Andy Fourie

Professor, BSc(Eng) MSc(Eng) Witw., PhD Imp.Coll.(Lond.)

  • The University of Western Australia (M051), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile

Roles and responsibilities

My research focusses on improving practices related to the management of mining residue materials, particularly mine tailings. Ensuring there are no further catastrophic failures of tailings storage facilities, such as have occurred over recent years, is the primary theme of my research. The problems I work on relate to characterisation of tailings strength under static and dynamic loading and associated methods of analysis of stability. My work utilises a range of both laboratory and field testing techniques, as well as numerical modeling. Recent work includes evaluating how to avoid generation of tailings completely by developing novel in situ extraction techniques for hard-rock ore bodies.

I joined UWA in 2005, moving from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg, South Africa, where I was the Associate Dean for Research, and leader of the Waste Impact Minimisation Programme. I hold a Bachelors degree in Civil Engineering (cum laude) and a Masters degree in Engineering, both from Wits, and a PhD in Engineering from Imperial College, London.

Roles and responsibilities

Director, Future Tails, and Professor of Civil and Mining Engineering


Geotechnical engineering of mine tailings

Electrokinetic (EK) dewatering of soft soils and tailings

In situ extraction of gold and copper from deep, hard-rock ore bodies using EK

Stabilising underground mining voids using cemented paste backfill

Combining field monitoring of tailings storage facilities and real-time stability evaluations.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Research expertise keywords

  • Minefill
  • Mine tailings management
  • Mine closure
  • Paste technology
  • Soil mechanics
  • Environmental geomechanics
  • Landfilling
  • Electrokinetics
  • Geotechnical engineering


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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