Authors: McKenzie, L
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This paper presents a case study where relict structure in saprolite has contributed to ongoing instability of a slope within an operational open pit mine. The study provides the pre-mining structural understanding, discusses slope performance, including key factors contributing to instability, and examines the current structural model. The paper shows that structural patterns within bedrock also occur in the saprolite. It highlights that, although it is difficult to obtain data on relict structure using borehole methods, slope failure due to relict structure should be recognised because it does occur. Design uncertainty and risks associated with this type of instability needs to be identified in the early stages of the mine planning process.

Keywords: saprolite, relict structure, slope performance, management strategies

McKenzie, L 2016, 'Relict structure in saprolite — a case study', in PM Dight (ed.), Proceedings of the First Asia Pacific Slope Stability in Mining Conference, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 127-134.

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ISRM (International Society of Rock Mechanics) 1981, Rock Characterization, Testing and Monitoring: ISRM Suggested Methods, ET Brown (ed.), Pergamon Press, Oxford.

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