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This paper presents a case study where in situ rock mass observations were complemented with 3D stress analysis modelling to establish a range of in situ failure criteria for the felsic norites at the Nickel Rim South Mine in Canada. The development and the degree of validation of site specific failure criteria have important implications in the design and support of excavations at depth. The case is made that the quality of these interpretations are limited by the quality of the available field data.
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