About the Symposium

The ACG is delighted to host the Fourth International Symposium on Block and Sublevel Caving in October 2018, in Vancouver, Canada.

Symposium Chair

Jarek Jakubec

Corporate Consultant, SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc.

Jarek has over 30 years of operating and consulting experience in the mining industry. He specialises in mass mining, rock mechanics, diamond mining and technical auditing.
As a cave mining expert, Jarek has worked on most of the world’s caving and sublevel caving projects. He has participated in several international research projects, developed a rock mass classification system for caving mines, developed a planning tool for sublevel caving mines and has lectured on cave mining on five continents.


Keynote speakers

Ryan Campbell

Chief Geomechanical Specialist, Freeport-McMoran, USA

Keynote address: Optimising for success at the Grasberg Block Cave
Read abstract

At PT Freeport Indonesia’s Grasberg mining complex, the Grasberg open pit is scheduled to cease production in early 2019. Mining of the Grasberg deposit will then transition to the underlying Grasberg Block Cave (GBC) mine, with initial undercutting currently planned for late 2018. The GBC is projected to become the district’s flagship underground mine for the next two decades.
Early-stage production areas at the GBC are hosted within a heterogeneous rock mass. The footprint will be subjected to variable abutment and cave loading conditions. Mine design and sequencing adjustments, combined with customsed ground support options, continue to evolve in order to improve footprint reliability and permit a favourable transition between open pit and underground operations. This paper provides a snapshot of strategies employed to ensure the successful caving operation at the GBC mine.


David Cuello

Principal Geotechnical Engineer, Newcrest Mining Limited, Australia

Keynote address: Key geotechnical knowledge and practical mine planning guidelines in deep, high stress, hard rock conditions for block and panel cave mining
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Cadia Valley embarked on a path of cave mining in the early 2000s with the establishment of the Ridgeway Sub Level Cave. The success of that mine led to a significant expansion into block caving operations first at Ridgeway Deeps and then to the now established Cadia East Operations.

What makes Cadia unique is the high stress, hard rock mining conditions combined with the ability to maximise investor returns through the use of very high lift heights at depths of between 1,200 and 1,400 m. Over the last decade a significant amount of geotechnical and mining operations knowledge has been gained. A strong safety culture combined with innovative thinking has allowed Cadia to challenge existing industry paradigms using empirical data, a proof of concept type approach, followed by rapid implementation.

Cadia East is now poised to begin another phase of development as it continues on a multi decade mine life to exploit over one billion safe tonnes of ore. A critical path for ensuring success is the conversion of the geotechnical knowledge into practical planning guidelines that can be easily understood and adopted during cave feasibility, construction, and full production phases.

This paper describes the incorporation of key geotechnical and mine planning guidelines into the multi decade life-of-mine-plan for the Cadia East Operation.


Craig Stegman

VP Operational & Technical Support, Rio Tinto, Australia




Event Contacts

Josephine Ruddle 
Event Manager, Australian Centre for Geomechanics



Candice McLennan
Event Coordinator, Australian Centre for Geomechanics