Stability Evaluation of Highwall Slope in an Opencast Coal Mine – A Case Study

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  • Deputy Director General of Mines Safety (Mines), DGMS, Dhanbad, 826 001 ,IN
  • Department of Mining Engineering, Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, 826 004 ,IN
  • Professor, Department of Mining Engineering, Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, 826 004 ,IN
  • Deputy Director General of Mines Safety (Mines), DGMS, Dhanbad, 826 001 ,IN


Shear Strength, Slope Failure, Failure Analysis, Numerical Modelling, Monitoring, safety Factor.


The stability analysis of slopes is an integral part of the opencast and highwall mining operations during the entire life cycle of the project. In India, fast increase in output of various minerals can be largely attributed to rapid increase in opencast mining activities and intensified mechanization. This has resulted in the opencast mines going deeper day by day with the maximum stripping ratio being planned currently looking up to 1:15, at a depth of about 500 m. As a direct consequence, the amount of waste mining and dumping will also be commensurately very high thereby increasing the risks of highwall, slope and dump failures tremendously. Safe, properly designed, and scientifically engineered slope is essential for economic, safe and successful operation of opencast mine. Engineering of safe and stable slopes is of significant importance and is normally carried out by empirical, observational or analytical techniques. While less than 3% of mine accidents are associated with slope stability problems, slope failure accidents were responsible for more unproductive work, loss of equipment and poor economic performance. Massive highwall failures containing a million cubic metres of material or more can be dangerous for heavy-equipment and persons working over there. Several remote sensing technologies are being evaluated as tools to monitor slope stability to assess hazards in advance. This paper makes an attempt to review the important factors affecting slope stability and analyze stability of slopes with a case study from the Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL).


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How to Cite

Satyanarayana, I., Budi, G., Sen, P., & Sinha, A. K. (2022). Stability Evaluation of Highwall Slope in an Opencast Coal Mine – A Case Study. Journal of Mines, Metals and Fuels, 66(4), 209–217. Retrieved from






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