To serve you better, our new website displays information specific to your location.
Please visit the site and bookmark it for future use.

Slope Design for Maricunga Mine in Chile

Esteban Hormazabal, Cesar Almarza and Exequiel Pizarro
Sunday, September 18, 2011
First presented: 
Slope Stability 2011: International Symposium on Rock Slope Stability in Open Pit Mining and Civil Engineering, Vancouver, Canada
Published paper
Rock Mechanics

Kinross Gold Corporation has several porphyry/epithermal gold properties in Maricunga gold belt in northern Chile. The Maricunga site comprises the operating Verde pit and the Pancho deposit, currently under development. Currently active operations are all open pits mines of a medium scale, and have experienced varying degrees of geotechnical difficulties due to the highly altered and fractured nature of the rock mass. Kinross is currently conducting, at a feasibility engineering level, the Maricunga Mine Slope Optimization. A geomechanical assessment is being carried out to evaluate the wall stability of the final open pits at Verde and Pancho. To evaluate the mechanical stability of the open pits, a series of field work and geomechanical studies have been performed. These studies involved, among others, slope stability analyses based on limit equilibrium methods and numerical modeling. This paper describes the analysis methodology for the slope design applied to the optimization project.

Feature Author

Esteban Hormazabal
Esteban is a Civil Mining Engineer and holds a Master of Science (Geophysics) specialized in applied hydrogeology. He has 24 years of specific experience in geotechnical engineering, rock mechanics and geotechnical instrumentation, having worked in different mining and civil engineering projects. 
Additionally, he is an expert in analysis and geomechanical design of underground mining and surface excavations using 2D and 3D numerical modelling, stability analysis and slope design in open pits and waste dumps. 
He has led different and important open pit and underground mining projects in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Uruguay and USA. 
Esteban has authored several publications and has been speaker at different national and international conferences. He is a Competent Person of AusIMM and the Commission for the Qualification of Competencies in Mineral Resources & Reserves of Chile (QP). He has been professor of  the Rock Mechanics Chair at the Universidad Católica de Chile from 2013-2018.


Head of Rock Mechanics Services
Min Eng, MSc (Geophysics), FAusIMM, SAIMM, CRIRSCO
SRK Santiago
SRK North America