Engineers Australia

Latrobe Valley Mine Closure

An Emerging Case Study

Sanjive Narendranathan and Nirav Patel

An overview of the Latrobe Valley geological and hydrogeological setting, history of open cut coal mining, impacts on the region including land subsidence, key geotechnical considerations and stability challenges, contemporary status of the existing mines and mine closure environment will be provided.

The presenters will provide an overview of emerging geotechnical journey taken to date in order to assist Hazelwood Power transition the open cut mine from an operational stage through to developing the concepts for closure. They will draw upon their experience in establishing stability models, undertaking stability analyses, discuss the probabilistic assessment approach and the technical methodologies adopted.

The case study outlines how the approaches adopted by Hazelwood have been successful in developing and progressing the geotechnical and stability considerations associated with transitioning from operational stage through to rehabilitation and closure phases.

This presentation is a precursor to the AGS field trip to be held on 24 August 2019, further details of which will be provided in due course.

About the speakers

Photograph of Sanjive Narendranathan

Sanjive NarendranathanTechnical Director, Mining Geotechnical Engineering, GHD

Sanjive is a chartered mining professional and a fellow of the Institute of Engineers Australia, he has over 15 years’ experience in the field of mining geomechanics. His operational experience includes responsibility for ground control at KCGM’s Super Pit and Mt Charlotte (underground) operations, where he undertook a number of applied research projects on topics such as final wall blasting techniques for open pit batters underlain by historic underground workings and underground support design requirements in high stress conditions. He spent ten years as a consulting engineer with Coffey Mining (seven years) and the Infra Tech Group (three years), where he undertook a number of geotechnical designs and feasibility studies for clients such as Rio Tinto, BHP, Barrick and Newmont, for projects across of number of commodities in Australia, Asia and Africa. He has also been called upon to provide expert technical and forensic advice on a number of sensitive cases involving geotechnical engineering issues and disputes for firms such as Clayton UTZ and Minter Ellison’s.

He spent one year with the mining regulator in Victoria, as a geotechnical advisor, where he was responsible for providing advice to the office of State Resources Minister on Victorian mine and quarry stability requirements. In early 2018 he joined GHD as technical director (mining) geotechnical engineering, and is focused on the closure related stability considerations for brown coal mines in the Latrobe Valley region of Victoria.

Photograph of Nirav Patel

Nirav PatelGeotechnical Engineer, GHD

Nirav has 5 years’ of working experience in the geotechnical field, primarily in civil and mining fields. He has been involved in various site investigations, earthworks supervision roles and has undertaken geotechnical assessments across a large range of civil and mining projects. Nirav has a strong knowledge in geotechnical site work and geotechnical assessments related to slope stability. Notably, Nirav worked on key infrastructure related projects including the Caulfield to Dandenong Level Crossing Removals, Melbourne Metro, windfarms, roads, landfills. Since early 2017, he has provided operational support and involvement in closure related stability considerations and studies for the brown coal mines in the Latrobe Valley.

CPD Engineers Australia (EA) members participating in AGS technical sessions can record attendance on their personal Continuing Professional Development (CPD) logs. Members should refer to EA’s CPD policy for details on CPD types, requirements and auditing guidelines.

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.