Mining Publication: Material Properties Affecting the Stability of a 50-Year-Old Rock Dump in an Active Mine
Material properties affecting slope stability were measured in a large 50-year-old, partially consolidated rock dump located in an active open-pit mine. Field tests included single-ring infiltration and density. In addition, a nuclear depth-moisture gauge was used to measure water content in six stainless-steel-cased drillholes on the crest and an upper bench of the rock dump. Precipitation, evaporation, wind speed and direction, and temperature data were collected at a weather station installed on the dump's crest. Laboratory tests included particle-size distribution, specific gravity, Atterberg limits, and water content. By measuring material properties of a rock dump presumed to be stable, the safety of miners working on or at the toe of old rock dumps constructed of similar material and located in a similar climate can be assessed.