Economic Analysis of Pit Slope Design

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 72, No. 807, 1979

Young C. Kirn, Associate Professor, William C. Cassun, Graduate Research Assistant ,and Thomas E. Hall, Research Assistant, Department of Mining and Geological Engineering, College of Mines, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona

A proper economic analysis of pit slope design must reflect the trade-off between the benefits and the increased risk of slope failure inherent in steeper slope angles. However, no formal framework for a proper analysis has existed to date. This paper summarizes the material contained in the Design Chapter Supplement (5-3) of the Pit Slope Manual. The supplement describes the results of the research effort in which a formal economic analysis framework was developed and tested through a case study. The case-study results have demonstrated the practicality of the developed procedure and the availability of required data under "real-life" conditions.
Keywords: Open-pit mining, Pit slopes, Slope stability, Instability models, Benefit-cost models, Fractures, Mining plans, Pit design.