at Yallourn and Loy Yang power stations is planned to continue for at least the next decade.

This trip affords attendees the opportunity to gain insight into the contrasting nature of the ongoing works in the mines of the Latrobe Valley, namely mine rehabilitation and active mining, from two widely respected experts in their fields. The first part of the day, led by James Faithful, will set out the rehabilitation strategy of Hazelwood mine, and will include a tour around the mine crest. Following this, Dr Rob Gaulton will lead the second part of the tour, which will focus on the geology of the Latrobe Valley and the ongoing mining works at Loy Yang. This part of the tour will take place at one of the public lookouts at Loy Yang mine.

This field trip is preceded by a technical presentation on 14 August.

About the speakers

James FaithfulTechnical Services Manager, Hazelwood Mine

For the past seven years, James Faithful has been the Technical Services Manager at the Hazelwood Mine, a role which sees him responsible for the geotechnical and hydrogeological risk management, geology, mine planning, survey and mine rehabilitation planning. He is a Degree qualified Mining Engineer (from Monash University – Gippsland and Ballarat University) and has worked for close to 20 years in a range of mining operations and commodities throughout Australia. James holds several statutory qualifications as well as a Master In Business Administration from Deakin University and brings to the table practical mining operations experience coupled with a well-developed technical understanding of the complexities and challenges behind rehabilitation in the Latrobe Valley brown coal mines.

Dr Rob Gaultonformer Manager of Geological Services to the State Electricity Commission of Victoria (SECV)

Dr Rob Gaulton is a former Manager of Geological Services to the State Electricity Commission of Victoria (SECV). Between 1973 and 1996, he worked in the Latrobe Valley providing a range of geological services to SECV mining operations (4 open cut operations) as well as involvement in broader coalfield investigations. In addition, he was regularly involved with open pit dewatering and stability issues, managed SECV drilling activities in Gippsland, and project managed a number of investigations aimed at establishing future resource viability. He also oversaw the introduction of computer based geological and geophysical data acquisition and the development of digital geological and coal resource models. Rob is the author/co-author of 10 published technical/scientific papers in the field of earth sciences and coal geology. In recent years he has lectured in Geology for Engineers and Engineering Geology at Monash and Federation Universities as well as undertaking contractual assignments relating to the assessment of low rank coal projects in the Asia-Pacific region.

Engineers Australia members participating in AGS technical sessions can record attendance on their personal CPD logs. Members should refer to Engineers Australia CPD policy for details on CPD types, requirements and auditing guidelines.