Open Pit Services

Common sense solutions from a geoscience perspective

BGC provides open pit slope design and support services for projects and operations from concept to closure. Our open pit team comprises geotechnical engineers, engineering geologists, and hydrogeologists. Our collective experience covers a range of deposit types and challenging geotechnical and hydrogeological conditions from projects located around the world.

Site Investigations

A deep understanding of the project’s geological and hydrogeological conditions is considered essential for all our open pit projects. BGC designs site investigation and characterization programs with a suite of in-house tools that visualize and assess the distribution of data. Our team specializes in geotechnical and oriented core logging, downhole televiewer surveys, structural and geotechnical mapping, pneumatic and hydraulic packer testing, and sample collection and field testing. We also carry out numerous remote sensing applications such as lidar surveys and terrestrial and aerial photogrammetry. 

Laboratory Testing & Characterization

Samples of soil and rock are tested at BGC’s state-of-the-art geotechnical laboratory with access to a wide range of specialized testing and full control over quality and schedule. The site investigation and laboratory testing data are used to develop comprehensive models of site geology, structural fabric faulting, geomechanics, and hydrogeology. 

Analysis & Design

BGC has developed a comprehensive suite of commercial and in-house software to carry out analysis and open pit design services. This includes structural geology assessments and discrete fracture networks, limit-equilibrium and numerical slope stability modelling, groundwater flow modelling, rockfall and failure runout assessments, discrete fracture networks, bench breakback assessments, and inter-ramp kinematic stability analyses. These analytical skills are combined with our understanding of the geology and our experience to develop practical open pit slope designs, ground support and mitigation designs, and pit dewatering and slope depressurization recommendations. 

Monitoring

BGC’s open pit slope designers have experience with surface and sub-surface displacement and subsidence monitoring for open pits and open pit and underground interactions. Our team specializes in instrumentation design and slope deformation monitoring for surface and subsurface systems. We have experience with siting analyses for robotic prism and terrestrial radar systems. We also carry out lidar surveys and change detection studies and conduct analysis and processing of satellite InSAR data. Our subsurface monitoring capabilities include installation, data collection, and analysis of piezometers, time domain reflectometry (TDR) and conventional inclinometers, shape arrays, and Smart Markers®. BGC supports clients with data management and processing and developing trigger-action-response plans (TARPs). Several of our team members have completed graduate degrees in slope monitoring or have industry-operational experience with these monitoring systems. Additionally, BGC has a contract with Reutech to provide training and user-support services for their radar systems in North America. 

Operational Support

BGC works for operating open pit mines in all kinds of geophysical environments. Our operational support services include emergency call-outs, analysis and mitigation of instabilities, pushback and expansion studies, developing ground control management plans, risk assessments and assistance with safe work plans, slope documentation and reconciliation of designs, groundwater and surface water management, and 3rd party reviews and audits. BGC understands the current regulatory environment and provides technical support to our clients throughout the permit application process. 

Key Contacts

Derek Kinakin

Derek Kinakin

Principal Engineering Geologist

Randi Thompson

Randi Thompson

Principal Hydrogeological Engineer

Warren Newcomen

Warren Newcomen

Principal Geotechnical Engineer

Amir Karami

Amir Karami

Principal Geotechnical Engineer

Ian Stilwell

Ian Stilwell

Principal Geotechnical Engineer

Trevor Crozier

Trevor Crozier

Principal Hydrogeological Engineer

Anne Clayton

Anne Clayton

Senior Geological/Geotechnical Engineer, Rock Mechanics Team Lead

Catherine Schmid

Catherine Schmid

Senior Geotechnical Engineer

John Whittall

John Whittall

Senior Geological Engineer