Australian Organising Committee

15th International Conference on Mine Closure
4-6 October 2022 | Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Australian Organising Committee Members

Jodie Belton
Principal Advisor, Closure Strategy and Optimisation, Rio Tinto

Jodie has over 20 years’ experience in mining, from exploration and evaluation drilling programs through to development studies, operations and closure. Jodie has a Bachelor of Science (Geophysics) with Honours and a Masters of Business Administration.

Jodie currently works as Principal Advisor Closure Strategy and Optimisation with Rio Tinto, where she has been for 16 years. She is currently leading Rio Tinto’s Asset Closure Strategy program which contributes to host communities’ vision for future land use after our operations cease and ensuring closure is considered throughout the asset lifecycle to identify opportunities and threats while in operation.

Jon Crosbie
Head of Climate and Closure Planning, MMG Limited

Jon has 16 years’ broad mining experience covering exploration, project development/approvals, construction, operations and closure. He has held both functional and operational roles in differing cultural contexts, with experience in Africa, Europe, South America, and Australia. His commodity exposure covers iron ore, coal, copper, gold, silver, zinc, lead, cobalt, and uranium. 

He presently serves as head of climate and closure planning with MMG, where he has been for eight years. His responsibilities cover oversight of the implementation of MMG’s climate resilience strategy and vision to operate in a ‘net zero’ future, the closure planning function, as well as other long term strategic environmental areas such as water stewardship, biodiversity and mineral waste management.

Jon has a Bachelor of Engineering (Environmental) with Honours, Bachelor of Science (Geography and Ecology), Graduate Certificate in Community Relations and a Master of Business Administration. He is an AusIMM chartered professional and an RPEQ.

Dr Mark Dobrowolski
Principal Rehabilitation Scientist, Iluka Resources Limited

Mark is a research scientist working for Iluka Resources Limited, a mineral sands mining and processing company. Mark has a background in soil science and plant biology, with a variety of experience in university-, government-, and industry-based research, and a particular focus on the rehabilitation of mined land. For more than 15 years, he has worked in the mineral sands and bauxite mining and processing industries on research to ameliorate soil water and physical factors that inhibit successful revegetation following mine closure. He also works closely with plant ecologists on achievable targets for revegetation of mined land. Mark leads rehabilitation practice improvement in Iluka Resources Limited with sites in Australia, the US, and Sierra Leone. Mark also holds adjunct positions at Murdoch University and The University of Western Australia. 

Kim Ferguson
Global Practice Lead – Closure, BHP

Kim is the closure global practice lead in the BHP Resource Centre of Excellence. Kim is also the current co-chair of the International Council of Mines and Metals (ICMM) Closure Working Group. 

She has over 20 years’ experience in resources projects throughout Australia and internationally, including West Africa and South America, ranging from greenfields exploration through operations to closure planning and implementation and post-closure monitoring. She has experience in a range of commodities including gold, copper, iron ore, silver, lead/zinc, coal and petroleum. 

Kim has held operational, corporate, project, and consulting roles covering environmental and social impact assessment and approvals, resource closure planning and execution, stakeholder engagement, sustainability and environmental management, as well as auditing and acquisition and divestment roles. She is passionate about mining being a responsible industry that plays a key role in a more sustainable future for us all.  

Sonia Finucane
Principal Environmental Scientist, CDM Smith

Sonia is an environmental scientist with more than 30 years of experience in environmental impact assessment and management, asset closure planning and stakeholder engagement for mining, energy, infrastructure and industrial projects. She has been involved mine closure planning for a wide range of projects across 13 countries in Asia, Africa and the Pacific region.

Professor Andy Fourie
Professor of Civil & Mining Engineering and Program Director – Future Tails, The University of Western Australia

Andy is a professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering at The University of Western Australia in Perth.
He has a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, and a PhD from the Imperial College, University of London. He has worked at the University of Queensland and the University of the Witwatersrand. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Alberta, the Catholic University of Valparaiso in Chile and the University of Colorado in Boulder. His research is in the field of mitigating the impact of mining and municipal solid waste disposal. Outcomes from his research have been incorporated in changes to environmental legislation in South Africa. He contributed to a series of guidelines for managing mine tailings in Australia, as well as developing a document for the International Atomic Energy Association on barrier systems for retaining uranium mining waste.
Andy has been involved in many industry-focussed projects with current projects including An evaluation of tailings storage facilities monitoring technologies managed by AMIRA and funded by eight mining companies; Future Tails aimed at training, research and education to improve tailings management funded by BHP and Rio Tinto; and Evaluating potential static liquefaction of tailings to prevent failures, funded by six mining companies as well as the Australian Research Council. Andy is also currently a member of five international tailings review boards.

Emeritus Professor Rae Mackay
Chair, Mine Land Rehabilitation Authority

Rae is a hydrogeologist with over 40 years’ international experience in surface water and groundwater investigations, simulation and management, both as a practising engineer and as an academic. He has undertaken extensive research under the headings of stochastic hydrogeology for arid zone environments, nuclear waste disposal, contaminated land and open cut mines. Prior to his current appointment as chair of the Victorian Mine Land Rehabilitation Authority, he was the commissioner for Mine Rehabilitation for the Latrobe Valley brown coal mines. Rae moved to Australia from the United Kingdom in 2011 to be director of the geotechnical and hydrogeological engineering research group at Monash University’s Gippsland campus working on coupled hydro-geomechanical processes governing mine stability and mining induced ground movements. Rae joined Federation University when the campus was transferred to the new University. From 2011 to 2017, he was a member of the Victorian government’s technical review board overseeing stability issues for all mines and quarries in Victoria.

Michael McLeary
Principal Consultant – Asset Closure/Transition Planning, WSP Golder

Michael has over 30 years’ experience in environmental management, remediation, rehabilitation and closure studies, and projects associated with the full resource asset life cycle including downstream processes, towns, etc. Michael has on-ground experience in all Australian jurisdictions and overseas across numerous resource commodities including iron ore, coal, base and precious metals, natural gas, mineral sands and uranium through all aspects from exploration through to and beyond closure. 

In previous roles he has worked for consulting, industry and government, and currently is the APAC lead for closure at WSP Golder.

Professor Tom Measham
Research Director, CRC TiME

Tom is research director at the Cooperative Research Centre for Transformations in Mining Economies (CRC TiME). With a background in human geography, he has over 25 years’ experience in designing and delivering integrated research programs focused on regional communities, the resources sector and transition. His research focuses on social and economic dimensions of mining and energy across Australia including regional development, community aspirations, employment, income equality, demographics, social licence, regional governance, and climate adaptation. He provides expert advice to governments and industry on a diverse range of social and economic issues. He has over 100 publications including more than 50 scholarly articles and two books. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Sydney, a Master of Environmental Science from James Cook University, and a PhD from the Australian National University.

Josephine Ruddle
Mine Closure Event Manager, Australian Centre for Geomechanics

Professor Mark Tibbett
Professor of Soil Ecology
University of Reading, UK

Mark is a soil ecologist with over 25 years’ experience in a range of fields related to plants-soil interactions, mycorrhizas, decomposition and microbially mediated processes in soil. His research portfolio includes soil carbon, metals in the soil-plant system, phosphorus cycling, bioremediation, metallophytes and mine site rehabilitation. Mark is the co Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Soil Research and an associate editor for the Australian Journal of Botany and Restoration Ecology and has published a book entitled Mining in Ecologically Sensitive Landscapes.