Post-Conference Workshop | WS09   View all workshops

How to Discover, Drill Out, and Mine a Porphyry Au-Cu Deposit

Date: August 31, 2023

Time: 8:30am - 5:00pm

Location: Hilton London Metropole | London, United Kingdom

Presenter: Dan Wood and Andre van As

Attendee Maximum: 50

20% of spaces are reserved for students and offered at a discounted rate.

Fees and Registration


The workshop is designed to guide attendees through what generally will be involved in discovering, drilling out, and mining a porphyry Cu deposit in future years; as underground mass mining (by caving) becomes the main method of mining these deposits. Some newly discovered deposits may continue to be mined initially by open pit; but the mining industry expects that most future discoveries will be too deep for open pit mining and that most new mining will be by one of the caving methods. The workshop will be presented in two parts, as series of 30-minute duration talks, followed by 20 minutes for questioning to maximize knowledge transfer.

The first part will cover a detailed history of the exploration and discovery of the Cadia Au-Cu porphyry deposits in NSW, Australia, where five separate deposits were discovered during the 1990s and on which both open pit and mining by caving has been conducted, with mining by deep caving ongoing. In 2018, the Cadia deposits had a mineral resource endowment of 86.7 Moz of gold-equivalent (combining Au and Cu), contained within 3.9 Bt of mineralized rock. Separate presentations will be given on the Cadia Hill, Cadia East, Ridgeway, and Cadia Far East deposits, and will explain in detail how the discoveries were made. These will be followed by separate presentations that illustrate the development of a hypothetical porphyry exploration program, and on drilling from discovery to resource definition.

The second part of the workshop will be focused on mining a porphyry deposit using cave mining methods, and on the geotechnical parameters required to inform cave mine design and cave mining operations. The mining part of the workshop will cover what geotechnical data are collected during the different stages of mining studies; from exploration through to Feasibility study, and during mine development and construction, and then go on to describe how these data are used to derive/predict key cave design parameters that inform cave-mine design. Common pitfalls in collating and interpreting geotechnical data will be discussed, along with the consequences of poor rock mass characterization and how this translates into operational performance and risk.

Attendees will receive certificates of participation. View all workshops.

About the Presenters


Dan Wood

University of Queensland

Dan began his career in 1967 starting in mining, but spent the bulk of it in mineral exploration where he worked for 42 years – initially with BHP for 24 years and then with Newcrest Mining. He led Newcrest's exploration team during most of the time that it was judged by Metals Economics Group of Canada to have been the world's most successful gold explorer (1992-2005). In 2010-11, he was director of the W H Bryan Mining and Geology Research Centre at the University of Queensland. He was SEG Distinguished Lecturer for 2012 and SEG Thayer Lindsley Visiting Lecturer in 2017. Awards include PDAC's Thayer Lindsley International Discovery Award and the SME's Robert M. Dreyer Award. In 2015, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for his services to the mining industry and academia.


Andre van As

University of Queensland

Andre is an underground mine geotechnical engineer that has spent most of his 30-year career working on caving operations and caving projects.

Andre has worked on, or had significant involvement in, more than 10 major caving operations and projects, sits on several cave mining geotechnical review boards and has published widely on cave mining and caving geomechanics.

In 1997 he and Dr. Rob Jeffrey introduced hydraulic fracturing into the cave mining industry as a means of cave induction and rock mass preconditioning at Northparkes Mines. As a result of their work, they were awarded a CSIRO medal.

After 22 years working for Rio Tinto, Andre formed his own consultancy in 2018, focused on providing technical expertise to the Cave Mining industry. Most recently Andre has joined the Bryan Research Centre at the University of Queensland as the group lead for "Deep Mining Geoscience" research.

Schedule (Preliminary)

Wednesday, August 31

  • 8:30am – 8:40am: Workshop introduction
  • Discovery session
    • 8:40am – 9:10am: Part one of discovery history of Cadia porphyry Au-Cu deposits (mineral resource endowment of 56 Moz Au and 10.3 Mt Cu)
    • 9:10am - 9:30am: Questions and discussion
    • 9:30am - 10:00am: Part two of Cadia discovery history
    • 10:20am - 10:20am: Questions and discussion
    • 10:20am - 10:40am: Coffee break
    • 10:40am - 11:10am: Hypothetical porphyry discovery program
    • 11:10am - 11:30am: Questions and discussion
  • Drilling session
    • 11:30am - 12:00pm: Porphyry drilling through to resource definition
    • 12:00pm - 12:20pm: Questions and discussion
    • 12:20pm - 1:00pm: Lunch
  • Mining session
    • 1:00pm - 1:30pm: Geotechnical data collection/processing
    • 1:30pm - 1:50pm: Questions and discussion
    • 1:50pm - 2:20pm: Using geotechnical parameters in mine design
    • 2:20pm - 2:40pm: Questions and discussion
    • 2:40pm - 4:00pm: Coffee break
    • 4:00pm - 4:30pm: Mining operations and geotechnical risks
    • 4:30pm - 4:50pm: Questions and discussion
  • 4:50pm - 5:00pm: Concluding remarks and final questions


Early Deadline: June 30, 2023
Regular Deadline: August 11, 2023

  Early Regular
SEG Professional Member US$595 US$595
SEG Student Member US$145 US$145
Non-member US$695 US$695
All prices are in United States dollars (USD). SEG reserves the right to cancel this event should minimum attendance numbers not be met by June 30, 2023. All registrants will be given a full refund should SEG cancel the course. Cancellation policy, event photography, dietary restrictions, and more are detailed in the SEG Conference terms and conditions.