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Rock Slope Stability Analysis by Using Integrated Approach

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Document pages: 24 pages

Abstract: Slope stability assessment is an essential aspect of mining and civil engineering. In this study, Songwe open-pit mine in Malawi was investigated to establish possible pit slope instability. In performing the analysis, an integrated approach entailing rock mass characterisation, kinematic and numerical methods were applied. Based on rock mass classification system, Songwe Hill carbonatite rock mass is characterised as a good rock but still it possesses numerous random discontinuities that present a complex challenge in geotechnical engineering. Dip 6.0 software was used in carrying out kinematic analysis based on the attributes of discontinuities. The results show that there is a 16 likelihood of planar failure in the divided slope sections of the planned pit. Thus, slope angle optimisation to 41° has been proposed as a counter-measure to minimise the potential risk of planar failure. At the optimised angle, the risk of planar failure could be reduced by 44 . On the other hand, wedge failure was found to be improbable since no joint intersections were found in the critical zone of potential failure. For numerical analysis, finite element code was applied using FLAC3D 5.0 application. The results demonstrate that overall slope angle of 41° would offer a favourable balance between safety and mining economics as mining operations progress to deeper horizons thereby avoiding a costly push back solution due to instability.

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