Pitwall Design and Stability Assessment

Fort McMurray, AB, Canada

Klohn Crippen Berger has provided pitwall detailed design as well as designed and implemented the on-going pitwall performance monitoring program.

To provide greater flexibility for our client to economically mine the ore body while managing their risk of pitwall instability, KCB developed a design methodology incorporating the observational approach into the geotechnical design procedure. Geotechnical instrumentation installed near the operational pit limit provides opportunities to monitor and assess the pitwall performance, providing an advance warning of potential pitwall instability and for triggering the implementation of stabilization measures to minimize impacts on mine production.

Periodically, KCB performed site reconnaissance and pitwall performance reviews providing the client with recommendations for the monitoring and surveillance of the pitwalls.

KCB conducted a hazard assessment and developed geomorphological and engineering geological inventory maps for the natural riverbank slopes to understand the potential instability hazards along the river escarpment. On this basis, KCB conducted pitwall detailed design along the river valley.


  • Geotechnical design of pitwalls and haul roads
  • Site reconnaissance and pitwall performance review
  • Geological structural data interpretation
  • Characterization of natural slope geomorphology
  • Site investigation, instrumentation installation and monitoring
  • Construction support and contract management
Pitwall Design 3 years ago
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