Open Cut                                          reports

Open Cut

Safety, productivity and the right to operate are priorities for open cut mine research. We have supported work on an automated swing loading system for electric shovels, the science of rehabilitation and minimising mining impacts on neighbouring communities.

Geotech (23 Reports)

Autonomous Sensors for Monitoring Spoil Dumps and Tailings Dams

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Author: Byron Wicks | Mining3

A critical parameter in determining slope stability for spoil piles and tailing dams are groundwater conditions.  Current technologies such as cabled or standpipe piezometers are used to collect groundwater information from spoil pile. However, this type of information is difficult to ....  read more


Autonomous Water Pressure Sensors for Spoil Dumps and Dams

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Author: Byron Wicks | Mining3

The geotechnical integrity and stability of a mine spoil dump or tailings dam can be weakened by factors including abnormal pore pressures and movement induced by ground water permeating the embankment or the foundation of these structures. These factors greatly affect the design, layout, ....  read more


Baseline data for the development of automated characterisation of waste materials

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Author: Stephen Fityus, John Simmons, Klaus Thoeni | The University of Newcastle

The primary purpose of C29044 was to assemble a set of high‐quality data on a diverse range of characterised spoils that could be used (by C29048 Image Based Automated Characterisation of Waste Materials) to calibrate a “machine learning” model to recognise spoil category ....  read more


Bulking and Subsequent Self-Weight and Saturation Settlements, and Geotechnical Stability, of Deep Coal Mine Spoil Piles

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Author: David Williams | The University of Queensland

Australia's open cut coal mines are extending to ever increasing depths, with correspondingly deeper associated spoil piles. As the depth of spoil increases, the net bulking of the spoil becomes critical to the design, sizing, geotechnical stability assessment, and cost estimation, of both ....  read more


Coal Subsurface Mapping

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Author: Andrew Strange and Zak Jecny | CSIRO

This two stage project developed a machine-mounted sensing system that measures the depth of an underlying coal seam floor boundary during rip and stack mining. The earlier stage demonstrated a prototype ground penetrating radar (GPR) sensing system towed by a mobile platform across a ....  read more


Effective Slope Monitoring for Open Cut Coal Mines

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Author: Albert Cabrejo, Neal Harries | GroundProbe

This research project has been undertaken with the aim of improving knowledge in the behavior of the rock slopes at Australian coal mines. A large database of Slope Stability Radar (SSR) deformation data has been searched and analyzed for rock failures using parameters related to deformation ....  read more


Energy Adsorption Capacity of Muck Piles and their Status as Engineered Hard Barriers

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Author: Klaus Thoeni and Anna Giacomini | The University of Newcastle

Windrows or safety berms are used in mine sites to protect haul trucks from rolling over an edge and to avoid collisions. Their current design is based on rules of thumb and the behaviour of windrows in mining applications is still poorly understood. It is, however, well known that the problem ....  read more


ESFC-Based Trigger Levels For Monitoring Pit Wall Stability

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Author: John Simmons | Sherwood Geotechnical And Research Services

Project C15033 involved detailed theoretical and fieldwork-based investigations of a perplexing geotechnical hazard for open cut coal mining.  Sudden composite-style failures of highwalls typically occur while coal mining activities are taking place at pit floor level.  Within the ....  read more


Estimation of True Deformation Vector from Slope Radar Monitoring

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Author: Marc Elmouttie, Peter Dean, Matt Van De Werken | CSIRO

Slope deformation radar monitors are now widely used in open cut coal mining for monitoring highwall and low wall deformations. Their introduction has facilitated better management of risk associated with slope failure during mining and therefore protection of personnel and equipment. A well ....  read more


Geotechnical Hazard Awareness Video for Open Cut Coal Mines

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Author: Ismet Canbulat, | The University of New South Wales


Safety training means helping people to develop skills, telling people what they should or should not do, or it simply provides them with information (HSE, 2016). Safety training ....  read more


Groundwater Pressures and Flows within Spoil Dumps

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Author: Stephen Fityus, John Simmons, Olivier Buzzi | The University of Newcastle, Sherwood Geotechnical & Research Services

This project addressed the knowledge gap on the position of the groundwater surface, which is a key factor for reliable waste rock dump stability analysis.

The data and information assembled in this report suggests that water tables in in‐pit waste rock dumps depend on a host of ....  read more


Image Based Automated Characterisation of Waste Materials

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Author: Simit Raval | University of New South Wales

Accurate geotechnical characterisation of mine spoils is critical to enhance dump stability which eventually leads to safe mining operations and optimal environmental rehabilitation. Conventionally, classification of spoils in relevant CoalSpoil (previously known as BMA) categories relies on ....  read more


Improved Management Of The Rock Fall Hazard At The Base Of The Highwalls

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Author: Anna Giacomini, Cedric Lambert, Klaus Thoeni | University of Newcastle, University of Canterbury

Rockfalls are a significant safety hazard in open pit mines and underground mine entries from open cut highwalls. The project aimed to gather coal-mine specific data on rock falls with and without rock fall netting, and to outline a more rigorous approach to the design of face bolting, rock ....  read more


Improved Structural Mapping of Pit Walls Using UAV-based Mobile Laser Scanning

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Author: Simit Raval, Bikram Banerjee, Johnson Shen, Hossein Masoumi & Dwayne Tannant | The University of New South Wales, University of British Columbia

This project evaluated the suitability of a UAV-LiDAR system for mapping structural characteristics of pit walls compared to terrestrial laser scanning and UAV-photogrammetry. A UAV-LiDAR system was integrated, tested in a controlled environment and then deployed in an active mine environment. ....  read more


Improving Blasting Outcomes & Reducing Geotechnical Risks

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Author: Italo Onederra, Felipe Chacon, Sarma Kanchibotla | University of Queensland

This project has been the first attempt to integrate developments in blast modelling with geotechnical analysis to improve blasting outcomes and minimise geotechnical risks.

The project's three main objectives include:

  • The development of preliminary documentation for
 ....  read more


Investigations For Open Pit Geomechanics Using Geophysical Logs

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Author: Peter Hatherly, Terry Medhurst,Binzhong Zhou | Coalbed Geoscience, PDR Engineers, CSIRO

With the move towards deeper open cut coal mines, there is a need for on-going developments in technologies which allow management of geotechnical risk and the maintenance of high levels of productivity. Areas where development is required include highwall stability monitoring, semi-automated ....  read more


Low-cost terrestrial stereo-pair photogrammetric monitoring system for highly hazardous areas

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Author: Klaus Thoeni, Davide Guccione, Anna Giacomini and Riccardo Roncella | The University of Newcastle, University of Parma

Rigorous geo-hazard management practices require accurate spatial data to classify the type of instabilities, monitor their activity and predict their evolution. Terrestrial laser scanners and ground based radar systems, often implemented in mobile vehicles, are widely used within the mining ....  read more


Open Cut Mine Wall Stability Analysis Utilising Discrete Fracture Networks

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Author: Marc Elmouttie, George Poropat, Philip Soole | CSIRO Earth Science and Resource Engineering

Identification of geotechnical hazards in pit walls is an ongoing operational requirement in open pit mining. Improvements in techniques for hazard identification have significant safety implications as open cut operations get deeper and the risks of wall failure increase. The hazards of ....  read more


Pit Wall Strength Estimation With 3D Imaging

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Author: Hua Guo, Shivakumar Karekal, George Poropat, Philip Soole and Cedric Lambert | CSIRO Earth Science and Resource Engineering

Since discontinuities, such as joints, faults, and bedding planes in a rock mass are generally weaker than the intact rock, they often govern the strength of the rock mass and thus control the stability of pit walls. Reliable and efficient estimation of the shear strength of the discontinuities ....  read more


Predicting the Impact of Complex Joint Structures on Mine Operations

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Author: Anna Giacomini, Olivier Buzzi, Stephen Fityus, Marc Elmouttie, Jane Hodgkinson and Peter Dean | University of Newcastle, CSIRO

The aim of this project was to develop a method for improved prediction of the spatial distribution of rock mass defects and their properties (including fracture frequency) ahead of mining.  Current best practice dictates that both slopes and blast patterns are designed for the ....  read more


Rockfall Hazard Matrix for Risk Reduction in Mine Sites

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Author: Anna Giacomini, Federica Ferrari, Klaus Thoeni, Cedric Lambert | The University of Newcastle and Golder Associates

Rockfall is a major safety hazard in open pit mines which can also have financial consequences should the production be temporarily stopped for safety issues. The safety of the workers in all the areas potentially affected by rockfall has to be rigorously ensured and the risk of not being able ....  read more


Shear Strength Characterisation of In-pit Mud to Ensure Low Wall Stability

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Author: David Williams | The University of Queensland

High wet season rainfall totals between 2008 and 2013 resulted in the extensive flooding of open cut coal mines, particularly in the Bowen Basin and the formation of in-pit “mud” up to 10 m deep.  To re-start mining and spoiling in-pit, it has proved necessary to remove the ....  read more


The Stability of Very High Spoil Piles

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Author: John Simmons, Stephen Fityus | Sherwood Geotechnical and Research Services, University of Newcastle

ACARP Project C20019 was commissioned to investigate the strength of spoil materials and groundwater conditions within spoil dumps, and provide guidance for reliable geotechnical design. The design reliability issue arose because current designs are based on precedent testing and experience ....  read more



Health and safety, productivity and environment initiatives.

Recently Completed Projects

C34019Longwall Bretby Cable Handling Monitoring With Fibre Optics

This project examined the potential of using fibre optic sensing tec...

C28028The Inclusion Of High Interest Native Plants In Mine Site Restoration Programs: Propagation, Translocation And Field Re-Introduction

This report synthesises over 10 years of ex situ and in si...

C27049Mine Machine Radar Sensor Integration

The aim of this project was to develop an integrated radar sensor an...


Open Cut

Safety, productivity and the right to operate are priorities for open cut mine research.

Recently Completed Projects

C34029Validation Of Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) As A Rapidly Deployable Field Technology To Estimate Coal Quality

Rapid evaluation of a coal resource by in-situ characterisation dow...

C34028Guidelines For Assessment Of Geotechnically Safe And Stable Post-Mining Landforms

The purpose of this project was to develop a guidelines document as ...

C34016Elements In Coal – A Start-To-End Analysis

This project explores the fate and concentration potential of critical e...

Open Cut

Coal Preparation

Maximising throughput and yield while minimising costs and emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C26016Determining The Benefits Of Online Thickener Underflow Rheology Measurements

The aim of this project is to determine how useful the rheology meas...

C33056Modelling And Control Of Classifying Cyclones

Hydrocyclones are one of the key technologies for the classification...

C28056Surface Alloying Of Centrifuge Baskets And Sieve Bends Screen Surfaces To Increase The Service Lifetime

The main objective of this project was to improve the wear resistanc...

Coal Preparation

Technical Market Support

Market acceptance and emphasising the advantages of Australian coals.

Recently Completed Projects

C33066Washability And Distribution Of Sulfur And Trace Elements For Different Size And Density Fractions Of Raw Coals

Based on the hypothesis that the levels of sulfur and other toxic tr...

C34060In-Situ Investigation Of Coke Structure Formation Under Stamp Charged Coking Conditions

Stamp charged cokemaking has emerged as an effective technique to im...

C34062Improving The Classification Of Microstructure Distribution In Coke CT Images Using Deep Learning And Lineal Path Calculations

This project builds on a number of earlier projects that have helped...

Technical Market Support

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from the production of coal.

Recently Completed Projects

C28076Selective Absorption Of Methane By Ionic Liquids (SAMIL)

This third and final stage of this project was the culmination of a ...

C29069Low-Cost Catalyst Materials For Effective VAM Catalytic Oxidation

Application of ventilation air methane (VAM) thermal oxidiser requir...

C23052Novel Stone Dust Looping Process For Ventilation Air Methane Abatement

This multi‐phase project is concerned with the mitigation of m...

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Low Emission Coal Use

Step-change technologies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C17060BGasification Of Australian Coals

Four Australian coals were trialled in the Siemens 5 MWth pilot scale ga...

C17060AOxyfuel Technology For Carbon Capture And Storage Critical Clean Coal Technology - Interim Support

The status of oxy-fuel technology for first-generation plant is indicate...

C18007Review Of Underground Coal Gasification

This report consists of a broad review of underground coal gasification,...

Low Emission Coal Use

Mining And The Community

The relationship between mines and the local community.

Recently Completed Projects

C16027Assessing Housing And Labour Market Impacts Of Mining Developments In Bowen Basin Communities

The focus of this ACARP-funded project has been to identify a number...

C22029Understanding And Managing Cumulative Impacts Of Coal Mining And Other Land Uses In Regions With Diversified Economies

The coal industry operates in the context of competing land-uses that sh...

C23016Approval And Planning Assessment Of Black Coal Mines In NSW And Qld: A Review Of Economic Assessment Techniques

This reports on issues surrounding economic assessment and analysis ...

Mining And The Community


National Energy Research,Development & Demonstration Council (NERDDC) reports - pre 1992.

Recently Completed Projects

1609-C1609Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

1301-C1301Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development...

Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development and Extraction Operations

0033-C1356Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals...

Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals - An Industry Handbook