Our Team RGC

Robertson GeoConsultants Inc. (RGC) is a highly-specialized consulting firm that provides geotechnical, geochemical, and hydrogeological expertise to the mining industry worldwide.

RGC was formed by Dr. Andy Robertson in 1994 after he left the firm Steffen, Robertson & Kirsten (SRK), a firm he founded in South Africa in the 1970s. Today, RGC is managed by Dr. Christoph Wels (a principal and Senior Hydrogeologist at RGC) as Dr. Robertson focused on senior review work.

Since 1995, RGC has worked in 16 countries and completed over 150 projects at some of the largest and most remote mines in the world.

You can read further into the company’s History, Mission and Method, Services, and Projects.

Dr Andy Robertson

Dr. Andy Robertson

Dr. Andy Robertson has a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering, a Ph.D. in Rock Mechanics and 30 years of experience in mining geotechnics and environmental engineering. His experience includes periods of work with a mining company and specialist foundation construction contractor, providing him with practical field experience. In the 27 years he spent as one of the three senior principals of Steffen, Robertson & Kirsten and as the president of Robertson GeoConsultants Inc., he has been responsible for the development of the mining geotechnical and environmental engineering practices in the areas of:

  • Rock Slope Engineering which was also the subject of his Ph.D. thesis,
  • Tailings Dam Design,
  • Mine Waste Management including acid mine drainage prediction and control,
  • Environmental Liability Assessment, and
  • Mine Closure Plan development, including financial assurance requirements assessment.

He has been the lead investigator and/or designer for numerous project teams for mining companies and provides review and senior evaluation and counseling to a number of mining companies, research establishments, professional associations and provincial, state and federal agencies. Dr. Robertson participates on numerous technical review boards for mining companies and regulatory authorities. He has published extensively, participated in the drafting of numerous technical guides currently used by industry and regulatory bodies alike, and has been the recipient of a number of technical and industry awards.

Awards

  1. The R.M. Hardy Award presented by the Canadian Geotechnical Society in recognition of Dr. Andrew Robertson’s contribution to Canadian Geotechnique through the preparation and presentation of the Allocation R.M. Hardy Keynote Address. This Award was presented at the 48th Annual Canadian Geotechnical Conference, Vancouver, September 1995.
  2. Excellence Award from the Consulting Engineers Council of Colorado to Woodward-Clyde Consultants and Steffen, Robertson & Kirsten for Island Copper Seepage Barrier Wall, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, 1992.
  3. Honor Award from the American Consulting Engineers Council to Woodward-Clyde Consultants and Steffen, Robertson & Kirsten for Island Copper Seepage Barrier Wall, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, 1992.
  4. Merit Award for Andrew Robertson’s distinguished contribution to the Mine Environmental Neutral Drainage (MEND) Program and the British Columbia Acid Mine Drainage (BCAMD) Task Force in addressing the industrial and public concern of the impact of mining on the environment. Presented at the Second International Conference on the Abatement of Acidic Drainage, Montreal, Canada, 1991.
  5. Environmental Engineering Design Award from the Association of Professional Engineers of British Colum
Dr Andy Robertson

Dr. Christoph Wels

Dr. Christoph Wels has a B.Sc. in Hydrology, a M.Sc. in Watershed Ecosystem Studies and a Ph.D. in Hydrogeology. He has over 25 years of professional experience in academic research and consulting, and has published several scientific papers in the areas of contaminant hydrogeology and watershed hydrology. Dr. Wels is Principal and Senior Hydrogeologist with Robertson GeoConsultants Inc. and specializes on groundwater modeling and evaluating the impact of mining projects on groundwater resources. He joined Robertson GeoConsultants in 1995 and has since been consulting to the mining and environmental industry in the areas of:

  • Hydrogeology for open pit & underground mines,
  • Seepage control for tailings impoundments & waste rock piles,
  • Reclamation of tailings impoundment including cover design evaluations,
  • Contaminant plume characterization & remediation, and
  • Project management.

As senior hydrogeologist of RGC, he is responsible for all aspects of hydrogeological investigations from field work to detailed groundwater flow and transport modeling. His fluency in English, Spanish and German allows direct communication with clients and regulatory agencies all over the world.

Dr Andy Robertson

Dr. Paul Ferguson

Dr. Paul Ferguson completed his Ph.D. in Earth Sciences in 2007 with a focus on isotope and trace element geochemistry. He has thirteen years of experience in the fields of environmental geochemistry and hydrogeology and specializes in characterizing the impacts of acid rock drainage (ARD) and metal leaching (ML) on groundwater and surface water quality and the determining the implications for mine closure.

Paul has worked closely with regulatory agencies, mining companies, and other consulting firms during the pre-feasibility, active mining, and closure stages of mining projects in Canada, Chile, and Australia so is well-versed in the permitting process & required regulatory interface during various stages of mining.

Paul is RGC’s project lead for closure planning at Nyrstar Myra Falls in western Canada and at the former Rum Jungle Mine Site, an abandoned uranium mine in Australia’s Northern Territory. He has also worked at the former Mount Morgan Mine Site in Queensland (Australia) and the Faro Mine Site in Canada’s Northwest Territories, as well as on several active mines in northern Canada and Chile.

He joined Robertson GeoConsultants in 2008 and has been a consultant to the mining and environmental industry in the areas of:

  • Contaminant plume characterization & remediation for open pit & underground mines & contaminated sites,
  • Hydrogeology & contaminant load balances, and
  • Project management.
Dr Andy Robertson

Dr. Mahmoud Hussein

Dr. Mahmoud Hussein has a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering, an M.Sc. (Eng.) in Groundwater Modelling and a Ph.D. in Hydrogeology. He has over 13 years of consultancy experience and 5 years of research experience in the field of hydrogeology.

Dr. Hussein is Principal and Senior Groundwater Modeler with Robertson GeoConsultants Inc. He specializes in the application of groundwater flow and solute transport modelling techniques to assess seepage and associated groundwater impacts from mine waste facilities, and to design and predict the performance of proposed mitigation measures. He joined RGC in 2016 and has applied these techniques to a wide range of mining applications, including seepage from tailings impoundments and tailings dams, open pits, underground mine workings and waste storage facilities for mine sites located in Canada, Chile and Australia.

Dr. Hussein is also experienced in the field of physical hydrogeology and the application of the following techniques used for numerous consultancy and research projects:

  • Aquifer storage and recovery testing,
  • Design, implementation, supervision and interpretation of hydrogeological investigations,
  • Analysis of aquifer and well performance testing, and
  • Time series analysis applied to borehole water levels response to natural and anthropogenic influences.

Dr. Hussein has written 5 technical papers on groundwater flow & contaminant transport, time series analysis and groundwater vulnerability.

Dr Andy Robertson

Tara Raketti

Tara Raketti​ has a B.Sc. in Environmental Engineering and in Biology and has nine years of professional experience in mining hydrogeology and environmental analyses. Tara joined Robertson GeoConsultants Inc. in 2013.

Tara’s technical experience includes development of water and load balance models, both in Excel and GoldSim, to support mine closure planning. She is well-practiced in supervision of both Dual-Rotary and Sonic drilling, well construction and development, and hydraulic testing and analysis. She has managed large multi-year drilling programs with budgets exceeding US$ 1 million. Tara has also managed her own water quality sampling programs and is well-seasoned in groundwater and surface water sampling.

Dr Andy Robertson

Alex Trapp

Alex Trapp has a M.Sc. in Water Resources Engineering and Management and a B.Eng. in Civil Engineering. He has eight years of professional experience in mining hydrogeology and environmental analyses. Alex joined Robertson GeoConsultants Inc. in 2012 as a Water Resources Engineer and again in 2016.

His technical experience includes planning and supervision of drilling programs, hydraulic testing, well installation, and water quality sampling. Alex also has experience in numerical groundwater flow and transport modeling ranging from 1D models for seawater intrusion and seepage analysis to large, complex 3D models in support of mine water management. Furthermore, he has experience in reviewing geotechnical testing and finite strain consolidation modelling for tailings seepage analysis.

Dr Andy Robertson

Petr Kuranov

Petr Kuranov has a B.Sc. and a M.Sc. in Hydrogeology. He has over 10 years of professional experience on mining, civil and site remediation projects. Petr has joined Robertson GeoConsultants Inc. in 2019 as a hydrogeologist and groundwater modeler.

Petr has been involved in numerous projects for oil and gas and mining clients throughout Western Canada, in South America, Europe and Western Asia. His areas of expertise include:

  • Numerical modeling of groundwater flow, solute transport and surface water-groundwater interaction processes,
  • Planning and supervision of hydrogeological field programs,
  • Hydraulic tests interpretation,
  • Hydrogeological data visualization and analyses,
  • Geological modeling.
Dr Andy Robertson

Cristobal Vargas

Cristobal Vargas​ has a M.Sc. in Hydrogeology and Environmental Engineering and a B.Eng. in Civil Engineer with specialization in Hydraulic, Environmental and Sanitary Engineering. Cristobal has five years of professional and research experience in the field of groundwater modeling and joined Robertson GeoConsultants Inc. in 2019 as a Groundwater Modeler.

Cristobal’s technical experience includes saturated and unsaturated groundwater flow modeling, solute transport modeling and reactive transport modeling. Furthermore, he has experience in the analysis of hydraulic testing, and hydrological information to model the interaction between surface water and groundwater.

Dr. Mina Seyedali

Dr. Mina Seyedali​ completed her Ph.D. in Earth and Ocean Sciences in 2020 with a focus on use of stable isotopes and trace metals in understanding evolution of paleo-seawater chemistry. Mina has an M.Sc. and B.Sc. in Mining Exploration Engineering with special focus on use of geostatistical techniques in exploration of ore deposits. Mina joined Robertson GeoConsultants Inc. in 2021 as a consultant in geochemistry. She has ten years of research experience in areas of:

  • Low-temperature hydrothermal systems active in oceanic crust,
  • Designing experiments, running, and interpreting result of various analytical instruments (e.g., ICP-MS, XRD, SEM), and
  • Implementing predictive models, data processing and visualization.

Arturo Velasco

Arturo Velasco has a B.Eng and M.Sc. in Hydraulic Engineering and Environment with a specialization in water resources analysis. He has six years of professional and research experience in water resources and remote sensing environmental applications. Arturo joined Robertson GeoConsultants Inc. in 2021 as a Hydrology Consultant.

Arturo’s experience includes the construction of numerical models as well as the interpretation and analysis of results in water-related projects. He also has experience in the processing and application of remote sensing techniques using spaceborne and airborne data for water resources analysis.

His areas of expertise are:

  • Hydrological and hydraulic modeling,
  • Geographic information system and geospatial analysis, and
  • Remote sensing (optical and radar sensors).
Dr Andy Robertson

Jonas Pereira

Jonas Pereira has a M.Sc. in Geology with focus in Sedimentary Basin Analysis and a B.Sc. in Geology with specialization in Chemical Stratigraphy. Jonas has three years of professional experience and two years of research experience in GIS. He joined Robertson GeoConsultants Inc. in 2022.

Jonas is proficient in the use of the commercial GIS software, such as: ArcMap, ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS online; remote sensing: Geomatica Banff; and modeling software: Opendtect, Petrel, Oasis Montaj. His technical experience in GIS includes data management, spatial analysis, and map production. He is also able to produce cross-sections and 3D models through application of his geological background. Furthermore, Jonas participated in geophysical surveys acquiring seismic data, and can interpret geological structures by seismic and potential methods

Patrick Bryan

Mr. Bryan has collaborated extensively with RGC on the following projects:

  • Britannia Mine (B.C.) reclamation study,
  • Cantung Mine (N.W.T.) site water and chemical load balance study,
  • Faro Mine (Yukon) site water and chemical load balance study,
  • Pogo Project (Alaska) water balances for tailings impoundments, and
  • Questa Mine (New Mexico) comprehensive site water and chemical load balance studies.