In June we recruited two new engineers to the team, as we continue to expand long-term capacity across Australia. Please join us in welcoming Peter McGough in Perth and Mitchell Conner in Hunter Valley.
Peter McGough – Principal Engineer
Peter started with the Perth office tailings team in early June with over 27 years of high-level experience.
What work will you be doing at ATC Williams?
The position involves complete technical oversight and business development of our tailings services. Auditing and third-party reviews are a large part of the role. I have prior relationships with many clients, and the mine sites which we deal with, so it’s been a smooth transition.
As an author of the ‘Code of Practice of Tailings storage facilities in WA’, what is your approach to tailings design?
The WA Mining Act precedes federation, so WA has a depth of history and experience that the other states don’t. In WA, the government does not adopt a risk-based design approach to tailings facilities, recognising we are a young nation and that risks and receptors can easily change with time. Therefore WA government requirements often exceed industry guidance such as ANCOLD and include the whole facility, not just tailings dam. The leading practice is to design a TSF that is safe, stable, erosion resistant and non-polluting in perpetuity. I also like the new Engineer of Record approach in that it recognises the importance of consistency and integrity across projects. The industry has a responsibility to keep people and companies engaged in the long term and not lose essential information and knowledge.
Where has your engineering career taken you?
I’ve been a Perth local for a long time now, having left Wave International to join ATC Williams, but I started my career in Melbourne and have worked all over Australia since. In my younger days, I worked in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Ireland. Over the years, I’ve worked on many tailings facilities as well as open pit and underground mining projects, road and rail tunnels, bridges, and road projects. I had a variety of challenges over the years like last Christmas when I filled in for the Italian Lead Designer supervising cross-passage tunnelling under the live Runways at Perth Airport using ground freezing as the method of support and hand excavation methods.
Mitchell Conner – Engineer
Mitchell is the newest member of the Hunter Valley office. He holds a BSc (Earth Sciences) from the University of Newcastle.
How have you found your first week at ATC Williams?
I’m settling in and getting to know the clients and doing a lot of background reading. So far, I’m enjoying working with John Milson, and have met the Melbourne team via video conference.
What projects have you worked on since graduating?
I started with Coffey in their soil testing lab and then moved to Macquarie Geotech, based in Bathurst. At Macquarie, I was part of the site investigations for the Rozelle Interchange in Sydney. The project contains a series of underground tunnels as part of the M4-M5 Link, and I was involved in drilling the deepest hole 150 metres into Hawkesbury sandstone. There were no surprises, but it was very interesting work.
Is there a particular area you want to learn next?
I’m keen to experience the overall process of tailings engineering, from planning to completion. I can already see that I’m in the right place for that to happen.