By Derek Martin and Peter Stacey. Weak rocks encountered in open pit mines cover a wide variety of materials, with properties ranging between soil and rock. As such, they can provide a significant challenge for the slope designer. For these materials, the mass strength can be the primary control in the design of the pit slopes, although structures can also play an important role. Because of the typically weak nature of the materials, groundwater and surface water can also have a controlling influence on stability.
Guidelines for Open Pit Slope Design in Weak Rocks is a companion to Guidelines for Open Pit Slope Design, which was published in 2009 and dealt primarily with strong rocks. Both books were commissioned under the Large Open Pit (LOP) project, which is sponsored by major mining companies. These books provide summaries of the current state of practice for the design, implementation and assessment of slopes in open pits, with a view to meeting the requirements of safety, as well as the recovery of anticipated ore reserves. Hardcover; 413 pp; 2018; ISBN 9781138298095.