Guidelines for Open Pit Slope Design 1 - Fundamentals and Data Collection

Areas of Study: Geotechnics

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The design of the slopes is one of the major challenges at every stage of planning and operation of an open pit mine. Guidelines for Open Pit Slope Design 1 - Fundamentals and Data Collection is the first in a series of four courses on open pit slope design.

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  • Audience Level:
  • Professional
  • Enrollment:
  • Required
  • Duration:
  • 12 hours

Course Summary

Introduction

Guidelines for Open Pit Slope Design 1 - Fundamentals and Data Collection is the first in a series of four courses on open pit slope design. The complete Guidelines for Open Pit Slope Design series includes:

  • Fundamentals and Data Collection
  • Modelling
  • Design
  • Operation
The design of the slopes is one of the major challenges at every stage of planning and operation of an open pit mine. It requires specialised knowledge of the geology, which is often complex in the vicinity of orebodies where structure and/or alteration may be key factors, and of the material properties, which are frequently highly variable. It also requires an understanding of the practical aspects of design implementation.

Part 1 of the course discusses the fundamentals of creating slope designs in terms of the expectations of the various stakeholders in the mining operation, which includes the owners, management, the workforce, and the regulators. It is intended to provide a framework for the detailed parts in this course, as well as the other courses in the series. It sets out the elements of slope design, the terminology in common usage, and the typical approaches and levels of effort to support the design requirements at different stages in the development of an open pit. Most of these elements are common to any open pit mining operation, regardless of the material to be recovered or the size of the open pit slopes.

Parts 2 and 3 discuss the geotechnical model, together with its four components, the geological, structural, rock mass, and hydrogeological models, which is the cornerstone of open pit slope design. Populating the geotechnical model with relevant field data from mapping, sampling, core logging and groundwater investigation requires not only keen observation and attention to detail, but also strict adherence to field data gathering protocols.

Content

The course comprises 9 learning sessions of between 60 and 90 minutes each at the text level, plus multiple-choice reviews, extensive worked examples, numerous illustrations and tables, and supporting appendices. Estimated course duration is equivalent to approximately 12 hours of viewing content.

Learning Outcomes

  • Discuss the fundamentals of slope design and the levels of effort to support design requirements at different stages in the development of an open pit.
  • Identify and apply the field data gathering protocols required for populating a geotechnical model.
  • Recognize the importance of a well-organised data management system to aid in the storage, interpretation, engineering, and reporting of the measured field and laboratory data.

Recommended Background

  • A degree in mining or geotechnical engineering, engineering geology or related discipline.
  • A basic grounding in rock mechanics and experience in open pit operations.

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