Highwall Stability in an Open Pit Stone Operation

Kelly, Chris
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2002
The Monroe County Quarry is an open pit granite quarry located near the town of Bolingbroke. Monroe County. Georgia. The quarry has been in continuous operation for approximately 10 years. The quarry covers approximately 27 acres and has an annual production rate of 1.0 million tons. On the morning of April 26. 2000 a sudden rapid highwall failure occurred at the west end of the north wall of the quarry pit. The failure occurred approximately one hour after a three inch-wide crack was observed in an access road located at the crest of the highwall. No indications of failure had been observed prior to the development of the crack. The active mining area had been at the base of the failed area. The pit was successfully evacuated prior to the failure and there were no losses of either personnel or equipment. The amount of failed material was estimated to be in excess of two million tons. In order to ensure a safe working environment at the quarry a slope monitoring program was established in the area of the failure. The program consisted of using an EDM survey instrument to periodically measure the location of survey prisms installed at carious points on the north wall. The locations of the prisms were recorded over several months and changes in location were analyzed in order to identify and characterize the movement of the failed mass. The results of the analysis provided a basis for recommendations regarding access to various areas of the quarry. This paper discusses the factors contributing to the failure, the method of post-failure slope monitoring, anti the interpretation of the monitoring data.
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