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Geotechnical designs, Jiama Copper Mine, Central Tibet


The Jiama  mine is one of the largest copper gold polymetallic mines in China consisting of copper, molybdenum, gold, silver, lead and zinc. It is located within the Gangdise Copper Metallogeny Belt in Central Tibet, approximately 60 km east of Lhasa. At the time of the project, the Jiama mine processed  6,000 tonnes of ore per day with capacity to expand to 30,000 tonnes per day.

PSM was contracted to provide training in geotechnical logging and open-pit slope design. Reviews of the geotechnical investigation and mine slope designs are ongoing.


The top of this high-altitude mine’s pit is at 5,300 m in mountainous terrain with complex structural geology and  limited access for drill rigs and personnel. The project team also needed to be sensitive to cultural differences and surmount language barriers.

approach and innovations

Following rigorous assessment and modelling, PSM’s tailored approach included:

  • Training of geologists and geotechnical engineers in data collection to maximise efficiency
  • Training geotechnical and mining engineers in open-pit slope design
  • Introduction of new concepts in geotechnical investigations (e.g. photogrammetry).


PSM delivered services that were unavailable locally including data collection and logging and open-pit slope design. This enabled the client to continue their geotechnical investigations.

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