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Open Pit Slope Design

Waste Dumps and Stockpiles....

Piteau Associates has been providing geotechnical engineering services to the mining industry worldwide for over 40 years, with particular expertise relating to the design of open pit slopes. Our experience spans a broad spectrum of geologic environments from soft, low strength, saprolitized rock masses, to very strong, competent, high strength rock masses, to structurally complex porphry deposits. Piteau Associates have been involved with the design and operation of open pit mines of all sizes, ranging from small quarries to some of the largest mines in the world with existing or planned slopes that exceed 1000m in height.

Our team of rock mechanics and geotechnical specialists has considerable experience in slope design studies for the full range of project development stages, including:

• Conceptual / scoping

• Pre-feasibility design

• Feasibility design

• Detailed design

• Construction

• Operations

• Closure

We are recognized as being at the forefront of pit slope design practitioners. We regularly submit papers on new and innovative concepts (see our publications section), and keep up-to-date on technical trends by attending and presenting at conferences around the globe.  Some of our key areas of expertise are:

Field Investigation and Data Collection

• Geotechnical, structural and photogrammetric mapping

• Geotechnical drilling, logging and core orientation

• Hydrogeological testing (packer, airlift, response and pumping tests)

• Hydrogeological monitoring (piezometric level, and water quality readings)

• Instrumentation installation and monitoring (deep piezometer strings, TDR cable, inclinometers, extensometers)

• Terrain and hazard mapping

• Quality assurance and quality control of data collection

• On-site training, workshops and seminars for field data collection methods, data reduction, validation and analysis

Conceptual, Pre-feasibility, and Feasibility Slope Design Studies

• Audit of existing data and identification of data gaps

• Development of targeted geotechnical and hydrogeological investigation programs

• Development of geotechnical rock mass models and block models

• Slope stability analysis, design and optimization

• Groundwater assessments for slope design and pit dewatering

• Detailed limit equilibrium and numerical modelling assessments for slope design (2D and 3D)

Detailed Design of Pit Slopes and Operating Mine Optimization and Review

• Optimization of open pit slope designs

• Slope failure prediction, back analysis and forensic studies

• Detailed numerical modelling assessments (2D and 3D) for slope design, deformation assessment, interaction studies between critical infrastructure, and evaluation of mitigative strategies

• Geotechnical performance reviews, audits and inspections

• Technical Review Board and third-party audits of geotechnical and hydrogeological designs/reports

• On-site training, workshops and seminars for analysis and design theory, use of slope stability software

Slope Monitoring

• Development of slope instrumentation and modelling programs

• Audits of slope monitoring databases

• Implementation of Piteau IMPRISM software and training

• Assessment of monitoring threshold levels and integration into Trigger Action Response Plans (TARP) and Emergency Response Plans (ERPs)

• Development of geotechnical hazard maps

• Slope failure prediction (i.e., time of failure and runout)

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