Rock Mass Characterization for Mine Design

Rock Mass Characterization for Mine Design

Areas of Study: Geotechnics

Qualifies for CMS

Short Course Short Course
  • Audience Level: Professional Tool Tip
  • Dates: Unscheduled Tool Tip
  • Early Bird: Tool Tip
  • Enrollment: Included Tool Tip
  • Registration Fee: Tool Tip
  • Location: Lima, Peru Tool Tip
  • Duration: 2 days
  • CEUs: 1.6 (16 PDHs) Tool Tip

Course Summary

This course will be presented in English with simultaneous Spanish interpretation. For Spanish web pages for this course click here Spanish.

This course is one of a series of six Professional Development in Mining courses to be held in Lima between May 27 and June 1. Other courses in the series include the following.

These courses are presented by Edumine in collaboration with PUCP and made possible by the support of Compañía Minera Antamina S.A..

Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP) Antamina


The purpose of this course is to provide mine staff the tools required to effectively gather geotechnical data for rock mass classification and rock mechanics design calculations. The majority of rock falls in mine operations are structurally controlled. Design is largely controlled by existing structure. It is critical that site characterization be performed so as to identify the structural factors that would affect rock slope angles, drill and blast design, support requirements, resultant dilution and span design, etc. A good understanding of rock mass structure forms the basis of rock mass classification which is used in the majority of rock mechanics design methods.

Upon completion of the course the participants will be able to gather geotechnical data, either from rock cuts, drifts or core, and process the information for subsequent analysis. The focus of the course is towards gathering information for purposes of analysis and design. The goal is to use effective mapping techniques to obtain data that can be used as input for any of the established rock classification systems. All of the commonly used classification values such as Barton’s Q and Q’ systems, Bieniawski’s RMR, Laubscher’s MRMR and Hoek’s GSI systems will be covered.

Pre-Course e-Learning

Prior to the course, registered delegates have access to online e-learning material consisting of an introductory course in English, titled Rock Mass Classification for Mine Design.

Certificate in Mining Studies

This course qualifies for two days of short course credit for the Certificate in Mining Studies (CMS), a continuing education program of accredited short courses, webcasts and online courses for lifelong learning in mining, supported by University of British Columbia, University of Arizona and University of Concepción. more details »

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Registered participants who attend the entire short course and complete an evaluation at the end of the course will receive a Certificate of Attendance, confirming the Professional Development Hours (PDH)/Continuing Education Units (CEU) earned. Please confirm with your employer and/or professional association that this course qualifies for CPD.

Who Should Attend?

The course is directed towards geologists, geotechnicians, as well as geotechnical and mining engineers involved in gathering geological data for surface and underground mines. The course will outline the collection of key structural and rock mass strength data required for effective rock mass classification systems. The mine geologist usually collects much of the data needed for rock mass classification and design calculations. Unfortunately it is often not in the form an engineer is able to use. This course will give the geology staff the tools they need to collect geological data so that it can be used by both geologists and engineers. An introduction to the applications for rock classification for mine design will also be covered.

Dr. Doug Milne

Doug Milne is a geological engineer with an MSc and PhD in mining rock mechanics. He has over 20 years' industry experience in surface and underground rock mechanics and he teaches rock mechanics at the University of Saskatchewan. Doug's MSc research was on rock mass classification systems; he has written several papers on classification and worked in the field gathering data for classification and design. Doug has also co-chaired a workshop on rock classification.

Provisional Schedule

Instruction will take place from 9:00AM to 5:30PM on both days, with a lunch break from 12:30PM to 1:30PM and 30 minute snack breaks in mid-morning and mid-afternoon.

The course includes the following topics:

Day 1: 29 May 2013, from 8:45am to 5:30pm Peru Time
Time Session
08:45 - 09:00 Welcome and coffee

09:00 - 09:15


  • Rock as an engineering material

09:15 - 09:45

Structural Domains

  • Geological controls and properties for design
  • Intact rock strength

09:45 - 10:30

Discontinuity Properties

  • Joint orientation
  • Cusums Analysis
10:30 - 11:00 Morning break and coffee

11:00 - 12:30

Discontinuity Properties

  • Joint roughness & planarity
  • Slope Stability Application
  • New devices in rock classification
  • Joint frequency
12:30 - 13:30 Lunch

13:30 - 14:15

Discontinuity Mapping

  • Surface mapping procedures
  • Underground mapping procedures

14:15 - 15:00

Plotting Structural Data

  • Stereonets
  • Dips program
15:00 - 15:30 Afternoon break and coffee

15:30 - 16:30

Rock Mass Classification

  • NGI Q and Q’ systems
  • RMR system
  • Case histories

16:30 - 17:30

Rock classification exercise, case histories, and general discussion

Day 2: 30 May 2013, from 8:45am to 5:30pm Peru Time
Time Session
08:45 - 09:00 Coffee

09:00 - 09:45

Additional Classification Systems

  • MRMR Classification
  • GSI system
  • Mine Tailored Classification systems

09:45 - 10:30

Analysis of Case History Data

  • Plot stereonets
  • Estimate average joint properties
  • Estimate Q, RMR, GSI, and MRMR
10:30 - 11:00 Morning break and coffee

11:00 - 12:30

Core Logging for Rock Classification

12:30 - 13:30 Lunch

13:30 - 14:30

Rock Classification

  • Applications for slope design
  • Applications for underground design
  • Case histories

14:30 - 15:15

Rock Classification and Back Analysis

15:15 - 15:45 Afternoon break and coffee

15:45 - 16:15

Rock Classification and Instrumentation

16:15 - 16:45

Challenges and Flaws with Rock Classification

16:45 - 17:30

General Discussion - Workshop Close

How to Register

Complete and return the registration form by fax: 604 681 4166 or email: [email protected].

If you have any questions you can contact Edumine by phone at +1 604 683 2037 or send an email to [email protected].


The full fee for the two day program is USD 1,600 + 18% tax. The fee covers the lecture in English with simultaneous Spanish translation, a comprehensive set of course notes, access to pre-course e-learning, a certificate of attendance, and buffet lunches including light refreshments. The fee does not cover accommodation.

Early Bird: there is a 10% discount if you register and submit payment at least 30 days before the course start date.


The course will be held at Hotel Novotel Lima. Detailed arrival instructions, including a map, will be sent to all participants 10-14 days prior to the commencement of the course.

Hotel Accommodation

If you need to make hotel reservations, we recommend the Hotel Novotel Lima. Strategically located in San Isidro, adjacent to the city's largest business district, the hotel offers a complete package of accommodation, food and drink, events and entertainment. For more details, see the Hotel Novotel Lima website.

For further information about hotels in Lima, see

Terms and Conditions

By submitting a short course registration form, you agree to pay the associated fees in full before the course start date.


Notice of cancellation must be given in writing by letter, fax or email and action will be taken to recover, from the delegates or their employers, that portion of the fee owing at the time of cancellation.

A 10% administration fee will be levied for cancellations made 4 or more weeks prior to the first day of the course. Thereafter, the following cancellation refund schedule will apply.

  • Cancellation made more than 3 weeks prior to the first day of the short course: 70% of the registration fee is reimbursed.
  • Cancellation made more than 2 weeks prior to the first day of the short course: 50% of the registration fee is reimbursed.
  • Cancellation made less than 2 weeks prior to the first day of the short course: no reimbursement of registration fees.

Edumine reserves the right to cancel an advertised course on short notice. It will endeavour to provide participants with as much notice as possible, but will not accept liability for costs incurred by participants or their organisations as a result of the course being cancelled or postponed. If a course is cancelled, fees will be refunded in full. Edumine also reserves the right to postpone or make such alterations to the content of a course as may be necessary.