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John Taylor

Subsurface Investigation Manager

John Taylor is a mining engineer and mining geology consultant who has spent over 45 years in the international mineral industry working on advanced exploration and pre-development projects in New Zealand, Australia and throughout the mining world.

From 2000 to 2013 John worked for the largest coal mining company in New Zealand, Solid Energy New Zealand Limited, where he became Underground Investigations Manager, Subsurface Investigations Manager and finally Projects Investigation Manager involved with the investigation and modelling of the underground workings of a number of abandoned underground coal mines. This work provided detailed three dimensional models of underground voids for subsequent void filling operations and also provided the information for estimating the total coal recovered by previous operators.

During his time with Solid Energy, John led a subsurface investigation team during the Pike River Mine rescue/recovery operation which obtained, by downhole laser scanning and video filming, the only hard evidence from inside that mine post-disaster. This work, undertaken for the Pike River Coal Company, the Pike River Receivers and the New Zealand Police, resulted in John presenting his team’s evidence to the Pike River Royal Commission in 2011. He was also called on as an expert witness by the NZ Department of Labour into the Black Reef Coal Mine accident where that mine broke into a flooded adjacent mine resulting in the drowning of one of the Black Reef miners. John’s 3D modelling of both mines, using old mine plans and historic survey data, enabled the official investigation team to establish the most likely causes for this tragic accident.

John’s areas of expertise are:

  1. The underground inspection, exploration and evaluation of abandoned mine workings using traditional mine surveying techniques and high technology laser scanning.
  2. Void investigation work utilising geophysical surface and downhole imaging and the associated 3D data inversion techniques.
  3. The three dimensional reconstruction of abandoned underground mine workings for resource estimation and resource recovery studies using 3D computer modelling.
  4. Geological modelling and resource estimation of both and coal and metalliferous mineral deposits using advanced 3D geological and resource modelling software
  5. Researching and acquisition of historic records of former mines and mining operations.

Professional Affiliations:

  • Member - The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
  • Member – The Institute of Australian Geoscientists
  • Member – New Zealand Institute of Surveyors
  • Member – Australian Mining History Association
  • Member – The Society of Economic Geology
  • Fellow – The Geological Society of London
  • Member – The Society of Exploration Geophysicists
  • Member – The Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists