Geotechnical core logging is a practice that requires appropriate knowledge of industry-standard geotechnical core logging techniques. Mine Design Engineering (MDEng) often conducts geotechnical core logging on behalf of our clients to provide them with valuable information on rock mass quality and the conditions of rock structures within a rock mass. Geotechnical core logging provides data and parameters necessary for rock mass classification and should be conducted so that the data can be easily applied to all industry standard classification systems. The data allows engineers to better assess the likely ground reaction and stability in response to mining and apply geotechnical designs to surface and underground excavations. By using standardized logging techniques, the data recorded from drill core can be readily used by multiple stakeholders (owners, contractors and consultants). It also provides a means to ensure data is recorded consistently between multiple personnel and/or core logging campaigns.
Geotechnical logging puts a greater emphasis on rock fracture and conditions than geological logging alone. General conditions of the overall rock mass (weathering, fracture frequency, RQD, etc.) are required, as well as the conditions of the fractures noted within the core (type, location, orientation, surface conditions, infill material etc.).
Using people without sufficient experience, expertise, and understanding of geotechnical parameters can lead to the collection of poor-quality geotechnical data. This can result in incorrect characterization and classification of a rock mass domain, which may ultimately lead to erroneous design models.
- An overly conservative support model, with excessive, superfluous amounts of support. This can lead to cost escalations and project delays while the support measures are being implemented, impede project progress, obstruct mining operations, reduce ore yield, etc.
- An overly aggressive support model with insufficient amounts of support that is inappropriate for the ground conditions. This may, under the right circumstances, lead to falls of ground – with the resultant risk of injuries or fatalities, damage to equipment, and production disruptions and delays.
The key is finding the balance, i.e. sufficient support to ensure safety and uninterrupted operations, without excessive cost and obstruction of mining activities. When conducted properly, geotechnical core logging and interpretation of the results produced in the preliminary or early phases of a project can have a major impact on project design and development further down the line.
At MDEng, our personnel have substantial experience with industry-standard geotechnical core logging techniques and understand the importance of the collection of consistent, high-quality, geotechnical data.
Contact us now to find out more about the geotechnical core logging and training services we provide.