Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering Journal. Volume 43, Number 1 / February(2010), 21 - 39. TOP 5 - 2011/2012.1
Numerical Analysis of Block Caving-InducedInstability in Large Open Pit Slopes: A FiniteElement / Discrete Element Approach
, Stead D.
, Elmo D.
, Moss A.
(1) Senior Geotechnical Engineer, Copper Projects Group. Rio Tinto Ltd., Vancouver,Canada
(2) Professor, Department of Earth Science, Simon Fraser University. Vancouver,Canada(3) Rock Mechanics Specialist, Mining Group. Golder Associates Ltd., Vancouver,Canada(4) General Manager - Technology and Innovation, Copper Projects Group. Rio Tinto Ltd., Vancouver, Canada
This paper addresses one of the most challenging problems in mining rock engineering -the interaction between block cave mining and a large overlying open pit. TheFEM/DEM modelling approach was utilized in the analysis of block caving-induced step- path failure development in a large open pit slope. Analysis indicated that there is athreshold percentage of critical intact rock bridges along a step-path failure plane thatmay ensure stability of an open pit throughout caving operations. Transition from open pit to underground mining at Palabora mine presents an important example of a pit wallinstability triggered by caving. Using combined FEM/DEM-DFN modelling it was possible to investigate the formation of a basal failure surface within an open pit slope asa direct result of cave mining. The modelling of Palabora highlighted the importance of rock mass tensile strength and its influence on caving-induced slope response.
block caving; open pit
block cave mining interaction; slope stability; numerical modelling; FEM/DEM; DFN