Summary

The design of open pit slopes is usually performed in a sequence that addresses several scales of analysis; namely bench scale, interramp scale and overall scale. While the final check at overall scale is eventually the most relevant for the mining business as it secures the mining resources with reasonable certainty, the bench scale analysis is probably one of the most relevant for the safety of personnel and equipment, as it secures the working conditions at a "human scale". Currently there are several tools and methodologies developed independently by different practitioners, aimed at addressing the geometric design of benches in open pits, each one of them using different considerations and assumptions. In this paper we present the developments done by Itasca for a tool that provides guidance on the bench design (and therefore on the bench-scale-based interramp angle) by taking into account the structural geology and joint properties of the site under consideration.

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