Maximum height estimation for mine waste dumps

S. Chai

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Waste dumps are widely used to discharge stripped mine wastes in open pit mining methods. As mining progresses, the height of the waste dumps will increase gradually, which may induce sliding failure once the height exceeds a critical value. Therefore, estimation of the maximum dumping height is crucial to the life-cycle use of a waste dump. However, published information about the maximum height of mine waste dumps are extremely rare. In this study, the maximum dumping height is estimated based on the strength-reduction technique by numerical simulations. The influences of dump geometry and properties on the maximum height are investigated. The results show that the maximum dump height decreases as the dump slope inclination angle α or the unit weight of dump materials γ increases, but decreases when the shear parameters of dump materials (cohesion c and internal friction angle φ) increase. The maximum height starts to increase with the ground inclination β when shear failure occurs at the interface between the dump and the base. Furthermore the effects of the dump width B, Young's modulus E, and Poisson's ratio μ of dump materials on the maximum height are almost insignificant. Good agreement was found between numerical results available in the literature and those obtained in this study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-586
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • maximum dumping height
  • numerical models
  • stability
  • waste dump

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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