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GHD's Geology team applies geological principles to the civil engineering, and mining and resources development industries. We work with our clients to deliver tailored solutions that optimise the negotiation of prevailing geological conditions, with the aim of minimising project cost and risk.

GHD's Geology team applies geological principles to the civil engineering, and mining and resources development industries. We work with our clients to deliver tailored solutions that optimise the negotiation of prevailing geological conditions, with the aim of minimising project cost and risk.

Our geological services are fully integrated with the diverse skills base across the GHD network. As an international professional services provider, we deliver the following geology services:

  • Comprehensive in-house geophysics
  • Engineering and mining applications
  • Natural and excavated rock slopes
  • Rock slope stability and stabilisation
  • Excavation design and support
  • Tunnels, shafts, cuttings, foundations and dam sites
  • Rockfalls, landslides and cliff collapses
  • Surface and sub-surface investigations
  • Hazard mapping, risk assessments and risk mitigation
  • Specialist rock testing laboratory

Corella Dam, Australia

GHD’s association with Corella Dam in Queensland stretches back more than 50 years. The dam was designed by GHD in the 1950s to provide water supply for the Mary Kathleen uranium mine and township. We also supervised the construction. The project was completed in the late 1950s.

Innovative solutions were developed for this project to maximise the use of locally-available materials and to take into account the proposed limited life span of the mine (expected to be 20 years). A dumped and sluiced rockfill dam with an upstream shotcrete facing was selected with the rockfill sourced from the adjacent spillway excavation. Ownership of the dam has since passed to the Queensland Government and GHD continues to be involved. We undertook a safety review of the structure and prepared dam safety documentation in 2004 and were subsequently engaged to design upgrade and remedial works mainly to address deterioration of the structure and changes in the required spillway capacity. Throughout the life of the project, GHD has been involved in undertaking dam safety inspections of the structure.

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Dendrobium Mine Hydrogeology


The Illawarra region contains some of Australia's best coking coal resources. These have been mined since the 1880's, providing coal for both export through Port Kembla and for use in the steelworks (now operated by BlueScope Steel).

To maintain supply for steel making, BHP Billiton is developing the Dendrobium Coal Mine. This underground mine will recover coal from the lowermost 3.2m of the 9m thick Wongawilli Seam by longwall mining methods (see an individual chock in the panel to the right) at a rate of up to 5Mtpa ROM for 30 to 40 years. Coal from the Wongawilli Seam is an essential component of 'Illawarra Blend' premium coking coal, which is known for its specific steelmaking qualities.

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Millerton Cutting – Geotechnical Risk Appraisal of the Stockton Mine Access Road


The Millerton cutting was constructed in 2006 to provide a safer and more reliable access to Solid Energy’s Stockton Mine on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island. Unfortunately, the 30m high rock cutting suffered from stress release and failure resulting in a highly fractured rock mass posing an unacceptable level of instability and rock fall hazard to the 1000+ mine vehicles using the road each day. The physical environment (8m of rainfall per annum), the unfavourable geological structure and the rock mass properties have also exacerbated the problem.

Solid Energy has appointed GHD to complete a geological and geotechnical survey and mapping exercise in order to complete a semi quantitative risk assessment.

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Shenhua Watermark


GHD provides a comprehensive range of services to Shenhua's Watermark Project in New South Wales, Australia.

The Shenhua Group, one of China’s leading energy companies, holds an exploration licence near Gunnedah in New South Wales that contains more than one billion tonnes of accumulated coal resources.

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GHD Library

The GHD library is a collection of relevant resources to this service line.