Geotechnical Consulting.

We offer a much deeper technical understanding to your mining operation. More than just rocks and bolts.

Richard CampbellPrincipal Geotechnical Engineer

More than just Rocks & Bolts.

We provide professional technical consulting and contracting services to the Australian and International mining and civil sectors.

Our chartered, RPEQ-accredited, senior geotechnical engineers function the most up-to-date, industry-accepted practices and software packages. We employ high specification computational processing capacity in order to achieve and deliver quality solutions to our clients by providing a full range of geotechnical services across the mining and civil disciplines.

Geotechnical Investigations.

To develop a robust structural geology model, our team can assess the existing data in collaboration with our clients to assess any gaps, and then applies several techniques as appropriate. These can include lineament analysis, precise structural mapping using remote techniques (outcrop, open pit and underground), geotechnical core logging, acoustic and optical televiewer analysis, and stereonet analysis.

Rock mass strength estimation is required for the prediction of excavation response at the mine site. Obtaining accurate rock mass strengths requires an understanding of the intact rock and joint properties of each geotechnical unit and the in-situ stress state.

Blackrock Mining Solutions can facilitate, interpret, and apply both field/laboratory strength testing and in-situ stress measurements. We use traditional engineering approaches including mechanical, empirical and numerical to estimate rock mass strengths, and innovative numerical techniques such as Synthetic Rock Mass (SRM) simulations. This approach allows our consultants to model rock mass behaviour for any given range of anisotropies, scales, material properties and conditions.

Geotechnical Analysis.

Integrating structures and discontinuities from the smallest to largest extent scales can be simulated numerically, operating the industry-accepted practices and software packages and employing high-specification computational processing capacity.

Our services include:

  • Three-dimensional mine-scale non-linear, strain-softening continuum and discontinuum models.
  • Explicitly integrating large numbers of geo-structures into the model to simulate the most
    realistic geo-material response to mining activities.
  • Comprehensive examples of the excavation sequence.
  • Utilising the most advanced, realistic constitutive models for the rock mass and geological structures, including strain-softening and dilatant behaviour.
  • Quantified calibration based on field measurements, including seismic data, geotechnical instrumentations, and field observations.
  • Discrete Fracture Network (DFN) modelling techniques and probabilistic simulation approaches.
  • Realistic simulation of local and regional stress field conditions.
  • Dynamic modelling.

Our modelling agenda incorporates the most advanced non-linear techniques in order to provide a reliable decision-making tool to assist geotechnical engineers, mining engineers, geologists, and mine managers to act on the complications and increase the mine performance with confidence.

Geotechnical Design.

We specialise in the assessment of slope stability, ranging from civil engineering slopes in soil and rock, including portals to mine benches and inter-ramps of open-pit mines.

We also routinely analyse both the static and dynamic stability of waste dumps and leach piles using the most up to date constitutive models and software.

We are highly experienced in examining difficult problems involving slope instability and remediation methods. Our team uses traditional equilibrium methods and accurate and efficient numerical methods, using the shear-strength reduction (SSR) method to determine Factor of Safety (FoS). This method allows failure surfaces to develop naturally; an important advantage over more traditional limit-equilibrium solutions, that are restricted to prescribed failure surface geometries (circular, log spiral, segmented, etc.). The SSR can also be extended to estimate failure probabilities, which are important in formalised risk assessment.

Underground Infrastructure Design

Robust designs for critical infrastructure such as access and ventilation shafts, crusher stations, haulage drifts, etc. are essential for long-term stability, mine sustainability and safety of personnel.

Once the location, orientation and geometry of an excavation have been designed, long-term considerations such as the impact of future adjacent excavations, major and minor geological structures, and the effects of construction sequence on short-term and long-term stability must be considered.

A number of design issues require consideration when developing infrastructure in rock or soil that impact an excavation’s long-term stability, in-situ and mining-induced stress, geologic structures and other intersecting developments can be assessed by our consultants in order to compensate the design as necessary.

Our experienced team can perform complete analyses using the most up-to-date empirical, analytical and numerical tools available to ensure that the underground infrastructure is stable during the construction (construction sequence assessment) as well as the operational lifetime.

Geotechnical Software Capability.

Our geotechnical engineers are proficient in the use of the following software packages:

  • Itasca’s codes, including FLAC, FLAC3D, UDEC, and 3DEC
  • Rocscience’s packages, including Slide2, Slide3, RS2, RS3, SWedge, Dips, UnWedge, and RocFall
  • Maptek’s Eureka and Point Studio
  • ALT’s WellCAD
  • Autodesk’s AutoCAD

Ty Grantham

Associate & Senior Geotechnical Engineer

E: t.grantham@blackrockmining.net
M: +61 437 881 075
A: Level 6, 40 Creek Street, Brisbane QLD 4000