Authors: Eberhardt, E; Stead, D; Elmo, D; Dunbar, WS; Scoble, M; van As, A; Moss, A; Vyazmensky, A; Tollenaar, R; O'Connor, CP; Eissa, H; Sturzenegger, M
Eberhardt, E, Stead, D, Elmo, D, Dunbar, WS, Scoble, M, van As, A, Moss, A, Vyazmensky, A, Tollenaar, R, O'Connor, CP, Eissa, H & Sturzenegger, M 2007, 'Transition from Surface to Underground Mining - Understanding Complex Rock Mass Interactions Through the Integration of Mapping, Monitoring and Numerical Modelling Data', in Y Potvin (ed.), Slope Stability 2007: Proceedings of the 2007 International Symposium on Rock Slope Stability in Open Pit Mining and Civil Engineering
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 321-332, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/708_19
Numerous mining operations are considering the move from surface to underground mining in order to
economically mine deeper resources particularly where open pit mine lives are nearing an end. However,
the body of practical knowledge related to the impacts of underground mining on the surface environment in
terms of induced differential strains, surface subsidence and slope stability is limited, imposing both
economic risks to the mine and safety risks to mine personnel. This paper describes the framework of a large
collaborative research initiative between the University of British Columbia (UBC), Simon Fraser University
(SFU), Rio Tinto plc and Diavik Diamond Mines. The main objective of this work is to develop a
methodology to characterise and better understand the complex rock mass interactions between
underground mass mining operations and strain-sensitive surface structures through the integration of
advanced numerical modelling methods, rock mass characterisation and deformation monitoring.
AMEC (2005) Earth observation market development program land subsidence pre-commercial trial Palabora mine,
South Africa. AMEC Report VM00344, 82 pp.
Benko, B. and Stead, D. (1998) The Frank slide: A re-examination of the failure mechanism. Canadian Geotechnical
Journal 35, pp. 299-311.
Board, M., Seldon, S., Brummer, R. and Pakalnis, R. (2000) Analysis of the failure of a large hangingwall wedge: Kidd
Mine Division, Falconbridge, Ltd. CIM Bulletin 93(1043), pp. 89-97.
Brown, E.T. (2003) Block caving geomechanics. JKMRC, University of Queensland, 516 pp.
Brummer, R.K., Li, H. and Moss, A. (2006) The transition from open pit to underground mining: an unusual slope
failure mechanism at Palabora. Stability of Rock Slopes in Open Pit Mining and Civil Engineering Situations,
S.A.I.M.M., Johannesburg, pp. 411-420.
Eberhardt, E., Stead, D. and Coggan, J.S. (2004) Numerical analysis of initiation and progressive failure in natural rock
slopes – the 1991 Randa rockslide. International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences 41(1), pp. 69-
Eberhardt, E., Zangerl, C. and Loew, S. (2007) Subsidence over hard rock tunnels. Tunnels & Tunnelling International
39(3), pp. 50-53.
Elmo, D. (2006) Evaluation of a hybrid FEM/DEM approach for determination of rock mass strength using a
combination of discontinuity mapping and fracture mechanics modelling, with particular emphasis on modelling
of jointed pillars. PhD Thesis, Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter, U.K.
Elmo, D., O'Connor, C., Vyazmensky, A., Stead, D., Dunbar, S., Eberhardt, E., Scoble, M.J. and Moss, A. (2007a)
Integrated modelling of subsidence mechanisms and impacts due to mine caving. 109th CIM Annual General
Elmo, D., Vyazmensky, A., Stead, D. and Rance, J.R. (2007b) A hybrid FEM/DEM approach to model the interaction
between open-pit and underground block-caving mining. 1st Canada-US Rock Mechanics Symposium,
Vancouver. Taylor & Francis, London, Vol. 2, pp. 1287-1294.
Elmo, D. Yan, M., Stead D. and Rogers, S.F. (2007c) The importance of intact rock bridges in the stability of high rock
slopes: Towards a quantitative investigation using an integrated numerical modelling - discrete fracture network
approach. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Rock Slope Stability in Open Pit Mining and Civil
Gilbride, L.J., Free, K.S. and Kehrman, R. (2005) Modelling block cave subsidence at the Molycorp, Inc., Questa Mine
- A case study. 40th U.S. Symposium on Rock Mechanics, Anchorage, Alaska. ARMA/USRMS 05-881.
Golder Associates (2006) FracMan software suite. FracMan Technology Group (www.fracman.com).
Numerical Modelling of Rock Slope
Slope Stability 2007, Perth, Australia 331
Hajiabdolmajid, V. and Kaiser, P.K. (2002) Slope stability assessment in strain-sensitive rocks. EUROCK 2002,
Madeira. Sociedade Portuguesa de Geotecnia, Lisboa, pp. 237-244.
Hebblewhite, B.K. (2003) Northparkes findings – The implications for geotechnical professionals in the mining
industry. 1st Australasian Ground Control in Mining Conference, UNSW Press, Sydney, pp. 3-10.
Itasca (2004) UDEC version 4.0. Itasca Consulting Group, Inc., Minneapolis.
Itasca (2005) FLAC version 5.0. Itasca Consulting Group, Inc., Minneapolis.
Kaiser, P.K., Henning, J.G., Cotesta, L. and Dasys, A. (2002) Innovations in mine planning and design utilizing
collaborative virtual reality (CIRV). 104th CIM Annual General Meeting, Vancouver.
Klerck, P.A., Sellers, E.J. and Owen, D.R.J. (2004) Discrete fracture in quasi-brittle materials under compressive and
tensile stress states. Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering 193, pp. 3035-3056.
Laubscher, D.H. (1990) A geomechanics classification system for the rating of rock mass in mine design. The Journal
of the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy 90(10), pp. 257-273.
Laubscher, D.H. (1994) Cave mining – the state of the art. The Journal of the South African Institute of Mining and
Metallurgy 94(10), pp. 279-293.
Lynch, R.A. and Malovichko, D.A. (2006) Seismology and slope stability in open pit mines. Stability of Rock Slopes in
Open Pit Mining and Civil Engineering Situations, Johannesburg. S.A.I.M.M., pp. 375-390.
Owen, D.R.J., Feng, Y.T., de Souza Neto, E.A., Cottrell, M.G., Wang, F., Andrade Pires, F.M. and Yu, J. (2004) The
modelling of multi-fracturing solids and particulate media. International Journal for Numerical Methods in
Engineering 60(1), pp. 317-339.
Owen, D.R.J., Feng, Y.T., Laboa, M., Leonardi, C.R., Zhao, S.Y. and Yu, J. (2007) Simulation of multi-fracturing rock
media including fluid/structure coupling. 1st Canada-US Rock Mechanics Symposium, Vancouver. Taylor &
Francis, London, Vol. 1, pp. 457-465.
Pierce, M., Cundall, P., Potyondy, D. and Mas Ivars, D. (2007) A synthetic rock mass model for jointed rock. 1st
Canada-US Rock Mechanics Symposium, Vancouver. Taylor & Francis, London, Vol. 1, pp. 341-349.
Rockfield (2007) ELFEN Version 3.8.9. Rockfield Software Ltd., Swansea, UK.
Rogers, S.F., Kennard, D.K., Dershowitz, W.S. and van As, A. (2007) Characterising the in situ fragmentation of a
fractured rock mass using a discrete fracture network approach. 1st Canada-US Rock Mechanics Symposium,
Vancouver. Taylor & Francis, London, Vol. 1, pp. 137-142.
Stead, D., Elmo, D., Yan, M. and Coggan, J.S. (2007) Modelling brittle fracture in rock slopes: experience gained and
lessons learned. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Rock Slope Stability in Open Pit Mining and
Civil Engineering, Perth.
Van As, A. (2003) Subsidence definitions for block caving mines. Technical report, Rio Tinto.
Vyazmensky, A., Elmo, D., Stead, D. and Rance, J.R. (2007) Combined finite-/discrete-element modelling of surface
subsidence associated with block caving mining. 1st Canada-US Rock Mechanics Symposium, Vancouver.
Taylor & Francis, London, Vol. 1, pp. 467-475.
Whittaker, B.N. and Reddish, D.J. (1989) Subsidence - Occurrence, Prediction and Control. Elsevier, 528 pp.
Transition from Surface to Underground Mining ― Understanding Complex Rock Mass
Interactions Through the Integration of Mapping, Monitoring and Numerical Modelling Data E. Eberhardt, et al.
332 Slope Stability 2007, Perth, Australia