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Approach to Geotechnical Characterization and Slope Design Data Acquisition Programs in Different Deposit Types

Bruce Murphy, Wayne Barnett
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
First presented: 
Slope Stability
Published paper

This paper will address critical aspects for consideration when characterizing parameters related to geology, structural geology, hydrogeology and rock mass for definition of geotechnical domains for slope design. The types of deposits that will be presented: general porphyry rock masses (i.e. alteration aspects, joint characterization); uniform bedded and foliated deposits (i.e. continuous structure, weak layers), tropical deposits (i.e. preferential weathering, material classification, structure aspects) and structurally-mineralized deposits. The intention is to discuss geotechnical specific attributes with consideration to each deposit type, and present a series of deposit-specific tables that highlights the more important aspects when considering the expected slope performance for design purposes. In addition, suggested geotechnical evaluation methodologies, stability assessment and broad design approaches will be included for each deposit type.

Feature Author

Bruce Murphy

Bruce has over 25 years of experience specializing in mining rock mechanics; he leads the Vancouver mining geotech group. Bruce has been involved in mining operational rock mechanics since 1989 in both hard rock open pit and underground operations, including gold, copper and iron ore, before joining SRK in 2002. He has undertaken operational support/project evaluations in a number of open pit/underground mining operations/projects, in Africa, Europe, Asia, North and South America. His strong experience includes operating open pits under difficult mining and stability conditions (failures) and underground mining in weak ground conditions.

Rock Mechanics Specialist
MSc, Eng, PEng, FSAIMM
SRK Vancouver
Dr. Wayne Barnett

Wayne Barnett has 18 years of experience in the mining and exploration industry. He specializes in providing operational support by defining the structural geology of mining projects and properly characterizing their rock masses in order to manage risks and solve problems in active mining operations. He also characterizes the structural geology for scoping- to feasibility-level studies.

Wayne has a PhD in structural geology and industry certification in rock mechanics, and worked as a geotechnical engineer for two mining operations over a period of 8 years.

Principal Structural Geologist
PhD, PrSciNat
SRK Vancouver
SRK Asia Pacific