The Kempfield volcanic-hosted massive sulphide silver deposit is located in the eastern Lachlan Fold Belt, 25 km south of Bathurst. The deposit is bounded to the east by the regional Copperhania Thrust, a north-south oriented, steeply west-dipping fault with west-over-east reverse dip-slip movement sense. This structure strongly influences the deposit scale faulting and shearing. This was the first geotechnical investigation and geotechnically based design for the site
PSM was engaged to train site staff in geotechnical logging and collating and analysing available drilling and mapping data to develop a geotechnical model. PSM then carried out slope stability analyses and a feasibility level pit slope design.
The site had complex small-to-medium scale faulting. Engineering and technical opportunities included:
PSM’s tailored approach included:
Recognising the significance of structure to slope stability of the proposed pit, we used our pioneering geochemistry approach to delineate lithological and structural boundaries. The understanding of the structural setting, the geochemical assessment and the detailed site-specific assessment of oriented core increased the confidence in the geotechnical model. This allowed development of slope design appropriate to site conditions.
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