Geotechnical challenges at the Beal Mountain mine, Montana

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 95, No. 1063, 2002
D. Stone
Abstract The Beal Mountain mine near Anaconda, Montana, is an interesting case history of a mine that has continued operations despite several large pit wall failures over a period of approximately 10 years. The largest event involved some 3.9 million tons of rock that has moved steadily at a rate of about 0.05 ft/day since 1992. This paper documents the geotechnical instrumentation and monitoring programs implemented at Beal to provide the company with a comfortable baseline that supported ongoing operations. The success and failure of a variety of stabilization measures will be discussed, along with typical instrumentation responses for several significant events. The success of Beal Mountain serves as a good model for mines faced with serious geotechnical challenges.
Keywords: Stabilization, Instrumentation, Monitoring, Pit wall failure, Rock Mechanics.

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