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Mitigation of the Cplus failure in the Q7 cut at Rio Tinto’s Bingham Canyon Mine

Mining Engineering , 2012, Vol. 64, No. 6, pp. 107-111

Nutakor, D.


This paper presents the results of a study conducted on a slope failure that occurred in the Q7 mining cut at Rio Tinto’s Bingham Canyon Mine. The slope failure occurred in a weak rock mass with an estimated rock mass rating of 25%. The failure mechanism was of the circular type, involving ten 15-m (50-ft) benches and covered a total width of 152 m (500 ft). The analysis used Adam Technology’s photogrammetric method with a two-dimensional rock fall simulation program (RocFall software) to design a 3-m- (10-ft-) high berm located 7 m (24 ft) from the toe of the failed mass. Back and predictive analyses were performed on a cross-section through the slide using Slope/W software, resulting in flattening the interramp angle (IRA) from 44? to 38?. This design modification produced a factor of safety (FOS) of 1.14. Sensitivity analysis involving FOS vs. pore water pressure showed that FOS is sensitive to water saturation. A dewatering system using a series of horizontal holes drilled below the slide and dewatering holes drilled from a drainage gallery has since been established to improve the stability of the slope. Throughout the one-year period since this investigation, no significant slope movement has been detected by the slope stability radar, and mining is in progress below the failure.