Authors: Welideniya, S; Bar, N; Price, J


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Welideniya, S, Bar, N & Price, J 2021, 'Ground support in open pits and operational safety', in PM Dight (ed.), SSIM 2021: Second International Slope Stability in Mining, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 287-294,

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Slope stability and operational safety are important aspects of open pit mining operations which are susceptible to geotechnical hazards including rockfall planar, wedge and toppling failures, as well as largescale slope failures. Very well planned pit designs alone cannot fully eliminate all risks (in terms of likelihood and consequence) to personnel from these geotechnical hazards as site investigations are often limited. Some manageable low risk instability is acceptable in the context of mining economics. Slope monitoring systems such as survey prisms, radar and laser scanning are used to monitor slope movements to assist in mine safety. Administrative or procedural control measures such as trigger action response plans (TARPs) and ground awareness training (GAT) are often also used to manage risks. Ground support regimes can further mitigate risks either by means of stabilisation or as a safety control where required, and include shear pins, cable bolts, rockbolts, drape mesh and catch fences. This paper provides insight into the selection of ground support in various ground conditions and their impact on operational safety.

Keywords: active ground support, passive ground support, normal stress, asperities, kinematic stability, cable bolts, drape mesh

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