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Dr Hua Guo

Research Director


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Dr Hua Guo is a mining engineer with more than 30 years' experience in both mining operations and research, including three years with Pasminco’s underground mining operations at Broken Hill and six years with BHP Iron Ore’s surface mining operations in Pilbara.

Hua joined CSIRO in 1998, and has initiated and led several major integrated projects in coal mine gas control, groundwater assessment, strata caving and subsidence management, mining condition prediction, and real time mine monitoring and operational control, and secured over $20 million in research funding from various government, industry, commercial and research funding bodies for these research activities. Among his research achievements, he created a systems approach for controlling coal mine strata stability, groundwater impact and gas emissions, and advanced the scientific knowledge of mine scale mechanical-fluid interactions. He also developed an integrated coal and methane extraction methodology and cutting edge coal mine methane capture technologies, which have been applied successfully at numerous coal mines in Australia and China.

Hua has held various senior leadership roles in CSIRO including the Research Program Leader for Mining Science and Engineering. He is currently CSIRO Research Director for Sustainable Mining Technologies involving more than 60 specialists, where he is responsible for strategic planning, and delivering R&D programs in coal mining that cover mining engineering, mining automation, coal processing, and mine environmental technologies. Under his leadership, the CSIRO mining research has produced many world leading technologies which have successfully been adopted in Australia and overseas with substantial benefits delivered, and the Sustainable Mining Technologies Program became and is recognised internationally as a leading force in mining technology and innovation.

In these industry and research roles, Hua has made outstanding and sustained scientific and technological contributions that have delivered major safety, environmental, and economic benefits to mining. Hua’s work and its impact is recognised by the industry. He has received many awards and honours for his contribution to mining including the most recent Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy President’s Award in 2017.

Hua has authored and co-authored more than 150 publications in fracture mechanics, rock cutting, mining geomechanics, ground control, mine subsidence reduction, groundwater management, coal mine methane capture and utilisation, and mining engineering. He received a Best Paper Award at the 23rd World Mining Congress in Montreal, 2013, for his coal mine methane research work. His journal paper “Mining-induced strata stress changes, fractures and gas flow dynamics in multi-seam longwall mining”, is one of the most cited papers published in the prestigious International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences since 2012.

Hua is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, a member of the Technical Advisory Committee of the Coal Mining Abatement Technology Support Package, a major Australian Government initiative, an adjunct professor at the University of Queensland, and a Graduate Member of Australian Institute of Company Directors. Internationally he serves on the Global Methane Initiative Coal Subcommittee, the UN Group of Experts on Coal Mine Methane, and International Organising Committee and Scientific Committee of the World Mining Congress (WMC) and is the Chair for the 2021WMC and Chair for the WMC Australia’s National Organising Committee.

Academic Qualifications

  • 1989

    PhD Mining Geomechanics
    Univeristy of Wollongong, New South Wales

  • 1984

    MEng Mining Engineering
    Northeastern University, China

  • 1982

    BEng Mining Engineering
    Northeastern University, China

Achievements and Awards

  • 2017

    President's Award
    Australian Institute of Mining and Metallergy

  • 2017

    First Prize - Science and Technology Pogress Award
    China National Coal Association

  • 2016

    First Prize - Science and Technology Progress Award
    Huainan Municipal Goverment China

  • 2013

    Best Paper Coal
    23rd World Mining Congress Montreal

  • 2011

    Service and Contributions to the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate
    Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism

  • 2006

    Exploration and Mining Excellence Award

Other highlights

  • 2016-2021

    Hua led and secured the bid to host the prestigious World Mining Congress (WMC) for Australia in Brisbane in 2021. This is the first time for Australia to host this global premier mining event since the WMC's inception in 1958.

  • 2014-2016

    The new horizontal longwall gas capture system developed by Hua and his team, in collaboration with Glencore, has successfully prevented costly mine stoppages at a Hunter Valley site, saving the mine in excess of $10M annually. The new system also allows annual GHG emission reduction from the mine by O.42Mt CO2-e.

  • 2004-2014

    Hua and his team developed a new coal and methane co-extraction methodology and methane capture methods that was adopted in China that significantly improved mining safety and productivity, and reduced GHG emissions at coal mines at Huainan. As an example, the CSIRO research helped the mine increase its annual coal production from 3.3 Mt in 2007 to 4.3 Mt in 2011. During the same period, the mine total captured coal mine methane increased from 25 Mm3 to 47 Mm3, and the methane utilisation increased from 4.9 Mm3 to 21.2 Mm3.

  • 1999-2004

    Hua played a critical role as a key CSIRO researcher and senior project leader in longwall top coal caving research for Australian conditions in partnership with Yankuang (China) which was instrumental to the subsequent successful introduction and adoption of the longwall top coal caving mining technology in Australia that has filled a significant gap in coal mining technology in Australia and significantly improved the thick coal seam mining productivity and recovery. The application of LTCC will increase mineable coal by hundreds of millions tonnes in Australia.

  • 1992-1998

    Hua worked with BHP as Principal Geotechnical Engineer supporting all of BHP’s surface iron ore operations in WA, including Mt Whaleback - at the time the world’s largest iron ore pit. He developed and implemented a world-leading pit wall design and management system. Hua’s geotechnical expertise was recognized by BHP globally. He became a technical consultant to Escondida in Chile (the world’s largest copper mine). At BHP, he established an advanced and integrated site geotechnical characterisation, modelling, pit wall design and performance monitoring program helping to solve major pit wall instability problems. Hua’s work led to improved mining safety and substantial savings through reduced production-downtimes at BHP operations worldwide.

  • 1989-1992

    Hua worked with Pasminco’s Broken Hill - one of the largest and most significant underground mines globally – in a number of mining engineering roles including Head of the Geomechanics Group. Hua identified that significant production losses were routinely incurred because of poor understanding of the rock stresses. He adopted a novel CSIRO-developed numerical modelling technique to study the complex underground stress situation. This resulted in the mine changing to a different, more productive and more cost-effective mining approach. His work was showcased in a 1991 CSIRO Annual report as representing “the state-of-the art in mining geomechanics”. Hua’s work also led to a major change in rock bolting practices at Broken Hill which greatly improved mine safety and production.

Community and Corporate Citizenship

  • 2021

    Chair, 2021 World Mining Congress, Brisbane Australia

  • 2016

    Chair, Australian Organising Committee, World Mining Congress

  • 2016

    Adjunct Professor, University of Queensland

  • 2015

    President, Queensland Chinese Association of Engineers Australia

  • 2013

    Member, Technical Advisory Committee, Department of Industry, Coal Mining Abatement Technology Support Package

  • 2012

    Member, International Organising Committee, World Mining Congress

  • 2009

    Member, Australia-India Joint Working Group

  • 2009

    Member, Global Methane Initiative, Coal Mines Subcommittee