Key Personnel


With proven success spanning most of Australia, Africa and South-East Asia, our engineers have been involved in numerous mining, development and infrastructure projects requiring civil and geotechnical engineering construction support. We have a group of engineers aligned with external industry experts as consultants and partners.

Mitch Hanger

Managing Director and Principal Engineer

More than 12 years of representative experience as a Senior and Principal Geotechnical Engineer working on projects across Australia, Africa and South-East Asia. These projects have varied in size and nature and broadly include investigative and reporting work, geotechnical design and analysis, construction support and peer reviews.

Andries Venter

Principal Consultant

Andries has more than 25 years’ experience in the management, design and construction of a wide range of projects and participated in all phases of Project Management from feasibility studies and concept design to commissioning, which include EPCM type projects. His work history includes dams (hydraulic fill and earth fill); water balances; pipelines (water and slurry); water supply systems; township services (water, sewerage, roads and stormwater); and building works. The range of projects with which he has been involved varies from labour intensive rural water supply and building schemes to technically advanced multi-disciplinary facilities for the mining industries.

He obtained experience on projects in various countries, i.e. Australia, Tanzania, South Africa, Botswana, Malawi and Namibia.

Simon Wright

Senior Engineer

Simon Wright is an engineering geologist with more than ten years’ experience in civil-geotechnical design and site supervision. Simon is currently employed as a Senior Project Engineer and is involved in many facets of mining infrastructure and tailings facility site investigation, design and construction supervision. Prior to joining Knight Piésold, Simon worked for several companies in the UK and has gained experience in geotechnical and contaminated land site investigations, foundation and earthworks design, drilling project management and site supervision.

Joshua Blake

Project Engineer

Joshua is a Geotechnical Engineer with more than 2 years experience working on resource and infrastructure projects across Western Australia. He obtained experience over a diverse range of projects, which varied both in scope and size. His specific experience includes investigative and reporting work, geotechnical design and analysis, and construction support and reporting.

Heng Zhao

Project Engineer

Heng is an Environmental Engineer with experience over a diverse range of projects, which varied both in scope and size. His specific experience includes investigative and reporting work, geotechnical design and analysis, and construction support and reporting.


Chris Lane

Chris has a Bachelor in Applied Science (Canberra University 1975) and an MBA (AGSM 2002). He possesses broad experience in civil construction fields including site investigation of land-based and marine-based developments and particular expertise in large resource projects.

Chris has more than 40 years’ experience in resource projects, including site investigation and construction of infrastructure (plant sites, heap leach facilities, roads, railways and airstrips and TSFs). He has completed many strategy studies and financial analyses of TSF options including concept designs from project start up through to project closure.

Chris’ 30+ years involvement with TSFs covers aspects of design, construction, auditing and tailings/residue management reviews for a large number of projects covering a range of commodities including: alumina residue, bauxite residue, base metals (copper, lead and zinc), coal, gold, graphite, lithium, iron ore, manganese, nickel (sulphide and laterite), phosphate residues, rare earth residues, uranium and vanadium.

Chris has experience in the following regions:

  • United Kingdom
  • Middle East (Egypt, Iran, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates)
  • Armenia
  • Pakistan
  • Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines and Vietnam)
  • West Africa (Burkina Faso, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mali, Senegal), East Africa (Ethiopia, Tanzania) and Southern Africa (Mozambique, South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo)  
  • South America (Brazil, Chile, Guyana and Uruguay)
  • Mexico.

Chris has experience in the following climatic regimes:

  • Tropical (high rainfall)
  • Humid Savannah (high seasonal rainfall)
  • Temperate
  • Semi-arid
  • Arid
  • Hyper Arid.

Special interests:

  • Dry stacked tailings storage facilities (DSTSF)
  • In-pit TSFs
  • Integrated waste landforms (IWL), which is a TSF within a mine waste dump.

Jim Bawden

Working in collaboration with REC, Jim is an expert in the management of surface and groundwater resources as these relate to, or may be influenced by, mining or mineral processing operations. He has a great depth of experience in the extraction and refining of mineral resources. He has worked extensively in Australia and Africa and is also familiar with aspects of mining and mineral processing in Asia and the Americas.

 Jim helps clients to:

  • Sort out or rank issues to be addressed by audit or due-diligence enquiry
  • Solve problems across the disciplines of Safety, Security, Health, Environment and Community (SSHEC)
  • Secure a stable platform against risks to people or client organisations
  • Strategise the continual improvement of SSHEC matters
  • Sustain the company and its social licence through stakeholder engagement or an appropriate level of transparency.

With an understanding of many jurisdictions, Jim may be able to support REC clients on matters which might include:

  • Employee and community health
  • Community development and participation
  • Overwatch and liaison with specialists to secure credible approvals, achievable conditions and compliance, as well as realistic acceptance by stakeholders
  • Identification of client strengths, weaknesses, opportunities or threats, risk ranking and sensitivity analyses, to support feasibility studies and project innovation
  • Contributing to the optimisation of feasibility, life of mine and closure studies
  • ‘Future’ preparedness, stability of power and the supply chain, manning and training programs
  • Loss prevention, security and protection of people and assets in remote travel or work.