Determination of Optimum Slope Design for Northern Boxcut in Zone 5 Khoemacau Copper Mine, Botswana

Maipelo Gaopatwe, Tefo Kgopana, Rahul Verma, Bame Molebatsi

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An optimum design of box cuts in soil formations is very crucial in order to obviate the major risk factors originating from the collapse of sidewalls and flooding of excavations during storm rainfall. The present paper aims to present a holistic classification of the Kalahari Formation stratigraphy in Zone 5 and define engineering properties of each lithological unit, in order to establish a safe working design. For the present objectives, collection of data was carried out through logging core from selected geotechnical boreholes drilled within vicinity of the proposed Northern mine box cut. Hydrogeological assessments and feasibility studies within the purview of study region were also considered. Geotechnical logging parameters gathered on site were derived from the Rock Mass Rating system (RMR) for design requirements [1]. Input parameters and material characteristics taken from laboratory test results provided by KCM were incorporated in the analysis. The box cut slopes were modelled in “Rocscience software” for evaluation of safety factor using “limit equilibrium method”. Slope optimization required the slope surface to be as steep as possible while maintaining an adequate factor of safety ranging from 1.5 - 1.8. For the box cut design with optimum safety, the recommended parameters are: stable slope angle—35° - 40°; ramp angle—8°, depth of pit—60 meters; bench width—4.9 meters and the bench length—13.25 meters.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-48
Number of pages11
JournalOpen Journal of Geology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 22 2021


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