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ArticleName General concept of determining the parameters of non-mining walls of ultra-deep diamond deposits development open pits
DOI 10.17580/gzh.2021.02.05
ArticleAuthor Zyryanov I. V., Akishev A. N., Bokiy I. B., Sherstyuk N. M.

Mirny Polytechnic Institute (Division), Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University, Mirny, Russia:

I. V. Zyryanov, Head of a Chair, Professor, Doctor of Engineering Sciences


Yakutniproalmaz Institute, ALROSA, Mirny, Russia

A. N. Akishev, Head of a Department, Candidate of Engineering Sciences,
I. B. Bokiy, Head of a Laboratory, Candidate of Physical and Mathematical Sciences
N. M. Sherstyuk, I CAT Engineer


A specific feature of open pit mining of diamond deposits in Western Yakutia is the construction of the open pits in the zone of negative ambient temperatures, which includes thick permafrost rock mass, and which is at the same time complicated by the influence of cryogenic processes on deformation of pit wall benches. The paper presents the comparative analysis of strength characteristics in frozen and thawed rocks, stability of benches during mining, the general geomechanical approach to the determination of parameters of non-mining walls of the ultra-deep open pit diamond mines, and the parameters of nonmining walls and benches. Optimization of open pit wall configuration should primarily be based on the maximum utilization of the strength properties of frozen rocks in combination with the development of new approaches, calculation schemes and methods for assessing stability of open pit walls and benches of unconventional design, including the non-mining vertical benches. The main design characteristic that determines the parameters of open pit walls is the structural tectonic relaxation coefficient, which specifies the calculated value of cohesion in rock mass. For the diamond deposits, the values of the structural relaxation coefficient were obtained in a series of field tests and back calculations. Full-scale tests were carried out both during exploration operations in underground mines and in open pits. The accuracy of determining the values of the structural relaxation coefficient in the range of 0.085–0.11 is confirmed by the parameters of non-mining walls in an open pit mine 385–640 m deep, with overall slope angles of 38–55° and a steeper H 0.35–0.5 lower part having the slope angle of up to 70° with average strength characteristics of 7.85–11.84 MPa and the internal friction angle of 28.1–37.4°. Using the natural load-bearing capacity of rock mass to the full advantage, which the values of the structural relaxation coefficient of deposits show, allows optimization of open pit wall slope design and minimization of stripping operations.

keywords Kimberlite pipe, ultra-deep open pit, geomechanical model, structural relaxation coefficient, strength characteristics frozen and thawed rocks

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