The Launch of LOP III (2020, 2021 and 2022)
For the past 15 years, the Large Open Pit project has provided a forum for senior geotechnical staff from the sponsor mining companies to meet, discuss and fund research into the geotechnical aspects of open-pit mining. The original basis for the LOP in 2005 was a recognition that there had been little or no research into open-pit slopes geotechnics since the publication of Rock Slope Engineering (Hoek and Bray 1981) and the Pit Slope Manual (CANMET, Canada 1977). The LOP I was, therefore, initiated in 2005 with the involvement of between 10 and 14 sponsoring mining companies and followed two main research streams, namely:
- Stream 1 – The preparation and publication of Guideline documents on the “State-of-the-Art” of open pit slope design technology, aimed at practitioners working in open pit mines
- Stream 2 – Research into the understanding and analysis of rock mass failures in large open pit slopes.
Under the management of The University of Queensland, the second phase of the LOP project was re-launched in 2016 with a focus on the following industry’s key challenges in open-pit mine design:
- Data Uncertainty – Sources, Communicating, Quantitative Analyses
- Damage Zone Characterization
- Quantifying Excavation and Blasting – Induced Rock Mass Damage
- Integration of Laser, Radar and Total Station Monitoring Data with 3D Kinematic Analyses
- Effective Stress in Large Open Pit Slopes
- Updating Design Acceptance Criteria
At UQ, the third phase of the project, the LOP III, has now been started in January 2020 and is scheduled to run until the end of 2022. The primary focus of LOP III is “The Open Pit of the Future”. The Mission Statement of LOP III is to continue as the premier international research and technology transfer body representing the technical disciplines contributing to large open pit design, operation and closure, and supporting future trends including the interaction with underground mines, and deeper and even-more technology-driven unmanned and automated operations. This is based on a Vision of leveraging industry and academic collaboration to enhance the excavation, design, operation and closure of large open pits, and support the development of current and future practitioners. See here for a list of LOP III sponsors, and Contact Us if you are interested to become a Sponsor.