Probabilistic assessment of slope stability at ore mining with steep layers in deep open pits

Olena Sdvyzhkova, Erzhan Kuldeyev, Serik Moldabayev*, Zhanat Sultanbekova, Atac Bascetin, Maksat Amankulov, Dmytro Babets, Bakhytzhan Issakov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose. A methodology development for predicting the geomechanical situation when mining an ore deposit with steep-dipping layers, taking into account the uncertainty in determining the rock properties, which is a consequence of the rock mass heterogeneity. Methods. The assessment of the open-pit wall stability is based on a combination of numerical simulation of the rock stress-strain state (SSS) and probabilistic analysis. The finite element method is used to determine the changes in the SSS that occur at various stages of mining operations due to design changes in the overall open-pit slope angle. The elastic-plastic model of the medium and the Mohr-Coulomb failure criterion are implemented in the codes of the 3D finite element analysis program RS3 (Rocscience). Stochastic simulation is used to assess random risks associated with natural object state variations. Findings. The distribution of maximum shear strains, which localizes the real or potential sliding surfaces in the open-pit wall at various stages of ore mining, has been identified. Based on the Shear Strength Reduction procedure, the open-pit wall Strength Reduction Factor (SRF) has been determined. The probabilities of open-pit wall stability loss, as well as the decrease in the strength reduction factor below the standard level at all stages of the ore body mining, have been revealed. Originality. For the first time, for real mining-geological conditions of a deep ore open pit, the dependence of the strength reduction factor on the overall wall slope angle, which changes during mining of each steep layer, has been determined. For each stage of mining operations, for the first time, the probability of a decrease in the open-pit wall stability below the standard level has been determined based on stochastic simulation. Practical implications. The ratio between the open-pit contour characteristic (overall slope angle) and the probabilistic safety factor is the basis for practical solutions to ensure the efficiency and safety of mining at various stages of friable and hard overburden excavation, ore extraction, as well as for the subsequent optimization of the open-pit design contours.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-18
Number of pages8
JournalMining of Mineral Deposits
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022. O. Sdvyzhkova et al.


This work is funded by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan, grant No. АР14869083.

FundersFunder number
Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of KazakhstanАР14869083


    • numerical simulation
    • probability
    • slope stability
    • stochastic simulation
    • surface ore mining


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