Map of the potential geotechnical susceptibility for operational pit slopes

Abstract This article proposes a procedure to elaborate a map that presents the potential risk of failure occurrence in the operational slopes of open pit mines. First, it is necessary to collect the available geological-geotechnical data and perform a field mapping, in order to verify and validate the most representative parameters and to characterize the discontinuity families of the rock mass. Then, the mine should be sectorized, considering all the data collected, the geometry of the operational slopes and its development until the final pit. The next step will be to define and to evaluate which failure modes have greater or lesser potential to occur in the pit and to assign weights to them. In this study, the weathering, planar failure, and plane circular failure potentials were evaluated. As a result, it is possible to develop a map with the susceptibility level of the sectors. This map will help make technical and managerial decisions in order to reduce the risk level of the sectors and to promote an increase in the operational safety of the mine.