Mining Geotechnics and Mine Design

Subject 400-689 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

On campus only.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36
Total Time Commitment:

144 hours (including non-contact time).

2 X 1 hour lectures weekly.
1 X 1 hour practical weekly.

Prerequisites: 400-686 (ENGR00012) Soil Rock and Tailings Mechanics.
400-688 (ENGR00014) Underground Mining and Planning Methods (can be taken concurrently).
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Prof Moshe Zukerman


Dr Priyan Mendis
Subject Overview:

The subject is an introduction to the application of geomechanics principles for the investigation of conditions, the design and the operation of a mine. Mining includes open pit, dredging and underground methods, for granular materials, coal and hard-rock geologic environments. Each of the range of components of the application of geomechanics are covered:

Geomechanical investigations of conditions:

• Logging and mapping of cores and exposures.
• Geophysical surveys.
• Field and laboratory measurements of the properties of materials.

For open pits:

• Pit-wall slope angles.
• Excavatability of materials.
• Support of pit-walls.
• Monitoring and mapping of pit-walls.
• Location and design of waste storages.
• Assessment of risk.

For underground mining:

• dimensioning and sequencing of stopes.
• support and stabilisation of stopes, including placement of backfill.
• cavability and fragmentation of ore.
• location, design and support of mine infrastructure.
• monitoring and mapping of excavations and backfill.
• assessment of risk.


• management of the application of geomechanics advice.
• codes of practice and regulation of mining.

  • An understanding of the role and scope of geomechanics specialists in mining.
  • A sound basis for management of the incorporation of geomechanics specialist advice for mine planning and operations, be it from company or consultant sources.
  • Awareness of the circumstances in which geomechanics specialist advice ought to be sought and applied, and of how that can be engaged and applied.
  • Awareness of the complex nature of soil, rock, backfill and waste materials, and the risks that they pose for mining operations.


• Formally supervised written examination - 3 hours 30% (end of semester 2).
• Project assignment (3,000 words limit) 30%(commencing at the start of semester).
• 3 Homework assignments (1,500 words limit each) each of equal value, totalling 40%, commencing in Weeks 2, 5, and 8.

Prescribed Texts: J. Jaeger, N. G. Cook and R. Zimmerman –“Fundamentals of Rock Mechanics”, Blackwell, 2007.
W. Pariseau – Design Analysis in Rock Mechanics, Taylor & Francis, 2006.
B. Brady & E. Brown – Rock Mechanics for Underground Mining, Kluwer, 2004.
C. Bise – Mining Engineering Analysis, SME 2003.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject, students should have an understanding of underground mining principles necessary to develop a geological resource into a successful operating underground mine.

On completion of this subject, the students should have developed:

• analytical, critical and creative thinking, with an aptitude for continued self-directed learning.
• sense of intellectual curiosity.
• ability to interpret data and research results.
• sense of intellectual integrity and ethics of scholarship.
• writing, problem-solving and communication skills.
• ability to learn in a range of ways, including through information and communication technologies.
• capacity to confront unfamiliar problems.
• ability to evaluate and synthesise the research and professional literature.
• ability to develop models of practical applications and evaluate their performance by rigorous analytical means and by programming computer simulations.
• capacity to manage competing demands on time, including self-directed project work.
• an understanding of underground mining principles necessary to develop a geological resource into a successful operating underground mine.

Notes: Students will need access to PC/laptop.
Related Course(s): Master of Mining Engineering

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