Identification of Geotechnical Properties of Weak Rock Masses and Stockpiles at Tunçbilek Open Pit Mining and the Related Slope Stability Analyses
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Tunçbilek lignite basin situated in the western part of Turkey has been increasingly excavated by open-pit and underground mining for a very long time to meet Turkey’s energy demand. The blasted and then the excavated stratified rock masses in this basin consist mainly of clay-bearing rocks such as claystone, mudstone, siltstone and marl. It was found that the strength and deformation properties of these clay-bearing rocks decrease with the increase in water content. In addition, time-dependent attenuations were also recorded in these mechanical properties due to disintegration caused by physical weathering processes. Therefore, several time-dependent instabilities were observed in the slopes left after open pit mining activities. This study aimed to determine the design parameters of weak rock masses and stockpiles at Tunçbilek basin and then to recommend safe slope geometry for open pit mining activities. For this purpose, the geotechnical properties of rock masses and stockpiles were obtained based on in situ tests, characterizations and back analyses of instabilities.
KeywordsInstability Open-pit mining Slope stability Stockpile Weak rock mass
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Western Lignite Corporation (WLC).
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