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Improving Mine Design with Geotechnics

Detailed geotechnical data is integral to safe and economical mine designs.

Before mine construction, geotechnical data must be gathered on the site’s rock conditions to continually modify the overall mine design and maximise ore extraction, reduce wastage, and mitigate safety hazards.

This is crucial to underground mine workings, where geological unpredictability, like unstable materials deep inside tunnels, can lead to periods of downtime and worker fatalities.

Key fact: In 1987-1996, rock falls represented 25% of accidents in underground mines

Determining the stability of pit slopes also relies on high-quality geotechnical data. This drives the understanding of how pit slopes could deform and fail so that reinforcement methods can be implemented.

Collecting the maximum amount of geotechnical data allows engineers to anticipate issues and develop a mine design that maintains the stability of underground tunnels, pit slopes, road cuttings, and rock masses.

Key fact: Stability of pit slopes in the Işıkdere lignite mine was improved with geotechnical and hydrogeological assessments

Characterising a site’s rock mass and analysing ore body geometry ensures that each mine design is optimised for geotechnical conditions. This is key in delineating safe and economical mining methods.

Benefits

  • Improves mining site stability

  • Maximises ore extraction

  • Mitigates safety hazards

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