Dunn, MJ & Basson,FR: Parrott, TT 2011, 'Geotechnical data – a strategic or tactical issue?', in Y Potvin (ed.), Proceedings of the Fourth International Seminar on Strategic versus Tactical Approaches in Mining
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 21-30.
Newmont uses a Stage-Gate approach to developing mining projects which takes a project from scoping (Stage 1) through to implementation (Stage 5). This is linked to the resource and reserve conversion process as well as confidence in mine designs and planning. The question of how much geotechnical data is needed at each stage often arises. Currently very little quantitative guidance exists in the literature although there have been attempts by various authors (Haile, 2004; Haines et al., 2006; Read and Stacey, 2009) to qualitatively describe what level of geotechnical data is required.
Each mining project is different and the data collection program should be designed to reflect the orebody type, possible mining methods, appetite for uncertainty and the owners risk profile. In all cases a number of key questions need to be considered:
An approach has been developed that attempts to define what levels of geotechnical data are required to support the Stage-Gate process, and examples are provided from a number of recent mining studies.
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Department of Industry and Resources (1997) Geotechnical Considerations in Underground Mines – Guideline, Department of Industry and Resources.
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Haile, A. (2004) A reporting framework for geotechnical classification of mining projects, AusIMM Bulletin, AusIMM September/October 2004, pp 30–37.
Haines, A., Swart, A. and Kruger, A. (2006) Proactively mitigating geotechnical risks in open pit and underground mining, in Proceedings Strategic versus Tactical Approaches in Mining 2006, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, Australia, Section 27, 24 p.
Read, J. and Stacey, P. (2009) Guidelines for Open Pit Slope Design, CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, 496 p.
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