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Potgietersrust Platinums Ltd (PPRust) is Anglo Platinum’s only open pit operation. The major slope stability concern at PPRust is rapid, small-scale brittle failure on the west wall of Sandsloot open pit. In order to improve safety and mine more economically, a comprehensive slope monitoring strategy has been implemented. In the last 3 years four new state-of-the-art monitoring systems have been installed namely an ISSI microseismic monitoring system, a GeoMoS automated prism monitoring system, prismless Riegl laser scanners and a GroundProbe slope stability radar (SSR). Groundwater monitoring and visual monitoring have also been improved over the same time period. To complement the visual inspections, SiroVision digital photogrammetry is now used for predicting where future failures may occur. All these monitoring tools provide primary monitoring which is used to identify high risk areas. The SSR is then set up in that area to provide early warning of failure so evacuation can be successfully done. Fault tree analysis has proved that with this comprehensive slope monitoring strategy the geotechnical risk at PPRust is greatly reduced, allowing mining to continue safely and economically in challenging conditions.
The South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, International Symposium on Stability of Rock Slopes in Open Pit Mining and Civil Engineering
PPRust, Limpopo
South Africa
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