The Packsaddle iron ore deposit is situated along a ridge-line north of Mining Area C, located 100 km northwest of the town of Newman. The total strike length of the deposit is about 25 km. The deposit runs along the northern limb of the Weeli Wolli Anticline and is bounded to the north by the regional scale Neales Fault and to the south by a detrital valley. Archean bedrock sequences have been parasitically folded and deposit scale faulting is recognised.
PSM was engaged to update the geological model for the Archean bedrock to incorporate structures (faults and folds) of geotechnical significance that may impact geotechnical slope design.
The deposit was located in terrain with difficult access for mapping. Small and medium scale faults identified by the mapping often had displacements much smaller than the drill-hole spacing of 50 m.
Engineering and technical opportunities included:
Following rigorous assessment and modelling, PSM’s tailored approach included:
PSM contributed to BHP Billiton Iron Ore’s knowledge of Cenozoic detritals which are forming portions of final walls with increasing frequency across their deposits. PSM developed a model that accurately characterised the unit origins and distribution which led to accurate excavation of the cutback.
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