Steve Piscetek

Inside Mainmark: Innovative ground engineering for the mining industry

Steve Piscetek

Q&A with Stephen Piscetek, Business Development Manager for Civil and Mining, WA/SA

In your role with Mainmark, how are you supporting the mining industry as it evolves?

Mining is a cyclical industry and our customers should, and do, plan through the cycle.

In Western Australia, the sector has emerged from a period of heavy investment in infrastructure and capacity. The focus is now on engineering to reduce bottlenecks and maintenance, to support record levels of production.

I draw on more than 25 years’ experience in the industrial and mining sectors to advise customers on asset repair and preservation measures that will maximise asset life and minimise disruption to operations.

In many cases new technologies have emerged, which means ageing or failing infrastructure can often now be repaired rather than replaced. Many of these new technologies are designed to minimise or eliminate production down time while repairs are carried out. Mainmark is well-known for its resin injection solutions and now offers a suite of remediation and repair solutions that are being increasingly specified and used for a wide variety of projects. This often involves using a bespoke combination of products and application methods to deliver targeted, engineered outcomes, which is where Mainmark’s international and award winning experience comes to the forefront.

What are the biggest ground engineering risks to mine infrastructure? And what steps can be taken to mitigate these?

The repeated ground vibrations associated with mining operations, floods, substandard ground material, and poor compaction during construction can all impact on the ground’s long term behaviour under load. Subsidence of infrastructure and water ingress are common problems in mining operations.

Early detection and repair is essential for reducing the impact of these issues on safety, asset performance and production. Appointing a ground engineering partner can help to facilitate knowledge sharing on best practice in managing ground related risk assessments and remediation programs.

What role do you see for innovation and collaboration in the mining industry?

Innovation is essential for future-proofing the industry and ongoing investment in this area is critical.

Proactive collaboration programs that bring internal and external stakeholders together promote idea sharing and new ways of thinking. At Mainmark, ongoing innovation is a top priority. We work closely with the mining industry, leading engineering consultants and key internal stakeholders to test and deliver advanced solutions that address ground engineering problems on mine sites in a unique way. This collaborative approach extends to our work with many other industries, including public and civil infrastructure. This enables our team to apply engineered products and solutions, that have been successful elsewhere, to help solve problems in the mining sector in new and exciting ways.

Can you provide an example of an innovative project you are currently working on?

Mainmark is repairing an extensive network of critical rail infrastructure for a mining client in Western Australia. Our proprietary Teretek resin injection solution is being used to fill the voids in the foundation material which has caused the rails to subside. The Teretek deep-lift method we have developed is a unique two-in-one solution that delivers both ground improvement and re-levelling in a single process which is tightly controlled. This accurately and carefully re-levels the rail structure back to original levels, and because it is non-invasive, there has been no impact on production.

Steve Piscetek

Steve is a Business Development Manager for Civil and Mining at Mainmark. Based in Western Australia, Steve is an engineer with more than 20 years’ experience in the mining, infrastructure and resources sectors.