Darlington, WJ, Snyders, IM, Woodward, C, Paramasivam, P, Urmale, N, Corbett, Z, Rathnaweera, TD & Mohammadnejad, M 2021, 'Novel techniques for rockfall management using remote
equipment at Savage River Mine', in PM Dight (ed.), SSIM 2021: Second International Slope Stability in Mining
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 51-66, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/2135_0.05
Rockfall is a hazard in open pit mines with the potential to cause significant consequences. In December 2020, a rockfall event occurred at the Savage River Mine in Tasmania. In this event, a 675 t block detached from the highwall, and rocks subsequently landed onto an active work area 210 m below.
Post-event investigations indicated that several additional controls were required prior to the resumption of mining in the area. These included the installation of a rock fence, shear pins and a revised monitoring strategy to facilitate continued safe mining operations. However, installation of the rock fence and shear pins by traditional construction methods would expose personnel to an unacceptably high rockfall risk. Mitigation of this risk therefore required innovative techniques.
These included pre-fabrication of a sea container fence and installation by use of remotely operated machinery. The shear pins were also installed using a remote drill rig, a remote excavator with a custom attachment, and grouted by use of a long reach boom pump, thereby eliminating the previously required presence of exposed personnel in the elevated risk area.
This paper describes the construction and remote installation of the rock fence and shear pins.
Keywords: rockfall, radar, rock fence, shear pins, remote equipment, stability monitoring, risk management
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