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Useful numerical simulation of shafts, crushers and other infrastructure excavations is amongst the most
challenging of rock mechanics problems. The mechanical installations and concrete forms are usually
designed with tolerances to deformation that are very low by mining standards and the effects of out of
specification ground movements can be very costly. The high costs of problems in these excavation sets a
very high standard of analysis for the rock mechanics engineer, yet modelling of these items is often treated
as an after thought.
In this paper, fitness-for-purpose requirements for analysis of critical infrastructure excavations are
discussed in terms of the capabilities of modern, commercially available analysis packages and
computational capacities. Probabilistic assessments of excavation performance and direct simulation of
excavation deformation is discussed in detail.
It is concluded that contemporary advances in simulation capabilities have led to a new minimum standard
of analysis for critical infrastructure excavations.
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Beck, D., Reusch, F. and Arndt, S. (2007a) Estimating the Probability of Mining-Induced Seismic Events using Mine-
Scale, Inelastic Numerical Models. Deep and High Stress Mining 2007. Australian Centre for Geomechanics,
Beck, D., Arndt, S., Reusch, F. and Tyler, D. (2007b) Resilient Design of Large Open Pit Slopes. Proceedings 6th Large
Open Pit Mining Conference, 2007. The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Australia.
Harr, M. (1989) Probabilistic estimates for multivariate analysis. Appl. Math. Modelling, Vol. 13.
Yu, H.S. (2006) Plasticity and Geotechnics. Springer Science and Busineess Media, LLC.
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