Guidelines for Open Pit Slope Design 3 - Design

Areas of Study: Geotechnics

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This is the third in a series of four courses on open pit slope design. It is concerned with sources of uncertainty, acceptance criteria, pit slope design, operating constraints, blast control, excavation, slope support and reinforcement.

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

Course Summary

Introduction

Guidelines for Open Pit Slope Design 3 - Design is the third 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 is concerned with uncertainties in the collected data and with establishing uncertainty levels that are commensurate with each stage of project development.

Part 2 is concerned with determination of Factor of Safety and Probability of Failure and their integration with the physical consequences of slope instability to provide design acceptance criteria based on risk.

Part 3 outlines the essential steps in the formulation of pit slope design criteria. An integral part of this process involves slope stability analyses of the rock slopes in an open pit mine using the geological, structural, material property, and hydrogeological information that is brought together in the geotechnical model.

Part 4 outlines the needs and interaction of the different operating constraints representing the conflicting interests of production vs. slope stability. It also covers the steps required to achieve good wall control through the application of controlled blasting techniques.

Part 5 covers excavation and scaling techniques, provision of artificial slope support, and available reinforcement measures.

Content

The course comprises 18 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 22 hours of viewing content.

Learning Outcomes

  • Discuss uncertainties in the collected data and those commensurate with each stage of an open pit project.
  • Discuss Factor of Safety and Probability of Failure and their integration with the physical consequences of slope instability to provide design acceptance criteria based on risk.
  • Recognize the essential steps in the formulation of pit slope design criteria, and their application to slope stability analyses of rock slopes using the geological, structural, material property, and hydrogeological information that is brought together in the geotechnical model.
  • Recognize the needs and interaction of the different operating constraints representing the conflicting interests of production vs. slope stability.
  • Discuss the steps required to achieve good wall control through the application of controlled blasting techniques, and the provision of excavation and scaling techniques, artificial slope support, and reinforcement measures to ensure slope stability.

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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