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Curtin University
Staff Profile

Professor Ernesto Villaescusa

Professor Ernesto Villaescusa Professor Ernesto Villaescusa

BEng (U.de Sonora), MSc (Colorado School of Mines), PhD (U. of Queensland)

Position Industry Professor in Mining Rock
Faculty Faculty of Science and Engineering
School Western Australian School of Mines
Department Dept of Mining Eng & Metallurgical Eng
Campus Kalgoorlie Campus
Location KAL
Phone 08 9088 6155
Fax 08 9088 6151
Email E.Villaescusa@curtin.edu.au

Brief Summary

I have over 25 years of applied research experience having worked with a large number of mining houses such as MIM Holdings, Noranda, WMC Resources, Penoles, Minera Autlan, CODELCO, BHP Billiton and Normandy to develop guidelines for effective underground mining leading to a safe and economical extraction of ore. I have undertaken applied research in all aspects of mining methods for a range of rock mass and geotechnical conditions ranging from shallow cut-and-fill mines to large and deep block caves.
By being an active member of the CRC Mining and undertaking research in deep excavation stability, I am very familiar with current technology developments. I am also able to shape the future developments by being aware of the current technological gaps. I have carried high level geological, mining and geotechnical reviews from a range of companies from medium scale (Penoles, Autlan in Mexico and Hochschild in Peru) to large corporations such as, MIM Holdings, WMC Resources, Codelco Chile and BHP Billiton. I have lead collaborative research efforts to identify, solve and successfully implement global solutions across entire organizations. Technology transfer from research outcomes and underground experiments has been common.
Over the last 19 years I have worked at the Western Australian School of Mines, as a Professor of Mining Geomechanics where I have secured over 22 million dollars of industry-funded mining research projects. I have supervised over 50 Masters (by Course work and Research)  and over 10 PhD thesis. In 2004 I was appointed to an industry sponsored Chair in Mining Rock Mechanics at WASM. The Chair was sponsored by Barrick, Goldfields, Barminco, Newcrest and Curtin University.

Overview

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Memberships, Awards and Training

Awards and recognitions

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Employment History

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Teaching

PhD Thesis Supervised (Awarded): 

PhD Thesis Supervised (In progress): 

Master of Philosophy Thesis Supervised (Awarded): 

Master of Engineering Science (Coursework) Supervised (Awarded): 

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Research Interests

Competitive Research Grants

Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project Grants

Minerals and Energy Research Institute of WA (MERIWA) research projects  

CRC Mining (Mining3) Research Project

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Specialty Areas

Geotechnical Design for Sublevel Open Stoping

Edition: 1st, Publisher: CRC Press, ISBN: 9781482211887

Author: Ernesto Villaescusa

The first comprehensive work on one of the most important underground mining methods worldwide, Geotechnical Design for Sublevel Open Stoping presents topics according to the conventional sublevel stoping process used by most mining houses, in which a sublevel stoping geometry is chosen for a particular mining method, equipment availability, and work force experience. Summarizing state-of-the-art practices encountered during his 25+ years of experience at industry-leading underground mines, the author:

•Covers the design and operation of sublevel open stoping, including variants such as bench stoping
•Discusses increases in sublevel spacing due to advances in the drilling of longer and accurate production holes, as well as advances in explosive types, charges, and initiation systems
•Considers improvements in slot rising through vertical crater retreat, inverse drop rise, and raise boring
•Devotes a chapter to rock mass characterization, since increases in sublevel spacing have meant that larger, unsupported stope walls must stand without collapsing
•Describes methodologies to design optimum open spans and pillars, rock reinforcement of development access and stope walls, and fill masses to support the resulting stope voids
•Reviews the sequencing of stoping blocks to minimize in situ stress concentrations
•Examines dilution control action plans and techniques to back-analyze and optimize stope wall performance

Featuring numerous case studies from the world-renowned Mount Isa Mines and examples from underground mines in Western Australia, Geotechnical Design for Sublevel Open Stoping is both a practical reference for industry and a specialized textbook for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate mining studies.

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Publications

2017

Journal Articles (Research)

2016

Journal Articles (Research)

2014

Conference Articles (Research)

2013

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2012

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2011

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2010

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2009

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2008

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2007

Books (Research)

Journal Articles (Research)

Conference Articles (Research)

2006

Conference Articles (Research)

2005

Conference Articles (Research)

2004

Journal Articles (Research)

Conference Articles (Research)

2003

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2002

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2001

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2000

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1999

Conference Articles (Research)

1992

Journal Articles (Research)

Additional publication categories

2004

Book Chapters - Other

  • Villaescusa, E. 2004. “Weld Mesh for Static Rock Support in Australia.” In Surface Support in Mining, ed. Y Potvin, T Stacey and J Hadjigeorgiou, 385-390. Perth: Australian Centre for Geomechanics.
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