Mining Geotechnical Investigations

At SRK, we believe that an efficient and effective geotechnical study is an integral component of any proposed mine or mining project. The geotechnical investigation program should include an understanding of the lithological, structural, alteration and hydrogeological aspects, enabling the rock mass to be characterized into relevant geotechnical domains. Representative geotechnical design parameters for the mine design can then be allocated to each of these domains.

Approach

For a greenfield site, we undertake a geological and structural review followed by a targeted drilling program to characterize the site's geotechnical conditions. These programs include both geotechnical/structural and hydrogeological data collection activities. For existing operations we supplement the drilling program by mapping existing excavations and back-analyzing the geotechnical parameters of existing excavations. In this way, we identify and characterize the rock mass, and the structural and hydrogeological conditions that influence the design and stability of a proposed mine.

The geotechnical investigation is often a phased study. The first phase should identify the main issues and opportunities and define the follow-up site work. A phased approach ensures that the work is carried out efficiently and economically and allows the engineer to review the options and redefine the objectives of the investigations as required.

Experience

SRK has significant worldwide experience in design, implementation, supervision and interpretation of geotechnical investigations for many types of mining and civil engineering geotechnical projects from scoping level studies, through pre-feasibility study to feasibility studies, including:

  • Open pit, quarry and underground mine design
  • Soil, rock and waste dump slope stability
  • Tailings and ash disposal sites
  • Foundation investigations
  • Contaminated land investigation

Services

  • Design and management of geotechnical investigation programs
  • Site supervision and training in geotechnical data collection and interpretation
  • Core logging, geotechnical mapping and 3D photogrammetric techniques (Sirovision)
  • Geotechnical data management and database compilation
  • Rock mass classification using systems, RMR, Q, MRMR, GSI, etc
  • Structural geology evaluation and interpretation on a mine scale
  • Structural fabric analysis of rock masses
  • Geotechnical design domain evaluation
  • Statistical analysis of rock mass strength parameters
  • Formulation of geotechnical parameters to be used for mine design
  • Preparation of 3D geotechnical models, design sections and plans
  • Geotechnical block modelling, parametric and non-parametric
  • Data analyses and geotechnical report preparation
SRK Worldwide