In November 2015, Sydvaranger Gruve AS (“SVG”) commissioned Royal HaskoningDHV to provide geotechnical site support for their Iron Ore mine located in Finnmark, northern Norway. The site required geotechnical support for a short period whilst their senior geotechnical engineer was unavailable. The mine was producing from 3 open pits and was in preparation to re-open the underground workings.  The following scope of work was agreed between Royal HaskoningDHV and SVG.

  • Royal HaskoningDHV to provide a qualified experienced geotechnical engineer to SVG;
  • Perform routine geotechnical inspections to meet business objectives;
  • Participate in the daily production meetings while on site to provide geotechnical guidance for daily production planning;
  • Incorporate any collected geotechnical data into SVG’s data management database;
  • Provide knowledge transfer to SVG staff; and assist SVG staff with day-to-day geotechnical aspects of dealing with the open pit.


Royal HaskoningDHV sent Principal Geotechnical Engineer Dr Xander Gwynn CEng to site for a period of two weeks. As well as completing all aspects of the scope he also undertook the following:

  • Undertook a remote handover in the UK with SVG’s senior geotechnical engineer;
  • Photogrammetric mapping 3D mapping of a number of pit walls of the 3 working hard rock pits;
  • Re-installed site laser scanning system and completed subsequent monitoring reports;
  • Assessment of planar failure above working area and devised effective work-around and remediation plan with site mining engineers;
  • Updated geotechnical hazard map for all 3 working pits; and
  • Completed pre- and post-blast geotechnical assessment of underground mine decline portal for planned blast undertaken in close proximity.


Xander completed his tasks successfully and handed over the geotechnical responsibility for the Sydvaranger Gruve AS mine areas to SVG’s senior geotechnical engineer on the 3rd November 2015.

Testimonial from SVG’s Technical Services Manager, Dr Jurgen Schaeffer:

“Royal HaskoningDHV were engaged to provide geotechnical operational support for our open pit operation, deciding upon them because of their experience on operating mines and global reputation as skilled mining consultants. We found that the specialist, Dr Xander Gwynn, sent to site conducted himself with the utmost professionalism and integrated well in our highly stressful operational environment.  Royal HaskoningDHV’s technical knowledge and experience was valued by the operations and management teams. They remained flexible to the fluid situation at our mine site; accommodating changes to the scope of work and timelines whilst always committed to providing effective technical solutions.”

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