Alex Phillips

Principal Geotechnical Consultant

BSc.(Hons) Dunelm, MSc. MCSM, RPEQ, MAusIMM(CP)

M: +64 21 804195



Geotechnical Consulting in Mines & Quarries, Principal Hazard Management Plans, Geotechnical Site Investigation, Strata Control, Slope Stability Assessment, Foundation & Ground Improvement Design, Underground Voids, Gas & Fires


Alex's professional experience comprises 20 years of wearing various different hard hats in both the Mining and Civils sectors in Europe, UK, South Africa, Caribbean and New Zealand. These varied roles have taken him to some interesting parts of the world with unique problems to solve and overcome. 


Beginning his career in the mid 1990s with Goldfields of South Africa as an Exploration Geologist he has managed Exploration projects in the Bushveld and the Natal Thrust Front. Subsequently transferred to underground mining on Deelkraal and Libanon gold mines on the West Wits as Mine Geologist. On Libanon, his responsibilities also included mining of Ventersdorp Contact Reef in remnants and high grade stability pillars, his Main Reef section comprised the highest tonnage shaft in South Africa at the time (#3 – Harvie Watt). It was during this phase that he developed a healthy respect and appreciation for ground or strata control. 


Returning to the UK in 2000 Alex began working for Geotechnical Engineering in Gloucester as Contracts Manager, responsible for pricing and tendering for work, setting up and co-ordination of multiple projects nationwide. Projects included Network Rail, major civil developments, contaminated land and remediation, Highways Agency and private client investigations.


In 2004 he went contracting independently to the Civil Engineering, Drilling and Geotechnical Industries and was engaged as a specialist in management and leadership of large, complicated site operations. Notable projects included:


Setech/Gardline, Great Yarmouth, England;
Factual and interpretive reporting of offshore Geotechnical data for Statoil & BP.

M1 Extension, Co. Tyrone Northern Ireland; 
30km linear greenfield site with 4 Engineers, 6 drill crews.

A14 Upgrade, Co. Donegal Eire;
25km linear greenfield site with 5 Engineers, 6 drill crews.

M1 Motorway J10 to 13, England; 
14km site in live motorway traffic management, 6 Engineers, 4 drill crews, 3 pit and window sampling crews.

North & South Manchester Bauxite Rope Conveyor, Jamaica;
Minesite infrastructure project involving natural void investigation and remote greenfield drilling with stringent environmental constraints.

Highways Agency Earthworks Inspections;
6 months inspecting & assessing earthworks, development of specification and procedures.

BB3MM Motorway Active Traffic Management;
Major infrastructure project around Birmingham, preliminary desk study through fieldwork design, contractor acquisition & managing works on site.


In 2010 Alex was recruited by Solid Energy NZ to lead a team of Geotechnical Engineers & Engineering Geologists at their Stockton Mine; New Zealand's largest opencast coal operation, undertaking a range of projects such as optimal slope design & stability monitoring (Geomos, TARP), quarry resource definition, rock mass classification and detailed staging of mining in areas of instability. Developing work procedures, Risk & Hazard Management plans and technical methodology in line with internationally recognised standards and generating a multi-disciplinary approach to problem solving.

Stockton Opencast mine had its own set of issues, not unique in the mining industry but unique in all being present at one minesite. We regularly dealt with mining into areas of old underground workings and associated fires & gasses, dams and water management of the 5m rainfall per year, seismic risk to design and highwall cutbacks through major regional structures.


Since November 2013 Alex has been operating as Principal Consultant of Black Lion Limited.