Importance of Geotechnical Expertise for Safe Mining Conditions

There are different ground support techniques and equipment that has been innovated so that the appropriate ground support and reinforcement techniques can be used before mining begins. The engineers and other professionals who are overlooking the operation will determine the size of the openings that can be excavated in a safe manner as well as how to orient them.

Geotechnical engineering is much prized in MCIT GSE when it comes to securing the safety of the employees working at the mine. There are different solutions that can be used for the situations that come up in mining and pros and cons of each solution will be weighed by the experts. The tools that will help identify the solutions will depend on the software and hardware that have been developed over time as well the geotechnical knowledge that the professionals along with accurate methodologies used. Geotechnical engineering is an innovative field of engineering that will look at how to solve the challenges that come up on surface and underground mining projects. It explores a variety of geological materials and their properties. By using material strength concepts, physical testing, numerical modelling, instrumentation etc. the experts will be able to understand the structural stability of the rock mass in depth. These techniques allow the creation of underground voids with sufficient structural stability even in challenging conditions.

Geotechnical engineering has many branches such as hydrogeology, engineering geology, rock mechanics, mining seismology and soil mechanics. It is not only safely that geotechnical engineering focuses on; the cost-effectiveness of ground support techniques is also explored. When the geotechnical issues of a mine are not addressed, the employees in the mine are working under dangerous conditions. To ensure that no employees are harmed and that no costs are incurred with poor preparation, geotechnical engineering allows for economic mining practices that can be carried out according to correct guidelines from the inception. The geological structure of a mine will include the existing condition of the mine before any activity has taken place. There can be weaknesses in the rock mass related to the joints, foliation, faults etc. There has to be sufficient in-depth investigations and analyses that will look at the condition of the geological structure.

There are rock mass classification methods that provide useful information in outlining the existing parameters of the geological structure. In general ground conditions, these classifications can be easily adopted for calculations. Ground control techniques are used to predict the behaviour of the rock mass during mining and these techniques are used to influence its behaviour as well in order to provide safety. Also the openings of the mine have to be designed with safety and serviceability in mind. In order to assess the ground conditions accurately, the geotechnical conditions of the rock mass in relation to mining activities have to be understood and analysed. The degree to which the behaviour of the ground conditions can be affected will depend on how much access you have and the volume of unstable rock available. In order to provide solutions to geotechnical issues, micro scale and macro scale ground control are considered.

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