Linking resource modeling and geomechanical numerical modeling tools is arguably a step towards a more integrated mine design process. This paper presents a methodology that aims to integrate tridimensional data, modeled through resource modeling tools, into a tridimensional geomechanical modeling code. Numerical experiments are then conducted on the created model. The objective of the experiments is to establish the impact of internal fracturing and fracture degradation on slope stability.


Nowadays, numerical analyses are performed on a routine basis to study the stability of rock slopes. On the other hand, resource modeling and mine optimization software tools are used everyday to establish the geological resources, ultimate pit and mining sequence for an open pit mine. This paper presents, through a case study, the use of resource modeling tools to define the problem geometrical characteristics within a numerical modeling code. It also presents a series of numerical experiments aimed at establishing the impact of internal fracturing and fracture degradation on the stability of the slope.


2.1 Resource modeling tools

Resource modeling is at the very core of today’s mining operations. In this case study, the rockmass was modeled using one of the most popular resource modeling and mine planning tools in the mining industry, Surpac Vision, Surpac Minex Group (2006). Ore reserve estimation relies on the analysis of rock samples obtained through diamond drilling. Block modeling is used to represent the spatial distribution of ore grades. Ore grades are interpolated at those blocks, based on geostatistical methods. The size of the selected block is usually dictated by the diamond drilling pattern and the mining bench height. Each block is assigned various properties such as ore grades, level of contaminants, geology and rock properties.

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