Geotechnical Engineering for Mine Geowaste Facilities

Geotechnical Engineering for Mine Geowaste Facilities

Areas of Study: Geotechnics

Qualifies for CMS

Qualifies for Certification

This introductory course is for anyone in mining who has to manage, review, pay for, design, construct, operate, or close a geotechnical structure at a mine, including tailings impoundments, waste rock dumps, and heap leach pads, with numerous case studies.

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  • Audience Level:
  • Professional
  • Enrollment:
  • Required
  • Duration:
  • 22 hours

Course Summary


This introductory course is intended for anybody involved in mining who has to manage, review, pay for, design, construct, operate, or close a geotechnical structure at a mine. Included in the mining-related geotechnical structures you will study in this course are the obvious: tailings impoundments, waste rock dumps, and heap leach pads. Once you have finished this course you will know enough to deal with anything on the mine that is made of soil, rock, and those modern materials called geosynthetics.

This course is not intended to make you into a geotechnical engineering specialist. It will introduce you to and provide you with plenty of practical information and knowledge about those aspects of geotechnical engineering that occur at every mine. This includes geotechnical characterization of a site, soil characterization and properties, the design of geotechnical structures, and the construction, operation, and closure of mining facilities made or consisting of soil, rock, and geosynthetics.

The following primary aspects of geotechnical engineering are covered for each of the major geowaste structures at a mine:

  • Site Exploration
  • Soil Characterization
  • Soil Performance
  • Design and Construction
  • Operation of Mine Geowaste Facilities
  • Closure of Mine Geowaste Facilities
  • Summary of Geotechnical Factors
The course includes numerous case studies from the author's extensive experience.

Course Content

This course comprises 37 viewing sessions, each of 30 - 60 minutes duration, plus supporting figures, tables, case studies and interactive reviews that confirm your achievement of the learning objectives. The total duration of the course is approximately 22 hours.

Learning Outcomes

  • Discuss the geotechnical aspects of site exploration, soil characterization and soil performance in the context of mine geowaste structures.
  • Discuss the geotechnical principles, issues and factors involved in the design, construction, operation and closure of mine geowaste facilities.

Recommended Background

  • A degree or diploma in geotechnical engineering or civil engineering.
  • Experience in design, construction or operation of large waste structures in mining.

Jack Caldwell P.E., MS.(Eng.), LLB

Jack Caldwell, P.Eng, has a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering, an M.Sc. (Eng.) in Geotechnical Engineering and a post-graduate law degree. He has over 35 years engineering experience on mining, civil, geotechnical and site remediation projects. He has worked on numerous projects throughout southern Africa, Europe, Latin America, Canada, and the United States. His project experience includes:

- mines and waste disposal facilities - design, construction supervision and reclamation of tailings impoundments, mine rock dumps, heap leach pads, landfills and radioactive waste disposal units;

- hazardous and radioactive waste site remediation - senior management and technical consultant

- landfills - design, construction, operation and closure with special focus on liners, covers, and soil reinforcement.

In addition, Mr. Caldwell has been the lead specialist for various geotechnical and civil engineering projects in Southern California. Mr. Caldwell has written many engineering reports, proposals, and technical papers. He is the lead author of the book, Principles and Practice of Waste Encapsulation, on the design of waste disposal facilities for radioactive and hazardous wastes.