The arsenic fault-pathfinder: A complementary tool to improve structural models in mining
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In a mining operation, the structural model is considered as a first-order data required for planning. During the start-up and in-depth expansion of an operation, whether the case is open-pit or underground, the structural model must be systematically updated because most common failure mechanisms of a rock mass are generally controlled by geological discontinuities. This update represents one of the main responsibilities for structural geologists and mine engineers. For that purpose, our study presents a geochemically-developed tool based on the tridimensional (3-D) distribution of arsenic concentrations, which have been quantified with a very high-density of blast-holes sampling points throughout an open pit operation. Our results show that the arsenic spatial distribution clearly denotes alignments that match with faults that were previously recognized by classical direct mapping techniques. Consequently, the 3-D arsenic distribution can be used to endorse the existence and even more the real persistence of structures as well as the cross-cutting relationships between faults. In conclusion, by linking the arsenic fault-pathfinder tool to direct on field fault mapping, it is possible to improve structural models at mine scale, focusing on geotechnical design and management, with a direct impact in the generation of safety mining activities.
Artículo de publicación SCOPUS
Quote ItemMinerals, Volumen 8, Issue 9, 2018