Geotechnical challenges at the Beal Mountain mine, Montana

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 95, No. 1063, 2002

D. Stone

The Beal Mountain mine near Anaconda, Montana, is an interesting case history of a mine that has continued operations despite several large pit wall failures over a period of approximately 10 years. The largest event involved some 3.9 million tons of rock that has moved steadily at a rate of about 0.05 ft/day since 1992. This paper documents the geotechnical instrumentation and monitoring programs implemented at Beal to provide the company with a comfortable baseline that supported ongoing operations. The success and failure of a variety of stabilization measures will be discussed, along with typical instrumentation responses for several significant events. The success of Beal Mountain serves as a good model for mines faced with serious geotechnical challenges.
Keywords: Stabilization, Instrumentation, Monitoring, Pit wall failure, Rock Mechanics.