Evaluation of the Influence of In Situ Stress on the Stability of Mine Pit Walls: A Case Study of Songwe Mine

Dyson Moses, Hideki Shimada, Takashi Sasaoka, Akihiro Hamanaka, Tumelo K. M Dintwe, Joan A. Onyango, Cho Thae Oo


The investigation of the influence of in situ stress in Open Pit Mine (OPM) projects has not been accorded a deserved attention despite being a fundamental concern in the design of underground excavations. Hence, its long-term potential adverse impacts on pit slope performance are overly undermined. Nevertheless, in mines located in tectonically active settings with a potential high horizontal stress regime like the Songwe mine, the impact could be considerable. Thus, Using FLAC3D 5.0 software, based on Finite Difference Method (FDM) code, we assessed the role of stress regimes as a potential triggering factor for slope instability in Songwe mine. The results of the evaluated shearing contours and quantified strain rate and displacement values reveal that high horizontal stress can reduce the stability performance of the pit-wall in spite of the minimal change in Factor of Safety (FoS). Since mining projects have a long life span, it would be recommendable to consider “in situ stress-stability analyses” for OPM operations that would be planned to extend to greater depths and those located in tectonically active regions.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/ees.v4n2p1


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