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Geotechnical Slope Remediation Via RC-drilling And "Controlled Slope Failure Blasting"
Abstract and Figures
In December of 2009 an estimated one million ton slope failure activated a 10 million ton mass impacting use of the main ramp system in a Northern Nevada open pit. The failure left behind a 400 foot (122 meters), vertical to sub vertical scarp feature and shut down production in the lower benches of the pit. The Geotechnical group recommended that no equipment should go within an 80 foot (24 meter) safety zone of the scarp crest due to stability concerns. This meant that the traditional approach of load/haul could not be used to remediate the slope failure. Following careful analysis, the drill and blast group was then tasked with finalizing the scarp feature remediation planning. The key considerations determining the viability of blasting for stabilizing the crest were: Safety – Ability for equipment and personnel to perform remediation activities while remaining outside of the 80 foot (24 meters) safety zone Material type – The rockmass is an alluvial material that lends itself well towards this style of blasting Crest and face topography – Face profiles provided evidence that lent itself towards a blasting approach Drill Selection – Exploration RC drill rigs were selected due to their ability to drill angled holes down to the depth required and at the recommended hole diameter
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