Risk Mitigation through Design Optimization Utilizing Seasonal Effects under Arctic Conditions at the Amaruq Mine

Risk Mitigation through Design Optimization Utilizing Seasonal Effects under Arctic Conditions at the Amaruq Mine

Authors: Christian Tremblay1, Ben Peacock2, Véronique Falmagne3, K.S. Kalenchuk4, Erik Bellefleur5
Conference: Slope Stability 2024
Date: April 14-19, 2024

1 Agnico Eagle Mines Limited, North Bay, Canada
2 Knight Piésold Ltd., North Bay, Canada
3 Agnico Eagle Mines Limited, Rouyn-Noranda, Canada
4 RockEng Inc., Kingston, Canada
5 Agnico Eagle Mines Limited, Baker Lake, Canada

ABSTRACT

Agnico Eagle Mines is currently operating the Amaruq Mine located in the Canadian Arctic. Since the beginning of the open pit operations, a series of bench-scale failures and rockfalls have occurred during the freshet and summer months (May to September). These instabilities can be correlated with a prominent and very weak komatiite unit. The komatiite is an ultramafic rock commonly altered to a chlorite carbonate shist. The domain is strongly anisotropic and rock mass competency is highly variable. High strain zones within the komatiite, which are identified in core as zones of low RQD, with shearing or gouge are impacting the slope performance locally.

This paper presents the geological and geotechnical site characterization, emphasizing the challenging komatiite conditions including the impact of the high-strain structures. An overview of the historic slope performance and failure mechanisms is provided, with focus on the influence of the seasonal effect and how the mine plan has been adjusted to take advantage of more favorable frozen conditions. The evolution of the pit slope design in response to kinematic analyses and numerical modelling is presented as well as the strategic design updates and tactical measures implemented to mitigate risk through the life of mine.

 

Download the full paper.

Download

Recent Insights

June 2024
Estimating Shear Stress within a Clay Foundation Using the Burgers-Creep Model
May 2024
Knight Piésold: Ensuring African Excellence in the DRC
May 2024
Wild Coast N2 Highway Project Taking Shape
April 2024
Synthetic Rock Mass Modeling of Progressive Unravelling and Overall Slope Stability Using the Discrete Element Method
April 2024
Operational Slope Stability Risk Management for Large Open Pits at the Mount Milligan Mine – A Case Study
April 2024
Risk and Informed Approach to TSF Design and Operation
February 2024
Empowerment and Resilience
January 2024
Balancing Act: Water Usage Management Vital for a Sustainable Future
January 2024
A Difficult Balance Between Engineering, Environmental, Social and Economic Aspects
November 2023
Knight Piésold Commences with the ESIA for Haib Copper
November 2023
Insights from the Compilation and Critical Assessment of Breach and Runout Characteristics from Historical Tailings Dam Failures: Implications for Numerical Modelling
November 2023
Earthquake-induced Deformation Analysis of a TSF Undergoing Tailings Reprocessing
November 2023
Case Study: Approach to Determining the Risk Mitigation Priority of a Historic TSF in North America
October 2023
Data Management and Insights for Effective Tailings Storage Facility Management
October 2023
The Role of Sensitivity Analysis in Selecting Dam Breach Parameters
October 2023
Influence of Increased Confining Stress on Undrained Behavior of Tailings: A Case History at the Candelaria Mine
October 2023
The Re-use of Existing Bituminous Stabilised Materials for the Rehabilitation of National Route 7 - Case Study
September 2023
Transición energética para gerentes de mina
August 2023
Interview: Guillermo Barreda, Gerente General, Knight Piésold Perú