Digging deep for sustainable mining that mitigates climate change

During his 14 years at Monash, Professor Ranjith Pathegama Gamage has won a swag of innovation awards for his influential research into environmentally sustainable methods for extracting deep-earth resources like oil and gas that use carbon sequestration to combat climate change. His latest honour is a new Scopus Researcher Award from Elsevier for Excellence in Sustainability Research, which brings him a step closer to the ambitious goal that drives him. “My professional and personal goal is to contribute to our understanding of the world as responsible stewards of the planet,” Professor Ranjith says.

Professor Ranjith and his team pioneer creative, technically effective mining methods that often create useful by-products like fertiliser and green cement from waste. Their affordable, reliable method for extracting enhanced coal seam gas from otherwise un-mineable deep seams uses little water and releases methane for use while trapping carbon. This in turn has reduced carbon in the atmosphere, mitigating climate change, while transforming Australia’s abundant gas reserves into safe, sustainable energy.

“We know that over 80% of energy still comes from fossil fuel, and that fossil fuel will be the dominant energy supplier for at least few more decades,” Professor Ranjith says. “So we’re developing new technologies for unconventional gas like shale gas, tight gas and coal seam gas, which are very deep and difficult to extract, so they can be extracted economically and in an environmental friendly way.”

“Burying CO2 in deep underground is considered by many scientists and US engineering academics as the answer to large-scale reduction of CO2 levels in the atmosphere. It is one of the 21st century’s greatest engineering challenges”. Conventional mining is very energy intensive (over 10% of energy produced in the world is used for rock crushing and grinding) and therefore an alternate technology is required. In-situ leaching is a promising mining technology that can be enhanced by combination with suitably advanced rock-fracturing technology. We are now developing a disruptive technology-3G-DTM (3rd generation disruptive technology for mining-patent under pending) and the “results in the laboratory environment are very promising,” Professor Ranjith says. “I am confident that this technology will revolutionise mining in the future”. This 3G-DTM technology can be used in many other fields including renewable energy such as deep geothermal energy and unconventional oil and gas.



The main goal of this 1st IC3G2016 conference was to bring together experts of Geoenergy and Georesources areas from Academia and Industry from the globe to discuss the challenges faced in those industries and to discuss and discover new sciences and to develop new technologies for economical and environmentally friendly methodologies for extractions of resources and energy from the earth. The conference was well over attended by 200 attendees

There were many topics (unconventional oil/gas, mining and petroleum geomechanics as well as civil geotechnical eng) covered during the two days of the conference, and the presenters did an outstanding job of sharing the latest research findings with other researchers.

The next IC3G 2018 will be held in Sichuan city, China in September 2018. The website (www.ic3g.com) will be launched very soon.








We are grateful for the enormous support you have extended to us through the years both in easy and in difficult times. It is with regret we bid you farewell, but with excitement and ecstasy we wish you all the very best in your future endeavours. Bon Voyage.



The potential of internal stability of granular soils can be evaluated using the three commonly used semi-empirical criteria: Kezdi (1969), Sherard (1979), and Kenney and Lau (1985). However, some issues exist and need to be addressed. 1) Only limited particle size distribution (PSD) data can be obtained using sieving analysis technique. 2) Some specific PSD data is necessary but difficult to be obtained through sieve analysis. 3) The secant slopes of PSD curves only can be computed manually.

Therefore, a software package named Analysis Software for Internal Stability of Granular Soils (ASISGS) was developed to address these problems. The ASISGS program was divided into two parts: ① Calculation Program for Parameter Values of PSD Models (CPPV), which is used to develop an optimal parametric model for representing the PSD curves of granular soils based on limited experimental data. ② Calculation Program for Secant Slope of PSD Models (CPSS), which can be used to calculate automatically the secant slopes of PSD curves according to the three commonly used semi-empirical criteria, so that the internal stability of granular soils which mainly depend on soil PSDs can be evaluated.


Prof Yasuhiro Fujimitsu from Kyushu University visited the 3GDeep Lab in April to initiate collaborative research works on Geothermal between Monash University and Kyushu University, Japan.


On 16th December 2014, Vice Chancellor of Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) visited the 3GDeep Research Laboratory with other Malaysian delegates.


Datuk Ir. Dr. Abdul Rahim Hashim – Vice Chancellor

Solihuddin Ahmad Nasarudin – Registrar

Mohd Hatta Amran – Manager, Lab Facilities Services Department

Noor Affendy Mohamed Ali – Manager, Human Resources Management Department




On 02nd February 2015, high-school students that are finalists in the BHP Billiton Science and Engineering Awards, visited the 3GDeep Research Laboratory.



The International Society of Rock Mechanics (ISRM) annually awards a bronze medal and a cash prize for the World Best PhD Thesis in Rock Mechanics in memory of Professor Manuel Rocha, the second President and organiser of the first international congress of the ISRM. The wining thesis is selected based on; 1) Problem statement, 2) Appreciation of State of the Art, 3) Theoretical and/or practical advancements, 4) Verification of proposed solution and 5) Quality of Presentation of the thesis. The choice of the prize-winning thesis is the responsibility of the Rocha Award Committee, appointed by the President, chaired by the President, and including the Vice-Presidents and any others co-opted to assist in the review process. The committee then invite the Rocha Medal winner to attend the following ISRM conference as a guest to receive the award with providing all the expenses.

The award is offered by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany. It promotes academic cooperation between excellent scientists and scholars from abroad and from Germany. The Foundation sponsors the best scientists and scholars as well as prospective leaders irrespective of regional origin or disciplinary focus.

Selection of awardees is based on the principle of academic self-governance: committees composed of scientists and scholars of all academic disciplines decide who will be sponsored, independently and solely according to standards of academic excellence.

Name of the journal : Geomechanics and Geophysics for Geo-Energy and Geo-Resources

ISSN Print : 2363-8419

ISSN Electronic : 2363-8427

Link : http://www.springer.com/engineering/civil+engineering/journal/40948

Aims and Scope :

The journal G4 publishes original research, new developments, and case studies in the field of geomechanics and geophysics with special application to energy and resources in the subsurface Earth.  This covers the full scope of geomechanics and geophysics including theory and analysis, laboratory and field experiments, numerical methods and modelling techniques, and engineering applications and technology development related to energy and resources. This scope includes discovery and recovery of conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons, mining and resources engineering, natural and enhanced geothermal energy, geotechnical engineering of energy storage, geological solutions for energy and resources including geological disposal of energy wastes including sequestration of carbon dioxide. All papers on these topics within the journal scope are welcomed.