Technical Advisory Board

Jarek Jakubec

SRK Consulting 

Jarek, has over 33 years of operating and consulting experience in Mining Industry. Jarek has been on operating mines in Canada, Botswana and Czech Republic. He has been involved in mining projects all over the world. He currently specializes in Technical auditing, Mass mining (open pit and caving), Diamond mining and Rock mechanics.

Jarek is considered cave mining expert and he was instrumental with Dr. Laubscher in development of rock mass classification system for caving mines. He also participated on several international research projects including MMT, Weak rock support and Best Practice for data collection. In association with Gemcom Software Jarek spearheaded development of new planning tool for Sublevel-caving Mines and he co-authored section for geotechnical data collection and interpretation for Large Open Pits (LOP) which become industry standard. He also held several cave mining lectures in Asia, Australia, Africa, South America and Canada and he is Qualified Person in terms of National Instrument 43 101.

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Andy Robertson


Andy is a world-class expert with 40 years of experience in rock mechanics, mining geotechnics, and environmental engineering. Andy was one of the three founding members of Steffen, Robertson & Kirsten Consulting Engineers and later became president of Robertson GeoConsultants Inc. He has been the lead investigator and/or designer for numerous projects and mining companies around the world. Andy participates on technical review boards for mining companies and regulatory authorities. He has published extensively and has been the recipient of a number of technical and industry awards, most recent one being the induction into the International Mining Hall of Fame for Environmental Management and Stewardship.

Davide Elmo


Davide is an assistant professor at UBC’s Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering. His research and teaching topics focus on different aspects of rock mechanics and rock engineering design. Davide’s expertise includes advanced numerical modelling of block cave mining, interactions between surface and underground mining, numerical simulation of the mechanical behaviour of hard rock pillars, slope stability analysis, and applications of synthetic rock mass modelling and discrete fracture network modelling. He has collaborated in producing more than 80 technical papers and is currently supervising 3 doctoral and 3 master’s students.

Chris Page

SRK Consulting

Chris has over 35 years of underground operating and consulting experience. He started his career at Copperbelt in Zambia and later joined SRK Consulting in South Africa and Canada. Chris has world-class expertise in block and sublevel caving and currently specializes in technical auditing of operating mines, strategic mine planning, and mining method selection. In his long career, he completed projects around the world and published numerous technical papers.

Ryan Campbell


Ryan has over 14 years’ experience in rock mechanics and structural geology specializing in mass mining projects.  Over the past decade, his career has focused on the development of caving projects from greenfield through to active operations.  Ryan currently leads PT Freeport Indonesia’s underground geotechnical group in Phoenix, Arizona where day to day and long term support is provided to the DOZ, DMLZ, GBC and Big Gossan mines.

Andy Davies

New Afton

Andy has been in the field of Rock Mechanics/ Geotechnical Engineering for nearly 20 years completing my undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Economic & Engineering Engineering Geology and Mining Engineering with specialisation in rock mechanics at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. He has worked on multiple operations during this time from deep to ultra deep hard rock tabular mining, massive mining, open long hole stoping and block caving. Andy has spent the last 5 years at the NewGold , New Afton block caving operation near Kamloops, BC . He is currently in a project management role specifically related to understanding the potential surface impacts of the block cave on critical infrastructure.

Kurt Keskimaki

Keskimaki Consulting

Kurt has over 40 years of underground operating experience and spent 33 years in various positions at one of the most successful and productive cave mines in the world – Henderson Mine. Kurt was also the general manager at the Climax Mine during construction, an open pit on top of a historic block cave, and most recently was the mine manager and general manager of the newest cave mine – New Afton Mine.

Tony Diering


Tony has over 30 years of experience in mining software applications development and is a pioneer of innovative blockcaving technologies. He began his career as a consulting engineer with SRK and later with Gemcom Software. In 2005, Tony was appointed Adjunct Professor by UBC’s Mining Engineering Department. Tony is presently Principal Consultant, Caving Business Unit, with main focuses on block and sublevel caving. Tony has been involved with numerous caving projects and mines. In 2015, Tony was inducted into the Mining Software section of the International Mining Technology Hall of Fame.

Andre van As


Andre has worked as a geotechnical engineer in caving operations & projects for over 25 years. He studied geotechnical engineering at the University of Natal in South Africa and proceeded to work for De Beers in their underground operations, followed by Northparkes Mines and subsequently consulted to all Rio Tinto’s underground mines.  Passionate about cave mining, working for Rio has allowed him to be intimately involved in 7 world class caving operations and several caving projects.  Other than his caving experience his claim to fame is his successful application of hydraulic fracturing to induce and pre-condition cave mines, for which he received a CSIRO medal for excellence in research  In his free time Andre loves fishing and on rare occasions is even lucky enough to catch a few.

Loren Lorig

Loren has 40 years of experience in engineering projects requiring specialized geomechanics consulting. His area of exper­tise is in the application of numerical models to provide solutions to stability, support and dynamics problems in mining engineering.  Dr. Lorig has worked extensively at some of the largest open pits in the world and currently is working on studies involving transition from open-pit to underground cave mining at sites around the world. Dr. Lorig was General Manager of Itasca’s Santiago, Chile office for 13 years. He has served as a member of consulting and peer review boards for several large projects. He was lead author for Slope Design Methods (chapter 10) of Guidelines for Open Pit Slope Design (2009) and Numerical Modelling (chapter 4) of Guidelines for Evaluating Water in Pit Slope Stability (2013). He has conducted over 40 short courses and has authored more than 50 technical articles. He was recently awarded the 2016 SME rock mechanics award “For his international leadership in the development and application of mechanics-based numerical procedures to engineering design in discretely fractured rock masses.”

Matthew Pierce

Pierce Engineering/Itasca Consulting Group

Matthew is a Mining/Geological Engineer with over 20 years of experience in the geomechanical analysis of underground and open pit mines. He is President of Pierce Engineering and a Senior Associate with Itasca Consulting Group. Dr. Pierce has specific expertise in the estimation of rock mass properties and the analysis of caving and collapse potential, fragmentation, subsidence, draw/recovery and infrastructure stability. He also has developed specialized numerical modelling tools for the study of rock mass response from tunnel-scale to mine-scale and from the onset of acoustic emissions through to yield, fragmentation, collapse, and gravity flow. In 2013 Dr. Pierce received the Rocha Medal from the International Society of Rock Mechanics for his doctoral study of gravity flow in caving mines. He is a member of the Committee on Geological and Geotechnical Engineering (National Academy of Engineering, USA) and the Commission on Underground Nuclear Power Plants (ISRM). Dr. Pierce received his B.S. in Geological Engineering and his M.S. in Mining Engineering from Queen’s University in Canada, and his Ph.D. in Mining Engineering from the University of Queensland in Australia.

Alan Guest

University of Queensland

Alan has over 30 years of experience and holds a PhD in Engineering Geology. He specializes in geotechnical aspects of open pit, cave mining and blasting. His consulting experiences for major mining companies extend to South Africa, Australia, Chile, Canada, USA and Russia. He started with Rio Tinto as a Resident Geologist before relocating to South Africa where he was moved up to Senior Divisional Geotechnical Engineer. He later transitioned to the Group Geotechnical Consultant for De Beers and Anglo American Corporation, managing both their operations and Technical Director’s Offices at the same time. He has since retired and now currently holds a position of Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland, Australia.

Alex Thompson

BHP Billiton

Alex is a mining engineer with experience working in Australia, Chile, Peru and the US. He holds a Mining Engineering degree with Honors from the University of New South Wales and a 1st Class Mine Manager’s Certificate of Competency in Queensland Australia. He currently oversees BHP Billiton’s non operated joint ventures Antamina in Peru and the Resolution Copper project in Arizona.

Andres Brzovic

El Teniente

Andres is currently a senior mine geologist at the El Teniente Division of CODELCO Chile. For the last 23 years his work has been related with the primary and the secondary copper ore mine operations, developments and feasibility studies.

The El Teniente mine is a porphyry copper ore deposit and currently it is the biggest underground caving operation in the world (over 137,000 tons are mined each year) using several block caving methods.

He has geology degree from University of Chile (Santiago, Chile) and PhD in Rock Mechanics from Western Australia School of Mines (WASM) in Australia at the Curtin University of Technology.

His mining and scientific expediencies has been related to: geotechnical rock mass characterization for hard and massive rock mass, caving fragmentation and preconditioning. His research studies have been published in international conferences and prestigious journals of mining and rock mechanics. Recently he was awarded with the 2015 Douglas Hay Medal by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining of London (IOM3).