Oilsands Mine – Pit wall design optimization

Two primary objectives of this undertaking are (1) to determine whether ore recovery along pit walls can be increased by replacing and/or augmenting current pit wall stability assessments involving two-dimensional static methods with three-dimensional deformation analyses and (2) to differentiate pit wall deformations associated with stress relaxation from those associated with failure. Three-dimensional deformation analyses using traditional and/or semi-custom constitutive models calibrated against (a) laboratory testing data and (b) in-situ monitoring data will be used in this evaluation. The research is expected to benefit CNUL increasing the efficiency, economics and environmental sustainability of its current operations. The knowledge gained from this work is highly applicable to all open-pit mining projects, and thus can contribute to enhancing safe mining practice in Canada and internationally.

Faculty Supervisor:

Ward Wilson


Elena Zabolotnii


Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.


Engineering - civil



University of Alberta


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