Reinforcement and telemetry monitoring of a wedge structure
Recent engineering advances in open pit rock mechanics have resulted in improved pit wall slope design and improved operating procedures in the event of a major wall instability. At the other end of the spectrum, on the scale of single bench failures, considerable discretion is left to the mine operators as to how potential problems are handled. The usual alternatives are either to operate with caution beneath potential hazards, or try to bring the unstable rock down. In specific cases it may be advantageous to attempt to stabilize rock structures for reasons of access and operating safety.
At the Brenda Mines open pit a prominent structure on the north wall had caused recurring bench-scale wedge failures when exposed on each mining level. In spite of operating precautions a shovel was hit by a rockfall causing significant damage. The first section of this paper describes the investigative, design, and stabilization methods which permitted subsequent mining beneath the structure to proceed without incident. Emphasis is placed on the personnel and equipment resources available at the mine site which were used to minimize costs and which would be available at most operating mines.
The second section describes an ongoing research project that utilizes radio telemetry to transmit slope monitoring data. As part of this project the wedge structure was instrumented so that it could be continuously monitored with the aid of a computer. The application demonstrated the potential of 'microchip' technology to remote data collection and processing as related to rock structure monitoring, slope stability and safety.
Rock Mechanics, Open pit mining, Slope monitoring, Computer applications, Wall stability, Brenda Mines