ACG Research

Current Research  |  Research Proposals  |  Research Reports  |  Past Research


The Australian mining industry urgently needs to respond to the challenges and opportunities presented by the current economic climate. Industry must be in a position to readily exchange information on the challenges being faced and identify and develop the tools and practices that will enable operation optimisation. These developments will concurrently improve mine safety and community and environmental performance generating sustainable growth. The industry in its entirety cannot evolve to meet these challenges without developing highly relevant and defined research projects. The ACG continues to effectively respond to industry’s needs by initiating innovative research that provides ongoing benefits and viabilities instead of “quick-fix” solutions.


Current Research


Safe, Sustainable Management of Filtered Tailings

The key objective of this project is to facilitate the widespread adoption within the mining and processing industry of filtered and stacked tailings as a viable, safe and cost-effective management strategy. Read more.


Physical and Numerical Modelling of Cave Propagation

The project aims to improve the industry’s understanding of cave propagation. It involves testing of physical models of caving using a geotechnical centrifuge in order to visually observe cave propagation, something which is not achievable in caving mines. Read more


Probabilistic Stope Design Phase 2

The overall objective of Phase 2 is to improve the transformation of stope design and reconciliation data into better information and ultimately into knowledge that can improve stope design and profitability. The focus will be to enable this transformation from data to knowledge while streamlining the processes, saving time and gaining efficiency into the stope design and reconciliation processes currently used at mine sites. Read more.


Ground Support Systems Optimisation, Phase 2

The overall objective of GSSO Phase 2 will be to develop new tools and guidelines for ground support design in extreme ground conditions (more specifically in rockbursting and squeezing ground) and advancing the use of probabilistic approaches in mining geomechanics. These objectives are reflected in the two main research themes proposed: Ground support in extreme ground conditions and ground support optimisation and the use of probabilistic approaches. For further details, please visit:


mXrap Consortium

The software, mXrap, has been developed under the MSRRM project as a technology transfer tool. Following the successful completion of phase five of the MSRRM project, the mXrap Consortium was formed. The mXrap Consortium supports the further development of the software outside of any specific research project. The ACGs mXrap research team develop a number of apps that focus on allowing users to make high-quality geotechnical decision as quickly and easily as possible. Click here to find out more about the mXrap Consortium and Software.


Strainburst Research Project

This ACG research project aims to equip the mining industry with support systems knowledge to mitigate strainburst/rockburst risk. The ultimate benefit of the project to the mining industry will lead to fewer mines closing due to rockburst and help identify approaches for reducing the consequences of rockbursts, in particular, by designing more appropriate support systems. This will contribute to making deep mines safer and more sustainable in the future. Read more


Utilisation of Mine Waste in Shotcrete for Underground Support Research Project

The aim of this PhD project is to develop an innovative sustainable solution for mine waste reuse; specifically, to replace sand with mine tailings in the shotcrete mix without affecting the performance of shotcrete in underground support.

The project seeks to:

  • Conduct experiments and tests on tailings from different mine sites to investigate the feasibility of reusing tailings, instead of sand, in shotcrete, and optimise the mix design of the tailing-based shotcrete.
  • Collect data and build an AI model/machine learning to find the most important and sensitive parameters in shotcrete mix design, which may facilitate the design of new shotcrete mixes.

Learn more about the project here.


Research Proposals


Open Pit Mining Research Projects

There are significant challenges facing the Australian mining industry that require coordinated research and dissemination of experiences. The ACG have proposed four research projects: Saprolites; Stress Measurement, Rock Bridges and Open Pit Microseismicity. Read more


Research Reports

It is the ACG’s policy to make the results of research available, wherever possible, through publication of final reports. Visit the ACG Shop for further details.


Past Research


Ground Support Systems Optimisation

The ACG carried out an exciting international industry A$1.8 million funded GSSO project from 2013 to 2020. The project explored methods and options to optimise ground support systems, with the aim to maintain, if not improve, mine safety whilst reducing costs and/or time components. Read more

Probabilistic Stope Design

This project developed new and innovative tools to assess the performance of completed stopes in terms of overbreak and underbreak. This reconciliation led to a new probabilistic stope design approach which enabled improved stope performance with lower overbreak and underbreak. Read more


Mine Seismicity and Rockburst Risk Management (MSRRM)

Innovative rock mechanics’ research into the management of risks associated with mine seismicity and rockbursts continues at an accelerating pace. The fifth phase of this world class project has been completed, and we are looking forward to developing further research projects in this area. Read more


An Effective Stress Approach to Mine Backfill

This project addressed technology gaps that currently exist relating to the use of tailings-based backfills and that result in significant residual risks at present. The principles of effective stress will be used to analyse the mechanisms associated with placement mechanics as well as the post placement aspects associated with exposure stability. Read more


HEA Mesh

Professor Yves Potvin, director of the ACG at the University of Western Australia, initiated the High Energy Absorption (HEA) Mesh project in 2005. The ACG has developed the new high energy absorption mesh to tackle the challenges presented by deep and high stress mining conditions and mechanised mining. Read more


Towards the Elimination of Rockfall Fatalities (Phases I & II)


High Resolution Seismic Monitoring in Open Pit Mines

This project sought to minimise the financial and safety risks associated with potentially catastrophic slope failures by detecting and analysing the early microseismic warning emitted by the failing rock. Read more


Squeezing Ground Task Force

The ‘Squeezing Ground Task Force’ was formed in 2007 by the Australian Centre for Geomechanics as a research initiative to facilitate a better understanding of squeezing ground conditions and how different mines manage these issues. Read more


Integrated Monitoring Systems for Open Pit Wall Deformation


Rapid Low Cost Mine Mapping


Metallurgical Mine Tailings Rehabilitation


Saline Tailings Disposal and Decommissioning


In Situ Stress Measurement using Acoustic Emission from Cored Rock

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