Senior Consultant (Geotechnics)
Iñaki García (CEng, MIMMM) has over 10 years’ international experience in geotechnical numerical modelling and operational support for both open pit and underground mines.
Iñaki’s work focuses on geotechnical design and numerical analysis of underground and open pit operations, shaft and tunnels in rock, including finite element, finite difference and boundary element analyses. He has also provided on-site support, ranging from data collection through to hazard assessment and monitoring, for underground and open pit operations such as Kevitsa (Boliden, Finland), Tizert (Reminex, Morocco), Lefa (Nordgold, Guinea), Soto Norte (Minesa, Colombia), Veladero and Pascua-Lama (Barrick, Argentina), Cerro Vanguardia (Anglo Gold Ashanti, Argentina), Aguilar (Teck Resources, Argentina). He has also delivered training courses on field data gathering, geotechnical data analysis and excavation design.
Iñaki is an experienced user of Rocscience software, Map3D, FLAC, FLAC3D and Plaxis software and has provided training to technical personnel of several mines. He is a proficient python programmer and is also skilled at using Rhinoceros and Deswik CAD for 3D mesh processing, with a focus on automation. He has made extensive use of both SRK in-house and third-party software for bench design and rock fall analysis.
Enhancing the Geotechnical Design Process through Innovation
A number of innovations pertaining to geotechnical data acquisition, QA/QC’ing and design are presented. Firstly, a machine learning workflow for geotechnical classification from core box photographs: this involves an assessment of the degree of brokenness of the drill core and can be especially useful during Conceptual/PFS stages to overcome the limited amount of geotechnical data from drillholes.
As the project advances from Conceptual to PFS to FS, increasingly more data is available. It then becomes essential to QA/QC the data and to ensure that only curated, error-free data is available for visualisation, interpretation, and analysis. A consistent system for creating, maintaining, and visualising a Geotechnical database is presented.
Lastly, an automated geotechnical analysis procedure is presented, with examples for the AVOCA method and for barrier pillar design. It calculates the state of stress around openings and iteratively modifies the geometry until the stresses satisfy a given failure criterion.