About the Seminar


The ACG is proud to host the 21st International Seminar on Paste and Thickened Tailings in Perth, 11-13 April 2018. This seminar represents a valuable opportunity for academics, designers, practitioners, consultants and suppliers to discuss best practice, improved methods and technology, all with an emphasis on safety, efficiency and environmental impact.

Seminar Themes


  • Thickening and filtration
  • Transportation
  • Rheology
  • Surface disposal
  • Underground and backfill
  • Closure and rehabilitation
  • Case studies
  • Emerging issues and technologies

Seminar Chair


Richard Jewell

Senior Consultant
Australian Centre for Geomechanics
At The University of Western Australia, Professor Jewell was responsible for establishing the Geomechanics Group within the Department of Civil Engineering in 1984, and subsequently the Australian Centre for Geomechanics in 1992. Throughout his professional career Richard has worked closely with the offshore oil and gas industry and the mining industry. Richard was the lead editor and contributing author of the three editions of the “Paste and Thickened Tailings – A Guide”. In 1999, he initiated and has since led the ACG’s annual paste and thickened tailings international seminar series.

As a senior consultant, Richard contributes to and promotes ACG research projects and its further training and education platform.

Keynote Speakers


Dr David Cooling

Global Refining Residue Technical Manager
Alcoa Corporation

Keynote address: “Improving the sustainability of residue management practices”

Dr Michael Davies

Senior Advisor, Tailings & Mine Waste
Teck Resources

Dr Michael Davies is currently Senior Advisor, Tailings & Mine Waste for Teck Resources. Michael spent the first 25 years of his career in geotechnical/environmental consulting working around the world on mining projects with a particular emphasis on mine tailings issues including design, construction and closure. Starting in 2012, he took the position of Vice-President, Environment, for Teck Resources which included having global responsibility for Teck’s governance of its tailings facilities inclusive of projects, operations and legacy facilities. In late 2017 he began a phased retirement that has started with an advisory role with the company.

Keynote address: “International tailings management guidelines: recent developments”

Read abstract

Responsible tailings management is an important focus for the global mining industry and most certainly for its industry associations.   For example, the Mining Association of Canada (MAC), the national industry association for mining in Canada, has been a leader in tailings management guides for about 20 years.  MAC guides are used around the world and have been independently recognised as leading practice. MAC released the first edition of ‘A Guide to the Management of Tailings Facilities’ (the Tailings Guide) in 1998 and a second edition in 2011. In 2003, MAC introduced ‘Developing an Operation, Maintenance and Surveillance Manual for Tailings and Water Management Facilities’ (the OMS Guide).

Following a major tailings dam incident in Canada, MAC initiated external and internal reviews of the tailings management guides. These reviews led to a recommended updating to the guides to address key learnings from the event in Canada and other recent global events. The updated third edition of the Tailings Guide was published in 2017 and is available in English, Spanish and French. Revisions to the OMS Guide are in progress with an expected late 2018 release for that update.

The presentation will provide an overview of the third edition of the Tailings Guide as well as noting similar work by other global associations.   The presentation will demonstrate that the MAC update retains a strong emphasis on management systems, while strengthening technical components, especially those critical to the physical and chemical stability of tailings facilities. The third edition also strengthens guidance around key concepts, including:

  • Integration of a risk-based approach into the tailings management framework.
  • Clearly establish roles and responsibilities including that of the engineer-of-record.
  • Selection and implementation of site-specific best available technologies and best available/applicable practices.
  • Designing and operating for closure.
  • Independent review.

Dr Gordon McPhail

Water, Waste and Land Australia Pty Ltd

Keynote address: “Beach prediction experience to date: Further development and review of the Stream Power Entropy approach”