Open Pit Geotechnical Services

The design of slope angles is influenced by 1) geologic structure, 2) rock strength, 3) hydrology, 4) ore distribution, and 5) operational considerations. Generally, the most critical factor in slope stability is the orientation of geologic structure relative to the pit wall and the resulting maximum attainable bench-face angles and catch-bench widths. Rock discontinuities such as joint sets, faults, lithologic contacts, and bedding planes, may form plane shear failures on a bench scale or multiple-bench scale if they daylight at a critical orientation in the pit slopes. Combinations of discontinuity sets may form wedge, step path, planar, or circular failure geometries on a bench scale or multiple-bench scale. Interramp and overall slope stability are verified by assessing the impact of major faults and structures on slope stability.

Our Open Pit Geotechnical Services Include:

  • Determination of maximum geotechnically justifiable slope design angles. Slope stability studies for greenfield and existing mines. Pre-feasibility studies, feasibility studies, expansion studies, and closure studies.
  • Investigation of slope failures and recommendations for remediation.
  • Collection of geotechnical data including surface mapping, photogrammetry, oriented core, televiewer, geomechanical core logging, soils logging, etc.
  • Expert on geotechnical instrumentation and slope monitoring programs. Radar, prism, extensometer, TDR, GPS, LiDAR, InSAR, piezometers, etc.
  • Analysis of rockfall hazard and optimization of remediation design (stepout vs. berm vs. fencing)
  • Mechanical stabilization designs for open pit slopes (bolting, meshing, rail pinning, etc.)
  • Analysis of soil liquefaction potential.
  • On-site geotechnical support for operating mines.
  • Training for mine geotechnical staff.