Itasca provides third party reviews aimed at providing an independent and critical review of geomechanical, hydrogeological, and microseismic analyses performed by practitioners and other consultants. Reviews typically consist of three phases.
Phase 1: Initial Information Review and Site Visit
Itasca engineers review all existing and relevant technical documentation, which should include site plans, lithology of the surrounding soil and rock mass and some information on geomechanical properties (including stiffness and strength), soil and rock mass classification (including both natural fracturing and any blasting-induced fractures), and previous reports regarding stability analyses. Itasca engineers next visit the site and discuss any questions resulting from the information review. A brief site report is issued following the site visit, focused on a “green/red flag” high-level summary of the critical findings.
Phase 2: Geomechanical, Hydrogeological, and Microseismicity Review
Itasca will collect, organize, and review the existing site data, including previous assessments by client staff and consultants. As needed, this review includes interviews of operations staff, subcontractors, and consultants. Critical information considered includes dewatering and depressurization plans, observed and anticipated modes of ground failure as a function of season, and the factors of safety for the various modes and site sectors. Hydrogeology can be a key factor affecting ground stability. And because groundwater conditions in the slope may be affected by the regional groundwater flow condition, Itasca will, as necessary, review the regional geologic conditions based on the available data, such as precipitations, surface recharges, regional structures, and groundwater extraction.
Phase 3: Independent Assessment
Based on the review, Itasca may conduct an independent assessment of the hydrogeology and rock mechanics of the site. The rock mechanics assessment focuses on stability assessments based on the pore water pressures, soil and rock mass characteristics, and small- and large-scale discontinuities. Stability assessments will incorporate statics-based kinematics and deformation-based methods. The hydrogeological assessment will consider the future pore pressure distribution for the site. The phreatic surface will be constructed based on a combination of observed groundwater levels, analytical solutions, groundwater flow models, and Itasca’s experience.
Due Diligence Independent Review and Litigation Support
Itasca has extensive experience in providing independent due diligent review of mining projects for financial institutes and banks throughout the world. Itasca also provides expert support on litigation cases in mining, civil, and environmental projects.