Systematization of natural factors and justification of an open pit expansion in hilly areas

Authors: Aghabalyan A.Yu.

The choice of the methods and procedures of subsoil use at any stage—from the early exploration of a discovered mineralization up to its commercial development—depends on the combination of natural factors, including relief, shape and occurrence of an ore body, its thickness, dip angle, etc. Each factor has a classification based on topographical, geographical [1] and geological features [2], and exerts a considerable influence on the decision-making in geological exploration and actual mining. The analysis of a natural factor should be based on the classification of the main feature within its range. The individual analysis of a natural factor can reveal both its positive and negative effects which can be expected in the course of mining; at the same time, only a combination of natural factors is of the definitive importance as negative influence of a factor can be balanced by positive influence of another factor. This article discusses the influence of a hilly area on the open pit mining limits both lengthwise and across an ore body. The conditions for the transition to underground mining horizontally (pit wall rock mass) and vertically (under pit bottom) are described. The analytical dependences are illustrated in terms of a specific deposit.

Keywords: topographic and geographical conditions, geological conditions, open pit mining technology, pit wall expansion, ultimate pit limit, underground mining technology, hybrid geotechnology.
For citation:

Aghabalyan A. Yu. Systematization of natural factors and justification of an open pit expansion in hilly areas. MIAB. Mining Inf. Anal. Bull. 2020;(5):54-67. [In Russ]. DOI: 10.25018/0236-1493-2020-5-0-54-67.

Issue number: 5
Year: 2020
Page number: 54-67
ISBN: 0236-1493
UDK: 622.271.3
DOI: 10.25018/0236-1493-2020-5-0-54-67
Article receipt date: 05.12.2019
Date of review receipt: 25.02.2020
Date of the editorial board′s decision on the article′s publishing: 20.04.2020
About authors:

A.Yu. Aghabalyan, Cand. Sci. (Eng.), Deputy Director for Science, LLC «Geoservice», Yerevan, Republic of Armenia, e-mail:,


For contacts:

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