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Collahuasi Structural Geology Support

SRK News | Issue 54: Rock Engineering and Slope Stability

A4   |   Letter

The Collahuasi Mine is the world’s third largest copper mine with one of the largest deposits of copper mineral resources. It is located in Chile’s Tarapaca region, 4,400 metres above sea level. Since 2013, SRK has been assisting Compañía Minera Doña Inés de Collahuasi with understanding the structural geology of the Rosario open pit, and the influence of structures on pit stability. The Rosario open pit is currently two kilometres wide and 700m deep. In addition, geologically it has been the location of multiple intrusive, mineralisation/alteration, and structural events, which, combined, have resulted in complex structural geometries, variations in rock strength, and age relationships that need to be deciphered to clarify the continuity and distribution of major faults.

To date, SRK’s role with Collahuasi has included structural geological training for the geology-geotech team onsite, audit and review of structural mapping and modelling procedures, and in-pit mapping and refinement of the structural model for the Rosario pit. This work has produced significant gains in developing and modifying the 3D structural geology model, helping to define the continuity and distribution of pit-scale major faults, including cross-cutting relationships. This not only affects our comprehension of the influence of structures on bench, stack, and wall stability but also in addressing the controls on the distribution of mineralisation.

James Siddorn:

SRK Africa