Soil Rock and Tailings Mechanics

Subject ENGR90012 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Semester 1, Parkville - 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

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours (Lectures: 2 hours per week, Tutorials: 1 hour per week)
Total Time Commitment:

144 hours

Prerequisites: The following subjects may be taken concurrently
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: Students undertaking this subject will be expected to be competent in the use of Microsoft Excel or alternative spreadsheet software
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 Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Prof Ian Johnston


Prof Ian Johnston

Subject Overview:

The subject is an introduction to the principles of soil and rock mechanics for materials involved in mining, particularly including: soil & weathered rock, rock masses, backfill materials, and waste rock & tailings
Principles included are:

  • Nature and mechanics of granular materials with pore water pressure
  • Nature and mechanics of fractured rock masses, particularly covering force-displacement relationships, stress and pore water
  • Flow of water through granular and fractured rock. Mechanics of stress and seismicity in rock
  • Methods of laboratory & field measurements of the properties of soil & rock materials
  • Methods of analysis of masses of soil & rock, particularly including limit equilibrium, numerical modelling, and expert systems

On completion of this subject students should have developed the skills and knowledge to understand the theoretical and procedural basis for the application of geomechanics for mining. This knowledge is required to take ENGR90015 Mining Geotechnics and Mine Design

  • One 2 hour examination, end of semester (50%)
  • One 1 hour class test, mid semester (20%)
  • One 2000 word project, due end of semester (30%)

Hurdle requirement: Students must pass the examination component in order to pass the subject

Prescribed Texts:
  • Fundamentals of Rock Mechanics (J. Jaeger, N. G. Cook and R. Zimmerman), Blackwell, 2007
  • Principles of Geotechnical Engineering (Braja M. Das), Thompson, 2006
  • Tailings from concept to closure (Australian Centre for Geomechanics, ACG)
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: • 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
Notes: Students will need access to a calculator or preferably a PC/laptop with spreadsheet software to conduct evaluation analyses
Related Course(s): Master of Mining Engineering
Postgraduate Certificate in Engineering

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