Course: Modelling of Surface and Underground Mine Excavations

  • Course Date: November 7-10, 2022
  • Venue: Hilton Garden Inn, Peelo Place, Plot 54366, Western Commercial Road, New Central Business District, Gaborone, Botswana.
  • Languages: The course will be conducted in English
  • Registration Fees:
    • Early Bird - USD $800 (until October 15th, 2022)
    • Regular - USD $1000

Offer: Registrants who have Rocscience Maintenance+ plans get a 10% discount on the course fee.

What’s included:

  • Temporary software licenses
  • PDF of course materials
  • PDH certificate (CPD)
  • Lunch and refreshments

Please note:

  • Registrants will be responsible for their own accommodation
  • Participants must bring their own laptops (and mice)
  • The number of participants will be capped at 20

Course Outline:

Rocscience is pleased to announce a training course in Gaborone, Botswana, on applying the company'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 be taught by world-class specialists.

Due to the wide variation in soil and rock mass behaviours, different software tools are required to model the numerous surface and underground excavations (and geotechnical structures) encountered in mining. The course will help participants use various Rocscience programs to solve routine open pits, earth-fill structures and underground mine excavations.

The course will start with fundamentals of soil and rock mass responses to excavation and loading. It will then introduce participants to various analysis methods and discuss each approach's advantages and limitations. Lastly, participants will learn pragmatic strategies for solving typical surface and underground mine excavation problems.

Since most open pit and underground mines have complex geometric and geologic layouts, the course will introduce practical, efficient 3D geotechnical modelling. Participants will learn how to complement their 2D models (which typically provide simplicity and low costs) with the power of 3D analysis.

The course will cover the capabilities and features of the following software: Dips, SWedge, UnWedge, Slide2, Slide3, RS2, and RS3.

Course Agenda:

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 behaviour
  • 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
  • Modeller 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 behaviours
    • Deformations of solid materials under action of forces (static analysis)
    • Concepts of stress, strain and stress-strain relationships
      • Concept of principal stresses
    • Elastic behaviour – materials undergoing small deformations when loaded and returning to original shape when unloaded
    • Plastic behaviour – 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 behaviour 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 behaviour

– 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

Course Instructor: Dr. 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.


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