Mike O’Kane

Senior Geotechnical Engineer, O’Kane Consultants

Steve Pearce

Senior Geoscientist, O’Kane Consultants


Minimum 10, maximum 50 delegates
Regular 4500/4800 ZAR, Students 3100 / 3400 ZAR


Context and Need for Workshop

Unfortunately, a common process that often occurs at mine sites when undertaking progressive rehabilitation and closure planning is the “closed loop of rehabilitation and closure planning support studies”; which in other words is the “… Beaten Path …” referred to in our workshop title. Regulatory agencies and mine operators are often challenged to ‘break out’ of the closed loop because there has been insufficient attention put towards developing achievable, simple, clear, well-documented and well-communicated overarching closure objectives, or goals and guiding principles, for closure. While we ‘all know’ this is important, understanding how to put this into practice is often not achieved. Rather, sites and stakeholders fall into a trap of setting lofty, esoteric, subjective (poorly defined) and/or unobtainable objectives, and then failing.

A common symptom of this lack of attention to setting, agreeing to, communicating early on, and also constantly adhering to site-specific closure objectives, is a series of disconnected and disjointed studies (i.e. “the Beaten Path”.) The results of these studies are most often not communicated to all relevant site and corporate personal, and/or stakeholders. And commonly, are conducted without the context of a common site, corporate, and stakeholder risk profile (and hence are typically not properly prioritised).

This workshop will bring forth a holistic and integrated approach to progressive rehabilitation and closure planning, one that focuses on risk management, and most importantly risk management that is developed within stakeholders’ collective risk profile; in other words, “… Your Road Map to Closure …”. Interspersed within the discussions on risk, will be development of understanding for typical failure modes associated with closure, and as such our workshop instructors will provide technical strategies, approaches, and case studies to illustrate how these failure modes can be addressed, adaptively and proactively, to manage risk and continue on “Your Road Map to Closure”.

Target Audience

This workshop will offer closure planners, site managers, and corporate mine management personnel the opportunity to evaluate closure planning at a high level and the workshop is therefore suitable for those with minimal technical background on specific closure planning stupor studies, such as ML-ARD assessment, cover system and landform design. However, within each ‘mini-case study’ presented during the workshop, more technical details will be offered to generate understanding for potential failure modes that lead to the need for risk management as it relates to closure.

Workshop Programme

Workshop instructors will be Mr. Mike O’Kane and Mr. Steve Pearce, O’Kane Consultants (OKC). From a technical perspective, OKC is a world leader in many facets of mine closure planning support studies, including waste geochemistry, unsaturated zone hydrology, cover systems, and landforms. The workshop will be held in four, 2 hr sessions spreading out over a single day. An additional half-day can be added if further technical detail and case studies are added to the workshop.

Workshop Outcomes

Outcomes from the workshop for participants will include, but are not limited to: i) a greater appreciation for the need to develop site-specific overarching closure objective and landform specific closure objectives, ii) a greater appreciation for the need to implement a closure plan approach, as opposed to an EIS approach, when planning for closure; meaning, the need to set a ‘base case’ for closure early in the process, and then use risk as the engineering tool to focus and prioritise the need for future studies, and iii) understanding for key technical issues as they relate to typical failure modes within closure planning. All of the above would be provided in the context of ‘mini-case studies”.

Workshop Materials

Workshop participants would be provided with bound hard copies of presentation slides.