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Mining Geotechnical Investigations & Rock Mass Characterisation

A geotechnical study completed efficiently and cost-effectively is an integral component for any proposed mined esign. The geotechnical investigation programme should enable rock mass characterisation to determine the mine design criteria for both surface and underground operations whilst providing the framework for more detailed engineering design.


  • Design and management of geotechnical investigation programmes;
  • Site supervision and training in geotechnical data collection and interpretation;
  • Core logging, geotechnical mapping and 3D photogrammetric mapping (Sirovision);
  • Geotechnical data management and database compilation;
  • Rock mass classification using systems, MRMR, Q, etc
  • Structural analysis of rock masses;
  • Statistical analysis of rock mass strength parameters;
  • Formulation of mine design parameters;
  • 3 D block modelling;
  • Preparation of design sections and plans;
  • Data analyses and report preparation.

For a green field site, SRK will undertake a geotechnical drilling programme to characterise the site geotechnical conditions. For existing operations, SRK will supplement the drilling programme by mapping existing pit faces. This work will enable the rock mass to be characterised and the structural and hydrogeological conditions which influence the design and stability of a proposed mine to be identified.

The geotechnical investigation is often a phased study. The first phase should identify the main issues and opportunities and define the follow up site work. A phased approach ensures that the work is carried out efficiently and economically and allows the engineer to review the options and redefine the objectives of the investigations as required.

SRK uses specialist contractors for drilling, in situ testing, geophysics and laboratory testing. SRK can take responsibility for the entire project, from design through site work to reporting, including the drilling and testing.

SRK has significant worldwide experience in design, implementation, supervision and interpretation of geotechnical investigations for many types of mining and civil engineering geotechnical projects from scoping level studies, through pre-feasibility study to feasibility study level, including:

  • Open pit, quarry and underground mine design;
  • Soil, rock and waste dump slope stability;
  • Tailings and ash disposal sites;
  • Foundation investigations;
  • Contaminated land investigation.
SRK Kazakhstan