Course: Modelling of Surface and Underground Mine Excavations

Course Date: June 5 – 8, 2023

Venue: Pullman Lubumbashi Grand Karavia, 55 Route Du Golf, Quartier Golf, Lubumbashi, DRC

Language: English

Registration Fees:

    • Early Bird - USD $1000 (until April 28th, 2023)
    • Regular - USD $1200
    • 10% discount on the course fee if registrants have Maintenance+ plans

What’s included:

  • Temporary software licenses for 30 days
  • Lunch and refreshments
  • PDF of course materials
  • Certificate

Please note:

  • Registrants will be responsible for their own accommodation.
  • Registrants must bring their own laptops (and mouse)
  • Registrant numbers are limited to 20.

Course Outline:

Rocscience is pleased to announce a training course in Lubumbashi, DRC, on applying the Rocscience's software suite to modelling and solving surface and underground mining excavation challenges. This four-day training course is designed for all experience levels and will cover the capabilities and features of the following software: Dips, Swedge, Unwedge, Slide2, Slide3, RS2, and RS3.


This hands-on training course will allow participants to achieve the following:

  • Learn simple yet powerful approaches to modelling mining slopes.
  • Develop high-quality models that provide insights on excavation behaviors.


Day 1: Fundamentals of Open Pit Slope Stability Analysis – Dips, SWedge and Slide2

  • Review of rock mass properties analysis and their estimation
  • Goals of slope stability analysis for open pits
  • Scales of slope behaviour in open pits and slope failure mechanisms
    • Benches
    • Inter-ramp slopes
    • Overall slope
  • Measures of stability – factor of safety, probability of failure, deformations
    • Design acceptance criteria and tolerable factors of safety and probabilities of failure
  • Open pit design workflow and overview of Rocscience tools for surface excavation (open pit) analysis
  • Slope stability analysis methods
  • Orientation data and kinematic stability analysis – Dips
  • Limit equilibrium analysis of surface wedges – SWedge
    • Stability analysis of surface wedges formed in rock slopes, defined by two intersecting discontinuity planes, slope surface, and optional tension crack for factor of safety against sliding
    • Bench design and analysis techniques
  • Stability of rotational and translational failure mechanisms (overall slope scale)
    • Empirical methods
    • Limit equilibrium methods
    • Numerical methods
  • Overview of the limit-equilibrium method (LEM) for slope stability analysis
  • Introduction to Slide2
    • Modeler
    • Engine
    • Interpreter
  • Multi-scenario modelling – creating analysis variations.
  • Limit equilibrium analysis methods of slices and their selection.

Day 2: Limit Equilibrium Slope Stability Analysis with Slide2 and Slide3

  • Design of rock slopes with limit equilibrium methods
  • Search methods and optimization of failure surfaces
  • Probabilistic and sensitivity analysis
  • Material models
  • Computing and interpreting Slide2 models.
  • Modelling of anisotropic rock mass behavior
  • Groundwater analysis
  • Saturated-unsaturated steady-state groundwater analysis
    • Permeability functions
    • Boundary conditions
    • Seepage analysis of staged excavations
    • Interpretation of groundwater results
  • Slope support systems
  • Changing overall slope angles
  • Modelling spatial variability in material properties
  • Back-analysis of slope failures and calibration
  • Introduction to 3D limit equilibrium slope stability analysis – Slide3
  • Modeler and Interpreter
  • Compute engine
  • Advantages and disadvantages of 3D slope stability analysis
  • Developing model geometries in 3D
    • Importing excavation geometries and geology
    • Developing geometry from primitives
    • Developing geometry with tunnel designer
    • Simplification and repair of slope and geology geometry
  • Assigning material models and properties
  • Slip surfaces and search methods.
  • Modelling of faults and other major geological structures
  • Computing models
  • Interpreting results
  • Wedge analysis in Slide3
  • Engineering judgement and tips for practical, efficient modelling with Rocscience slope stability software

Day 3: Basics of Underground Mine Excavation Analysis (Dips, UnWedge and Introduction to Numerical Modelling Software and RS2)

  • Goals of underground mine modelling
  • Overview of rock masses, rock mechanics and underground excavation stability issues
  • Limit equilibrium analysis of underground wedges using Unwedge
  • Fundamentals of solid mechanics
    • Overview of rock mass mechanical behaviors
    • Deformations of solid materials under action of forces (static analysis)
    • Concepts of stress, strain and stress-strain relationships
    • Concept of principal stresses
    • Elastic behavior – materials undergoing small deformations when loaded and returning to original shape when unloaded.
    • Plastic behavior – materials undergoing permanent deformations when loaded and NOT returning to original shape when unloaded.
    • Strength of intact rock and rock masses – rock strength failure criteria
    • In-situ (pre-mining) state of stress
  • Numerical modelling of underground mine excavations
    • Overview of numerical analysis methods – advantages and disadvantages
    • Finite Element Method
    • Boundary Element Method
    • Constitutive laws governing the behavior of rock masses.
    • Overview of development of numerical models (construction of geometry, meshing, application of loads and boundary conditions, and analysis options)
  • Overview of the Finite Element Method and Introduction to RS2
  • 2D finite element analysis of underground problems in rock
  • Developing model geometries
  • Estimating appropriate external boundaries for models
  • Choosing appropriate geotechnical material models
    • Classical material strength models – Mohr-Coulomb, Generalized Hoek Brown

Day 4: Fundamentals of Rock Engineering Numerical Modelling, Numerical Modelling with RS2 and RS3

  • Assigning material models and properties – elastic and plastic and material responses to loading
  • Specifying in situ stress state and initial conditions
  • Discretization and meshing
  • Applying boundary and initial conditions
  • Meshing models – mesh quality and refinement
  • Applying loads to excavations and underground structures
  • Stress analysis options in RS2
  • Computing models – solving excavation response (stresses and deformations) to loading.
  • Interpreting modelling results of underground analysis
  • Using modelling results to assess damage, and pillar and excavation stability.
    • Application and interpretation of elastic modelling results
    • Application and interpretation of plastic modelling results
    • Comparison of plastic and elastic results
  • Analysis of multi-stage models – mine sequencing
  • Modelling anisotropic and discontinuous rock mass behavior – joint networks
  • Specifying empirical failure/damage criteria (for excavations and pillars) in underground mining
  • Superimposing mine seismicity data unto numerical modelling outputs
  • Introduction to 3D finite element analysis of underground excavations in rock
  • Developing model geometries in 3D
    • Assigning material models and properties
    • Specifying excavation sequences
    • Modelling faults and other major geological structures
    • Specifying in situ stress conditions
  • Meshing models – mesh quality and refinement
  • Computing models
  • Interpretation of results in rock mass (contouring of stress points) and on joint surfaces
  • Modelling backfill support.
  • Modelling various support systems (liners, bolts, composite liners) in RS3
  • Stope sequencing principles
  • Estimating relaxation and dilution zones
  • Tips and pitfalls of model building


For any additional queries, please reach out to Ruth Obeng-King.


Course Instructors

Reginald Hammah, Ph.D., P.Eng., Director, Rocscience, Africa

Dr. Reginald Hammah holds a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Toronto and brings over 20 years of experience in rock mechanics and geotechnical engineering. He uniquely blends practical problem- solving experience with software tools and theoretical understanding of excavation behavior. He is well known for breaking down complex problems into simpler, more familiar, and solvable components.