Associated Event

Third International Slope Stability in Mining Conference
14–16 November 2023 | The Westin Perth, Western Australia

Sampling and Laboratory Testing for Open Pit Slope Design Workshop

17 November 2023 | Cassia & Karri Rooms, The Westin Perth, Western Australia
About the workshop

This workshop for pit slope stability practitioners, developed in collaboration with the Large Open Pit Project, provides guidelines for rock sampling and laboratory testing for open pit slope design applications. Topics covered include field sample collection, point load testing, uniaxial and triaxial compressive strength testing, direct shear testing, establishing intact failure envelopes, and considerations for sampling and testing of weak rock and fault gouge. The workshop aims to provide practical guidance on the collection, interpretation, and limitations of laboratory testing data when applied to pit slope problems, and covers the latest set of guidelines developed by industry experts to address typical questions and challenges that arise when using laboratory data to develop strength parameters for slope stability analysis and design. In addition, the workshop will include a presentation by Professor Phil Dight on the 3DRock® Properties research project. 

Workshop notes will be available to the workshop attendees.

Who should attend?

Geotechnical engineers, geologists, civil engineers, and managers involved in the sampling and strength testing of intact rock and discontinuities for rock mass characterisation and open pit slope design would benefit from attending this workshop.

Topics include

Strong rock (R3+) sampling and testing 

  • Field sample collection
  • Point load testing 
  • Uniaxial compressive strength testing 
  • Triaxial compressive strength testing 
  • Direct shear testing 
  • Combining datasets to establish intact Hoek–Brown parameters 

Weak rock (R1–R2) sampling and testing 

  • Sampling and testing of R1–R2 materials 
  • Infill testing of joints and fault material 
  • Ring shear testing and comparison to direct shear 

Limitation of laboratory test results and their use within numerical models 

3DRock® properties and some outcomes 

Preliminary program*

*Program subject to change.

Workshop Presenters

Kate Condon
Geotechnical Engineer

Kate Condon, MS, has five years of experience in mining geotechnical engineering. As a consultant with WSP, she focuses on rock mechanics laboratory testing and geotechnical characterisation. Kate has worked on a variety of projects throughout North America, South America and Southeast Asia.

Sarah Cox
Senior Rock Mechanics Engineer

Sarah Cox, PE, is a senior geotechnical engineer with 10 years’ experience in geological and geotechnical engineering for open pit mines. Her specific areas of interest and expertise include geotechnical characterisation, slope stability evaluation, 3D block modelling and geostatistical analysis. She is currently the southwest team lead for WSP United States mine stability, based in Tucson, Arizona.

Professor Phil Dight
Professor of Geotechnical Engineering
Australian Centre for Geomechanics

Phil has been involved with the development and design of ground support for mining applications since 1975. Phil joined the ACG in 2008 and has since been working on stress memory effects in rocks, ground support applications, slope stability problems (including the use of microseismicity to understand failure mechanisms) and 3D rock properties. In 2021, Phil completed a four-year MRIWA project aimed at investigating the issues of strainburst vulnerability in underground mines.

Peter Edmondson
Principal Geotechnical Engineer

Peter Edmondson is a principal geotechnical engineer with 17 years’ experience in the fields of mine and civil geotechnical engineering. His experience encompasses a wide range of projects in the resource sector, civil and mine infrastructure, and land development across Europe, North America, Asia, and Australasia. His field of special interest includes slope stability for surface cut mining where he has a multitude of expertise in open pit mining iron ore, copper and gold from scoping/feasibility to operational and mine closure levels of study.

Marisol Valerio
Principal Rock Mechanics Engineer
WSP, Canada

Marisol Valerio is a principal rock mechanics engineer with more than 15 years’ experience. She practices in mining geotechnical engineering with a focus on rock mechanics engineering for open pit slopes. Marisol has worked on a variety of mining projects throughout North America, South America and Australia.