Meet Our Global Team

Ben Thompson

Senior Geomechanics Specialist

PhD in Rock Physics, 2006 MESci Geophysics and Geology, 2001 University of Liverpool

Ben joined Paterson & Cooke in 2022 and is based out of our Sudbury, Canada office. As a senior geomechanics specialist, Ben has led numerous barricade design and backfill strength consulting projects. He has also collaborated with academic partners in these areas to advance the State of Best Practice. He is a keen advocate of the use of instrumentation to optimise safe and efficient backfilling.

Ben led backfill instrumentation fieldwork campaigns during an international paste research project in 2007-2010, and subsequently modified these approaches for the challenging production environment on a consulting basis. His underground experience and pragmatism, necessary in adapting research-oriented fieldwork to the needs of the operations environment, adds significant value to consulting projects.

In addition, his Rock Physics PhD and Rock Mechanics background allows Ben to offer a perspective grounded in the fundamental need for backfill to fulfil the geotechnical demands of the mining environment.

Expertise: Mine Backfill

Notable Papers

Thompson B.; Guresci, M.; Veenstra, R.L.; Carmichael, P., Bawden W.; Grabinsky M. “Best Practices in Continuously (or Not Continuously) Pouring Paste Backfill”. Int. Seminar on Paste and Thickened Tailings, ACG, Banff, Canada, 2023.

Grabinsky, M.; Bawden, W.; Thompson, B. “Required Plug Strength for Continuously Poured Cemented Paste Backfill in Longhole Stopes”. Mining 2021, 1, 80-99.


J Oke, B. D. Thompson, WF Bawden, P Lausch, MW Grabinsky, Backfill barricade design: practical experiences and recommendations, 52nd US Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium, American Rock Mechanics Symposium Proceedings, ARMA 18–1198, 2018


BD Thompson, W F Bawden, B Brzeczka, MW Grabinsky, In-Situ Backfill Monitoring–Lessons Learned and a New Case Study, 12th International Conference on Mining with Backfill, Denver, Colorado, Society for Mining Metallurgy and Exploration. 2017


BD Thompson, T Hunt, F Malek, MW Grabinsky, WF Bawden, In situ behaviour of cemented hydraulic and paste backfills and the use of instrumentation in optimising efficiency, 11th International Conference on Mining with Backfill, Y Potvin and AG Grice (eds), Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, ISBN 978-0-9870937-8-3

BD Thompson, D Simon, MW Grabinsky, DB Counter, WF Bawden, Constrained thermal expansion as a causal mechanism for in situ pressure in backfilled stopes. 11th International Conference on Mining with Backfill, Y Potvin and AG Grice (eds), Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, ISBN 978-0-9870937-8-3

Thompson B.D., M.W. Grabinsky and W.F. Bawden. In situ measurements of cemented paste backfill at the Cayeli Mine. Can. Geotech. J. Editors' Choice. 01(01): 755-772. https://doi.org/10.1139/t2012-040@cgj-ec.2015.01.issue-1, 2012

Thompson B.D., M.W. Grabinsky and W.F. Bawden. In-situ monitoring of cemented paste backfill pressure to increase backfilling efficiency. Canadian Institute of Mining Journal, 2(4): 1–10. 2011